Iconic Italian frame-builders Colnago have launched their first carbon frame designed for the tough cobbled Classics – the CX Zero. It might find favour with riders looking for a smooth, easygoing ride, too.
The arrival of the CX Zero means riders on the Colnago-sponsored Europcar squad won’t have to choose between the Prestige cyclocross frame and C59 road bike for the 2014 Classics.
The CX Zero has a taller head tube than Colnago's C59
Europcar directeur sportif Sébastien Joly - who unveiled the bike on the second rest day of the 2013 Tour de France, in Avignon - explained that the frame inherits most of its DNA from the company’s top-of-the-range C59 and monocoque M10 frame.
However, there are significant changes. The CX Zero’s wheelbase is longer than the C59’s and should give more predictable handling over lumpy surfaces - be they in northern France and Belgium or on your weekend ride.
The steering tube has also been lengthened to aid comfort. On the 52cm model BikeRadar saw, the head tube was 16.5cm – just over a centimetre longer than on the same-sized C59.
Swooping chainstays are purported to dampen road noise
Meanwhile, at the back, the chainstays have been beefed up and curved to dampen vibration. And when the Classics season starts, the increased frame and fork clearance means the CX Zero can be fitted with broader rims and 28mm tyres – a standard cobbles configuration that helps give a smoother ride.
“It’s a true bike for the Paris-Roubaix and the Flandrian Classics,” said Joly, who said the bike was currently being tested by Europcar rider Alexandre Pichot. Thomas Voeckler – who stepped out of the hotel for a photo with the bike – will also give the bike a race test in the Tour du Poitou-Charents in August.
Voeckler and the rest of Europcar have another choice for racing on rough roads