Aug 3, 2012
One of the most exciting aspects of riding for the team this year was getting a deal on a Colnago CX-1 from Windwave. I was riding a great bike last year, but a combination of mechanicals and bad luck almost made me feel like it was cursed….I would have been happy with any new race-worthy bike, but getting my paws on a colnago is the stuff dreams are made of……FrameI’ll start with the most important part of the bike – the frame. This has been an absolute revelation. After riding a Scott Addict last year (exceptionally light and pretty stiff), my eyes have been opened to the fact that quality frames can really feel very different to each other. The frame overall is stiffer than my previous bike, and in fact compared to the 2011 CX-1 frame (which James Williams is riding), it has a much beefier front end. This gives it a really robust feeling when accelerating- in and out of the saddle and when cornering at speed. The ride of the frame is great all round with the very beefy bottom bracket being and giving the whole drivetrain a really solid and responsive feel. Despite the frame feeling very positive and sharp, I have felt much more comfortable on the bike this year. I don’t know if this is the famous “colnago” geometry doing its job, or my improved bike fit thanks to Paul at RIDE, but either way i am really happy on the bike. I have really fallen for both the look and the ride quality of this frame, with the highlight being the fantastic front end. Finally i have not mentioned weight yet, but the frame is plenty light enough for me, and going uphill on it feels like a dream. The black and white paint job is absolutely stunning and attracts lots of attention from other riders, it also is very robust to the little bumps and scratches that occur when racing and transporting bikes regularly.
Wheels and groupsetMy bike was specc’d with shimano ultegra 6700 groupset. I obviously would love to have DA on the bike, but it still felt an improvement over my DA7800 that I rode last year. Ever since I was given a campag record equipped bike a few years ago, i have loved the tidiness of having no cables coming out of the shifters – this always grated on me with DA 7800. For this reason the ultegra 6700 felt like a real upgrade and it offers great value for money. Despite rotor Q-rings up front the shifting performance has been really great and i (touchwood!) have had no problems with dropping the chain during races this year…..I used to feel the campag super record would be my ideal groupset, but if you are doing any sportives or racing, it is worth bearing in mind that if you go for shimano you will almost always be able to get a neutral service wheel or spare part if needed….The wheels were shimano RS-30s. They set off the look of the bike really well with red graphics and semi aero rims. They are not out and out race quality hubs but are a great training wheel and given they are semi aero they actually spin up and hold their speed really well. The even make a nice sound….
Finishing KitWhen looking at the bike online i thought i was going to have to replace the colnago branded bars, brakes,stem, seatpost and saddle with my own stuff. But when the bike arrived they just looked so great and worked so well, that i have never wanted to change them. The seatpost is carbon and matches the frame really well, the alloy bars and stem have a reassuring stiff feel that compliments the front end of the bike really well. The saddle was the real surprise as it is clearly a rebranded top end prologo saddle and looks absolutely great on the bike……The FSA SLK-lite cranks are great and look fantastic on the bike. My only grip would be that i have had to change the FSA bb after 6 months use, i would like to think this is due to the amazing watts i am putting through it but probably it is because there was so much rain in the early part of the season…..
So all in all the i have really fallen in love with the Colnago CX-1 this year, and will be sad to stop riding it when winter sets in…….