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The Gucci loafers of cycling: How does a top spec Colnago C68 ride?

The Gucci loafers of cycling: How does a top spec Colnago C68 ride?

When I attended the launch of the new Colnago V4Rs, a bike that has since gone on to win Flanders and plenty of other races under Tadej Pogacar, I felt it was a little lacklustre for the ‘average consumer’, if such a thing exists for a fifteen thousand euro bicycle. I put this to Colnago, and the response was rather up front: The V4Rs isn’t for consumers; it’s for pro racers. They have different requests and stipulations than the consumer. The consumer, I was told, should buy the C68, as “It makes the very best feelings”. Regardless of how it is placed within the Colnago hierarchy, it still claims, culturally or explicitly, to be one of the best road bikes you can buy. 

Colnago has a place in the cycling psyche like no other brand. A heritage and history muddled together with famous race wins under the biggest names the sport has ever, and perhaps will ever see. The C68 is a fascinating bike on paper. It purports to be one of the best road bikes you can buy, but unlike the other contenders for the title, it’s never seen at the races. You’d never buy one to race it; that’s not what it’s for. It’s similar in that regard to the Specialized Aethos I suppose; a bike built for the experience, rather than race wins. It’s perhaps the closest thing you can get in cycling to owning a car for Sunday driving.

Recently I spent some time reviewing the new Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra wheels, which came attached to a Colnago C68, fully kitted out with Campagnolo Super Record EPS. It’s about as top-end as bicycles get, and I fully appreciate that this isn’t realistically going to be a consumer-facing piece for the vast majority of you, but regardless I’ll try and capture what it’s like to ride, and the usual pros and cons if you are thinking of dropping many thousands on one of your own.

Colnago C68

Decked out in an all-Italian build kit it’s certainly a desirable bike (Image credit: Will Jones)

Design and aesthetics

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