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Paging boneman: Colnago vs. LS Vortex comparisons ?(8 posts)

Paging boneman: Colnago vs. LS Vortex comparisons ?HouseMoney
Dec 23, 2003 5:47 AM
I read in one of your previous posts where you wrote that you liked the ride of your Colnago better than your Vortex, but you also mentioned that it handled differently. Can you shed more light on your opinions?

Now that I just bought my "blue-collar" winter/training bike, my next target is a dream bike in the spring. A Vortex was not on my short list, but there's a good deal on one near me that I'm considering. I will be able to test ride it. OTOH, a Colnago was on my list, but short of finding a trusting soul on my club rides who'll let me borrow his, I may not be able to test ride one.

Depending on what my budget ends up being (promised the girlfriend a new fireplace first), I'm looking at one of the HP versions (CT2, C50, Dream). I'm sure there are handling difference betw/ all 3 since they're 3 different materials, but hopefully you (or others) can provide some info about the Colnago "feel" in general. Thanks.
geometry is different...C-40
Dec 23, 2003 6:34 AM
You don't mention the frame size required. Colnagos come in 1cm increments and several sloping sizes. Litespeeds only come in 2cm odd sizes. The larger sizes will have shorter TT lengths than a Litespeed. Some mid-size Colnagos have steeper seat tube angles, but the effective TT length often differs little from a Litespeed after making the appropriate correction for the STA.

Colnagos have more steering trail and a longer front-center which results in slower steering.

The handling differences may not be noticeable unless your riding involves a large amount of high speed cornering like crits or mountain descents. High speed mountain cornering is the only time I really notice the Colnago's tendency to stay in a straight line. It takes more effort to carve an accurate high-speed corner with the slower steering.
geometry is different...HouseMoney
Dec 23, 2003 8:32 AM
The Vortex is a 59cm. It's the last one they have in stock in that size, which is a good size for me (6' tall, 88.2cm inseam, 35" dress shirt sleeve). Any of the Colnagos would be ordered, so I could get whichever size is appropriate. I'd have to check the trialtir website again for sizes (600x577 rings a bell).

For crit racing, I plan to use my 58cm CAAD5. I'd use this new bike for hilly rr's, and general group/club rides of distances greater than 40 miles. Possibly also use it for some entry-level tt's (w/out aero bars) where the possibility of crashing it is lower than a 4/5 crit. Laterally stiff for climbs (I love to climb), but vertically compliant for longer rides would be the ideal frame.
How does Colnago achieveFez
Dec 23, 2003 8:33 AM
a longer front center dimension? The fork rake is a pretty standard 43.

So is it the slacker head tube angle on the Colnago?
yes, it's the HTA (nm)C-40
Dec 23, 2003 8:48 AM
yes, it's the HTA (nm)Fez
Dec 23, 2003 9:01 AM
I have also observed that Colnagos have a slightly longer headtube dimension than other comparably sized, nonintegrated and nonsloping frames.

Do Colnagos have a bit of an extended headtube, or is this a result of the different HTA?
Dec 23, 2003 9:50 AM
The 2004 geometry charts show a 7mm increase in the HT length. Apparently Colnago decided to make the HT longer, starting in 2004.

Even the older models may be a bit longer than others, but a 1-2 degree difference in HT angle is not the cause.
Handling and rideboneman
Dec 23, 2003 8:48 AM
C-40's absolutely correct regarding the geometry and handling differences between the two.

If you've ridden a bit, and you certainly sound like you have, you will definitely notice the handling differences even if you don't race or go down mountain descents. This will apply also to riding in a straight line, in traffic and in cross winds.

Neither is better or worse, just different and depending on what you're used to in handling. I like the way the Colnago sets up when you lean into a corner, something the Vortex doesn't come close in doing, but if you have to make corrections while in-turn, it's easier on the Vortex.

For me, the Colnago fit and geometry better balances my weight on the bike than the Vortex and I prefer the geometry. Ride quality on the C40 is better but the ride itself doesn't feel as lively as the Vortex. They're both plenty stiff for my purposes.

C50 uses larger diameter carbon fiber tubes than the C40 which is probably a good thing given the superior ride qualities of the bike. A little additional stiffness will not likely result in a jarring ride. Pricing on both the C40 and C50 is expensive. If you can afford it, they're worth the price IMHO.

CT2- well they've gone to the HP chain stays. Pricing is less dear than either the C50 or C40. I've never ridden one but if I didn't have the C40 and was looking for value, it's the Colnago I would buy.

Dream- I imagine you'd be looking at the Dream B-Stay. A nice bike although you can find slightly better value as there are a lot of manufacturers making Al main tube with CF stay'd frames or all-Al frames.

The "feel" bit is all subjective. I wouldn't get hung up on the geometry bit provided the frame fits. You will get used to the handling characteristics. I've wanted a Colnago since the early 70's and I got a good price from Mike Perry at Maestro in the UK.