Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Colnago C59 Disc, Disc Brakes the Next Wave? Part II is at the Taipei bike show, taking place now, where the C59 Disc has been unveiled. Their observations:

"If you still don't think disc brakes are going to be big on road bikes in the next year or so, you might want to take a gander at this.

Yup, that's right. It's a Colnago C59, a bit like this one that we tested, only with disc brakes front and rear. According to Alessandro Colnago it'll be available from June… not sure if that applies to the UK though. The discs in question look like Colnago-branded Formula R1 units - a pretty sensible choice since they're the lightest MTB discs currently available. Going slightly against whet we've heard from other industry sources, Colnago clearly think that 140mm rotors front and rear will be plenty, since that's what they've specced for the C59.

The fork is entirely new, redesigned to cope with the twisting forces a disc brake imparts, and the stays at the rear are new too. The chainstays have a bulge on the inner face, increasing the cross-sectional area and adding stiffness. They've done the same to the fork; the inner face bulges towards the wheel for the same reason.

The dropouts are new and they accept a 135mm hub width. There's no brake calliper hole at the top of the seatstays or in the fork, and the frame will work with both mechanical and hydraulic discs. The disc mount sits between the chainstay and seatstay and inboard of the stays, and looks pretty neat. The C59 was always a good looking bike and we don't think this one - which we've seen at the Taipei International Cycle Show - is any exception. Except for the fact that it's grey.

"But what about hydraulic drop levers?", I hear you cry. Well, this bike is running Dura Ace Di2, which opens it up to options such as the third party Tektro levers that are knocking around at Taipei right now. They're not finished yet, but clearly Formula have been busy because their levers are.

We've never seen these levers before, and we didn't know they existed until today. They're a hydraulic Di2 lever from Formula, and they have a dual paddle behind the brake lever in the same sort of configuration as the Shimano ones. They look kinda classy to us. If you want to run mechanical gears and hydraulic discs you can do that too. At least you can when the SRAM Red hydraulic comes out in the summer...

The wheels are new too - Colnago Artemis Discs, they're called. You can't radially spoke a disc wheel so the Artemis Disc uses a two-cross lacing pattern at the front to handle the braking forces; there's 24 spokes front and rear. The wheel uses the same 50mm rim as the standard Artemis, just with two of the rear rims instead of the 20-hole front.

So how much does all this hydraulic gubbins add to the weight of the bike? About 200 grams, according to Alessandro Colnago who's been tweeting pics of the bike this morning. That doesn't seem like a huge weight penalty and it would still be possible to build the C59 up at around the UCI weight limit with some nice light handlebars. The bike will be available as a complete build and also as a frameset in the 2013 lineup. It'll cost lots and lots and lots of money."

See article and lots of photos here.

Yesterday's story about the C59 Disc.

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1 comment:

  1. This will forever change road racing if it becomes the norm. No more "give me a wheel!" when the chances of compatibility and time needed to swap these out is considered - it'll be like the old daze of BigMig whose MTB spaced rear wheel made it so he needed a bike change in the event of a rear wheel issue. Strategies will change when the team leader has to swap bikes in the event of a flat tire instead of getting just a wheel. They'll be really sure another team rider (like Prudencio Indurain)rides a bike set up to the same spec as the star. Some would call this progress but....?