Colnago Freedom review

Classy commuter

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
£999.95 RRP

Our review

Breeding shows in this true performer
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Coming in at just under the magic £1,000 mark, we had to ask, is there more to the Freedom than aspiration? Is this a recession-friendly way of being able to say you ride a Colnago, or is it more like owning a Jaguar X-type diesel – the pleasure of joining the brand offset by the disappointment on people’s faces when you admit to driving a Mondeo in a party frock?

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It doesn’t take long to find the answer to that one, whether you’re looking at the spec sheet or the road flashing beneath your wheels: the Freedom is equally impressive on paper and from the saddle. Make no mistake, this is a bike worthy of the clubs symbol on the head tube.

  • Frame: Lightweight, high quality goods from one of the most prestigious names in cycling (9/10)
  • Handling: Faster and sportier than its price rivals by a wide margin (9/10)
  • Equipment: FSA finishing kit, adjustable stem and Deore drivetrain show you’re not paying for the name (9/10)
  • Wheels: At this price point the Shimano RS10s are a real treat and they light up the performance (10/10)

Any thoughts that the Freedom might be built down to the price are dispelled when you clock the Shimano Deore drivetrain, FSA components and smart Shimano RS10 wheels. These hoops sell for over £150 on their own and impressed us when we tested them last year. At 791g and 1,053g for the front and rear respectively, these are truly light wheels.

Contact points consist of a comfortable Colnago-badged saddle and soft, tacky grips on a tapered mid-width FSA bar. You’re connected, confident and in charge of the Colnago from the first pedal stroke.

The adjustable stem is an excellent addition, capable of transforming the bike’s attitude in moments from chilled cycle path cruiser to thrilled psychopath bruiser. We enjoyed the Freedom most with the stem set five degrees down for a sportier experience that encourages more investment from your lungs and legs. You get a rate of return that the city boys would like to feel, the Freedom piling on the speed and maintaining it too.

The cassette packs nine speeds into an 11-32T spread. Shifts are quick and smooth so you can keep spinning efficiently. The triple crankset completes an excellent transmission of this test and gives a spread wide enough to take you through the Alps.

Arguably, the real story of this bike is the rolling chassis. The aluminium frame is light for the price and rides brilliantly. Road buzz is well subdued and the carbon fork does a good job of taking the sting out of sharper potholes. Better still, when you get out of the saddle and give it all you’ve got you’ll really experience the race bike that’s barely hiding beneath the surface of the Freedom’s modest black paint.

The low overall weight and quality wheelset are instantly apparent as the Colnago surges forward with every pedal stroke. It’s by far the fastest accelerating bike we’ve recently tested at this price, the quickest on open roads and the only one we’d even consider for a brisk Sunday run or sportive.

Colnago Freedom
colnago freedom: colnago freedom
www.robertsmithphotography.co.uk
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For more news about Colnago, visit the Colnago channel on Cyclingnews.com.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Freedom (10)
Brand Colnago

Available Sizes 43cm 47cm 51cm
Rear Wheel Weight 1937
Top Tube (cm) 56.5
Standover Height (cm) 75
Seat Tube (cm) 41.5
Chainstays (cm) 43
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 28
Weight (lb) 21.6
Weight (kg) 9.8
Stem FSA Varius forged alloy adjustable stem, 10cm length, 1 1/8in twin bolt steerer clamp, 4-bolt bar clamp
Shifters Shimano Deore Rapidfire pods
Seatpost FSA SL-280, alloy with single bolt forged clamp, 31.6 x 350mm
Seat Angle 73
Saddle Colnago by Velo padded vinyl, chr rails
Rims Shimano WH-RS10 machined alloy aero
Rear Hub forged alloy
Bottom Bracket Shimano Deore sealed cartridge external alloy cups, English thread
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore Rapid Rise long cage
Headset Type Sealed cartridge semi-integrated 1 1/8in aheadset
Head Angle 71
Handlebar FSA XC 282 alloy shallow rise, oversized, 62cm width
Front Wheel Weight 1293
Front Hub forged alloy
Front Derailleur 34.9mm clamp-on front
Frame Material TIG-welded double butted shaped 6000 aluminium tubes, cast dropouts with replaceable hanger.
Fork Carbon bladed, alloy crown, steerer, forged dropouts
Cranks Shimano Deore forged alloy, 2-piece, steel spindle, 170mm arms, 48T alloy, 36/26 steel
Chain Shimano HG 53 9spd
Cassette Shimano HG 50 9spd
Brakes Shimano BR-M432 alloy V-brakes
Wheelbase (cm) 104.5