It’s a bold move to reinvent your ﬂagship race bike with integrated disc brakes and electronic-only shifting, but that’s exactly what Colnago did with the C59 Disc.
At the head of the ultimate Italian marque is founder, designer and innovator Ernesto Colnago. His vision brought lightweight steel and aluminium to the fore, and carbon fibre took a leap forward after he combined his half a century of bike design knowledge with Ferrari’s cutting-edge composites.
The C59 is another such collaboration – this time Ernesto enlisting the experience of Italian brake specialist Formula. The result is that the C59’s hydraulic disc brakes contain fluid reservoirs in the brake hoods, along with the electronics required to control the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain.
A bike this advanced requires an equally leading- edge groupset, so it’s no surprise to see Dura-Ace Di2 complete with an internal battery within the seat-tube. Being Italian there’s a Super Record EPS option too, and it’s also available just as a frameset, for £3799.95.
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Just about everything else – as you’d expect on a thoroughbred race bike – is carbon fibre. We could well be looking at the next evolutionary step in road bike design.
“We were the first to believe in carbon fibre frames and now we’re the first to really believe in disc brakes on high-end road bikes,” says Colnago. “I want to point out that our brakes are hydraulic and so offer excellent stopping in any kind of conditions. Everyone has copied us and I’m sure they will do it again, but we’ll continue to lead the way by combining innovation and tradition.”
Frame: HM carbon ﬁbre
Fork: HM carbon disc-speciﬁc
Gears: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Brakes: Formula/Colnago hydraulic discs with 140mm rotors
This article was originally published in the Superbike supplement of the current issue (267) of Cycling Plus magazine. It comes free with both the print and SD digital editions, along with four videos of superbikes from Pinarello, Colnago, Specialized and Scott. A HD digital version of the supplement featuring all ten superbike videos is on sale now through iTunes priced 69p.