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2018 Colnago C64 Review

By Bruce Lin

 

The Colnago C64 represents the pinnacle of hand-built carbon road bikes, made in Italy using carbon lugs. This C64 is the successor to the already refined C60. It’s lighter, stronger, and has more modern features, including Campagnolo’s newest Record 12 speed groupset.

Colnago C64 Highlights

  • Handbuilt in Italy
  • Carbon Lugged Construction
  • Campagnolo Record 12 Speed Group Set
  • Direct Mount Rim Brakes
  • Ursus Miura TS37 Carbon Tubular Wheels
  • Ursus Magnus H.01 Integrated Bar and Stem

Colnago C64 Details

The history of the Colnago C64 begins with the iconic Colnago C40 in 1994. The C40 was one of the early production carbon bikes and it was built to celebrate Colnago’s 40th anniversary. It became the first carbon bike to win the Paris-Roubaix in 1995 and it ushered the era of carbon fiber that would revolutionize modern cycling. Since then Colnago has offered new iterations of their iconic lugged carbon frame, all hand-built in Italy. The C64 was released on Colnago’s 64th anniversary and succeeds the already incredibly refined C60. It retains the classic lugged construction that bonds butted carbon tubes with carbon lugs, allowing for a huge range of frame sizes. The new tubes of the C64 are now wider, lighter, and stronger than before. It has modern touches like recessed bottle cage mounts that bring the bottle cage closer in to improve aerodynamics, and various ridges in the tubes and lugs to improve stiffness at key points.

 

The drivetrain is Campagnolo’s Record 12 speed group. Campagnolo was the first major component manufacturer to release a 12 speed drivetrain for road bikes, allowing for smaller steps between gears and a wider gear range. The Record group has near identical feel and performance to the top-end Super Record group, at a lower cost. The new 12 speed cassette is able to fit on a standard 11 speed Campagnolo freehub body, so there's no new for a new hub standard or wheelset. Ergonomics have been improved so that upshifts with are now easier to reach while in the drops. The bike rolls on Miura TS37 carbon tubular wheels made by the Italian Ursus brand. These wheels are stiff, aerodynamic, and weigh in at under 1300g. This C64 also uses an Ursus Magnus H.01 carbon integrated bar and stem for more bling factor and an aero edge.

Rider Type

  • Riders seeking a refined handbuilt, lugged carbon, Italian road bike
  • Riders who enjoy the finer things in life
  • High-performance riders seeking a unique steed

There’s no getting around the fact that the Colnago C64 is quite expensive. But for the price, you get a bike that is truly refined, beautiful, and unique. Few manufacturers use lugged carbon anymore, but Colnago continues to stick with it for their C series road frames. Through the years Colnago has developed true mastery of lugged carbon construction. It's a beautiful reflection of cycling’s history of steel framebuilding and it produces a frame that manages to stand out in a sea of molded aero tubing. The lugged construction also allows for a huge range of frame sizes, especially in between sizes for those looking to really dial in their fit. Small details like the integrated lug at the top of the seattube, and the purposeful ridge in the headtube lug and toptube junction, show how Colnago have pushed this design into modernity by improving stiffness and weight.

 

The ride of the frame is pleasantly stiff and responsive. The C64 is a racy feeling bike, but not so much so that it’s a race day only machine. You feel the bumps and cracks in the road beneath you, but it all acts as communicative feedback. Even someone moderately fit could ride the C64 on an all-day long distance epic. The handling is on the quicker side of neutral, never quite going so far that you would call it twitchy. Overall, the ride just feels refined and fast, the result of 64 years of experience and handbuilt Italian quality. The Campagnolo Record group provides excellent feeling shifts, and with the 11-32 cassette, enough range for big days that may take you up big climbs. The Ursus Miura TS37 tubular wheels are perhaps the most race-oriented thing on the bike, but their’s no denying that despite their inconvenience, the feel of tubular tires and rims is unmatched. If you’re looking for the best, not just as a racer, but a rider and lover of bikes, look no further than the C64.  

 

Bruce is a writer who loves getting his bikes dirty, trying new tech, and riding tough trails that make him suffer for hours at a time.