Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ernesto Colnago

Everyone has a bike that fits them best. For me it's Colnago. I have long legs, shorter torso. Colnago fit's like a dream. I've ridden a few different manufacturers over the years and there's a lot of amazing bikes out there. However, for me Colnago is the bike. The heritage and years of refinement allowed for him to fine tune every aspect of the bike. It climbs like a goat, no movement at all. It does 50 mph around tight bends and hugs them like a ferrari, no pun intended. It's comfortable and forgiving over a century.

I met Ernesto a few years ago. He's very calm and calculated. He's always said, "There's a production frame that will fit you." In most cases he's right. That's a big part of the magic of building a custom assembled bike and being fit correctly. Contador changed his TT position by mm and gained a few percent. You can imagine that going from your ill fitting bike, to a properly fit bike would see substantial gains.

The issue of overseas fabrication is long gone. It's proven that China, Taiwan and Japan produce some of the best carbon bikes in the world. However, riding a handmade italian c50 is very much like owning an italian sports car. It breathes the machismo that make people attracted to italian goods.

Specialized just came out with a McClaren X Specialized bike. They have learned that the F1 industry has some of the most advanced carbon fiber technology in the world. It looks nice and I'm sure it rides nice too. However, Colnago has been working with Ferrari for over 20 years. I think Specialized probably took a few notes from Colnago over the years.

There's only one bike that I want over my c50 and that's a c59. Over the past 20 years, Colnago has changed what started as the c40 only a few times. They look for the best way to improve a bike, not just come out with a new model each year. So I wanted to thank Ernesto for not giving me the opportunity to use my bike as an excuse for getting dropped on the big climb of the day, or why I couldn't keep up on the descent or why my back hurt at the end of the century. Thanks Ernesto.

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