I bought the frame in paris and mounted it with campy chorus11 and shamal wheels. the bike rides like a dream, it feels very strong and stiff enough without being harsh, it has a precise handling which is unique. The bike jumps well in climbs and has a flex which is very present. This update will be completed soon. I love the bike.
After crashing my lovely C40 i had to have a new Colnago. Full carbon was out of the question because of price and crash resistance. I decide to buy the Master carbon, a very nice "oldschool" bike with a touch of modern technology. The master geometry makes the bike very stiff and qick to react. I thougth the C40 was perfect, but this one is even better. It handels very very nice and the bikes becomes one with the rider (o;
The bikes total weigth is only 8,2 kg (just as much as my C40) and the paint job is very nice, just as all the other "colnago details".
If you want an "oldschool" bike that handels great you need to try this one!!
Strengths: Colnago geometry - stable, predictable ride yet its still road-racing oriented
Steel & carbon combining to make for a comfortable & efficient ride
Columbus tubing created for the Master - the latest version of the classic diamond-shaped Colnago tubeset. I don't know how much it really adds to the ride, but it sure looks cool!
- Pro7 paintjob looks great - single candy apple red, with just a hint of white fade at the lugs and rear junction (not as guady to me as some of the other multi-color Colnago paint schemes). Paint durability is another matter (see Weaknesses). I'm still a sucker for chrome lugs.
- Carbon B-Stay and non-HP stays are high-quality construction
Weaknesses: - Paint durability isn't good - small chips underneath the seat collar & under the BB already (owned less than 3 months). Have your touch-up paint handy.
- Seat collar broke on first day. Replaced immediately with a Campagnolo collar, no problems since then
- Mixture of traditional lugs, carbon stays and TIG-weld (at seat cluster) may be jarring visually to some - when fully built-up with all components, however, has a nice look
The much maligned Colnago Master Carbon (and its current version, the Master B Stay) - it's been called an abomination and issue 4 of the gorgeous Rouleur magazine has said of it "...some would say was ill-conceived. This frame satisfied no one with its attempt at fusing new with old." and hopes for the day of the return of the all steel Master with a steel Precisa fork. Ouch!
I have a five-year old all-steel Master with steel fork, and its ride is the benchmark for all of my road bikes. Due to the unpopularity of the Master Carbon, I was able to get a great deal on an 05 model with the red, Pro7 paintjob, all carbon rear and carbon Street fork (with a nivachrome steering column) for $1400 frame & fork. I was intrigued by the comments of the other reviews here, that said that this frame needs to be ridden in order to appreciate it.
Sure enough, the frame rides better than it looks :) Compared to my older all steel Master, the bike responds better in sprints and jumps, especially on hills. The carbon rear and fork blades also shaves off a bit of weight.
It has the same, proven Colnago geometry that virtually all other stock Colnago road frames have. To me, the stand-out feature of a stock Colnago is the slack head angle. In my frame's case, it yields a very long (for a road racing frame) 6.89cm trail, which makes the Colnago very stable at higher speeds on the road. This makes the handling predictable and is especially nice towards the end of a multi-hour ride when fatigue sets in.
While an all-steel set-up has a pleasant flex to it that makes the ride very comfortable, the carbon on this frame deadens road shock in a different way. So there's a small but noticeable difference in the ride between the all steel Master X-Light and the Master Carbon. From a pure performance standpoint (i.e. efficiency during sprints or attacks) I'd give the Master Carbon the edge, but just by a little bit. The Master X-Light is still a great, overall frame. And for the traditionalist in me, the Master X-Light is prettier.
The only disappointments is that the paint chips easily and the seat collar is poor quality. Touch-up paint needs to be used for the former and the latter is easily replaced with a better quality clamp.
Great value if you can get the frame & fork on sale. One point off on the overall rating due to paint & seat clamp issues.
Strengths: Build quality, fork, weight, paint scheme, stiffness of ride, road handling and comfortable ride. This bike is a real road racer.
Weaknesses: Haven't found on eyet but will update if required
This Colnago replaced my Colnago Profile (Columbus SL) that I purchased in 1987. I stayed with steel due to my size (over 220 lbs) and the I am very familiar with Colnago Steel framed bikes. I was amazed at how light weight the bike is and complete weighed less tham 17.5 lbs. The steering is a snap, quick and responsive, and climbs well with the proper amount of stiffness. The read carbon stays are nice and firm and provide for a smooth ride in conjuction with the fork. This frame is a pleasure to ride and does not induce fatigue. The paint is excellent, much better than the 80's paint job, and the Ferrari red scheme is quite brilliant. The chrome braze-on lugs add a nice classic touch you don't see in modern bikes.
Strengths: Solid, stable feel. Super strong, beautiful, Excellent all day bike. This is a better bike than anything else I have tried. The star fork is awesome. Really. Its pretty light. Mine is 18 pounds as built.
Weaknesses: The colnago logos are now decals. They used to be painted on. Mine have air bubbles in them. Others at the shop did not,perhaps a glitch on mine. Not bad enough to send back though. Getting the size and color you want can take a while.Be patient. not as many color choices as on the old masetrs.
This is my second Colnago replacing my 1999 ct1 which I loved. I always wanted a master and was slightly disappointed to see it repalced by the master carbon until I rode it. It has more snap to it through the rear stays. It climbs better than the all steel rear masters and also is a bit lighter. Shock absorbtion is on par with the ct1 but it has that great, solid feel that the masters are famous for. The quality is excellent, it still has the old school charm with the chrome head lugs which are reason enough to choose it over other bikes but it rides better than any other bike I have ever had or tried. In the mountains is where it really shines. It has a very snappy feel when attacking on steep grades and is very stable as most colnagos are when the sppeds creep over 50 mph. I also LOVE the star fork. It is the first one I have tried and it is much nicer than the flash which was on my ct1. I love this bike and highly reccomend it. Embrace the carbon rear. It is a great design and very strong. Because of colnagos durability I rate a 5 in value because durability offsets a high price in my eyes. I will post a follow up review as the miles increase.