Colnago C68 2022 | Italian Superbike Review
Of the entire Colnago range, the model that best expresses the concept of ‘handmade in Italy’ is revolutionised, while its DNA, and the concept of multiple parts, are maintained. Introducing the C68.
The C68 will be available in three versions: Road, All road and Gravel, with a totally new soul based on performance but also oriented towards riding enjoyment. Clean design, integration and modernity are at the core of the project. The C68 will be also available in a limited-edition version with 3D printed titanium parts intended for an even more exclusive and technologically oriented audience, with the possibility of a “made-to-measure” frame: the widest range of choices and customization options in the Colnago world.
Colnago: model C and model V Colnago has a unique peculiarity compared to many other bicycle brands, with two families of products dedicated to two different types of consumers: model C and model V.
Model C, which can be considered the “classic” Colnago model, is handmade in Italy according to tradition and intended for those who love bicycles with a unique and exclusive design. C like Colnago, carbon, Cambiago, class.
The V model is an uncompromising racing bike. It is the model dedicated to racing, the bike that won the last two editions of the Tour de France. Monocoque, aerodynamic, rigid, very high performance, a bike to win.
V for victory, V for velocità (speed).
The C68 platform, along with the actual design itself, the biggest news for the C series is that it is no longer a single product, but a family – or platform – presented in three versions: Road, All-road and Gravel. The first is classically oriented to pure road performance, the second will widen the horizons to dirt roads thanks to the capability for mounting larger diameter tires. Finally, the classic Gravel version is intended for real off-road drop bar cycling. In total there are 18 sizes across the different models: 7 Road (available in both disc-brake at launch – rim-brake – from autumn 2022) 6 All-road (disc only – available from autumn 2022) 35mm Tyre clearance 5 Gravel (disc only – available from autumn 2022). C68: the frame and other technical features.
The C68 is made using a modular structure which is at the heart of the project and provides its excellence. Gluing the various parts of the frame, instead of assembling them inside a mould as happens with monocoque frames, still represents a uniqueness that allows for the creation of more sizes as necessary and, if desired, even a “made to measure” frame thanks to the titanium parts. The number of parts that constitute the frame is the same as with the previous C series even though, from an aesthetic point of view, its line may be more similar to that of a frame manufactured in one piece. The choice was dictated by the search for a modern look, but always remaining desirable to the traditional Colnago customer. Focusing on the design rationale, Colnago used to build frames with lugs and straight/simple tubes.
The C68 now has parts composed with tubes and lugs together because they don’t require so many joints to reach the same target of lug construction. The new construction method enhances the custom sizing option because Colnago can now slide up or down the top tube on the steerer/downtube, offering custom reach and stack. In the previous construction method, Colnago were limited to reach due to the fixed headtube lug stack. With the titanium options, they are now no longer limited to adjustments of a few millimetres and 0.x angles, but can go even in a more extreme direction. There are still some visible joints on the C68 (such as the upper headtube and the seat post clamp area) to trace back to our root, while other joints are now invisible (like the rear triangle, the downtube, BB area and the top tube).
From a structural point of view there are some noteworthy differences compared to the predecessor, C64: the bottom bracket, now with the standard T47, has merged with the seat tube while the “top tube” is characterized by the presence of two pieces / lugs: one connected with the seat tube, the other with the steering tube. These pieces / lugs are integral with each other in the full carbon frame version, but there is the possibility of having these two parts / lugs in titanium alloy.
Finally, in addition to being lighter than the C64 in similar sizes, the frame is more rigid, especially in the steering area, giving better precision while riding. The shape refinement process has also made it possible to optimize some parts of the frame including the fork, now more rigid and lighter than the previous one, with an innovative internal cable routing, thanks to the shape of the new head tube can be built without the current and more complex “D” shape. Remaining in the front section of the frame, note the integration of a ten- function multitool placed directly inside the steering cap (four-function multitool for the two smaller frame sizes).
To maintain continuity in terms of spare parts and ease of production, the shape of the seat post is identical to that of the C64 and V3Rs. Finally, a new option allows for the removal of the front derailleur support for mounting groups with a single-chainring crankset. In size 51s, the weight of the raw frame without metal parts (e.g. dropout hanger, derailleur attachment and various small elements) is approximately 930gr (+/- 10gr) in full carbon (unpainted). To create these parts, Colnago are collaborating with a leading Italian company operating in the medical sector, that is at the pinnacle of precise and efficient 3D printing.
Why a full carbon version then?
For the lower costs related to construction times and to maintain a pure carbon aesthetic that is still considered a positive in drop bar cycling. C68 with titanium lugs The C68 will be available not only in the classic full carbon version but also in a limited edition with titanium lugs. With this option Colnago will employ 3D printing technology, starting from a digital model to create a three-dimensional physical object, the construction technique of the future.
Titanium is the best 3D printable material and is one of the few materials that are naturally compatible with carbon fibre in mechanical engineering. The printable parts/lugs in titanium allow practically unlimited options and allow, if necessary and/or requested, to achieve the true “made to measure” frame sizes.
T47 Bottom Bracket
The C68 features the stiff, secure and adaptable T47 Press-fit bottom bracket as standard. Colnago first introduced a threaded oversized BB eight years ago with the C60, of which the T47 is ultimately derivative. Called Thread-fit 82.5, it featured an 82.5mm wide 45mm threaded sleeve set, which was initially just a sleeve to be used with a common press-fit solution, but soon became a true threaded system with third party solution as the CeramicSpeed, and other compatible systems. Soon after, T47 was born around a press-fit shell dimension, effectively mirroring our solution with a slightly bigger diameter (45mm vs 47mm) and Colnago decided to adopt the T47 on future frames to satisfy both customers and bike shops.
CeramicSpeed SLT Headset with lifetime guarantee
The C68 will feature a CeramicSpeed SLT (Solid Lubrication Technology) headset guaranteed for life, simplifying maintenance, and reducing costs in the long term. The headset is composed of two identical bearings, made by CeramicSpeed using SLT technology. This means that Colnago and CeramicSpeed can offer a lifetime warranty on the bearings because there’s no way to damage the balls inside thanks to the solid lubricating system.
The new CC.01 integrated handlebar features a relative long reach, a compact drop and a decent flare (+2cm), but no outsweep. Everyone who rides a modern gravel bike already knows and appreciates the drop position with a wider base and how much the control of the bike is enhanced. At the same time, the common trend now is to go narrower on the hoods for an improved aerodynamic position. The choice to reduce the hoods width by 1cm, compared to the traditional even measures, goes along with a wider drop position, just 2cm wider. Colnago then took the opportunity of the flared drop to increase the reach, stretching it out to 80mm (vs 75mm which is standard on compact handlebar) to offer a more “into the bike” position on the downhill and a much bigger flat surface just behind the hoods on the top part, to rest the palm of the hands for a better comfort with every type of brake levers.
The bar is designed for the modern wireless and wired electronic groupset and internal cable routing, but it’s still compatible with external routing and rim brakes. To complete the package, there’s a dedicated computer mount with a “GoPro style” bayonet and two different length for almost any kind of device. Multitool The new CC.01 cockpit also integrates a small multitool in the top of the stem cap. The flush fitment of this tool requires the fork to be precisely cut to the correct length.
For this reason, and to allow everyone to find their favourite position, the steerer will be delivered uncut with a selection of spacers above the stem to allow for adjustment prior to cutting. The tool can be easily removed to save a few grams, but the carrier is a structural part of the fork, so if removed please replace it with a Colnago long fork expander unit.
Colnago C68 | Sizing & Bike Fit
Ensuring your dream bike is the right size is important and can be achieved in several ways. If you know your size things are simple, let us know your desired build and we can discuss cost and availability. If you are unsure on sizing or would like a second opinion on the best size we can check this in store or at a distance. In store we would utilise our sizing jig to asses the best frame size and Bike Fit prior to purchase. If you would prefer to check this at a distance we can email form for you to take measurements from your current bike setup to check which C68 frameset and components would be required to achieve the same bike fit. If collected in store the fit will be tweaked to exact measurements with a complimentary Bike Fit.
Ordering: We offer competitive pricing, complimentary bike fits and quality servicing. Contact us or visit the 'Order Process' page for more details.
Customisation: Contact us with your upgrade or component alterations, we will endeavour to create your desired specification at purchase whilst maintaining a competitive price.
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Text & Image Credit WindWaveUK