The all new Colnago C64 is the (R)evolution of a species, becoming their new top-level lugged carbon road bike. The name is significant in that it’s their 64th year in existence. Their goal was to maintain the same stiffness and racy ride quality of the C60, but improve rider comfort by increasing vertical compliance and adding tire clearance.
But the big news is that it’s significantly lighter. Light weight has never been Colnago’s calling card, instead focusing on ride quality and craftsmanship. Those features are as present as ever, but they found ways to refine and optimize almost every part of the frame to drop down to less than 900g for a raw size 50 frame with most hardware. The frameset is 205g lighter than its C60 predecessor -the frame alone counts for 186g of that- yet keeps virtually the same geometry. Even the largest frames are under 1000g. Here’s how they did it…
The bike is completely handmade in Italy of Toray fibers using their carbon lug and tube design. This design has been a trademark feature of their top models for years and lets them tune each part of the bike better than if they were wrapping joints. It also lets them offer minor customizations to tube length and angles, for a fee.
The headtube gets gussets behind it, which mimics the “star” shape top and downtubes. It’s made with 3K fibers with a UD finish, all compressed with their stainless steel inner and outer molds. The headtube height is lower than before, but now that the fork is 5mm taller to add more tire clearance, stack height remains similar.
The headset comes from their pure aero concept bike and has revised upper cups that are made of a special polymer mix of carbon fibers, nylon and elastomers. This helps absorb vibrations to improve handling and rider comfort. It’ll also fit a standard headset if that’s more to your liking. A new compression plug simplifies the design and also saves a bunch of weight.
The downtube is narrower, which saves a few grams but more importantly offers better chainring and chain clearance in the event your chain drops off the inside. And it better matches the other tubes for improved aesthetics.
The bottle cage mounts are slightly recessed, which somehow saves a few more grams and also helps improve aerodynamics slightly. Overall, the bike is a bit more aero than before, but it’s designed as an all-around race bike, not an aero bike per se.
The bottom bracket uses their ThreadFit82.5 BB shell, which bonds oversized alloy cups into the carbon shell. Then, they thread standard sized BB bearing cups into that shell, then a pressfit BB86 bottom bracket presses into that. The combination makes it so you can easily replace the threaded inserts if things start creaking, rather than having to just deal with it. It also lets them stick with the standard sized crank spindle but get away with an oversized BB shell, all without creating weird aesthetics.
The outer shell’s diameter is increased and the front derailleur cable guide is now molded directly into the shell. This saves six more grams, but also gives the cable a smoother, larger radius path for smoother operation. Teflon liners prevent the cable from wearing through the carbon. The design is centered around a 24mm crank spindle, so any Campy, Shimano or SRAM GXP crankset will work.
Inside the shell, you’ll find a new CeramicSpeed upgrade option for Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM.
The seat tube sees the biggest changes. There’s a single seat tube/top tube lug that’s one piece, which they say is stiffer and lighter.
Seat stays are lighter and thinner, and they keep the brake bridge regardless of whether its disc or rim brake. The rim brake frame clears a 28mm tire (actual measurement, not just any “700×28”, so if you have really wide rims that push tires beyond their stated width, check clearance.
Their monostay design is tweaked, switching to an internal seat clamp bolt that’s accessed from under the top tube. The bike will ship with a driver for your torque wrench to ensure you set it correctly, and they say it needs less torque than before.
The seatpost carries over a similar shape as the V-1r post, but with a slight truncation at the top to improve aerodynamics and compliance. It’ll still come with a 15mm setback post, but they have new 0mm and 30mm options sold separately.
The chainstays are now one piece all the way through the dropouts, which are now full carbon save for the internally mounted derailleur hanger (replaceable, and the same part as on all of their other bikes so easier for dealers to stock). Asymmetric chainstays (non-drive is larger) and the rim-brake models’ chainstays are larger to give the bike the same rear end stiffness as the disc brake despite not having a thru axle. Yes, there’s a disc brake version, more on that in a minute…
The fork is also completely redesigned, keeping only the same rake as the prior model. The crown is wider to fit larger tires, and it gets a rim-shape exterior to allow more fore-aft flex without sacrificing lateral stiffness. The steer tube also has a “D” shape, which amplifies both of those qualities and uses a bonded threaded insert that the included headset cap threads into. This system replaces their older, larger compression plug system with a simpler, more direct system that’s also lighter.
The rim brake fork is 40g lighter (355g) and is now only direct-mount caliper compatible. Some of those weight savings come from the new all-carbon dropouts, no more alloy insert.
They’ll offer 14 different frame sizes ranging from 42sl to 60sl, which is impressive considering that means 14 distinct seat tube molds. The “sl” in the name refers to their sloping top tube design, which will get nine size options. The other five are “High Stack” with taller front ends to reduce reach slightly and keep you more upright.
Four standard colors – white, red, silver and black, plus two art decor finishes in white or blue (see bottom of post for pics). Down the road there’ll be some custom paint and detailing options, but the first bikes are going out stock to dealers.
The frames will now come ready for internal mechanical and electronic routing for any type of system, so you no longer have to choose between Di2 or mechanical. This bike replaces the C60 entirely, and production has already stopped on that model to get this bad boy fired up. At launch, it should already be in stock in select dealers worldwide.
Retail is $5,900 for the frameset (frame, fork, seatpost, headset). Complete bikes available as custom orders, and only offered with high end groups (think eTap, Dura-Ace, Super Record). Mild custom geometries will be available later in the year, limited by the lug design and seatmast system.
COLNAGO C64 DISC BRAKE ROAD BIKE
What’s different? Colnago C64 disc brake frames are flat mount brakes and 12mm thru axle. The wheelbase is ever so slightly longer, but is overall almost identical to the rim brake model. Price is $TBD, but should be around $200 more.
Honestly, details are short on the disc C64 as it won’t come out until April. One thing they did clarify was that the disc brake fork, to save more weight, has done away with their proprietary hex-lock thru axle system and switches to a standard threaded DT Swiss axle. This netted a fork that’s only 15g heavier than the rim brake fork.
It will also have a different steerer tube with internal channels and a “D” shape. An optional stem upgrade will route the front brake hose inside it, down through the steerer and popping out the left fork leg just above the front disc brake caliper.
2018 COLNAGO C64 FRAME COLORS
In addition to the white-on-carbon shown throughout the post, you’ll have the option of red, black, and a special blue paint scheme. Not shown is an additional silver-on-carbon option.