The Colnago Museum - mega gallery

Hydraulic road brakes from 1986, a 4.5kg bike from 1975 and much, much more

For a relatively small family business, Colnago has a huge amount of history. Just across the street from where founder Ernesto Colnago has lived for years, Colnago's factory and headquarters host a museum with machinery that has been under the ownership of everyone from Pope John Paul II to scores of world champions and victors of the world's biggest races.

Wild-shaped prototypes that never saw the light of day sit next to production bikes that won Paris-Roubaix, still encrusted with the mud from the Hell of the North.

Among the many notable designs are not one but two distinct milestones in road hydraulics. Colnago was first to market with a fully hydraulic disc-brake road bike with electronic shifting, the C59 Disc, in 2012. (BikeRadar took a test ride on an early prototype in April of 2012.) But Colnago's first attempt at hydraulic braking came much earlier, in a collaboration with Ferrari in 1986.

Take a closer look at these bikes and many, many more in the photo gallery at above right.

Colnago hydraulic brake levers never made it to market — until the recent collaboration with formula:
Colnago hydraulic brake levers never made it to market — until the recent collaboration with formula:

Colnago/Ferrari hydraulic brake levers, circa 1986

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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