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Colnago c40 hp purchase questions(15 posts)

Colnago c40 hp purchase questionskgg
Apr 28, 2003 3:15 AM
I am living in Rome for a few months. On Saturday, I went to the bike store to look at Colnagos. My wife has had one for >20 years, so I thought I'd take a look. For the last 10 years I've done lots of mt biking, and haven't done road biking for probably 20 years. Anyway - I ended up thinking seriously about getting the Dream - went to lunch and looked at the brochure, did a little internet research, and when I went back I ended up buying a C40 HP.

Here's my first question - I ended up with a 58 cm frame. In a mt. bike I ride an 18" or 19", and I usually ride with the crankset (center) to seat rail distance of 29" to 29.5". By my calculations, it looks like I should end up with about 6-7" of seatpost exposed (to the seat rails) to get about the same leg extension. Does that sound about right? The salesman who helped me, and measured me, seemed to know what he was doing. They also clearly sold a lot of Colnagos - probably had 50-75 frames hanging from the ceiling. I won't pick it up for a few days yet, so there's time to change, if necessary.

Here's my second question. My wife is coming to Rome soon. She's going to want a new Colnago also I'm sure. But, she's pretty short, and maybe a custom frame would be best. Does anyone know if Colnago will do custom frames? Do you go to the factory for this?

Thanks for your help.
How does the frame feel....bent_spoke
Apr 28, 2003 4:07 AM
Generally, you'd want a frame 10-12cm larger than a MTB frame, but with Colnago a little longer would do as Colnago measures Center-to-Top. Regarding the seat placement, check out as they have good sizing info. Based on the info you provided I'd guess that you have a 36" inseam which would indicate that a larger frame would be better. Check WS with your measurements to be sure.
can't tell yetkgg
Apr 28, 2003 5:01 AM
Couldn't tell anything about the feel, since it was a frame only - not an assembled bike. I only put a deposit, so if it isn't quite right when I go to pick it up, I suppose I can switch frame sizes, but I anticipate doing it with difficulty if necessary.

My inseam is about a 34", near as I can tell by the sock-footed book in the crotch method. That's a little hard to do by myself, but I've done it several times so I think it's right. Multiplying by .67, one method I've seen, puts me almost right at 58 as the c-t distance. So I feel pretty good about it. Just wanted some more feedback because it's a crazy expensive bike. It costs about as much as my other three bikes put together (and one of those is an Intense Tracer - not cheap either).

He measured me at the store. In socks - he measured distance between floor and pivot point of femur (that seemed to be what he was doing anyway). That's how he came up with the 58 cm frame.
can't tell yetkjr39
Apr 28, 2003 5:13 AM
I just got measured when I purchased my Colnago. I have about a 33 3/4" inseam and was sized for a 58. I have a 19.5" Trek for mountain bike riding.
Your wife might be ok w/ a Colnagokenyee
Apr 28, 2003 5:47 AM
They're somewhat known for having short top tubes (Euro guys are supposed to have long legs and short torsoes)

I don't think Colnago does custom frames, but ask your salesman to be sure. Since she's out there for a few months, you might want to have a look at Pegorettis. No pretty lugs like Colnagos (check out the MXL before you bought the C40? :-) but Pegorettis can be ordered w/ custom geos. You can actually go there and get measured by the builders since it's a respected two man operation.

BTW, what did the frame cost? Curious if it's really less expensive out there.

Let us know how your C40 rides and post pics. I'm curious if the HP thing is a gimmick...
Your wife might be ok w/ a Colnagokgg
Apr 28, 2003 6:53 AM
Thanks for the tip - I'll do a little research on the Pegoretti. No, I didn't check them out. Do you know where they're located?

Honestly, I wasn't planning to buy a bike. But after being here for about three weeks, and trying to get my exercise by running, I was just kind of itching to at least look at some bikes. God - running is painful! It just doesn't use the same muscles as biking. Kind of amazing what a difference it is. Really made me feel like an old geezer.

Anyway, I just went and bought. Yeah - mostly on reputation and reviews here. Just decided I could afford it, so I did. I know there are lots of other great bikes, but I didn't want to spend a lot of time obsessing - I wanted to ride.

It turns out it's not significantly cheaper over here. Keep in mind, I didn't shop around. But, the shop I went to had my size in stock (and probably 50 other Colnago frames as well). The frame and fork (star) alone were around 3,000 I think (euro, not $). I didn't get an exact price because I went for the complete build: Colnago stem and post, full Campy Record including pedals, Selle Italia trans am (vanadium rails), some bars that I don't know (ITM?, TTT? - didn't quite catch it), handmade wheels with Ambrosio rims and Vittoria tires (don't know the models).

Put it all together and it was 5,100 euro. Now, you can knock off 13.5% that you get as a refund of VAT when you bring it back to the US. Then, add 8-9% for conversion to dollars and something for the duty (I think 5.5%, but I'm not sure), and I think you end up in the same ballpark as if you purchased in the US. It's not like it's half the price it would be in the US. Maybe a few hundred dollars different - not much on the total.

The shopping experience was interesting. Tiny shop - tons of bikes, lots of people crammed in the shop. He wouldn't let me buy anything that was not Italian - not even spokes ("DT - well if you want to have problems, I guess you could get DT"). I even tried to buy a cheap pair of gloves (Cannondale) - he wouldn't let me - had to replace them with Castelli.
who in Italy makes spokes?collinsc
Apr 28, 2003 8:14 AM
I guess I had just figured DT and Wheelsmith were the only guys. Maybe just the big guys.
good questionkgg
Apr 28, 2003 8:21 AM
I missed it in the whirlwind blur of buying a bike, choosing parts, buying shoes, helmet,etc. He brought out the box, but I just didn't read what it said.
more on Pegorettikenyee
Apr 28, 2003 8:31 AM
Short history blurb (they're in the Dolomites, wherever that is):

Here's their official web site:

I'm sure you'll love your C40HP. And it's great to enjoy the unique shopping experience out there too. Wish I did it when we were out there :-)

It takes a while, but they'll do custom.djg
Apr 28, 2003 6:23 AM
At least they will on some models.

I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that she needs custom--they have a pretty good range of sizes, and if she knows what she needs she might well be able to find a size that works for her.
we'll check firstkgg
Apr 28, 2003 6:56 AM
We'll look into the off-the-shelf model first. If that doesn't work then maybe think about custom. Thanks.
for custom a Parlee or Calfee might make more sense (nm)ColnagoFE
Apr 28, 2003 8:01 AM
re: Colnago c40 hp purchase questionsslide13
Apr 28, 2003 8:19 AM
Sounds about right to me. I'm 6', have about a 33 or 35" inseam and would ride a 19" mountain bike frame. I ride a 57cm Lemond, which is C to C. I would probably ride a 58 or a 59 in a Colnago (58 has a C to C measurement of 56, and 59 has a C to C measurement of 57) 6"-7" of posts sounds about right as well.
Nago fitmass_biker
Apr 28, 2003 8:40 AM
I'm 6'0" and ride a 58cm Colnago. Their measurement is to the top of the seat lug cluster so it is more like a 57+cm c-c. Shortish top tube (<57cm) which works out just fine. As a point of (imprecise) reference, I also ride an 18" MTB. As for small Nagos, I know they have teeny tiny ones - they size in 1cm increments so I would see if stock works.

thanks everyone. nt.kgg
Apr 28, 2003 11:20 PM