Colnago always took particularly care to the rider safety. Our product analysis lab utilizes the highest standards in the industry. Our frames undergoes through impact tests and fatigue tests, following both the international homologation protocol and our internal security protocol. Every frame must pass the homologation test in every size and in every specific set-up before going in production or before every test on the road.
Colnago production process implies intensive use of prototyping technologies. Before realising the final model, we analyse specifications and different variables through samples and lab tests. The first visual and dimensional analysis is made through visual prototyping software, which allows us to evaluate inferences and evaluate if what we could do in the production phase. After that we go to the rapid prototyping phase, for a “real” visual analysis and a second dimensional verification. We use 3D printing machines and we realize samples in resins and plastic powders. Once validated the visual sample, we realize several bike samples with different features in order to further test them in lab and on the road.
It’s not enough for a bicycle to be beautiful: it also has to look beautiful.
Colnago frames are hand painted and, as a result, every one is unique. Your bicycle is painted by the same craftsmen who paint frames for the professional riders of Team Europcar and Colnago – CSF Inox.
A Colnago paint finish is an intricate and beautiful job. Except for the head badge, none of the coloured areas or logos on a Colnago frame is a stick-on decal; all are the result of the painstaking skill of our paint team.
The paint process starts with masking tape and thread protectors to keep paint out of the parts of the frame where none is needed. Then, we apply a layer of special primer that helps the outer layers bond to the carbon fiber.
When the primer has been dried in an oven at 50 Celsius, the painter applies laser-cut masking decals and then adds the first layer of paint. Several more masking steps and layers of paint go to build up the eventual colour scheme.
In time, the masks are all removed to reveal the final finish. The only remaining step is to coat the whole frame in a layer of lacquer that stops the ultra-violet rays in sunlight from fading the paint and helps protect the more intricate areas from damage.
It’s not enough for us to innovate in the technology of our frames, we want to make them more beautiful too.
The perfect bicycle must be balanced. It must be made to fit you, not the other way round. That’s why we make as wide a range of sizes as possible of our frames, with 22 off-the-peg sizes in our C59 Italia and the option of custom fit for riders with special requirements.
Balanced handling is vital too. Colnago invented modern bicycle racing geometry and has refined it to perfection with handling that is unwaveringly accurate but stable at speed, so a long day in the mountains is a battle against the gradient and your rivals, not against a twitchy bicycle.
Colnago ride quality is rooted in the idea of balance too. A frame must be stiff, to convey your power to the road, but it must not be harsh. Features like our 3PRS internally-ribbed tubes and over-sized chainstays with leaf-shaped seatstays simultaneously improve rigidity and dissipate road shock.
Frame integrity is a crucial aspect of Colnago design. Our frames and forks are tested in the Colnago Lab to withstand impacts far beyond international standards, and to retain their strength after impact. That means your Colnago can still be ridden to the finish if the worst happens.
We’re always looking for ways to improve our frames. New ideas start with Ernesto Colnago’s sketches, and then computer-assisted design, finite element analysis, and rapid 3D prototyping allow us to test new ideas in days. Tomorrow’s Colnagos are already on the drawing board.
Colnago was the first frame builder to see the potential of carbon fibre in the evolution of the cycling. He chose to match the latest technology with the concept of custom geometry frames. Muscular extension, flexibility and personal preference for position combined with aerobic and pedalling efficiencies are too many variables for a rider to be locked into the confinement of only a few frame sizes. This is why all the top Colnago frames offer lugged construction to fit all riders. Whether for one of the 130 Colnago-sponsored professional cyclists or one of the millions of demanding amateur riders around the world, there is a Colnago that offers the perfect fit. With this concept, Colnago takes age-old craftsmanship into the future.
Research and Method
Even with the vast availability of carbon fibre, there are a number of potential problems that can exist in the manufacturing process. Only with great investment in manufacturing technology can a carbon product be considered safe and reliable with no sacrifice to performance. The tubes of Colnago frames are built with an advanced filament winding system. This process, which is performed over a solid, stainless steel INOX core, yields a highly consistent wall thickness, even in cases where the tubes use intricate external and internal shape and structure. Moreover, thanks to the INOX “mirror treated” cores, all the different layers are compressed with extremely high pressures. This advanced process limits excess resin in the composite, reducing weight while increasing strength. This, plus advanced tube shaping and structure, yield the highest strength to weight ratio.
If to build a tube on a rigid core to be later removed is easy to imagine, to perform a complex structure as bottom bracket junction is pretty different and show problematic difficulties to be solved because of its shaped and because of all the different and simultaneous forces that come there together once in action. The fibres orientation, the nature of carbon type itself and the total control of the joining walls are the fruit of an exhausting research, laboratory and road tests. The carbon junctions of Colnago Frames are built by the same fibres of the tubes: made in Italy with the highest quality standards. As for the tubes are the sum of overlapped layers of unidirectional type alternate with variously oriented wefts. The interlaced layers are commonly named 1K and 3K, the best configurations to give homogeneity, strength and reactivity to a winning road bike. This comes over any aesthetic choices that some frame factory take without a real technical base.
Any detail makes the difference
Length and shape of the joining surfaces, layers an orienting of the fibres. Nothing is for nothing and everything is related to angles and dimension in any single frame to obtain the maximum homogeneity in reactions. The junctions of Colnago frames take shape around a special high density polymer to be manually destroyed after the polymerisation. This exclusive system makes possible to build a cave component with complex (multifaceted) shape without to renounce to press the stratified fibres under exceptionally high pressures, as it happens on the tubes.
Colnago and Frame Weight
The weight of the frame is a detail which is pushing unsafe products into the marketplace. The often unreliable and inconsistent traditional manufacturing process with carbon can produce end-products with often suspect yield and fatigue strength. Circumstances can lead inferior frames to not only crack, but can result in catastrophic failure without warning. Many processes used to lighten frame weight are simply not proven to be reliable. With technological application, it is possible to see frames in the marketplace with weights between 700g and 800g. These frames can be tempting to the consumer looking for the lightweight advantage. Colnago believes in a limit of 1000g. It is simply not worth sacrificing handling, safety and reliability for the negligible advantage of a few grams of static frame weight.
The comparison “Colnago is like a Ferrari”
The carbon fibre production in the entire Colnago 2013 product line is paramount in the marketplace. Not just the raw materials, but throughout the manufacturing process, no corners are cut. This is one of the most important considerations in the final price of a Colnago bicycle or frame. Another aspect is Colnago’s unwillingness to go outside of Cambiago, Italy for designing all aspects of the finest bicycles available. This is why Colnago offers a unique style matched with the most advanced technology. “Made in Italy” on a Colnago product truly means “Made in Italy”. Behind the Colnago signature lies the most meticulous and complex study of every aspect of the bicycle, from design table to final product. It is this investment in detail that make Colnago logo on bicycle analogous to the Ferrari Horse on an auto. This a comparison that Colnago welcomes with pride.
After a long time following it, finally I’ve realized my agonistic dream: a podium in a Cross Country MTB World Cup. Last Sunday in Offenburg, Germany, in front of a large crowd, I was able to cross the line in third place at the end of the third Cup event, won by the emerging French athlete Julie Bresset. And it’s not the only good news. I’ve discovered my fitness is improving constantly. To be honest I was struggling a little bit during the first lap: after that I was just 11th! Then I’ve started feeling better and everything went fine, even because finally punctures or falls did not penalize my race. I said that everything went fine because competing with Julie was impossible during the race. She is unbeatable at the moment, so third is definitely a great result. Now I hope to improve in the next World Cup race, on the first weekend of July in Mount Sainte Anne in Canada.
Brambilla rode into the winning breakaway, but couldn’t quite match the pace on the day’s main hurdle at the second-category climb. He continued to fight all the way to the line and earned an impressive fourth on the hard-fought stage.
“I’ve been in four breakaway attempts in this Giro. We are always attacking and trying to win a stage,” Brambilla said. “Perhaps the fatigue of nearly three weeks of racing is catching up with me. I was hoping to catch back on during the descent, but it was very technical and I wasn’t able to contest for the stage.”
Colnago-CSF-Inox has been active throughout the Giro with breakaway attempts and vows to keep fighting all the way to Milano, where the Giro ends Sunday.
Another rider who’s been at the sharp end of the action has been Stefano Pirazzi.
“It’s been very difficult to try to win a stage this year because the GC fight was not settled until the climbing time trial at Nevegal. That meant that the breaks were almost always caught because the big favorites were still racing for time bonuses and to attack,” Pirazzi said. “There are still a few stages left to go. We will keep attacking and try to leave this Giro with a stage victory.”
Brambilla latched onto the day’s main breakaway on the road to Europe’s steepest road and only got caught midway up the punishingly steep road featuring ramps as steep as 22 percent.
“It was a great day to be in the breakaway, even though I was suffering like a dog. I knew we needed more time to have a chance to win the stage, but the peloton wouldn’t let us get away,” Brambilla said before the start of Sunday’s stage. “Then when we heard that the penultimate climb was taken out, it gave us more hope. We knew it would be difficult with the favorites were coming behind us.”
Brambilla started Sunday’s even more challenging 15th stage wearing the best climber’s green jersey. He started the stage ranked second behind Alberto Contador in the King of the Mountains classification, but because Contador also holds the race leader’s pink jersey, Brambilla got to wear the green jersey in the marathon, eight-hour stage.
“The green jersey would be nice to win, but I have to be realistic,” Brambilla admitted. “With Contador still riding to win the Giro, he will keep earning more points. The circumstances are not really in my favor.”
Brambilla vows to try his luck again in the Giro’s final week.
“The team really wants to win a stage in this Giro,” he said. “We’ve been on the attack almost every day. We hope to have the legs to keep on trying in the final week. I hope to recover from the hard effort. This Giro is very hard, so it’s not easy to win.”
Manuel Belletti was disrupted by a crash in the closing kilometers into Ravenna and couldn’t make his sprint and came across the line seventh.
“The crash disrupted my sprint. It was too bad, because I was in good position,” said Belletti, who was third in stage 2. “By the time I could regain my position, it was too late. This was the last chance for the sprinters.”
Despite falling short of a victory in the first half of racing, the team remains optimistic with still two weeks of racing left to go in the 2011 Giro
Riders have been working into breakaways and lighting up the roads with attacks. Stefano Pirazzi and Simone Stortoni have both been at the sharp end of the action in the opening days of the Giro.
“We’ve been attacking just about every day. The team is motivated and we’re looking for our opportunities,” Pirazzi said. “The peloton is controlling the stages and not letting breakaways to stay away. We will keep trying in the second half of this Giro. We are motivated to win a stage, so we will keep our eyes on any openings.”
Domenico Pozzovivo has settled into 25th overall at 6:04 going into the decisive final battleground in the Dolomiti.
“I think the second half of the Giro will suit us better. There will be chances for breakaways to stay clear,” Pozzovivo said. “I hope to try to win a stage and climb higher in the GC. I still believe a top-10 is possible.”
Bertogliati’s presence kept pressure off the team and Team Type 1 leader Aleksandr Efimkin rode into the lead group of 40 going into the final summit climb. At the base of the final climb, Efimkin suffered from dehydration because he was unable to take water from the team car with less than 20km to go.
“Today’s stage did not go as planned. RadioShack obviously came to win, and they drove the pace so hard up Mt. Hamilton that we were caught out. Aleks asked for a bottle with 7km to go, and the commissaire told me I could no longer feed,” said general manager Vassili Davidenko. “When you are racing for the general classification and you violate the rules, the penalties can be both financial and as additional time. I take responsibility for following the rules, which did not benefit the rider, so tomorrow we will try to dig back some time we lost.”
Efimkin, who won the Tour of Turkey before heading to California, crossed the line 28th at 4:10 back.
The French national champion won Saturday’s decisive stage and finished safely with the leader’s to wrap up the overall title at the Dunkirk race, one of the most prestigious mid-sized races in France.
“Thomas appears to be stronger than ever. His teammates protected him from the wind, just like they did in the first three days. After his stage victory on Saturday and the overall, Thomas is reaching a new level,” said Europcar sport director Ismael Mottier. “The rest of the team is in great condition and we are sure to be at our peak with the season’s most important goals still ahead of us.”
The victory was the eighth for Voeckler on the year in what’s turning out to be one of his most successful in his career.
Manuel Belletti darted to third in the sprint finish in the 244km second stage from Alba to Parma in a solid first weekend of racing for the Colnago-CSF Inox team.
“It was a hard sprint, slightly rising with some headwind. It was a real fight to find the right wheel and when I found some space I was able to move up,” Belletti said after the stage. “I didn’t win, but it gives morale for the coming days. We are here to animate the race and to try to win at least one stage. There are many good sprinters here at this Giro, but today confirms we’re on the right track.”
Sunday’s sprint capped a strong opening weekend for Colnago-CSF Inox in the 94th edition of the Giro d’Italia. The team was among 23 starting squads for the 2011 Giro and posted a ride of 19th in the team time trial at just 1:02 behind specialists HTC-Highroad.
Belletti, who won a stage in last year’s Giro, will be looking to make his presence felt in the opening sprints and breakaways of the first week of the Giro.
Domenico Pozzovivo will be man to carry the colors in the GC battle while Manuel Belletti and Sacha Modolo will try their luck in the bunch sprint. In between, there will be plenty of road for the rest of the team to go on the attack and ride into breakaways in a bid to win a stage or grab the pink jersey.
“It’s a solid and tight-knit team. We finalized our selection after studying the results and fitness of the riders in the past two races. We believe strongly in this group,” said team manager Roberto Reverberi. “Pozzovivo is in excellent form and can count on the support of the team. With Modolo and Belletti, we can be right in the heat of the battle for the sprints. The others will have their chances in breakaways. We are ready give our fans and sponsors strong emotions.”
Pozzovivo, ninth in the 2008 Giro d’Italia, will be looking to climb as high as possible in the overall standings. A brutal final week across the Dolomites suits his style perfectly. He recently checked out some of the key climbing stages and liked what he saw.
“We examined all the big stages and we know this Giro will be very difficult. There will not be any cease-fires. It’s going to be a battle every day,” Reverberi said. “There are many climbs suited for Pozzovivo, so we do not want to get distracted. It will be a great Giro.”
Colnago-CSF Inox for Giro d’Italia
Efimkin clinched the overall title after finishing safely in the pack Sunday in what’s the biggest win in team history for Team Type 1 – sanofi-aventis.
The Russian nearly won in stage 5 and woke up the next morning intent on trying again. When he saw the race leaders struggling on hills midway through the sixth stage, Team Type 1 executed perfect team tactics to put three riders into the winning breakaway.
Efimkin grabbed the leader’s jersey and never looked back. Team Type 1 rode to defend his lead in the final two stages to secure a huge victory after notching a dozen second and third places in the opening three months of racing in Europe.
“This is the biggest win of my career and I thank my teammates for helping me do it,” Efimkin said. “We’re a strong team and every day in Turkey we got stronger. To have these gladiators pulling for me and protecting the leader’s jersey has made me a very happy man. I feel we have strong momentum for the next two months of racing.”
The victory comes just a month after thieves heisted nearly all of Team Type 1’s bicycles, parts, tools and equipment in a robbery while competing at a race in March.
“A few weeks ago at Coppi e Bartali all of our bikes were stolen. Everything. We lost wheels, we lost tools, we lost time trial positions built into the framesets. But we took the right measures to build back up. Everyone on the team, riders, staff, management, all put in overtime to get to where we are now,” said team general manager Vassili Davidenko. “Winning the Tour of Turkey this year is a great honour for us and a great reflection of the program we built.”
Colnago-CSF Inox also enjoyed a fine run through Turkey, winning the third stage with Belletti, who also claimed the leader’s jersey for one day.
Up next for Team Type 1 is the Tour of California while Colnago-CSF Inox is heading to the Giro d’Italia.