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Old 01-31-12, 05:59 PM   #1
John_V 
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N+1 Colnago ride report and pics.

I picked up the new Colnago Ace today and went for a ride this afternoon. All I can say is WOW! It was certainly not the subtle changes that I was expecting. Here is my ride report and some photos that I took of the bike in this afternoons ride.

The Bike

I had the bike weighted at the shop and it weighed in at 18.1 lbs with the SPD M520 pedals installed and the slightly heavier Ultra Gatorskin tires. That's around 2 lbs lighter than the Defy. The thing that is contributing to the weight is the crankset. The cassette and chain are 105 components with the front, rear derailleurs and brifters being Ultegras. For some reason, Colnago put a Tiagra crankset and BB on this model for both the 105 and Ultegra versions, which happens to be the only difference between them.

The frame is almost identical in geometry and measurements as that of my Defy, which is one of the reasons I got this bike over the Bianchi Infinito that I was also looking at. The stem is 10 cm longer than the one on the Defy but the handlebars are also shorter from the curve of the drop to the back of the bars, making up for the difference. Since all the measurements from my Defy are in the Retul computer, they were able to set up this bike within 3 mm of the settings on the Defy, which was a perfect for me.

The saddle is much nicer on the sit bones than the OEM Giant saddle. It's a bit narrower at the rear but my sit bones fit on it just right. The nose of the saddle is slightly longer so I have to work on my mounting and dismounting so I don't hit it in the process.

The Ride

Again, all I can say is WOW! I just had a wheel-to-wheel tune up done on the Defy (about three weeks ago) and when I got it back it felt like it did on the day I got it. Everything was smooth and crisp and the ride was great. I didn't think that there would be that much difference between the two bikes as far as ride and performance, but was I ever wrong. Starting with the push-off, the Colnago is like taking off from a light in an automatic transmission compared to a standard with the Defy. It's much easier, quicker and smoother.

Today, I rode at the wilderness park which is pretty much flat so I didn't do that much shifting. However, the shifting that I did do was as expected. The Ultegra is so much better than the Sora/Tiagra that I have on the Defy. It shifts cleaner, smoother and faster than the Defy but I now have to get used to not having the thumb shifter that I had with the Sora.

I rode the bike today without a computer or MP3 player. Just the bike, the road, the wind and me. I don't know how I did as far as speed goes, but it seemed to me that I was going a bit faster then normal using the same effort that I normally ride at. The handling was superb, crisp and tight. I need to get used to going around sharp turns as it corners much better with less effort than the Defy.

The loop at the MUP is pretty smooth, but the service roads have some bumpy areas to them and I hit every one I could find. I still felt the bumps, but it wasn't as hard as hitting them on the Defy. The CF frame really does smooth out the bumps. The ride difference is definitely noticeable.

Photos

I took these photos at the MUP with my cheap jersey camera. I plan to take some more tomorrow, especially some close-ups of the components. This photo is at the bridge that is used when the path next to it (on the left) gets flooded out during heavy rains. It's not that clear, but the lines on the downtube and seat tube and stays are red and the one that goes around the headtube is black. The red Zipp handlebar tape I ordered didn't come in so the bike still has the white tape on it. You can't see it in these photos, but the brake faces are red and I think the red tape would really add to the this bike over that of the white tape. Plus it won't get as dirty.



Here is the bike at the park entrance.

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Old 01-31-12, 06:28 PM   #2
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WOW, what a great looking bike. I sure wish I could have one. I really like the LOOK 586 as well. Anyhow, congratulations on a awesome ride.
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Old 01-31-12, 06:49 PM   #3
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That's very cool. It looks like the Colnago sticker on the down tube is on bottom of the down tube. Like only the people you roll over can see it well.
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Old 01-31-12, 07:07 PM   #4
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That's very cool. It looks like the Colnago sticker on the down tube is on bottom of the down tube. Like only the people you roll over can see it well.
True. It's the only model that has the branding on the top and bottom of the downtube. That's OK as it keeps people wondering who makes it.
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Old 01-31-12, 07:38 PM   #5
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And with a flipped and slammed stem! You should post this one the "hot or not" roadie thread because it is definitely a hottie.
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Old 02-01-12, 08:13 AM   #6
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John,
Glad you enjoy the new Colnago and its ride. Sounds like you found a sweet ride and a quality product. It sure looks nice. New bicycles are a ton of fun!

Bill
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Old 02-01-12, 04:59 PM   #7
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John,
Glad you enjoy the new Colnago and its ride. Sounds like you found a sweet ride and a quality product. It sure looks nice. New bicycles are a ton of fun!

Bill
I took it out today for a 30 mile ride but this time I had the computer on it. After all was said and done, it really didn't make me a better or faster rider, but it sure does make me a happier rider. I think I still need a bit of tweaking. I don't know if it's the difference between the new and old saddle but I started to feel the ride around the 25th mile. Something that I haven't felt with the Defy in a very long time. I'll take tomorrow off and then try another 30 on Friday to see if it is the bike or must my body having a bad day.
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Old 02-01-12, 08:49 PM   #8
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Sweet looking ride, John.
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Old 02-02-12, 02:44 AM   #9
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Finally, I've been waiting to see the pics of your new ride. The bike looks great, it would look better in my garage though. White or red tape, I think they'll both look good on your bike.

Hopefully the next ride feels better.......could it be the saddle? Seems like that's the first thing most people replace.
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Old 02-02-12, 06:51 AM   #10
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Well we are all waiting to hear what type of PIE you had for the christening of the Colnago. What was it Hmmmm?

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Old 02-02-12, 07:53 AM   #11
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Bill,

Tuesday is my night to have dinner with my best friend since my wife works till 9:00 pm on Tuesdays. And since it was the maiden voyage of the Colnago, I decided to have desert, but it wasn't pie. If a nice slice of strawberry cheese cake will do instead, then I'm good to go.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFish
Hopefully the next ride feels better.......could it be the saddle? Seems like that's the first thing most people replace.
I think it is the saddle that is causing the problems. My other saddle was a little wider at the back and although my sit bones are in the right spot, I think that it is causing me to slide forward a little. If the ride is the same tomorrow, I'll move it up a cm or two or take it back to the shop and get it adjusted.
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Old 02-03-12, 04:35 AM   #13
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congratz!!! the bike is just great. i believe i've always noticed a bike with red bar tape quicker when driving so red may be safer anyway; and it'll look real sharp with those cool red brakes.
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Old 02-03-12, 06:25 AM   #14
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congratz!!! the bike is just great. i believe i've always noticed a bike with red bar tape quicker when driving so red may be safer anyway; and it'll look real sharp with those cool red brakes.
Yes, but with red you're more likely to be pulled over when speeding.
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Old 02-03-12, 06:58 AM   #15
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That is why the Porsche Guards Red colorway is called "Write Me a Ticket Red" by law enforcement officers!
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Old 02-03-12, 08:34 AM   #16
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My Defy was mostly red, but the black and silver slowed it down. Actually, I really did want to get this model in red if it were available, since I need all the help I can get in order to go faster. But it only comes in flat black and white. I think red with the white and black highlights would have made it look badass. It was tough to rule out the Bianchi Infinito, which did come in red, but there are a lot of Bianchis in Tampa, and not that many Colnagos. Only two shops in Tampa sell them and that has been within the last six months.
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Old 02-04-12, 01:49 AM   #17
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yeah, so red brakes r a contradiction?..conundrum? the young speedsters at my lbs that organize the fast club rides call the colnagos they sell the "italian sports cars" of the line up at the store. a comment usually made while sneering at my "might as well as be a comfort bike" synapse or speciaized secteur. so i'm glad to c one of us brave enuff to jump into that ferrari and let er rip.
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Old 02-04-12, 06:51 AM   #18
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the young speedsters at my lbs that organize the fast club rides call the colnagos they sell the "italian sports cars" of the line up at the store.
Unfortunately, this model is at the low end of the "Italian sports car" line, although people see the Ultegra brifters and think I paid more for it than I actually did. It is the only relaxed geometry frame that Colnago makes and one of the three CF models where the frames are made in Taiwan. The three more expensive frames are made in Italy, according to the LBS that sells them. I just can't seem to get comfortable enough on frames that are made for racing. I guess that's what happens when you are vertically challenged.

To keep the price down, they also cut back on a few items. I thought that the seat post was CF but it turns out that it's aluminum and the crankset is a Tiagra compact. I may change the crankset down-the-road to an Ultegra to keep all the drivetrain parts the same, but I don't think they make an Ultegra crank set in black. I'm not sure if I will change the seat post or just leave it as is.
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Old 02-04-12, 08:50 PM   #19
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hey a ferrari is a ferrari even if it does have a 4 cylinder under the hood. with that fast red bar tape, the comfortable geometry and the lighter ultegra parts u got a perfect ride for ur needs. about the seat post my synapse came with a full carbon post and i think it does make a difference in helping to dampen the ride when i compare with my alum bike. i know that's controversial tho. i don't know enuff to say whether keeping the crank set makes a difference. my "105" synapse also came w a fsa crank i suppose to save money. the bike is really light just the way it is so i guess i'll keep the crank.
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Old 02-05-12, 06:39 AM   #20
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about the seat post my synapse came with a full carbon post and i think it does make a difference in helping to dampen the ride when i compare with my alum bike.
Funny, because my Defy 2 also came with a full carbon seat post on an aluminum frame. Now I've got a carbon frame with an aluminum post. Go Figure! The CF frame really does dampen the bumps quite well, so I am still debating whether to change the seat post or not. I'll need to ride it for a few months over different roads to finally decide.
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