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Colnago C68 Dura-Ace 12v review

Colnago's new C68 takes the word 'superbike' to the max

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £11,753.00 RRP | EUR €14,065.00
UK price subject to exchange rate
Male cyclist riding the Colnago C68 Dura-Ace 12v road bike through fields

Our review

It could well be fiscally irresponsible, but that doesn’t stop the C68 being simply brilliant
Pros: Everything a modern superbike should be – fast, confident, comfortable, exclusive
Cons: The out-front mount feels less premium than it should; saddle should be the best version available on a bike at this price
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Colnago’s new C68 presents a significant step away from the outgoing C64, blending modern, aero-influenced aesthetics with an advanced lugged construction underneath the hood.

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With these changes, the C68 adopts a silhouette that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Tour-winning Colnago V3RS, with its sloping top tube and complex tube shapes, while retaining the tube-to-tube build we’ve come to expect from the Italian brand’s C-series bikes.

On the road, the bike handles supremely well – it’s everything a modern superbike should be – and, other than two small niggles, has a build kit befitting its genuine superbike status.

For the full tech story behind the new bike – including the announcement of the C68Ti with custom, 3D-printed lugs – head to my news story on the 2022 Colnago C68.

Here, I’m going to focus on the Dura-Ace equipped model we’ve had in to test ahead of the launch.

Colnago C68 Dura-Ace spec overview

The C68 takes the superbike to the extreme.
Russell Burton / Our Media

As expected, my test bike features top-spec build.

Shimano’s latest Dura-Ace R9200 groupset and the matching Dura-Ace C50 wheelset form the basis of the bike.

The new Shimano Dura-Ace 12-speed drivetrain is about as good as it gets when it comes to drivetrains.
Russell Burton / Our Media

The drivetrain uses a sporty combination of 52/36 chainset and 11-30 cassette. It’s a great combination for fast road riding and I particularly like the 11-30 cassette’s gear spread. The wheels are fitted with Pirelli’s P Zero tyres in a 28mm width.

Colnago provides its CC.01 one-piece cockpit, and this is one of the highlights of the bike.

It features a flattened top section flowing into the minimal stem, which looks great. The tops provide a comfortable position when climbing.

The elbow before the hoods is also flatter and wider than most bars, which provides a comfortable hand position when riding on the hoods.

The C68 shares the D-shaped seatpost from the V3RS.
Russell Burton / Our Media

The drops jut outwards by a centimetre from the hoods, but not by using a backsweep or flare. This effectively gives you a wider bar when riding in the drops, improving handling when descending, yet when you’re up on the hoods you can maintain a more aero position.

While the cockpit itself is a masterpiece of carbon manufacturing, the out-front mount – which is made from injection-moulded plastic – simply isn’t.

Shimano’s new Dura-Ace C50 wheels are a significant improvement over previous models.
Russell Burton / Our Media

It includes two length options and a myriad of inserts to fit all the major GPS units and a GoPro-style under-mount too.

However, when you’re dealing with a bike this expensive, I’d expect something more akin to HideMyBell’s carbon mount, or even Silca’s 3D-printed titanium unit.

Colnago also supplies a D-shaped carbon seatpost to suit the frame, which is topped off with a Prologo Scratch M5 saddle, though you only get the second-tier version with metal rails, rather than the range-topping carbon-railed version.

Colnago C68 Dura-Ace geometry

The Colnago C68 sees much more variation in head angle and other key geometry figures throughout its size range than most of its rivals.

Head tube angles start at 70.6 degrees on the smallest R420 up to 73.1 degrees on the largest R570. Seat angles also get slacker throughout the size range, starting at 75.5 degrees on the smallest, through to 73 degrees on the largest.

This is combined with a long and low ride position. My C68 in a size R550 – a close equivalent to a typical 58cm – comes with a reasonably low 593mm stack height and long 403mm reach.

Those figures are within a few millimetres of a Specialized Aethos and a touch taller and longer than a Trek Emonda in an equivalent size.

The trail figure is also a couple of millimetres longer than most out-and-out race bikes at 61mm.

It’s a shape that’s very much that of a race bike, but one that’s not so extreme as to exclude riders unable to hold a pro-rider position all day.

Fork offset (mm)43434343434343
Seat tube angle (degrees)75.57574.57473.57373
Front centre (mm)576582591599605614.5625
Chainstay length (mm)408408408410414414414
Head tube length (mm)103114130148164181200
Head tube angle (degrees)70.67171.571.872.572.973.1
Bottom bracket drop (mm)72727272727272
Top tube length (mm)504517535550567586599
Stack (mm)510522539557575593612
Reach (mm)370375383388395403410

Colnago C68 Dura-Ace ride impressions

The C68 is a stunning bike, but it sure doesn’t come cheap.
Russell Burton / Our Media

In the not-too-distant past, I had been riding the Colnago V3 – the more affordable (in relative terms) version of Tadej Pogačar’s V3RS, and came away impressed.

The C68 feels somewhat familiar to that machine in the way it handles on the road, but every element is elevated to the highest levels.

The C68 is simply a magnificently handling bike.

All at once, it feels nimble yet flighty. Its stiffness, especially through the pedals, makes for a reactive ride that, when combined with its low weight and excellent wheels and tyres, climbs with the very best.

The stunning stiffness never comes across as harsh, and the responsive handling – which makes mid-corner corrections on fast descents a breeze – never drifts into nervousness.

While the ride feel is firm and the bike feels somewhat taught, it’s not uncomfortable, even on long rides.

The Pirelli tyres also offer superb compliance and tons of grip, leaving me impressed throughout all of my test rides.

I really like the overall shape of the CC.01 cockpit and found the Prologo saddle to be very comfortable.

That said, on a bike priced at over €14,000 (international pricing TBC), the saddle should be the best offering in the range, rather than the second-tier version seen here.

As we’ve seen on several test bikes now, the Dura-Ace drivetrain is exceptional. The shifting is swift and slick, even when out of the saddle stomping on the pedals.

The cleanness of the semi-wireless design is used to the max on the C68, with no blanking plates or inserts hiding mechanical compatibility. The C68 chassis looks every inch the superbike it undoubtedly is.

Colnago C68 Dura-Ace bottom line

The C68 offers a brilliantly balanced ride.
Russell Burton / Our Media

If you ignore all of the ephemera around the C68 (NFTs, blockchain records, white glove service…), what’s left is a bike Colnago needed to make with the new C series.

While the C64 was a great bike, it’s steeped in heritage, right down to its lugged design.

This is especially true when you compare Colnago to its domestic rivals – Pinarello has fully embraced aerodynamics with its F series racing machines, Bianchi has its CV technology, and Wilier brings integration and advanced design to the Filante.

If Colnago stuck to its previous path, it ran the risk of becoming a heritage brand, rather than a 21st century brand with heritage.

With the C68, it delivers genuinely innovative tech in a familiar package that will appeal to fans of the brand.

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The C68 is superb, and I’ve absolutely loved my time on it. I may never be in the position to buy one (and very few of us ever will), but I can admire the design and wax lyrical about the ride for days.

Product Specifications


Price br_price, 5, 3, Price, EUR €14065.00GBP £11753.00
Weight br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 7.3kg (R550, 58cm equivalent) – including out-front mount, bottle cage, Array, kg
Brand br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Colnago


Available sizes br_availableSizes, 11, 0, Available sizes, R420, R455, R485, R530, R550, R570
Bottom bracket br_bottomBracket, 11, 0, Bottom bracket, Ceramic Speed T47
Brakes br_brakes, 11, 0, Brakes, Shimano Hydraulic disc brakes with RT-MT900 centre-lock rotors
Cassette br_cassette, 11, 0, Cassette, Shimano Dura-Ace 11-30t
Chain br_chain, 11, 0, Chain, Shimano Dura-Ace 12-speed
Cranks br_cranks, 11, 0, Cranks, Shimano Dura-Ace 52/36 HollowTech II 12-speed
Fork br_fork, 11, 0, Fork, Carbon
Frame br_frame, 11, 0, Frame, Carbon
Front derailleur br_frontDerailleur, 11, 0, Front derailleur, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 12-speed
Handlebar br_handlebar, 11, 0, Handlebar, One-piece Colnago CC.01
Headset br_headset, 11, 0, Headset, Ceramic Speed SLT
Rear derailleur br_rearDerailleur, 11, 0, Rear derailleur, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 12-speed
Saddle br_saddle, 11, 0, Saddle, Prologo Scratch M5 Tirox
Seatpost br_seatpost, 11, 0, Seatpost, Colnago D-shape carbon
Shifter br_shifter, 11, 0, Shifter, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Tyres br_tyres, 11, 0, Tyres, Pirelli P-Zero Race 28mm
Wheels br_wheels, 11, 0, Wheels, Shimano Dura-Ace C50 tubeless