Faster after 50!
Reflections of a middle aged rider on testing out
Colnago’s latest flagship model, the C64
I was lucky enough to get my bum on a Colnago C64 demonstration bike a few weeks back. I took it for a good mix of medium rides covering nearly 200 miles. I’m no stranger to the Colnago brand, having bought my dream C59 in 2014, just as the C60 was being launched. I’m not going to go into all the technical highlights and innovations that are built into the C64; they have already been covered in plenty of detail elsewhere by the cycling press. This is about my impressions of what it’s like to ride a bike that is a progression of the legendary C series with over 6 years of ongoing innovation and progression when compared to my C59. Would I, or any other rider of my ability and age, (I’m now just the wrong side of 50), really notice and appreciate any difference in the ride when compared to the C59?
My first impression of the C64 is that this is a fast bike that very efficiently converts power to speed. Riding with my regular ride buddy I was easily out accelerating him on the flat and on climbs, something that doesn’t usually happen, he is nearly half my age! Once up to speed, the C64 holds it well and I found it easy enough to cruise around one mile an hour faster than on my C59 over some good distances. The frame being shod with Campagnolo’s Bora Ultra 50 deep section wheels no doubt helps this. (My C59 has Shamal Ultras).
The biggest surprise for me was the C64’s climbing ability; every effort seems to be transmitted to the back wheel through a very efficient frame. You might think that this would translate into a harsh ride over longer distances but no, I was doing 60 – 65 mile rides around some of Surrey’s toughest and roughest hilly loops and I could easily have stayed out for more. OK, ride quality felt slightly harsher than the C59, but then I’ve been used to riding on tubeless tyres at lower pressures. On the smooth tarmac of Box Hill the C64 was sublime. Something that seems to be built in to the DNA of all Colnagos is superb handling and the C64 doesn’t disappoint. Throwing the C64 into some of Surrey’s finest winding descents was pure joy and something that I never tire of doing on the C59, it’s just somewhat quicker on the C64!
In conclusion the C64 is a stunning bike to look at and addictive to ride; it invites you to try that bit harder and push yourself again and again and rewards you in plenty. I’m not a Strava nut, but when I uploaded my rides on the C64 I was completely blown away by the number of PRs that I achieved on both the flat and, more surprisingly to me, the hills!
Needless to say, I was pretty sad to see the C64 return back to its rightful home but hey, the C59 still fits like a glove……..for now ;-)