Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Colnago C68 Gravel is a Symphony of Off-Street, Drop Bar Magnificence in Italian Craftsmanship


Sizzling off the presses, Colnago offered its first ‘C’ Collection gravel motorcycle, the C68 Gravel. This motorcycle is best Colnago’s 2d devoted gravel motorcycle, however it’s a positive shot. The motorcycle isn’t a cushy lob at “all issues gravel.” It’s a quick, opinionated, and surprising piece of hand-crafted Italian craftsmanship, and much more importantly, it rides like a dream. 

Colnago Intensity in Drop Bar Filth

Colnago has such intensity within the recreation of biking that it’s simple to disregard what number of mythical riders as soon as referred to as their frames house. It’s no longer simply avenue using, despite the fact that it’s exhausting to disregard Pogačars’ ability and tie it to the emblem. Years in the past, Wout and Mathieu have been using Colnago; prior to that, Sven, prior to him Adri van der Poel (MVDPs’ Dad), and prior to all of them, Roger De Vlaeminck.

There are too many to call (I do know a few of you’ll so depart the ones within the feedback should you’d like), however the level I’m making here’s that Colnago is aware of drop-bar filth. So when the enduring Italian emblem stated they have been creating a C Collection gravel motorcycle, we knew it might be distinctive.

Take a look at our information piece right here to be informed extra in regards to the C68 Gravel’s building, ethos, and total tech specifications. 

Colnago C Collection Remedy

The C collection motorcycles within the Colnago line are the highest; by means of that, we imply the very most sensible. The UAE Workforce Emirates rides the V collection, one under C within the lineup. Sure, the motorcycles are painted in Italy however don’t seem to be hand-assembled within the Colnago plant just like the C variations. 

How A lot?

This consideration to element and expectation of the buyer makes the C collection frames one thing greater than a carbon body; it feels customized in some way. However, with probably the greatest remedy comes probably the greatest pricing, and the C68 doesn’t shy clear of a hefty price ticket; the frameset is $7,100. Sure — you’ll get the C68 in Shimano GRX for $7,999, with alloy wheels, but when you need the dentist particular, you’ll pay upwards of $14K on your trip. 

The massive query of the C68 Gravel “Is it value the fee?” I feel we will solution that…

First Impressions 

I first noticed the C68 Gravel at a press release in San Deigo with the Colnago USA/Italy workforce. The design/engineering group in the back of the C68 Gravel used to be provide and laid down a transparent thought and function expectation for the brand new gadget. 

In a nutshell, the C68 is supposed for velocity and function, no longer adventuring or motorcycle packing. The body is modular, and each and every tube is adapted to the motorcycle’s measurement and hand-crafted in Combiago, Italy. The trip will really feel subtle, responsive, and controllable on a unmarried observe. It is going to really feel like a formidable, balanced staying power avenue gadget, with muted avenue chatter at the gravel and pavement. 

Once I to begin with noticed the C68 Gravel, I assumed, “Take a look at that paint,” after which, ” Take a look at the top tube.” However rather then that, the motorcycle may be very subdued. It has no screaming paint activity with Italian flags on each tube; it’s a bit understated, sublime, and sculpted. 

Journey Impressions — Colnago C68 Gravel 

Did you ever get on a motorcycle, make one minor adjustment, and really feel like, “that is it”. Smartly, that’s what took place with me and the C68 Gravel. The bar and stem at the C68 Gravel are the Colnago CC.01 Extensive one-piece bar/stem and not using a adjustability. Thankfully, it suits me really well. For body measurement. I rode the 48s (54cm) body with a 100mm stem and felt pleasantly in keep an eye on of the entrance finish whilst nonetheless being low sufficient to be aerodynamic within the wind. I in most cases trip a 40c bar with a 120mm stem on my gravel motorcycle, and this combo feels very acquainted. The slight adjustment I made used to be the seat submit peak. Coming off of cyclocross season, my seat submit used to be quite decrease for on/off the motorcycle efforts. That peak didn’t really feel proper at the C68 Gravel, and I raised it to my avenue saddle peak, which locked the whole lot in position off the beginning.

My using consisted of 2 days of gravel and path using with the Colnago workforce, pushing the C68 Gravel from amusing team using to race tempo and “this will have to be OK?” territory. 

Street Sensations 

We began our rides during the seashore roads of coastal San Deigo, then off to the pastures and gravel to check the motorcycle, loose from motorized distractions. At the avenue, the C68 Gravel may just transfer. The feeling used to be that of a avenue motorcycle with a predictable geometry you are feeling assured piloting. My motorcycle used to be provided with 40mm Pirelli gravel tires: a Pirelli Gravel M within the entrance with some additional chew and a Gravel H within the rear for velocity. 

Our rides have been a mixture of pebbled gravel mountaineering, techy bits, and quite a lot of twisty new-to-me San Deigo unmarried observe. I began the trip with 35psi within the rear and 33psi within the entrance. At 158lbs, that felt forged for acquainted territory and to chase away residences. I used to be proud of my tire power after we entered the one observe. The motorcycle may just slice during the turns with out washing out and climb punchy sections with out slipping. I discovered the mountaineering steadiness level of the motorcycle temporarily and felt assured mountaineering free terrain.

Cyclocross Quickness

Within the cyclocross genre on/off sections of the paths, the C68 used to be a tick above different gravel motorcycles I’ve ridden. The dealing with and riding in close-quarters trails used to be like being on a shorter ‘go motorcycle. The relaxation of the trip, alternatively, used to be other. Coming from my ‘go gadget, I’m used to a couple knocking round and a few stiffness. The C68 felt calm; the trip used to be blank and predictable. This might be attributed to the bigger tires, however it wasn’t best that — It’s exhausting to place a finger on it. The entire components labored in combination really well, and the geometry is correct the place I favor a gravel motorcycle — a close to ‘go motorcycle. (coming from a CX racer).

Now, I’ll be the primary to confess I love using my ‘go motorcycle for principally the whole lot. The C68 Gravel seems like that however extra normalized. As an alternative of feeling under-biked however having amusing at the gnarly trails, I felt like I used to be on the proper motorcycle. The strong body felt rock forged whilst pushing during the berm and pump observe sections.

At the longer steep climbs, the C68 rode predictably and had a pleasant kick from a push in opposition to the pedals. The sensation is like when on a steep climb with a robust avenue body, and you’ll in point of fact dig into the hassle. 

Is that this Cool? 

There comes a time in each trip while you push the boundaries, and at the C68 Gravel, the ones instances have been flying down some techy unmarried observe and rocky/washboard-style descents. Taking a $14K motorcycle down this terrain will also be traumatic (amusing), however the motorcycle carried out excellently. The shorter stem lets in for a playful entrance finish and is helping you pull out of a tailspin in case your dealing with is quite off. For instance; whilst descending some unfamiliar cracked earth options (the sort the place the path can devour your wheel as much as the hub). I discovered myself off the road and bouncing in opposition to doom, in a last-ditch effort I pulled to leap again at the line however prepped for a fall. The motorcycle reacted temporarily, and I used to be protected from the scary press camp crash.

Colnago C68 Gravel — Lasting Impressions 

Having spent two days of mixed-surface using at the Colnago C68 Gravel, I’ve sturdy impressions of the motorcycle. First off, I favored the trip (no longer simply the paths). The client for the C68 Gravel might be (is) a extra road-focused gravel rider who likes to head speedy, no longer essentially slogging thru miles of roots and rocks. That stated, the motorcycle can deal with it, and gravel is exclusive as a result of everybody defines it another way. Colnagos definition of gravel with the C68 Gravel is relaxed, speedy, sublime, and strong. 

The C68 Gravel is an incredible trip, however it is probably not for everybody. Colnago is cool with that. Alternatively, should you’re searching for a motorcycle that handles fantastically, like a motorcycle you’ve ridden for years, it’s value checking one out. 

Is it value the fee? Smartly, that’s as much as the consumer, but when you’ll acquire a C68 Gravel and admire the street really feel and magnificence — that is your gravel motorcycle — this might be your best motorcycle. For those who’re searching for one thing to race ‘go on and perform a little staying power gravel occasions, the G-3X may well be a greater have compatibility. Both method, Colnago has entered gravel complete power, and the C68 is a transparent observation of intent. This motorcycle demanding situations what a road-focused, “classically styled” gravel motorcycle will also be. One thing extra subtle than ultra-wide bars, mountain motorcycle tires, and dropper posts.


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