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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow Colnago fans! Let me just start out by saying that I know I am blessed to be having this "dilemma", and needing advice on this. With that said, I have been riding a 2004 C50 (in NL4) for about 5 months. I got it used, and put some older parts on it for a demo period to make sure that the frame was what I was looking for before building it up into my dream bike with new parts at some point in the future. In short, I really like the
C50. I would describe the ride as stable, refined, and comfortable - very confidence inspiring. Its looks are tough to beat as well.

I am having second thoughts now, however, about making it my dream bike. This all came about when I was recently given the chance to try out a Casati Mistral with Campy Record and Shamal Ultra wheels for some extended rides. The Casati is a much different bike. It is a compact geo frame and is less than 900 grams (vs 1320g for my C50). The Casati complete bike is about 3 pounds lighter than my C50 as they are currently built. With identical parts, they would be a little over 1 pound apart (I do understand that different wheels and parts make a difference in the way a bike feels, but I think I can attribute most of the ride differences to the different frames – sizing is also pretty much identical).

The ride of the Casati is rather different. It is extremely stiff and light feeling. Medium to large impacts chatter my teeth, but I seem to prefer this feel on all but the really rough stuff. The C50 isolates me more from the road buzz, which I feel takes away some from the experience of riding. The Casati also has more of that really quick and darty go-kart feel, which my C50 does not really have. On my C50, I can easily hammer a curve on a mountain descent at 35mph, but I never feel like I am going all that fast because the thing is so darn smooth and stable. Again, I personally feel like this ultra-stability and smoothness of the C50 almost takes away from the excitement of cycling, even though it may inspire a tad more confidence and comfort. Hammering the curves on the Casati just feels incredible – I actually feel like I am going 35 mph when I corner at 35mph. To sum it up – the C50 feels like a high end automatic luxury sedan with a jazzed up engine, and the Casati feels like a manual transmission Ferrari. I appreciate both tremendously, but I just have more fun on the Casati.

Now to my question: Before I commit to a dream frame (leaning now to the Casati), do any of you have any insight into the ride differences between the C50 vs the Extreme C or Extreme Power? I would probably go with the EC (if I stay with Colnago), due to my 150lbs and enjoyment of light frames and climbing. Knowing what characteristics I prefer (above), will the Extreme C or Extreme Power have significantly more of that quick, stiff, light feel than the C50 does, or would the differences be more subtle than the differences between my C50 and the Casati?

Any help or insight would be appreciated!
 

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While I don't have a C50, Extreme C, or Extreme Power to compare, I would think the handling characteristics of all three would be pretty much the same since their geometry is the same. The handling characteristics between my Cristallo and Artes are exactly the same. I also own a Bianchi FG Lite with a substitute fork with an increased rake for faster handling, and I feel the opposite of you. On quick descents and in crit races, I prefer the handling of the Colnagos. However, the FG Lite is a little lighter than the Colnagos, so I prefer the FG Lite for climbing. The FG Lite feels snappier and quicker, but the Colnagos feel really stable at speed.

By the way, a 35 mph descent is almost normal for me on every ride. In fact, I would say I hit over 40 mph on almost every ride. The highest I have been recently is 48 mph, with 60+ reached two decades ago on a steel frame. Personally, I would prefer the C50 as my everyday bike because comfort is the key to riding longer. With that said, I am planning on getting one this winter.

After seeing a fellow rider on a Cassati this past fall, I looked at them and they do indeed look really nice. Too many bikes, not enough time or money. LOL
 

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KennyG said:
To sum it up – the C50 feels like a high end automatic luxury sedan with a jazzed up engine, and the Casati feels like a manual transmission Ferrari.
Hmm,

So then why does Colnago sell the Ferrari 60th Anniversary bike? Your math "sum" is a bit off!

And a manual vs automatic transmission comparison is an operator issue - not a manufacturer...
 

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I think he was just trying to make a comparison between how the frames ride compared to how cars drive.

The 60th Anniversary Ferrari Colnago is built on an Extreme Power frame and not the C50, not that it has anything to do with the comparison.
 

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A very nice dilemma to have, indeed. One thing that might be hindering your perceptions is wheels/tires. They make such a very big difference that if it's possible, you should try to do your test rides on the same wheels, tires. My Soloist came with Vittoria Diamonte Ultra-lights- they are the most fun you can possibly have with rubber (if not latex). They were like riding on inner tubes, and a bit more delicate. They'd go flat when in the general vicinity of anything sharp, and I finally destroyed one with a small piece of glass that left a tiny hole in the tube, but blew (and I mean with a bang) a nearly one inch gash in the tire and separated its plies. I put on the nearly bulletproof Aradillo Elites from my other bike and the Soloist had a different personality- still fast, but without the snap or road feel. While I like long rides without flats, which the Armadillos certainly provide, I switched to Continental GP4000s, which seem to be a Goldilocks happy medium.
 

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That explains my double blow out on Vittoria Diamantes in Florida at my in-laws when I hit some cement spilt in the roadway by a cement truck. I haven't ridden clinchers on my road bikes in 20 years, and had no idea that the Diamantes were fragile tires. Since I rarely ride that bike though, I'm going to stick with them.
 

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Colnago, Casati they both rock Ive always loved the Laser the lines pure art, internal cable routing low key look traditonal looks and steel frame, but then my dreamplus was always a dream, Ive not ridden either of the bike's your'e talking about! but ride whats ya passion sounds like you do like the ride characteristics of the Mistrail though! Always good to try similar specced wheels though, they do make a big difference imo.!

Enjoy, good delima!
 

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The C50 - Extreme C & Extreme Power are 3 very different rides - all Colnago but different! The C & P are very stiff - super frames if you are an agressive rider who likes to attack, the C50 is the best all-round frame ever build. I have all 3.....and they are all Colnago's!
 

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Now I am jealous.

The one thing I will have to disagree with is that the Extreme C cannot be as stiff as the Extreme Power. The Extreme Power was made to be the stiffest frame offered by Colnago, so unless he screwed up, it has to be stiffer than the Extreme C. Now, a small guy like me at 150 lbs probably cannot get an Extreme C, much less an Extreme Power, to flex. However, a 6' plus, 230 pound bruiser might find a difference between the stiffness of the two frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cyclingisalive said:
The C50 - Extreme C & Extreme Power are 3 very different rides - all Colnago but different! The C & P are very stiff - super frames if you are an agressive rider who likes to attack, the C50 is the best all-round frame ever build. I have all 3.....and they are all Colnago's!
Does the EC have a stiffer feel on the road (more road buzz) than the C50? Does it handle any quicker, or is it super stable like the C50? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
AnkleChop said:
Hmm,

So then why does Colnago sell the Ferrari 60th Anniversary bike? Your math "sum" is a bit off!

And a manual vs automatic transmission comparison is an operator issue - not a manufacturer...
My Ferrari comment had nothing to do with either bike companies' real-life affiliation with Ferrari. I am aware that Colnago has some sort of affiliation w/Ferrari. I was making an analogy regarding the handling differences of the two bikes. The C50 is stable and comfortable - like a luxury sedan is built to be. The Casati is fast, quick, and responsive with less emphasis on comfort - like a Ferrari would be (not like I have driven one...).

My comments on the transmission were part of the analogy. An auto transmission does the work for you. My C50 has the feel of a bike that just about steers itself - very little attention is needed. I could ride without hands except for my need to shift and brake. The Casati is more like a manual transmission - it requires more energy and attention to operate, but is more fun (arguably).

Hope this clarifies.
 
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