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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Master 30th Anniversary model of their classic custom drawn steel tubed road bike revives the “Art Deco” paint schemes of yore.
Frameset with headset retails for $3,399.99.