Finally after a few months have finally completed my latest build - a Colnago CLX (not the latest Colnago CLX 2.0)
Originally the Colnago CLX was a developed by Ernst himself as an entry level Colnago so the brand would be more accessible to more people. Hence why the frames were built off shore in Taiwan and not Italy.....many at the time questioned whether it would retain that Colnago quality and magic but several years down the track all those doubts have been laid to rest.
The frame is not light as it weighs in at 1050 gm, however it is usually stiff. The gloss finish is so nice and it screams Italian styling and quality even though it is not made in Italy. The confusing thing about sloping Colnago frames is the sizing. Mine is a 54S which translates to 58 traditional size. Definitely anyone wanting to purchase one of these frames online at least go to the Colnago website and research about sizing. More important than selecting the height of the frame is to make such the length of frame is correct. Colnago prides itself about designing bikes that fit the rider rather than the rider needing to fit the bike. I was very fortunate when I purchased my frame second hand as the previous owner was very close to the same height as me so I knew from the outset that this particular frame was correct for me.
For some reason, when you consider Colnago many believe it must have Campagnolo groupset. Top Campagnolo Record groupset = $$$$ so you have to forgive me for putting Dura Ace 7900 on a Colnago. Originally the Colnago CLX was released with Ultegra 6600 group set as a package for around $5500. Many disputed if this price was indeed entry level to get everybodies arse on a Colnago.....me, I had to wait until a friend upgraded and offered to sell me his previous much loved steed. Today a Colnago CLX 2.0 with Shimano Ultegra 6700 (the lever cabling is all hidden which makes for a very clean looking bike) and with Fulcrum 5 wheels can be bought for $3500....truely affordable :) However if you can negotiate for Dura Ace C24 wheels then you have an even better buy :)
As I sourced a cheap Dura Ace 7900 group set I still had money left over to buy a decent Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL wheel set. Probably even better if I had the $1400 would have opted for Dura Ace C35 wheels, however the Mavic Cosmics are not a bad alternate but do weigh around 1700 gm the pair, but they are very aero and do not seem to be affected greatly by cross winds and they are extremely strong and stiff rims and do not flex under power hence a lot of power is transferred directly to the wheel.
The Colnago CLX is a nice relaxed geometry and is for comfort riding rather than a quick time trial. It does not tend to have that pounce forward accleration but its not slow either and does respond reasonably well when it is asked. Many reviews have mentioned this so I have put some light Mavic R-SYS wheels on the Colnago to see if the lighter wheels improves the response and acceleration.....which it definitely does. Mavic R SYS are not an aero wheel but a better option may be to try a set of Dura Ace C24 wheels as these are very light and stiff and can be purchased on line for around $800. The Colnago CLX is still more than adequate to race but it really suits those people that like to ride long miles as it is an extremely comfortable bike to ride. It is very stable in that you feel more than safe to decend quickly through hair pin corners and it does so extremely smoothly. The bike essentially goes where you look (just like it is suppose to as it seems almost intuitive in knowing where it is suppose to go ) so the handling is superior to most other bikes I have ridden. Personally the handling ability of any particular bike is probably the quality which I value the most.
When put all the components on the frame the quality of the frame becomes noticeable, as there is nothing that looks cheap or skimped upon in order to cut cost of production. The frame construction is interesting as the front triangle is all one piece while the rear triangle has the more traditional lugged construction. Essentially the leafed rear stays are extremely stiff so there in no flexing under power which has been a problem in previous bikes I have owned (and broken). As the frame looks awesome I feel good riding the Colnago CLX. Probably an improvement would be is to internalise the rear brake cable through the top tube. However some people like it just the way it is as the frame looks very sealed to keep out the elements as there appears no unnecessary holes for water to get entry and get trapped in.
Overall weight as pictured is 7.6 kg with the pedals which are Look Keo Carbon Titianium. The same bike but with Mavic R SYS wheels would weigh close to 7.2 kg. I know that when this Colnago CLX was initially released back in 2007 with Ultegra and Fulcrum 5 wheels it weighed about 8.5 kg. Weight is not the be all and end all when the attributes of what makes a good bike. The handling and comfort are very essential for me, as if it didnt have these attributes it would spend more time in the shed than out on the road.
On a scale of 1 to 10 for this bike, I would rate it a 8.5 to 9.0 out of 10.
Add a Comment