Colnago C64 Road Bike Launch
On February 9th 2018, the C64 was revealed in all its glory at the Unicredit Pavillion in Milan. Released in celebration of Colnago's 64th year, and launched to coincide with founder Ernesto’s 86th birthday, this latest incarnation follows on from the C60, a bike already regarded by many as near perfect. So how do you improve on this? With four years of research and development behind it, the C64 is stiffer, more comfortable and lighter; a more rounded bike with the unmatched ride-feel that Colnago's are known for.
Being a part of the launch of the C64, an important day in Colnago’s history, this was the chance to brush shoulders with a number of cycling's biggest names. The man himself, Mr. Ernesto Colnago, riders from the UAE Emirates Professional Cycling Team; Diego Ulissi and Fabio Aru, as well as former professional riders, Andrea Tafi, Pavel Tonkov, Gianni Bugno and Gianni Motta were all there to celebrate this event.
In addition to the launch itself, a ‘museum’ housed some bikes of notable success for the company over the years; among others, Eddy Merckx and Tony Rominger’s hour record bikes and France Ballerini’s carbon C40 that he won Paris-Roubaix in 1995 on, riding in the colours of Mapei-GB.
Typical of Colnago, the C64 is entirely handmade and only the finest Italian carbon fibre tubes and lugs have been used. Ernesto’s knowledge and experience are key to the innovation and style of the bike. Six colours are available and every frame is hand painted in Florence. Still retaining the traditional style of its predecessors, there has been a focus on technological advancements to meet the changing needs of modern road cyclists.
Weight: The overall weight reduction is dramatic; in the rim brake model around 200 grams, and in the disc version, 270 grams.
Brakes: Now with a direct-mount system, braking has improved modulation and the design reduces drag.
Fork: Re-designed and now rib shaped with an internal rib to not only improve rigidity but also increase strength to around five times the required standard.
Downtube: Narrower to the bottom, the recessed bottle cage holder creates an aerodynamic advantage and increases torsional stiffness.
Seat tube / seat clamp / seat post: The seat tube and lugs are integrated and improve the overall performance of the frame, while an integrated one-piece seat clamp adds to the clean lines and reduces weight by 15 grams. The 31.6mm diameter seat post has been replaced by an aerodynamic offering similar to that of the Colnago V2-R. This reduces drag and ensures comfort on even the roughest of roads.
Rear triangle: With threaded thru axles and a one-piece dropout-chainstay construction, weight is reduced and vertical compliance increased whilst the triangle retains its lateral stiffness.
Tyre clearance: Keeping up to date with modern requirements, tyre clearance has been improved so you can fit 28mm wide tyres, and up to 30mm on the disc brake model.
The big reveal came courtesy of Fabio Aru of UAE Team Emirates who will be riding the Colnago C64 this season. New to the roster of this UCI WorldTour team, the Italian champion started racing on a Colnago in 2009 and is now back on an Italian bike which he has been testing in all conditions and across a wide range of terrains. Describing it as an outstanding all-rounder and as feeling lightweight whilst remaining rigid and responsive, he is excited for the season ahead and will be announcing his calendar at the Tour of Abu Dhabi later this month.
A day not only launching the latest flagship model but also recognising friendships. Giorgio Squinzi, the patron of Mapei and a friend of Ernesto’s for 25 years, was presented with a stunning C64 in the Mapei colours, entirely hand painted and unique. Mapei dominated the world of cycling for a decade and to this day are one of the most successful teams. Notable victories include the first Paris-Roubaix win for a carbon bike and a podium sweep at Paris-Roubaix in 1996, repeated for the team again in 1998 and 1999.
Colnago C64 Road Bike Launch
Ernesto feels equal passion for all his creations including his latest, the C64, and it was an honour to be part of this special day in the company's history. Having made a great contribution to the technological advancements of frames over the past 64 years, including introducing carbon into cycling, disc brakes to road cycling and the straight fork, he is sure that this family business will continue to discover new innovations and technology to advance the world of cycling.