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Out for 6 years,help me get back on my wheels, Colnago fans!(16 posts)

Out for 6 years,help me get back on my wheels, Colnago fans!Yellow
Jul 9, 2001 9:49 PM
Perhaps it's the fact that I'm now in between jobs in Silicon Valley, and spending my days watching re-runs of Tour de France coverage, but I've been contemplating about getting back into road biking.

When I came to California, I proudly brought along my Campy 8-speed record groupset (still sits in closet) but retired my trusty Colnago Master (corrosion from tropical weather). I have since briefly looked at Trek, Litespeed, Merlin bikes, but that itself was probably over 4 years ago.

A couple of days back, I poked around Colnago's website to find that their lineup has changed so much in these years. I admit I'm a sucker for that Italian craftsmanship....I'm just glad I had some extra bucks put aside for the new frame I should've purchased 6 years ago.

I'm taking a serious look both at the OvalMaster and C-40. Yes, I noticed the price gap. Anyone out there who has ridden both of these willing to comment? I'm 5'11" and about 185 lbs (previous frame size was 55 cm).

I'd be most grateful if any South Bay riders would point me to a great bike shop, or for that matter, a few rides that shouldn't be missed. Time to get into gear and get in shape again.

re: Out for 6 years,help me get back on my wheels, Colnago fans!Yellow
Jul 9, 2001 10:05 PM
I'm definitely not ruling out Litespeed or Look frames, which I've ridden years ago. Comments on these bikes vs the Colnago are warmly appreciated.
re: Out for 6 years,help me get back on my wheels, Colnago fans!Steel Fan
Jul 10, 2001 7:35 AM
Just get another Master. I am riding a Master X Light and think it's the bees knees. As you know, it is a superb steel bike and the addition of the carbon fork saves a few grams and maintains the terrific riding personality of this bike. It climbs like a billygoat, descends like on rails, and when you stand and stomp on the pedals, it just goes. But of course you knew that. I live in New England, land of frost heaves and road salt. Use some framesaver with your new Master and keep it forever. I intend to. By the way, although I am a sucker for Italian aesthetics/lugs etc. etc., I bought this bike because I wanted a no-excuses, day-in-day-out bike for training and racing. I am yet to be disappointed. Assuming that your old Master fit you, you were comfortable with the shorter-than-average top tube. Other brands (you mentioned Trek, Merlin, and Litespeed) are likely to fit you differently. So, if the non-ferrous thing is your gig, stick with the offerings from Colnago (Dream, C-40 or Ovalmaster). But I honestly think that gram for gram, and buck for buck, the Master X Light is an ace.
re: Out for 6 years,help me get back on my wheels, Colnago fans!JohnG
Jul 10, 2001 7:53 AM
I'd recommend the MXL also. At your size and weight this frame should be oh so smooth and still have good zip. I love mine!

Personally, I think the C40 is WAY overpriced ... relative to the MXL for instance. Also, there are a ton of C40's around now.... almost like an Italian Trek. ;) IMHO, if you want a "higher end" (and more exclusive) ride I'd look into the CT1. Now that baby looks sweet! ARGH, I'm a hair's breath away from ordering one myself.

good rides and welcome back
bike for the long termColnagoFE
Jul 10, 2001 8:33 AM
i'd suggest the master xl...great steel frame and perfect for your weight. the c-40 would be my first choice however if money was no object. ovalmaster? doesn't impress me. made in russia though designed by colnago. much better TI offererings from the US if you ask me.
If Ti is a consideration avoid Litespeed.Bike Molester
Jul 10, 2001 10:10 AM
Unless name is important to you.
There are offerings from other reputable producers in the USA for reasonable prices ie Douglas polished ti for around $1000 or look for the Macalu brand built by Litespeed, but selling for around $1000.

Leave the "Litespeed" branded bikes for the posers.
not reallyColnagoFE
Jul 10, 2001 11:15 AM
litespeeds are everywhere, but they are pretty decent TI bikes. You can often find them at bargain basement prices if you're willing to get a last year's model.
That MxL is a real sweetheart.Brian C.
Jul 10, 2001 10:40 AM
As they others have said, the Master x-Light is worth considering: it's a real smooth, steel ride, with rocket acceleration and for a fraction of the price you'll pay for a C-40. That said, when I win the lottery, the C-40 (with geo paint job) will be the first thing I buy.
MX Leaderjaybird
Jul 10, 2001 11:25 AM
if steel is your thing check out the Merckx MX Leader. I love it. Otherwise, if you find a Merckx dealer, have them check on availibility of some od last years ti bikes. I recently talked to the distributor and they have a couple left that they are trying to blow out...
re: Out for 6 years,help me get back on my wheels, Colnago fans!Cliff Oates
Jul 10, 2001 12:58 PM
You might want to check out the Chain Reaction bike shop site for Peninsula rides. I don't have current experience with South Bay shops, but I hear Bicycle Outfitters and Shaws are good.

FWIW, I'm a steel fan. It won't corrode around here if you take reasonable precautions. Look at US builders. Steelman is just up the road in Redwood City, and Mikkelsen is over in the East Bay. I have a Waterford, and while they aren't exactly local, they do build a damned fine bike, one that is superior to the 3 Italian bikes I have had.
Grrrr... (correcting bad hyperlink)Cliff Oates
Jul 10, 2001 1:02 PM
Chain Reaction
frame size sounds too small....C-40
Jul 10, 2001 4:22 PM
I'm only 5'-7" tall (with a 32-5/8" inseam) and ride a 55cm C-40. Unless you've got short legs, a 55cm will be too small vertically. If you do have legs short enough for a 55cm, you'll probably need a 130mm stem to get enough reach. At my height, I use a 110mm.

With the use of threadless stems, correct vertical sizing has become more important. Raising the stem to correct for sizing errors can require lots of steering tube spacers or a high rise stem, which won't look cool on a C-40. The C-40 does comes with a Colnago stem that has an angle adjustment by virtue of a special bushing bored at a 5 degree angle.

Check out the fit info at My personal recommendation is to keep standover clearance in the 2-4cm range (to hard contact in bare feet). If you have short legs and long torso, stay on the minimum side to maximize top tube length. More standover clearance only aggravates the saddle-to-bar height problem.

World Cycling Productions has just put the C-40 frame on sale for $3150, with Star carbon fork, carbon seatpost and colnago stem. The C-40 is a great ride, but if price is an issue, the Master X-light is certainly the best value.

If you're willing to deal with overseas suppliers like or the C-40 can be had for around $2700 and the Master X-light for about $1000.
price correction, C-40 $3420 at World Cycling...C-40
Jul 10, 2001 4:43 PM
That's what I get for working from memory. Knew that sounded too cheap. Bicycle World USA should have them cheaper than that everyday.
frame size sounds too small....Yellow
Jul 10, 2001 5:26 PM
Thanks for the excellent reply. My inseam is just about 32.5", so we're on target for a 54 or 55 frame, by the same lines of reasoning.

Great insight about the stem issues as well. In the meantime, I'm also not ruling out a CT1, which seems to be a great value.
check that inseam real close...C-40
Jul 10, 2001 6:47 PM
Block up the wheels of you current bike until you get very firm pressure (but not heel raising) when you stand over it in bare feet. I can barely get over mine with a 1-1/2" thick board under each wheel. That's more clearance than necessary. The standover height on a 55cm C-40 is 31-5/16 inches.
re: Out for 6 years,help me get back on my wheels, Colnago fans!dbobee
Jul 11, 2001 9:54 PM
Just for referrence, you can buy a 2001 C40 from Maestro in the UK (I believe they are the UK importer) for under $2000us(plus shipping & taxes)with a Star fork and carbon seat post. A CT1 with Force fork would run you 1350us. Their prices are based on the daily exchange rate for the Lira so they will go up and down a bit. If your in the market for a Colnago, De Rosa, Ciocc or Wilier Triestina you really should check these guys out.