With the 2006 release of the Cristallo, Colnago modifies some central design attributes of the E1. First and foremost is its weight. The Cristallo breaks the 1100g weight barrier, putting it on equal terms with the C50. Second is the redesigned seat tube. Note the presence of a fin-like tube profile at the rearward edge of the top of the seat tube, giving the frame added flex-resistance. Third, and perhaps most dramatic, is the completely revamped rear triangle of the Cristallo.
Strengths: Compared to my other bikes this is like going from a Ford to a Ferrari. My other bikes are good but not this good, I cant ride my other bikes now without feeling downbeat. The stiffness of the frame doesn’t mean an uncomfortable ride as though it is very rigid, it tends to absorb road shock, it gives great feedback and confidence in all weathers up the climbs and tucked in along the straights. The geometry provides a quick response with even distribution. The Record Groupset is phenomenal, I used to have another top of the range make but the precision and quality of the Campi build equals the beautifully crafted frame; click and the gear is there just when you want it.
I thought the wheels were going to be heavy, they look it, but the quality of the hubs and wheel build is great and when I get them on the road they were solid and smooth.
Weaknesses: Cant find one and I've been using this bike in all weathers, flats, sprints and climbs.
When I bought this bike in the back of my mind I was determined to find a fault after hearing all the hype and was certainly wary of buying on-line. Though price was important to me I looked around for the best overall deal and got the best deal and best price from Maestro-UK. For the first time I bought bike and didn’t hear just what I wanted to hear I got sound advise and was told where I was going wrong all these years with my set-up from an experienced Mike (The Don) Perry who, believe me, is some character (he has two sons who are retired pro’s and a younger son Marc who is doing his stuff as a pro in Belgium). Remember, this guy doesn’t fare fools and will tell you straight. He has the balls to say he doesn’t want to sell to you if he thinks the bike don’t fit but give him a go coz damn he knows his stuff and you may learn something.
I sent The Don my measurements etc and he put everything together. I had to wait for the frame but knowing that these are not mass-produced frames from some production line in the Far East so I was willing to wait for what I wanted (the paint work is fantastic, take a close look, it’s molto bellisima, I've never seen anything like it).
I would certainly buy mail order from Maestro again. I cant wait to get this bike to Italy this year for my annual Personal (and somewhat shorter) Giro d’Italia.