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…

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike gets a gusseted head tube lug to increase stiffness

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike has a recessed water bottle cage mount 2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike has a recessed water bottle cage mount

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike with integrated front derailleur cable guides

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike with stealth seatpost binder

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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…

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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.

2018 Colnago C64 lightweight carbon road race bike

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.

2018 Colnago C64 geometry chart

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.

2018 Colnago C64 frame weight chart

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

2018 Colnago C64 disc brake road bike first look

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.

2018 Colnago C64 disc brake road bike first look

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.

Colnago.com

35 COMMENTS

  1. The bottom bracket… a carbon shell, with a pressed in insert, with a threaded insert, so you can press in your bottom bracket. All to stop creaking! Brilliant!

  2. From an engineering perspective I like the idea of the carbon lugs, and I can appreciate the work they put in all the details, but unfortunately I find the aesthetics a bit off putting.

    • What are the (rider and manufacturing) advantages of carbon lugs as opposed to monocoque? I understand lugs avoids having a bunch of custom frame molds but wonder if there’s any other reason.

      • I could understand that from a ride fine tuning perspective, it’s significantly easier and cheaper to use lugs and only need to vary tubing stiffness to test iterations instead of needing to vary complete molds and layup schedules on a monocoque.
        The end result may be that the manufacturer can better deliver a bike that rides directly on line with their goals.

        On the flip side to your comment, what are the downsides for lugs to the rider? I’d argue weight is about the only one

        • At 5,900$ for a frameset! Colnago certainly didn’t pass any of their manufacturing savings on to the consumer. I want to meet the 1% dude that actually buys one and [hear] the justification for dropping that kind of cash on one of these epeen bikes.

    • I am not a bike builder, but it seems to me carbon lugs would not perform as well as an integrated, strategized for performance layup. They probably make it cheaper to make and better customization perhaps. THoughts?

      • Frame customization is key for ultimate high end and such an expensive frame.
        This frame is meant to be customized, buying the standard size is like missing the point.

        I don’t get why anybody would spend the same amount on frames that come in standard sizes. It is not only about tube length but also about thickness.
        Colnago will customize the bike according to riding style and weight. This is the difference with all other comparable frames from big companies. If you are 6’5 and weight 100 pounds they will choose the right tubing for your size and weight. All other bikes are way too stiff as they need to pass testing for 300 pounds riders on any size.

        • So basically if youre fit for your size this bike is useless. Now why you would spend that much money on a bike if you aren’t fit and care about it having as light as possible… sounds very strange… Not to say plain dumb.

          I’ll keep my better designed fully molded frame thx..

  3. Top of the line Colnago… everything else is a step below.

    Unfortunately most people will never get a chance to ride one and will just rely on various sites reviews… which are biased on who spends more $ on advertising…

    • True story: my dentist saw my Colnago hat on the chair with m jacket and proceeded to tell me about his Colnago and the dust it gathers. I would had offered to take the burden from him, but I couldn’t exactly speak at the time.

  4. I don’t really think that ‘lightest bike yet’ is good news when it comes to Colnago. Last year during on of the races I saw a guy that broke the top tube in a crash in his Colnago C60. Funny thing is, he didn’t even hit the ground, so I wonder how stronger is this model. This really puts me off buying overpriced Italian stuff.

    • Don’t you think it a pretty ridiculous to judge a frames strength in a crash that you view from TV? Just because the rider didn’t hit the ground doesn’t mean the frame wasn’t impacted hard.

      • Don’t you think it’s pretty ridiculous to judge the crash was on a TV? No, it was during one of the races I raced at. No other bikes were even remotely damaged, so yeah, in my view it crosses Colnago out.

          • One crash certainly isn’t enough to draw any conclusions about the quality or durability of a particular model of frame. If there a trend of such failures, that might mean something, but alas, one crash isn’t a trend.

    • One incident (in xx years) on a pro race is enough for you to doubt Colnago? What about Specialized? Their frames break on multiple occasions every season of road and mtb racing. But they are good at hiding it or making up excuses. What do you think about them?

      • See my reply above. At almost 6k price tag, the durability is unacceptable. If you have a sponsorship deal then you don’t have to care that much, but how many of us do? On the other hand, if you just want to ride a bike yourself, then do you really need a frame like this for purposes other than showing off?

        • So, because the specialized are free for spknsored riders it’s OK that they break? Seems like a weird baseline to judge things on

        • Pavel: What does it matter why someone buys something. Different people have a slew of different reasons why they buy what they buy. Maybe they just love Colnago. Maybe they just like to show off. So what. Why do you care? Just complaining to complain? Really?

  5. The stack numbers are about 20 mm to 30 mm too high for a race bike. Is this their endurance bike? It’s geometry is like a Cannondale Synapse.

  6. > This really puts me off buying overpriced Italian stuff.

    Check out the Leuscher Teknik videos on youtube where he cuts open expensive “Italian” frames.

  7. The downtube cable routing, whilst looking nice will surely rub off all you lovely, expensive, made in Taiwan but assembled in Italy paint?

  8. integrated seat post sounds like a pita if you box your bike for traveling or adjust the seat due to changing foot wear(boots vs shoes and i do)

  9. I’m usually not one to scoff at prices, but this is nonsensical. Just say it…. If you buy this frame/bike, you’re paying for hype. There’s just no arguing with the fact that their cachet has inflated their prices.

    Look at an Alchemy or Appleman or Calffee for less than this Colnago, including custom geometry.

What do you think?