2013 Colnago C59 disc brake road bike with Campagnolo EPS or Shimano Di2 electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes

Colnago’s 2013 showcase pieces have mostly been teased and detailed quite a bit already. The headliner is the new C59 Disc, a full hydraulic disc brake specific road bike that using a Formula brake system developed specifically for them.

The bike is based on their C59 Italia but with a disc specific frame. Colnago’s US sales manager Billy Kanzler says the frame may look the same, but it’s completely redesigned to work with the forces created by disc brakes. Less material is needed higher up in the stays, but it’s reinforced at the rear of the triangle and chainstays. The fork is completely new with reinforced lower sections and rear facing dropouts. The latter feature “pulls” the axle into the dropout under braking, keeping the wheel where it’s supposed to be.

The brake system is said to be lighter than Dura-Ace calipers, but with the frame reinforcements, the complete bike comes in about 150g heavier than the standard model.

While most people assume they know the benefits of disc brakes on road bikes, our conversation with Kanzler yielded a couple of surprises, including some intriguing remarks they had from the UCI…

2013 Colnago C59 disc brake road bike with Campagnolo EPS or Shimano Di2 electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes

The C59 Disc will be available in all of the standard C59 Italia’s color schemes, five of which are shown here. The Formula brake system uses levers designed with buttons to actuate either Shimano’s Di2 system or Campagnolo EPS. The first prototypes were designed around the first-generation Di2, but they’ll soon offer versions for EPS and the new E-Tube (current gen) Di2. Check this post or a close up tech look at the Formula hydraulic road disc brakes. Kanzler says the system is exclusive to Colnago, but we’re not sure if that means you’ll only be able to get it on complete bikes or if they’ll sell it as an aftermarket system, too. There’s always the TRP system if not.

2013 Colnago C59 disc brake road bike with Campagnolo EPS or Shimano Di2 electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes

One of the more interesting tidbits was Colnago’s claim that braking distance on the C59 Disc is 52% of the same bike with calipers. Missing is what rim/pad combo that’s compared against, but still, that’s HALF the distance. And that’s with their stock 140mm rotors on both front and rear. Kanzler said they’ll offer a 160mm front rotor upgrade for riders over 200lbs.

Kanzler said the UCI is considering making disc brakes the standard within three years. That’s a pretty bold statement considering this bike’s not even approved for use in sanctioned races yet. Why the apparent interest? As bikes (and riders) have gotten faster and more aero, braking technology hasn’t kept up. Couple that with lightweight carbon rims whose braking performance generally isn’t quite as good as alloy rims and you have riders traveling at scary speeds without braking to match.

Then, factor in the disparate braking performance between different manufacturer’s carbon rims and pad compounds, and you have a recipe for wrecks. Accidents in the peloton are, in enough cases, the result of riders traveling at different speeds. If you have too many riders braking at different rates because of equipment, there’s a case to be made for implementing standards that allow for better and more equal braking potential. For now, you won’t find a disc bike in the peloton because it would simply stop too quickly compared to the bikes racing just inches away. Chances are good you will soon, though.

2013 Colnago C59 disc brake road bike with Campagnolo EPS or Shimano Di2 electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes 2013 Colnago C59 disc brake road bike with Campagnolo EPS or Shimano Di2 electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes

The C59 Disc has 135mm rear spacing, and when SRAM’s hydraulic disc brake group finally starts shipping, they’ll have a model or two with that as an option. For now, it’s either Di2 or EPS, but the frame is mechanical or electronic ready. Frameset with seatpost and headset is $6,499.95. Want a complete bike with the Formula brakes? Here’s the anticlimactic part: You’re likely looking at next spring before they’re available, so for now your best bet is to cobble it together with some mechanical discs or wait for SRAM’s system. Frameset will be available in August.

2013 Colnago K-Zero TT time trial and triathlon bike with integrated stem and custom handlebar

We also saw the K-Zero TT bike at Sea Otter in near final form. The frame was virtually entirely created in the wind tunnel to have the minimal frontal surface area. The frame is both electronic and mechanical drivetrain compatible and will come either as a frameset or complete bike. The frameset will come standard with their completely custom, integrated stem/aerobar system that’s built custom for the rider’s measurements.

The complete bike will come with a more standard stem and aero bar setup with the customized/integrated version as an upgrade option. This lets the rider (and dealer) get fit to the bike first, ride it a bit, then commit to the custom made cockpit. Pricing is TBD, but the frameset should be available in August. An Ultegra complete bike will retail for $5,199.99.

2013 Colnago Prestige disc brake cyclocross bike with mechanical disc brakes

If you’re still waffling on whether discs are right for you, mull this over: Sven Nys and Niels Albert will be racing the Prestige Disc exclusively next year. Niels is a 2-time and current World Champion and won this past year on the Colnago Prestige standard version. Sven Nys is fomer World Champion, 6-time World Cup overall Champion, 11-time Super Prestige series champion and 8-time Belgian National Champion.

The Prestige will come as disc only for 2013, meaning Colnago’s committed to it. Frame has a monocoque carbon fiber front end with lugged carbon stays.The other news is that it’ll be offered as a complete bike for 2013 with Ultegra Di2 for $5,199.99. Frameset will be $2,599.99.

2013 Colnago World Cup disc brake cyclocross bike with mechanical disc brakes

The Colnago World Cup is their 6000-series alloy cyclocross bike. This year, it came as a disc-or-cantilever ready bike but shipped with Canti’s. For 2013, it’s disc only, meaning Colnago no longer offers a cantilever ‘cross bike. Welcome to the future. It’s available as a complete bike only with Shimano 105 and Avid mechanical disc brakes for $1,969.99.

2013 Colnago Master 30th anniversary steel road bike frames get art deco paint schemes again

The Master 30th Anniversary model of their classic custom drawn steel tubed road bike revives the “Art Deco” paint schemes of yore.

2013 Colnago Master 30th anniversary steel road bike frames get art deco paint schemes again

Frameset with headset retails for $3,399.99.


  1. Right. Will prevent crashes. Cause it’s braking, not overlapping wheels that causes crashes.

    If you want to sell us disc brakes, then fine, but don’t BS the world while doing it.

  2. ummm…bad braking does cause crashes! heating up a carbon rim till the tube pops causes crashes. faded braking power while descending causes crashes. there are many ways that bad braking can affect safety. and ask anyone who works with or rides bikes hard enough fast enough and they will tell you that the braking power on carbon wheels is not sufficient.

  3. I think I’ll wait three years before upgrading components…..

    On a side note, it’s nice to see such a dysfunctional implementation of CAPTCHA.

  4. As someone who comes from Mountain Biking, I have never understood why it takes so long to move to Road disc brakes. The advantages are so obvious, its not even funny. I use one of the best road caliper sets out there, and still find that braking power is lacking to a degree that screams “gross negligence”. Will definitely adopt this “new” tech very early.

  5. I know of no one who’s lost a finger due to a rotor, and a chainring or spoke can nip one just if not more easily. No need to worry needlessly.

  6. ^are you saying half-wheeling crashes are caused solely on inattentiveness and cannot be reduced with better braking?

  7. Brakes do not allow you to go faster. Brakes slow you down. I’m pretty sure.

    Also pretty sure lighter wheels are faster.

  8. i’m glad you know what brakes DON’T DO but I am talking about what very good brakes CAN ALLOW you TO DO. race cars, moto racing and bangin at high speeds “overlapping” are able to do so consistently becaue of high performance braking. since we’re talking about cyclists..there are no fast wheels only fast cyclists. maybe if you ride in a wind tunnel exclusively or fred flintstone your car to a stop…

  9. I can lock my brakes on my first squeeze on cold rims. What is more braking force going to do for me? Nothing. Carbon rims can have braking power just as good as alloy rims if you pair them with the right pad compound.

  10. Doesn’t anyone ride road bikes in poor weather and road conditions such as rain, mud, snow, or even ice? Under such conditions, the advantages of moving the braking off the rim is vastly superior. Disc brakes offer superior performance under these conditions.

  11. Disc brakes have not transferred over to road as fast due to heat dissipation issues that need to be ironed out first. With that said, it is coming for sure. The more carbon rims are utilized, the more need for disc brakes. Also, road bikes are so light that they could add a slightly heavier system for disc brakes and still the bike is going to be plenty light (sheesh, pros have to add weights to their bikes and I know we all ride pro level bikes even though we don’t go at pro level speeds).

    Finally, why does this site even use the CAPTCHA Code. Is there any other forum you have ever used that utilizes this. Please BR do away with it.

  12. colnago does not offer a cross bike that will even take cantis next year- that’s pretty bold.
    congrats to them. finally stepping up, after all this time doin the same ol, same ol…

  13. As someone who races, sure I am also scared of bladed spokes in a crash but I am much more scared of these disks in a crash because the protrude more. Maybe that’s just paranoia and after time it is not going to be as bad as I think it is but crashes where bikes are hitting you happen a lot in crtis, specially on tight circuits like Heffron.

  14. BORING!…haven’t the world road bike manufacturers been told!…….29inch wheels is where it’s at!….there faster, more stable, use less energy and all that other BS……but if they do, you’re going to need disc brakes to stop them , that’s for sure!….so maybe that’s why their introducing disc brakes now…ready for the bigger wheels later! straight after you ‘upgrade’ to discs you will need ‘upgrade’ to another new bike!

  15. I have two road bikes, one with rim brakes and one with disc brakes. I prefer the braking on the disc equipped bike much more than the braking on the rim equipped bike. It’s just consistent with what happens when you pull the levers, long down hills, wet roads, it’s always the same.

  16. I embrace this move to road discs but I don’t see myself moving on the new tech for at least a few years. Personally, I prefer rim braking for several reasons: A) I have several spare sets of wheels for the given purpose for both my road and cross bikes that would need new hubs and rebuilds. That’s a pain in the ass. B) I don’t want to use a proprietary Formula level, I’d rather hold off until I had a Shimano or Campy hydraulic model (They’re coming). C) Frames. I’d need new frames and eff changing them because I like what I got.

    That all being said, I’d hop on one of those Masters in a heartbeat.

  17. The only problem here? “Frameset with seatpost and headset is $6,499.95.” C’mon, really? I’m sure it’s a good frame and yes it’s got a Colnago sticker or 12 on it, but $6500? That’s just obscene. I suppose I’ll just wait for Giant to make a carbon, disc-only road bike with a 105/Tiagra mix that retails for under $2k. At least Colnago is pushing the sport to where it needs to go, but holy hell is it ever coming at a price.

  18. I’ve seen it all to often in racing where someone locks up their brakes on a downhill and blows a tire. How are disc brakes going to prevent that? The tire dragging over pavement can wear through any locked up tire in a second. Also, I have never been to a race that has neutral support and seen any wheels provided with disc rotors attached to them. That includes cyclocross. I have also ridden a Volagi bike equipped with disc brakes and it was terrible. The bike was heavy, the braking wasn’t any better, and the BB7 brakes rattled over every crack in the road. Who wants to spend $6500 on a frameset for road races and crits anyways? Crits = Crashes and the crashes are never caused by the brakes only terrible racers that dive bomb corners and try to take the last corner 10 racers wide.

  19. @teh persons: better brakes allow you to brake later into a turn thereby allowing you to go faster for a longer distance, and to even reach a higher top speed in the process. In the end aerodynamics is the key.

    Also, light wheels accelerate faster, but heavier wheels can offer a flywheel effect once up to speed, giving additional momentum.

    Please stop talking useless trash and go ride your bike, you might learn something.

  20. @MC: disc brakes will help because with their better modulation, you’ll be able to better feel when you get close to lockup. One test of a Volagi tells you nothing other than perhaps the bike wasn’t setup right and that your didn’t get on with that bike. It certainly told you nothing about disc brakes on road bikes in general.

    Crashes are never caused by brakes? That’s a bold statement for which there is absolutely zero data for support.

    @carl: Being made in Italy doesn’t make a bike any more valuable or any better.

  21. Disc brakes are great; I bought the World Cup last year and put Avids on it and love it. It’s a bit heavy though so I think the Prestige looks like a great next bike.

    Can’t say I’m like the color choice on the new Prestige – why can’t we have something like the black on black scheme like they put on the C59 or just plain old silver without the gaudy stripes? And Art Decor on the Master? It was a bad idea the first time… Still a great bike though 🙂

What do you think?