The Colnago World Cup 2.0 is great fun but weighty. Lighter wheels/tyres and finishing kit would help, but in thick mud that huge down tube and cable pulley will collect crud, negating the excellent brakes’ benefit.
We found the Selle Italia Q-Bik saddle reassuringly padded, and the Colnago’s massively rigid frame and fork gave confidence in spades when we attacked fast, loose trails or descents.
Although the bike sports Avid BB5s, fine control of the brakes was excellent, and the bike was well balanced, with good weight distribution helping cornering and climbing grip.
Snicking up though the 105 drivetrain out of a slow corner, we barrelled down a bumpy descent, revelling in the bike’s willingness to soak up the hits without any drama.
We dismounted, though, and had a surprise… The huge down tube is easy to grab when picking the bike up to shoulder, and there’s even a curved carrying support, but the 10.26kg (22.6lb) weight was a shock, briefly halting forward motion. By the crest we were glad to put it down.
The stiff frame does help power delivery, but that’s negated in part by the heavy wheelset, at 3.86kg (8.51lb) including tyres. The Colnago was still fun, with precise handling, and its supple Kenda Kwicker tyres willingly grasped tree roots and bit into the soft ground through the ever-trickier woods. However, the front derailleur cable pulley was causing mud clearance issues.
Once back on the flat we hustled the Colnago up to speed and threw it into the tight corners, where our higher corner entry speed slowly reeled in those up ahead. Although we made more ground descending, we lost as much when the gradient reversed, gravity and mass coming to bear.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.