Colnago and Power Tap in the Pro Peloton. Plus notes on Pegoretti and Cervélo.
January 30, 2008
There’s much to love about Colnago: The blissful geometry of their flagship bikes, their race heritage, and their hard-headedness about technology (e.g. no integrated headsets; their love affair with lugged carbon; their delight in straight-bladed forks).
But what charms us also irritates us: They think that in 2008 the world still believes that Made in Italy > Made in Asia, which has 2 net negative effects on the brand: (1) The cost of their most sought-after models (all made in Italy) -- Extreme Power, C50, Extreme C -- continues to skyrocket as Italian labor costs climb and the Euro annihilates the USD. (2) While Colnago is willing to dip its corporate toes into Asian manufacturing with bikes like the CLX, in their apparent shame in its country of origin, they’ve been reluctant to promote these fine Asian-produced models.
We won’t make a sales pitch for the CLX here. Rather, we’ll limit our comments to stating that it has some technological earmarks hitherto uncommon for Colnago: Instead of lugged construction, it’s monocoque. Instead of a round seatpost, you get an aero one a la Cervélo. Instead of bi-conic or round tubing, you get flat, aerodynamic tubes. The CLX is the most modern-looking Colnago. It’s by far their most aero model. It barely weighs more than an Extreme-C. And since it’s made in Asia it costs thousands less than a C50. Why, then, WHY, we’ve pleaded with Colnago,WHY won’t you put a handful of Rabobank or Milram domestiques on the CLX to prove its race-worthiness?
Finally, Colnago has listened. Right out of the Cervélo playbook -- where CSC pros have long kicked ass and taken names on the $1100 aluminum Soloist Team -- we’re finally seeing photos of Colnago-sponsored pros on the CLX. We’ve seen Rabobankers in the Tour Down Under on CLX’s. The same is true for Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner. Sure, you won’t see Alessandro Petacchi on one. But, little by little, Colnago is embracing 21st century marketing tactics. Thank you!
One other quick Colnago-related note: FSA now makes their K-Force Lite seatpost in 28.0mm. So for those of you on C-50′s looking for a lighter, more adjustable (and less costly!) seatpost option, FSA now gives you a superb choice. The K-Force Lite has long been a top-selling post for us in traditional widths (27.2mm & 31.6mm). The 28.0mm width is a blessing for C-50 owners. FYI it’s 350mm in length, so it will work whether you have standard or sloping geometry.
Power Tap-spotting in the pro Peloton: Do you own a Power Tap? Do you do stage races or standalone time trials? Does it irritate you that you can’t use a disc and get power data? Then check out this spy photo from the Team Slipstream early-season training camp. It’s a Zipp Sub-9 Lenticular disc wheel with a Power Tap 2.4 wireless hub built in. Finally, finally, finally you can time trial with power data while using a disc wheel.
At this point pricing is an unknown. But given the cost of a Sub-9 ($1875), and the cost of a Power Tap 2.4 ($1500), we don’t expect it to be light on the wallet. In an ideal world we’ll see these by late March. Given our position as the largest Zipp dealer in the road marketplace and the hugest Power Tap dealer in the universe by a country mile, you’ll find them in stock at Competitive Cyclist before anyone else.
Adopt-a-Pegoretti: Most of the time the process of getting a custom Pegoretti is flawless and quite fun. But sometimes the process is imperfect, and that’s the story of this custom Pegoretti Love #3. The frame itself is structurally perfect. The geometry is spot-on. The problem was the paint. It’s not the quality of the paint, which is lovely. Rather, our customer wanted something staid, and left it up to Dario to listen to his muse. But somehow things got mixed up in translation, so instead of staid what we got from Dario was extravagant. It was an honest communication breakdown: We took the frame back from our customer, promised ourselves we’d work on our Italian, and our customer ended up getting a replacement frame painted to his original specifications. Crisis averted. We’d now like to find a home for the extravagant one.
It has a 55cm c-c seat tube. A 58cm top tube. A 16cm headtube. We don’t know the angles, but knowing Dario you can rest assured that it’s a stable and fast in every respect. It was never built up, and it comes with a new, uncut Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork. A custom Love #3 has a retail cost of $3,100. We’re willing to take it on the chin and move this along for $2,400. Please feel free to email or call us if you’re interested.
NEWS FLASH: This frame is SOLD. Thanks for everyone who got in touch.
An excellent review of the Cervélo SLC-SL: Last week we made mention of the rousesartisianales.com website. Another website we visit on a daily basis is belgiumkneewarmers.com. You need to bookmark it. Any site eager to do a Frank Vandebroucke retrospective (to do it in 2007, not 1999, that is), is GOLD in our book.
Anyway, they did a very fair review of the Cervélo SLC-SL here. The SLC-SL is one of our best selling bikes. Before pulling the trigger on one, it’s understandable why someone might want to track down independent information -- and that’s what BKW supplies. Enjoy this review, and do yourself a favor and check out BKW on a regular basis.