Strengths: My Colnago Master Extra Light has been with me for the past 11 years. It is incredibly fast and stable on down hill runs where the road surface is rough and uneven. This is a bike you can climb, sprint and race with confidence. My favourite ride is cruising along quiet country roads where I live, enjoying the smooth effortless and comfortable ride of this true classic.
Weaknesses: Haven't discovered any weaknesses with this bike, only the rider could be a little fitter.
I purchased this bike complete with Campagnolo Daytona running gear and brakes. The wheels are Campagnolo Electron on soft Mitchelin tyres. I love the look of the blue, yellow and chrome frame and the way this bike makes you feel when you are out on a ride. Fast, fluid and absolutely a joy to ride anywhere, any time. I have been considering purchasing a new Colnago carbon frame for racing, but I would never sell my trusty steel Master Extra Lite.
stiff and quick enough
fit in 1cm intervals
Weaknesses: none in my book, OK I have not ridden carbon C50, C59 and other brands etc for comparison and maybe when i'm faster and lighter that might be tempting
Purchased frame and components from Mike Perry (great and straight to deal with). Built up myself including record/nemesis wheel set - bomb proof for 6'1" and my then ~210 lbs. ~17.4 lbs, ~16.6 lbs with lighter wheelset. Read great reviews and chat with LBS convinced the master XL was for me. First ride 2 years ago I was expecting fantastic a thrill and big improvement on my previous ride (1996 Super record 8s). But those first few rides I felt nothing, something on the entirely neutral experience. But thats the pure magic of this frameset, two years and circa 12,000km the ride feel is still often neutral, that is it it feels like i'm riding on air, nothing vibrating through the frame, no bumps or shakes, nothing sore or numb just a graceful gliding speed. The bike handles fantastic including at speed on technical descents it just goes where i point. On all club rides whether with the fast boys or slow heavies this bike downhill outpaces all (and now i'm sub 180 lbs). In acceleration the bike is quick enough, offering ready speed on demand and more again when pushed - not so much of a bullet start like the race carbons, but more of an arrow from a bow - the bike just feels like it wants to be ridden faster and faster. This bike is ridden for training, club rides, gran fondos, old school TT's and a few club races. it does it all.
Similar Products Used: colnago 1996 super
carlton pro-am 12
Bike Setup: master xl in ST02 58cm. Campy super record 11 g/s, 3T bars and stem, prologo scratch nack saddle, record/nemesis wheels with conti 4000 tubs
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2011
Strengths: Rides better than any bike I have owned.
Just got a 2007 Master LX 10 with precisa fork and put about 100 miles on it. It's exactly what I had hoped. Rides beautifully, stiff, responsive, and comfortable. I feel like it wants to jump forward and it's me that slows the bike down. I don't notice the weight at all. I have a 15lb carbon road bike and a heavy surly cross bike so I have reference points. It is truly a joy to ride.
Strengths: Material, workmanship, quality, speed, handling, power transfer.
Weaknesses: Logo is too big - makes weenies want to chase you.
Granted, I don't have much to compare with, because prior to this purchase I've ridden the same road bike for 30 years. Granted, I've only ridden it about 100 miles so far. Granted, I had no other choice but to buy this frame, because I'm 6'5" and I wanted steel, and I simply could find no other quality steel framebuilder who still makes a stock 65cm frame. Given all that, this frame is a dream. It handles all kinds of road conditions like there's nothing under you - chip&seal, washboarded curves, dirt, blobby asphalt - just keeps the line and absorbs it like it's air. It moves before you think about it, which I'm still getting used to. I came down my favorite canyon the first time, 3000' descent, faster than I've ever done it in 20 years. Sure, it's brand new, but there was no queezy harmonic like I had with my other bike; at 40+ mph it was as stable as it was climbing at 10 mph. In fast curves it doesn't dig in or pull up, it just sticks. The craftsmanship is astounding, it's beautiful to look at, it's a timeless frame in an industry that makes questionable choices. As for price, my other options were custom builders, and I could have saved $100-300 for some tig-welded thing that weighed more, from various "sensitive artist" types whose ideas for tall frames sounded just plain bizarre. As for material, I wonder how many of these aluminum or carbon frames will be around 30 years from now, being hailed as "classic". This one will be. This is the bike for the rest of my life.
Similar Products Used: 1980 Raleigh Competition Reynolds 531 frame and stock Campy Gran Sport, multiple mountain bikes
Bike Setup: American air in tires, German rubber, Swiss rims, the rest Italian. Full Campy Record except for Super Record cranks and BB (wanted 180 cranks), Sella Italia Flite seat, Deda Elementi Newton stem, 3T Ergonova bars. 17.5 pounds for a 65cm bike.