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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I originally posted this in another thread, but since a couple of people thought it was good, I thought I would make a thread out of it. Maybe it would be useful to someone, as another forum member pointed out:





Coasting
* C50: A bit like driving a BMW 540... smooth on smooth roads, smooth on rough roads. Take the hands of the handle bar and start typing text messages, have a meal, a coffee...whatever. The C50 is solid comfort and stability.
* Extreme-C: Like driving a BMW 3-series coupé with wide tyres... Smooth on smooth roads, smooth on rough roads, but requires attention. I noticed that it just felt "better" to keep the hands on the handle bar.

Pushing it hard on a flat road
* C50: Still like driving a BMW 540, accelerates fast but please let me know a bit in advance if I have to swerve to avoid a pothole. This bike is really awesome going straight, hard and for long. Comfortable, efficient, stiff, but still forgiving enough. A damped sound of best possible quality. Once momentum is up, it encourages to continue past lactic acid and dry throat. Fatigue your fellow competitors to give up.
They might use their NOS on the specced out rice-rocket, but you will end up beating them in the end.
* Extreme-C: It is comfortable, and it is fast, but it is not made for pushing hard on flat roads. It manages it well, but lets you know that it is not what it was meant to do. It might have to do with the slightly more nervous personality of the Extreme-C.
I bet I go faster on the Extreme-C because the fit is better for me, but the C50 feels a notch better on the flat sections.

Climbing
* C50: The C50 is a bike that climbs best from the saddle. Getting out of the saddle just feels like wasting energy. Climbing from the saddle feels solid. You go up fast, but keeping a steady fast speed feels 100% more natural than dancing around out of the saddle.
* Extreme-C The Extreme-C is made for climbing, and it shows. When climbing, I get a speed of 1-2 km/h more, out of the Extreme-C, than the C50 and my heart isn't about to explode at the top of the hill. It doesn't matter if you're sitting down or standing up. Every pedal stroke is transmitted to the pavement. Before the Extreme-C, the only bike that had the same joy of climbing, was the 2007 Orbea Orca. (made for the mountain loving Bask separatists of the Euskatel team) I loved the Orca, and have been longing for the same kind of love. The Extreme-C got it. It just feels SO right.
The bike for made for climbing, and it shows.

Descending
* C50: Solid, secure, smooth, safe... I felt like the C50 was never going to let me down on the descents. Whether the speed is 30km/h or 70km/h, the bike never feels twitchy or out of control. The C50 just takes whatever you throw at it. The higher the speed, the better... Turns with a solid feel, brakes with a solid feel, it just never feels out of control.
* Extreme-C Make sure you stay focused. The Extreme-C is a light and nervous, perfect for climbing, nice for descending, but at speeds over 50km/h, it isn't really a pleasure to be on. A bit scary, good for the adrenaline rush, but not by any means as rock solid as the C50. It isn't twitchy, but the light feeling is really emphasized on the descents too. My neck and shoulders were stiff after having squeezed the handlebar to the bottom of the curvy descent. I am not yet 100% used to the bike, so I assume I will become more relaxed, but the C50 doesn't require any attention as such when going fast.
 

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very interesting review

Thanbks for a very interesting review.
Are you using the same wheels on both bikes when you're comparing them?
Are the two bikes of the same size (center-top)? I know one of them is traditional where as the other is slope.

I always wondered of bikes being too light, in particular descending.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
tmluk said:
Thanbks for a very interesting review.
Are you using the same wheels on both bikes when you're comparing them?
Are the two bikes of the same size (center-top)? I know one of them is traditional where as the other is slope.

I always wondered of bikes being too light, in particular descending.
The Extreme-C is a 52 sloping and the C50 a traditional 54. The virtual center-top height of a traditional frame on the Extreme-C would be 54cm as well. --> Practically the same size.

I did not use the same wheels. The Spinergys on the C50 are a bit lighter than the Protons on the Extreme-C. The tyres on the C50 are new Michelin Lithions, while the tyres on the Extreme-C are used Michelin ProRace 2:s.

When it comes to too light, I don't think the actual weight of the bike has anything to do with the stability of the bike. A heavy old bike can feel sketchy, despite its high weight.

I think the reason for the difference is that the C50 has an incredible stability and feeling of control when going downhill and fast.
The Extreme-C has been optimized for climbing, and it shows, but it is by no means unstable going downhill. It just feels more precise, hence requiring more attention.
 

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The 50 sloping is the equivalent of the 54 traditional. The 52 sloping has the same effective top tube as the 56 traditional. I ride the 50 sloping in a Cristallo and Arte, but will be looking for a 53 traditional C50 because that is my optimal size (i.e., the Arte and Cristallo come in nothing but sloping frames). All the Colnago's share the same geometry, so if you compare the handling of a 54 traditional C50 with that of a 54 traditional Extreme C, both with the same wheels, then the only thing that would be different is the layup/build of the frame.

Great reviews nonetheless. Me, I find barely any difference between my Cristallo and Arte and they are set up exactly the same (e.g., same components, same saddle, same wheels, and same bars/stems). Not that either of them are really uncomfortable, but I am hoping that the C50 will just be super smooth so that I can ride 3+ hours and not even feel it.
 

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Thanks for the comparison

You did a good job of describing the ride characteristics of the C-50. I have a 2005 C-50 with over 11K miles -- I refer to it as the "pillow". I have ridden many centuries and double centuries on this bike and it is always predictable and comfortable.

Are you running compact cranks on your bikes?

Also noticed you're running Campagnolo wheels and Michelin tires -- not an easy combination for changing flats. Have you discovered any secrets for making the tire/wheel combination work?

Thanks again and you have a couple of nice looking bikes
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gizmo said:
You did a good job of describing the ride characteristics of the C-50. I have a 2005 C-50 with over 11K miles -- I refer to it as the "pillow". I have ridden many centuries and double centuries on this bike and it is always predictable and comfortable.

Are you running compact cranks on your bikes?

Also noticed you're running Campagnolo wheels and Michelin tires -- not an easy combination for changing flats. Have you discovered any secrets for making the tire/wheel combination work?

Thanks again and you have a couple of nice looking bikes
Hi,

Both bikes do have compact cranks. The C-50 has a 34-50 combination, and the Extreme C has a 38-50 combination. Both bikes have a 12-25 in the back.

However, in order to afford the Extreme-C, the C-50 is getting sold. I must admit, that I won't actually miss it that much. The comfort and the predictability is great, but as long as my body can take a bit more of a beating, I guess I just feel like I have more fun on the Extreme-C.

The Campagnolo/Michelin combination is a first for me. The Extreme-C has the tyres that were put on by the previous owner. Time will show which tricks will have to be used to get them off and on again.
I once fought 4 hours in order to get a Michelin XCR Mud Tubeless tyre on my Mavic Crossland rims... now I am fearing the upcoming tyre-change on the Protons. :eek:

--

Fabsroman - you really got me thinking about the frame geometry and the impact of mere material choices for the "feel" in the bike. The Extreme-C isn't as stiff as the C-50, but weighs ~100g less... The Extreme-C has a titanium in the bottom bracket for extra stiffness... In any way, it just seems to me that whatever Colnago did to make the differences in the C-50 and the Extreme-C, they certainly managed to do it.
 

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Yep, it is kind of amazing how Colnago can change the feel of a frame just by changing up the tubeset and lugs and keeping the same geometry. I am dying to get a C50.
 
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