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New ride report...Colnago Master X-Light(25 posts)

New ride report...Colnago Master X-LightDINOSAUR
May 8, 2002 7:00 AM
After almost a year of research and six months of convincing my wife that I needed a new bike, combined with 11 weeks of waiting impatiently for my new ride, it finally happened yesterday.

Kind of hard to know where to start. It all began when I was set to get a fitting for a custom Steelman and I called up the owner of my LBS and told him that I wanted to give him a chance. He said straight out that he wanted my business and he set up an appointment for a before hours fitting and discussion about a Mondonico foco. His LBS is the west coast dealer for Mondonicos and he wants these bikes out and ridden so people will see them. We decided that I probably wouldn't like the ride of foco and I didn't want to wait for 4 months (4 months Italian time means 6 months American time). So I came straight out and said I wanted a Colnago Master X-Light. I described the type of riding I did and what I liked about my Klein and what I didn't and he thought I would love a Master X-Light with a Flash carbon fork. He did a fitting and put me on a 59cm MXL. We then discussed the component group, and I opted for Campy Chorus with Mavic OP's. We discussed the build and he said he would order it. He called a couple of days later and said it would take "about three weeks". The three weeks came and went and stretched out into 11 weeks, with a couple of phone calls to him about the delay in delivery. I learned a bit about the Italian time frame and how Colnago and trialtir distribute Colnagos. I should also mention that he gave me a very nice discount and a money back guarantee on the bike.

So yesterday after picking it up and bringing it home and after spending some time in my garage installing some goodies I wheeled out of my garage. I opted for Record brake levers and rear der. The Chorus group kit I ordered came with a Record bottom brackett. He also upgraded at no charge a Record headset, Deda Newton stem, Deda Magic Bars, Sella Itailia Flite Gel saddle and handbuilt Wheelsmith Mavic OP 32 hole Wheelset. I set my saddle height anticipating to make a couple of changes and packed a three way Park hew wrench in my jersey pocket.

So at noon yesterday I wheeled out of my garage for it's maiden voyage after applying a coat of automotive wax on the LX23 Team Robobank paint scheme. The first thing I noticed is how quite everything was. No rattles, no clicks, no vibration, no buzzing. The Campy group worked flawlessly.

The first change was the small brake hoods of the Record levers, the second was remembering that the levers worked opposite then the Ultegra group on my Klein. The ride was very smooth. The first test was my first fast descent, which isn't that long and I only hit about 25 MPH, but the stretch of roadway is rutted and has a lot of little potholes, and I feel every single on of them on my Klein. The Master X-Light ate up the road like it wasn't there. No jarring, it handled and tracked like a dream. I had to keep the ride short to 26 miles, but what a 26 miles it was. I messed up a couple of times and upshifted when I meant to downshift and you have to pull all the way through when using the front der and just a small tap for the rear der, otherwise I shifted two gears at once. But using the Campy grouppo was sort of a no brainer. Again no noise and everything worked flawlessly. It was odd glancing down and seeing the small thin walled steel tubes instead of the oversized al tubes of my Klein. The saddle height reguired no adjustment, the only thing I changed was the tilt of the bars, I angled them down a tad about halfway through my ride.

The big difference with this bike, beside the steel tubing, is the fit. The owner of my LBS took a lot of notes when he fitting me and everything dialed in. I was climbing using higher highs, with a 12-25 opposed to the 12-27 on my Klein.

Often I found myself in the 21 or 23 gear where I would be using the 27 or 24 on my Klein. I concluded that the
re: New ride report...continuedDINOSAUR
May 8, 2002 7:19 AM
I concluded that the difference was the fit of the Master Light, my Klein is 2 sizes large for me. I only had to stop once to make an adjustment with the angle of my bars, I tilted them forward a tad, the seat height required no adjustment, which for me is amazing. The Selli Italia Flite gel saddle felt comfortable, more so than the San Marco Era on my Klein.

Often I found myself climbing in the 21 or 23 gear where I would be using the 27 or 24 on my Klein. I concluded tha the fit made the difference as my Klein is two sizes large for me (a 61). I was also descending at faster speeds, but I did not have the sensation that I was traveling faster. I hit one descent at 39MPH where I usually peg out at 27MPH on my Klein, or perhaps I was more daring.

Anyway, to wrap up this long overdrawn story, this is an early birthday present to myself for still cycling at age 60. I think this might be my last road bike, I don't think I shall want another. It's been 12 years since I 've ridden a steel bike and I'm very pleased with my choice. It was well worth the wait. It's better than I anticipated.

You probably won't see me posting as often, I will be out doing what the Master X-Light was made for....riding..

Life is good,
great!!! nmgtx
May 8, 2002 7:33 AM
May 8, 2002 7:50 AM
Beautiful bike and excellent write up! It probably doesn't need to be noted, but ... pictures!
May 8, 2002 8:01 AM
Sounds like you got the perfect ride for you. The best thing about good fit/handling is the confidence it inspires. Of course, confidence means pleasure, too.

It took me a while to transition from Shimano to Campy. I realized that with both systems, the larger lever always shifts to a larger cog or ring. That makes it easier to remember.

Have fun!

Know what you mean, in many ways.RoyGBiv
May 8, 2002 8:17 AM
I remember exactly when it happened. It was the Sunday after the Saturday Tour de France stage when Ulrich went off the course and wiped out, and Armstrong waited for him to catch up. A buddy and I were enjoyng a nice Sunday afternoon outing and while making a routine gear shift, something happened with the chain on my three-month-old MxL - the rear derailleur snapped off with a piece of the hanger. My buddy said it sounded like it "exploded" off the frame. And, it was the beginning of nine frustrating months of service-Italian style.
They, (the LBS and Canadian distributor) said the bike had to go back to Italy for repairs and a proper paint job. That 's fine. But it took nine months to get the bike back. Nine months! The LBS gave me a Colnago Classic to get by on and, for nine months, it did me well. (Later I found out that the cheap bastards didn't want to pay to have the bike shipped by courier to Italy. They waited for an Italian rep to come to Montreal for some kind of trade show and he took it back as part of his luggage - or so the story goes.)
The Master X LIte was back in my hands two weeks ago. I'd almost forgotten what a smooth steed it is. Boy, I missed it. The chromed lugs and chain stays have been painted over - the LBS speculates they didn't want to expose the steel to any more acid baths - and it has two more "Colnagos" plastered on it. But, oh, what a smooth, crisp ride.
Yes, this summer, I'll make sure the chain isn't sloppy when setting out for a long Sunday ride.

Happy trails, dinosaur.
Welcome to the Colnago ownership fold DINOlonefrontranger
May 8, 2002 9:06 AM
And by the way I wholeheartedly agree with the Trialtir-sucks rant, and have posted my own on several occasions.

What we really need is some wealthy forum member to buy them out and/or put them out of the distributor business. I've never seen such lousy customer service. Sigh. At least the end product is worth waiting all those months for!

I have a Dream and a Dream Cross, and wouldn't part with either of them for the world. I'm a "critter" so I stick to aluminum for weight & stiffness, but my shop owner buddy owns a MXL, a C40 and a Dream and swears they all have a magical ride. Part of it is the geometry and handling; I've never found any other frame that comes close.
Those are sweetgrandemamou
May 8, 2002 9:22 AM
Thats a sweet ride. Sounds like you got exactly what you needed.

May 8, 2002 11:47 AM
It's hard to beat the ride of a properly fitting lugged steel frame. Enjoy.

Why you....muncher
May 8, 2002 7:40 AM
This is the bike that I have been telling myself I don't need and won't be noticeably different to my current ride.


Enjoy it though - sounds like it's everything one can hope for in a new ride....
re: New ride report...Colnago Master X-LightMe Dot Org
May 8, 2002 8:55 AM
The difference between being a bicycle owner and a bicycle rider is the relationship between you and the bike. I'm not going to knock aluminum or carbon, but for me, steel transmits more of what is necessary and less of what isn't. If you like the ride, and the ride fits you, (and obviously this does) all that is left is the componenents, and it sounds like you have a nice mix.

The road on that bike should be tens of thousands of miles long...
pics! pics! pics! (banging fist on desk) nmJS Haiku Shop
May 8, 2002 9:42 AM
Sorry, no pics...DINOSAUR
May 8, 2002 4:46 PM
Our computer is old and slow (like me). We don't have a scanner. If you ever have a teenage daughter you will know how far money will go (like throwning it against a industrial sized fan that is on full blast)...

I must admit the Robobank's color scheme is a cross between a circus clown's outfit and Tammy Fay Baker's eye shadow, combined with enough chrome to put a '55 Buick Roadmaster to shame. Only a face a mother would love...(sigh)..
re: New ride report...Colnago Master X-Lightraboboy
May 8, 2002 10:00 AM
sweeet, i'm very jealous. my favorite color scheme, too. PICS, please!
May 8, 2002 11:48 AM
Hey- I just got the same frame ...even the same color, with the record gruppo, and as you is a dream to ride. I have ridden mine on two is an awesome ride...congratulations to both of us.
Sounds killer.Sintesi
May 8, 2002 11:57 AM
I'm glad it turned out so well (aside from the wait), I remember it was a long, tough decision but man, looks like the right choice was made and you're going to be one happy biker.

It's nice to get the reward after hitting a milestone. I keep saying, "C-40 by the time I'm 40." (4 more years) But I have a feeling it will be something completely different by the time I actually get there. I was playing around with a CAAD 7 the other day and....

Is there a noticable difference in weight? Doesn't sound like it.
May 8, 2002 12:44 PM
I played around on the Wrench Science site and built my bikes up, and it came out to 19.74 pounds (59cm). It doesn't feel any heavier than my 61cm Klein, very light for a lugged steel bike...
Cool. Enjoy. (nm)djg
May 8, 2002 1:17 PM
re: New ride report...Colnago Master X-Lightcycleguy
May 8, 2002 5:04 PM
I've been waiting to hear about your new Colnago. I was at the shop this past Sunday looking for it and did not see it. :( Glad to see you are happy with your new ride. What about the Foco ride that you would not like?
re: New ride report...Colnago Master X-LightDINOSAUR
May 8, 2002 8:39 PM
The frame was still in the carton it was shipped in sitting in the back room waiting to be built up. They are three guys short on help so it wasn't built until Monday. It was worth the wait as Bill did a couple of nice upgrades and didn't charge me extra (Newton stem for starts).

The foco would have been a custom job and I was not willing to wait four months. We talked about it and he could have ordered one with a beefed up st making it stiffer than the one he rides.

I guess it all comes down to what speaks to you. They had a Master X-Light on display sitting near the front counter years ago ('99) when I bought my Klein. I've wanted one ever since. The paint has a lot to do about my mother being an artist back in the 60's and 70's. She did a lot of abstracts using various hues of blue and orange. One is hanging on the wall in my computer room, another is in our living room and has all the colors of the Robobank paint scheme. Maybe it was meant to be, but underneath all the paint is one smooth riding machine. Best of all it fits and he built it up to my specs. Lots of extra little goodies and discounts. It goes to show it never hurts to ask about discounts, I had no idea he would cut me one.

If you're ever up in this neck of woods I won't be hard to miss. An old dude with a white beard riding a Colnago LX23 Robobank...
Congrats.....Len J
May 9, 2002 4:20 AM
and happy b-day.

Sounds like a great ride. It is amazing when a bike both fits & speaks to your heart. Enjoy

LX23 Colnago Master X-LightNessism
May 9, 2002 4:54 AM
Look like this?
A little different in real life...DINOSAUR
May 9, 2002 6:27 AM
Yes, but the paint looks different in real life. The orange is slanted more toward pink, the blue is cobalt. The little Colnago flowers near the BB are fulled in with gold paint. I have Campy Record levers and rear der so they are black, along with the Thomson Elite seatpost and spacers for stem (I will probably have one spacer removed but it means cutting the steerer tube so I want to make sure before it's done) the pedals are dark blue Look PP357's, the water bottle cage is Elite Ciussi, silver, the computer is Cate Eye Mitty 3, orange.
Funny, as most of this stuff I purchased one at a time on sale anticipating it to go on a custom Steelman that was going to be Nickle silver, but it all dialed in with the Master-Light LX23 paint. I almost hate to leave it hanging in the garage, they make these bikes almost too beautful, it looks more like a piece of art that should be hanging on the wall in our house. But it's fun cleaning it up after a ride. One of the nice things about retirement is I have the time for stuff like this...but the best part about this bike is the way it rides and dials in with my anatomy. It's strange to look down and see those skinny steel tubes and oversized Deda Newton Stem that is larger than the tubing. What's nice is I was able to communicate with the owner of my LBS and tell him what I liked about my Klein and what I didn't and when he did a fitting he dialed in my bike perfect, only thing I changed was the saddle height and the handlebar tilt. Like everyone says, it's all about fit..
Sounds greatNessism
May 9, 2002 11:41 AM
I know what you are saying about the skinny tubes compared to the fat stem. I'm thinking about my next bike and would like to try threadless only I'm a died-in-the-wool lug guy. I'll get there eventually, no doubt. At any rate enjoy!

re: New ride report...Colnago Master X-Lightwomba
Jun 23, 2002 6:01 PM
Hullo Dinosaur,

Greetings from Australia. I was very interested to read your report on the Colnago Master Extra Light. I own a Pinarello Galileo, which has an aluminium frame. Very nice bike in most respects except one. It has a very harsh ride on uneven surfaces, pot holes, manhole covers etc. In other words, the frame is beating up my (55 yr old) frame. I have beem pondering whether I will sell the frame and place all of the parts on a steel frame - and the Master Light looks the goods. Is a steel frame (and in particular the Colnago Master Light) really so much better than aluminium in ironing out rough roads?