Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Colnago Master Light Report

Colnago is the Gucci of cycling. Colnago has been involved in cycling at the top level for longer than any other manufacture I can think of.
Everybody has their favorites, but I think it’s safe to say Colnago is no.1. It’s not hard to qualify that statement by looking at their body of work.
This frame is a 57cm frame, normally I ride a 56cm. However I found that this frame is just my size. When you buy a bicycle frame you have to look at the geometry.
Seat Tube (C-T): 57.0cm
Seat Tube (C-C): 55.5cm
Top Tube: 55.5 cm
Seat Tube: 73°
Stem 13cm
Seat tube length is the first consideration. This measurement gets you into the ball park. The first thing you have to figure out is the measured from center of bottom bracket to top of seat tube, or center of bottom bracket to center of the top tube.
Top Tube in combination with the seat tube angle is the next consideration. This combination will give you an idea of how far you will have to reach for you handlebars. This frame’s top tube measures 55.5cm, and has a seat tube angle of 73°. Most people never look at the combination only top tube length. Say you have two frames both with 55.5cm top tubes, and seat angles of 73°, and 74°. The frame with 73° will bring the bars back into you about 1cm resulting in less reach than a frame with a 74° seat tube. Basically a frame with 73° /55.5cm seat tube and 55.5 top tube is the same as a 74° /55.5cm seat tube and 54.5 top tube. Do the Math! . . . here's a picture just in case you don't feel like breaking out the slide rule.

. . . and this is just my 2 cents worth on that.
I found the frame and fork to be really stiff and light. I can't imagine a frame any stiffer. A lot of the stiffness though has to do with contrasting my experience with my Raleigh Grad Prix with 28c tires I've been riding for the last 4 months. I like it when people come in to the bike shop anf test a bicycle to see how stiff it is by hold the bike by the bars and saddle, then pushing on the pedal with there foot. This really does nothing, as closer inspection will show you most the flex you think your feeling is coming from the tires and the wheel.
Another note is the fork. I found the Full sloping crown, straight blades to be very stiff. I know Colnago says they are supposed to be more responsive and compliant, but I don't see it. It's very stiff and ridged. The longer the fork blade, the more flex. Personally I like flex in my fork to absorb road shock. This is one of the concept behind long chainstays on touring frames. Here they have done all the can to make the stiffest fork possible. I'll give it a couple more days. Until then . . .
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1 comment:

The Unabashed Blogger said...

Vury Purdy bike.

Speaking of bike shops, ya know- the places I never go, do you guys have any pedal cages sitting around...*cough* cheap? I am not in the market for clips..*cough* expensive, but I'd love to try some cages on the ole C-dale. How do you feel about cages vs none? Worth it?