In a time when almost all top brands manufacture their frames in Taiwan, Colnago delivers the C59 Italia, a true high performance road frame 100% made in Italy. Who says craftsmanship is dead? Each Colnago C59 is hand built, and hand painted in Cambiago Italy one small batch at a time. Over 55 years of refinement have gone into Ernesto Colnago's bicycles, stunningly beautiful, perfectly balanced, ready to charge into the apex, and impeccably stable at high speed. Two versions are available: The Electronico for shifting systems such as Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS, and the standard C59 Italia for mechanical shifting systems. Features of both frames are changed subtly to ensure that the ride quality, performance and reliability are identical, whether you choose electric or mechanical shifting. The C59 Italia represents the culmination of decades of experience and knowledge in producing carbon fibre racing frames. Ernesto Colnago's carbon fiber engineering knowledge and experience is applied to every C59 Italia, ensuring you are rewarded with a ride that is beyond compare.
Strengths: beautiful to look at, comfy to ride, top of the wrold
Weaknesses: is it stiff enough? cost a few pretty pennies
I had a Colango President and it was amazing. super smooth, like riding 1/8 inch off the ground, gorgeous carbon works. Then I picked up a Scott Addict. Great bike, stiff and easy on the wallet but goes up hills beautifully.
Then I picked up a Colnago C59. I really want to love it, the c59 but I think the Scott Addict is stiffer and more fun on the hills. Both (Scott Addict n C59) have Shimano Di2 and Dura Ace C24 wheels so the comparison is very close; frame only. I still go to the Scott if I have to ride with people who are WAY better fit than me.
All that changed when I got a set of Lightweight wheels standard 3. The wheels transformed the 2 bikes into something amazing! The Scott gained 2 gears going up hills but downhill is now quite twitchy; already was with D/A C24 wheels.
But the LW wheels gave the colnago a whole other dimension. I love the Scott with the LW wheels but now the C59 reaches a level of sophistication the Scott can NOT hope to achieve.
The C59 with the C24 wheels was like a cruiser bike. Steering was sure footed but definitely on the slow side. With the LW wheels, the bike steering came alive! The stiffness can finally be appreciated on the C59. Downhill was just fantastic! Solid, like a true Italian sports car; I have driven quite a few of them.
So, that's my experience with my Colnago C59. I had to slap on the "best" wheels (certainly very expensive, for me) to really see and feel the beauty of C59 in all its glory.
I guess that is the proper thing to do if you get a Colnago C59; get the best components to go with it.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2012
Strengths: Highly response and efficient frame that blends stiffness and comfort.
Weaknesses: Everyone keeps mentioning price, but if you accept that the C59 is easily one of the top 10 frames in the world, or top 20 if you want to argue, then the price point comparison doesn't make this an outlier.
Moved to the C59 from a C50 so the comparison points are very subtle. Lost a little more than one pound on weight with only a handlebar change differet. (18lb 1oz with a K-wing) to 16lb 14 oz with a nearly similar FSA bar.
The C59 is clearly more stiff, the first ride was a little disconcerting as this translates into the feeling of "twitchy" steering that isn't really the case as it is the result of each pedal stroke taking you forward. When at speed the two bikes excel in stability and handling comfort. The C50 takes the bumps a bit better, but not by much - regretfully I've not gotten many big down hills in yet to report on how the new fork, integrated headset, and tapered steerer effect the ride. But laying down 80 miles last week, and hitting peak season pace on a 50 milers yesterday leave me assured that the C59 in a subtaintial improvement on the C50 - quite a feat given the C50 quality and design.
Performance bike that will meet the needs of the competitive cyclist regardlesss
Strengths: Very stiff. Looks incredibly fast. Goes hard in race conditions. Climbs very well, both in and out of the saddle. Best bike on the road. Made somewhere other than china. Has a presence. This bike screams panache.
Weaknesses: Well, its a little expensive and it is difficult to ride in the rain (seems disrespectful). Super responsive steering takes a little getting used to.
I have been riding for a while, and started dreaming of a top end bike with all the bells and whistles. My previous rig (now the rain bike) is a nice 2005 era Trek 5.9sl. I now ride that bike when its wet. The difference between the C59 and the trek is very noticeable. Its lighter, its stiffer, it climbs better, it descends better. And we need to remember that in 2004 the 5.9sl was what lance rode in the Alpe d'huez TT.
It is worthwhile admitting that running Bora Ultra 2's also makes a difference.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: November 20, 2011
Strengths: Handling - absolutely precise and sure footed.
Stiffness - no loss of power and still comfortable.
Looks - great, combines traditional form and nearer prismatic tube shapes with modern design. Handling makes all of my previous bikes look sloppy. Not an inexpensive frame but good value compared to other high end bikes.
Weaknesses: None that I can think of other than inducing a green tinge in a few of my riding mates.
I dreamt of one of these frames and finally got the opportunity to buy it.
I built it up with Durace as this is what all of the other bikes in the family have.
First ride felt awesome. The bike is so unbelievable stiff when pedalling yet is still comfortable. I had some initial issues adjusting the bars to get comfortable but then was away. My favourite ride is up Mt Glorious in Brisbane - a 25 mile roller coaster uphill and 25 mile return on a windy road with relatively poor surface, one that most definitely does not suit my 200 lb frame. The C59 made it feel easier, and now the newness has rubbed off, it is still fantastic. More importantly, the C59 is very sure footed on descents, increasing my confidence in my ability to push harder through corners. It is not unsettled by rough surfaces or mid corner bumps.
Rough surfaces are dismissed with good absorption of bumps and the general road buzz, (for a carbon frame. It is not the same as steel).
My bike is red and white. I feel sorry for those who choose the other colors as we all know that nothing is as fast as red. It is a great two tone red with a very bright and sparkling main color and blood red accents at the bottom of the forks and frame. It is stunning. This bike lives up to its color.
I ride with Campy's Shamal wheels for most everyday riding and these are well matched to the bike with the it providing a great ride. Deeper wheels work well but I need them to be strong as the stiffness in the frame tests out the strength and stiffness ofthe wheels.
Now I need to train harder to be able to live up to my bike and respect the exploits of some of the C59's more famous riders.
Strengths: Does exactly what it is intended to do - help you go as fast as you are capable of with confidence.
Weaknesses: Very expensive but you get exactly what you pay for - a superbly crafted and magnificent bike frame.
I built this up just over four weeks ago. This frame means business. It wants, in fact demands, to be pushed to the limit. No flex in the bottom bracket means everything you put into it makes for more speed. The head tube is huge and has almost no lateral flex - even on my sloping 58 frame (the largest) - important to me given the terror of speed wobbles decending on my Cervelo Team Soloist with its whippy front end. This bike tracks like a dream. With pedals weighs a surreal 14.2 lbs. Am doing familiar climbs faster and in higher gears - the wheelset helps but so does the sheer strength of this frame. Provides a stiffer, less forgiving ride than my plush Look 585 but is more forgiving than the Alu Cervelo. Took me a while to start pushing the speed on tight corners as I am new to tubulars and the thought that the tires are glued on held me back. But feel more and more the thrill of leaning this bike into a corner at speed with confidence. There is something sublime about this bike - I find myself breaking into a smile every time I'm on it. And I love the blue and white paint scheme - have received a number of spontaneous admiring comments. Will do my first road race on it next spring. Two problems with this bike: I have one less excuse and my other machines make me feel slow.
Similar Products Used: Olmo Equipe, Cervelo Team Soloist, Look 585
Bike Setup: Campy Super Record 11 speed, Lightweight Ventoux wheel set with Schwalbe tubular tires, 3-T Doric Ltd. seat post, Selle Italia SLR saddle, 3-T ARX team alu stem, 3-T Rotundo Ltd carbon bar, Look Keo Blade ti pedals