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Do I want a Colnago?(15 posts)

Do I want a Colnago?Bart
Mar 18, 2001 5:15 AM
I'm moving up! From mountain biking and road training on my 1980 Trek road bike to . . . a Serotta Colorado III, a Colnago MasterLight, or a Jamis Eclipse (it's the wheels, man!) if I can find one.

My pal suggests that since I am pretty much constrained to riding one to three hours, I should get the Colnago--more of a crit bike. I've sized out however on a Serotta for a 57 x 57; the Colnago is shorter in both the tt and wheelbase.

Will the Colnago actually be a better shorter ride bike? Or, will "twitchiness" and my back bother me? I know these are subjective questions, but I would still like some impartial feedback.

Another factor: the Jamis with Ultegra is about $2000, and I can get the Colnago (with Ultegra) for about $2200. The Colorado III (with Ultegra) will be $3000.

Mar 18, 2001 5:36 AM
If you can't ride them to find out for yourself and are basing your sizing on seat tube length only (should be a minor factor when compared to TT length and seat angle), then go with the one that matches your present bike's geometry or the cheapest or the best looking or whatever one your instinct tells you. Hopefully, your present bike has been fitted correctly... and hopefully that won't be the Colnago- no Colnago deserves to be built up with Ultegra.
Mar 18, 2001 5:44 AM

Alright, if I get the Colnago I promise to buy either a Daytonna or Chorus kit.

TT: Serotta: 57 (fitted by shop)

TT: Colnago: 56.3
Mar 18, 2001 10:27 AM
Colnago measures c-t--you might fit the 59 better, which I think has a 57 cm tt. In that price range I'd also check out Steelman and IF, and would refuse to build the bike with anything less than DA or Chorus. Have fun!
re: Do I want a Colnago?Ian
Mar 18, 2001 6:21 AM
Have you looked at other bikes and narrowed your choices to these? Or are these just the first three to catch your eye? Because with $3,000 to spend you have quite a bit to choose from and should make sure you purchase a bike that fits properly. You have aluminum and steel bikes listed, have you tried carbon and titanium? And the wheels on the Jamis, Ksyrium's, you can get those anywhere.

I would try to find the geometry for your current bike. What do and don't you like about it? To little standover, not enough, to stretched out, to cramped and so on. Compare that to how the shop sized you (57 x 57) and try to stay around those numbers. I used to ride a Trek 5200. Measured by Trek it was a 58 cm (center to top of seat tube) with a 571 mm top tube. It was a hair to tall, but it fit better than the next size down. I was interested in a Look frame. They come in 1 cm increments, so I purchased a 55 cm (equivalent to 57 cm Trek) with a 569 mm top tube. One of the angles was only different by 1/2 degree (I can't remember which) so I felt confident it would ride nearly the same. So, my advice to you would be to dial in the fit. Then if there is a brand you like, but can't ride, check out their geometry. If it is a brand like Look, Colnago, Serrota, Waterford and so on, I think it will be a safe bet that you will be happy with the ride. Happy shopping.
Get the Serotta custombike_junkie
Mar 18, 2001 10:03 AM
Serotta builds a better bike than Colnago anyway. Colnagos are loaded with hype. You're paying for the name and flashy paint. Oh, and full color ads in various cycling mags.

If you want top notch steel, lots of American builders will fit the bill. Take a look at Strong frames Foco for $1K, the Ritchey Road Logic, Steelman SR, even the Seven Axiom steel if you've got $3K. You list Serotta, and they are superb riding bikes. For $200 you get Serotta's custom geometry and it'll fit you better than any stock frame.

Serotta dealers are very well trained in getting you on a bike that fits your body, flexibility, etc.

The CIII is no bargain frame just because it's less costly than the CSI. It uses a tig-welded CSI tubeset with CSI downtubes in the seat tube and downtube. Otherwise, it's a tig-welded CSI. Another nice thing about Serotta is the infinite amount of paint color/patterns to choose from. The Colnago gives you a few color schemes to choose from, all obnoxious. You can e-mail / call Ben Serotta no problem, try that with Ernesto! Look up close at a Colnago and a Serotta and see which you think is built better. Ask a shop who sells both which ones come in aligned better. Colnagos are not the ultimate frame, don't get sucked into the Itali-hype.
have you ridden one?ColnagoFE
Mar 20, 2001 7:22 AM
I had it narrowed down to the master X or a CSI...both about the same $ and both sold by the same dealer, but the Colnago fit better off the peg. This was before Serotta offered free custom sizing on the CSI and it would have cost another $200 to shorten the TT. I went with the Colnago. It is by far the best riding frame I've had...and i like the flashy paint and so do a lot of other people from what I've heard. People always slag Colnago but I'd put mine up against the CSI any day. As far as QC issues I've rarely heard much bad stuff about Colnago steel frames of the C-40...the only one I've heard bad things about was the Bi-Titan which apparently had some design flaws. Serottas are hardly a bargain basement bike either...they are great bikes but you gotta be kiddin yourself if you think you aren't paying for the hype and name there either.
Size-cycle, then choosed
Mar 18, 2001 4:03 PM
Please, do yourself a huge favor and have a Serotta size cycle fit done for you before you but a bike. I recently tried out most of the major Ti bikes (which all feel/ride different), but realized that geometry/fit is the most important. Fit kit (taking body measurements to determine frame size) does not work for many people, because humans are not mathematically equal. A flexible person who is 5' 6" will want a longer top tube than someone who is 5'6" and not flexible.
From trying out different Ti frames, and owning two of the bikes, I think that Serotta makes the best bikes in the world. Triple-butted, swaged tubing is uncomparable to any of the manufacturers you have mentioned (although I have read good things about I.F. and Landshark).
re: Do I want a Colnago?JohnG
Mar 18, 2001 6:05 PM
Generally speaking Colnagos are NOT real twitchy. In fact, they are considered pretty middle of the road in terms of handling. They are very comfy bikes too. If you fit a Colnago just do it.

Ditto on the Chorus build. Don't put Shimano on a Colnago! ;)
Fit, fit, fit, fitJacko
Mar 19, 2001 3:47 AM

At this price point you are going to get a great bike. So the key is making sure the bike fits. Period. I had my eyes set on a Serotta when I went shopping, but I finally rode one and found the geometry didn't suit my body.

I talked with a frind of mine who works at an LBS and he reran the fit kit and then used his 20 years+ experience to give me some numbers to work with.

I eventually decided to get an IF, but the key was the fit.

Enjoy your search -- "sometimes it's the journey, not the destination"
Serottas fit everybodybike_junkie
Mar 19, 2001 4:16 AM
They make them custom for that reason. If you fit an IF, you'd fit a Serotta. Unless you are only talking about stock frames and not custom, but what's the point?
Serottas fit everybodyJacko
Mar 19, 2001 6:02 AM
Obviously, I was talking about stock frames. IF will also make a custom frame (as will many manufacturers at this price point).

A minority opinion...Retro
Mar 19, 2001 1:30 PM
Everybody wants a Colnago...anyway, I do. But buying a relatively uncomfortable bike because you're only going to be riding for one to three hours doesn't seem like a sensible decision. Not that Colnagos are any worse than any other crit bike, but why not get something you can enjoy all day when the chance arises? There are plenty of nice bikes in that range, and at least for me, and unless I were going to be racing it, I'd get something I could sit on for six or eight hours.
if they fitColnagoFE
Mar 20, 2001 7:24 AM
they ARE comfortable. I think a Colnago steel frame is a great century bike.
Mar 20, 2001 7:10 AM
I have a 62cm Colnago master xl and it's the stablest bike I've owned. Sure it responds quickly, but I feel totally confident on fast descents...much more so than my previous Merlin XL. I think if you're comparing Serotta to a Colnago Master you probably want to be looking at the CSI...this should be a more comparable frame. What is the Colorado III? A TI bike? The ride of the Conago is great. You could ride it all day long if you wanted to.