Colnago C59 Italia Di2 - First ride £8500

Flagship ride

BikeRadar score 4/5

The C59 Italia is Colnago’s all-new flagship frameset. It’s been developed over the past four years as a step on from the EPS model and, like its forebear, it’s made using hand-wrapped lugged carbon. If you’d consider that to be old tech when compared to modern monocoque designs, also note that it’s available as a fully custom carbon frameset or in 21 standard sizes, and weighs in at the competitive kilo mark.

Both the top tube and down tube are internally ribbed to add stiffness where it’s needed, and the massively oversized box chainstays help keep the back end pleasingly taut so all the power you put in gets pushed straight through to the back wheel.

When a frameset has a price tag of over £3,000, meaning a build with this equipment would cost in excess of £8,500, we expect it to perform. Happily, we can report that the C59 doesn’t disappoint. Quite the opposite in fact. It overwhelmed us with its ride and everything you’d want from a road bike is here.

The handling and direction changes are sublime, the ride is blisteringly quick, and it’s as light and smooth a bike as we’ve ever tried. We’d go so far as to say it’s a bike you could spend the rest of your life riding and not be disappointed.

The frame is available in two versions: the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2-specific model here and, for those who prefer a more traditional approach, one with standard cable routing. Ours was completed with Colnago’s own 50mm deep CW50TU tubular wheels and Colnago-branded carbon bar, stem and seatpost. The wheels matched the frame superbly with lightness and rigidity, adding a great balance to the overall package.

Colnago’s heritage includes some true legends of the road bike world, like the hour record bikes of Eddy Merckx and Tony Rominger, and with the C59 they've yet again made a masterpiece.

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