Italian masters Colnago had huge success last year with their Giro d'Italia stage-winning CX-1. So, did the company rest on their Latin laurels? Of course not. This year’s M10 is a development of the CX-1 and is, somewhat inevitably, claimed to be lighter and laterally stiffer than its predecessor.
We’re also not surprised by Colnago’s claim that it’s designed to offer a ‘more forgiving ride’, though we suspect that doesn’t mean it’s going to be Specialized Roubaix-like plush, as underneath that spanking paintjob beats the heart of an Italian thoroughbred.
Out on the road the Colnago’s looks turned heads wherever it went, and it turned corners as convincingly as anything else out there. Its pin-sharp handling lets you throw it into descents and around hairpins with total confidence. It’s sold as a frameset by its UK distributors, who also supply the pro-level 50mm FSA tubular wheels that contribute to the bike’s performance.
When it comes to climbs, the Colnago shows why it's won grand Tour stages. The seriously beefy bottom bracket section and chunky chainstays translate into instant acceleration when you’re climbing out-of-the-saddle or accelerating on the flat. It’s light too – 6.91kg here, built with Campagnolo Record and FSA kit.
While we weren’t surprised that performance lived up to expectations, we were relieved that this speed machine did so without leaving you feeling beaten up. Some of our testers weren’t impressed with the unforgiving and minimally padded S Manie saddle, but this is about the only thing we’d consider changing. Shifting from the combination of Campag Record, FSA chainset and the internally routed Nokon cabling was typically faultless, and the FSA bar was suitably stiff and comfortable.
The M10 might not make you win a stage at the Giro, but you wouldn’t be able to use the bike as an excuse. Yes, it’s expensive, but the quality is such that buying it wouldn’t just be a case of your heart ruling your head.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.