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Sneak Peek at 2008 Colnago

Page from the 2008 Colnago catalogWake up wake up! 2008 is here! Proof of it comes in the fact that we’re now in possession of the ’08 Colnago catalog (available here for your viewing & downloading pleasure (PDF 5.8MB)). Thank goodness they didn’t send it to the printer before ex-Rabobanker Michael Rasmussen got booted from the Tour -- all those trees would’ve died in vain. We’ll present exhaustive detail on the changes for ’08 (or ‘Extreme Detail’, as Colnago might phrase it…) including ’08 Colnago pricing in the upcoming weeks, but here is a quick list of the highlights:

  • The core Colnago line is basically pared back to 3 pro-quality models: Extreme Power, Extreme C, and C50. These models get new paint schemes for 2008, all get a new monocoque carbon fork called the C75, and pricing remains relatively static despite the ever-dropping value of the US dollar. At most, prices increase 3-5%, justifiable alone by the new, lighter fork. So, in short, little in the way of change at the high end.
  • Page from the 2008 Colnago catalogThe Taiwanese-made carbon CLX stays in the line for ’08, and interestingly it drops in price by over 10%. It’ll come in at ~$2300, well below the $2600-$2800 range we see for the best selling pro-level framesets in the marketplace, i.e. Cervélo R3, Scott CR1, Orbea Orca, Cannondale SystemSix, et al. This is either a play by Colnago to earn market share based on price (a time-honored tactic), or a Specialized-like strategy to introduce a bike at an economical price, then jack it up by 12-15% in mid-2nd quarter of the year to capture profits after you’ve roped dealers into a yearlong emotional commitment to the model. Either way, our sense is that 2008 is the make-or-break year for the CLX. It’s a beautiful riding, beautiful looking machine. But sometimes we wonder if Colnago should take a chapter out of Ferrari’s book: Rather than making a sub-6-figure Ferrari, instead they acquired Maserati to deal with the po’ folks. Maybe Colnago would be wise to establish/buy a 2nd brand for folks keen to spend less than $4,200 on a frameset -- it’s not as though Italy is lacking in well-recognized but doubtlessly-easily-acquired names. Coppi, Moser, Carrera, Rossin, Olmo, Battaglin, and just three more and you’ve got yourself an Italian Supreme Court…
  • Speaking of Ferrari, for 2008 Colnago is issuing a new-generation Colnago/Ferrari commemorative bike. Unlike the last handful of Colnago commemorative bikes built on the President frameset, this model offers the benefit of being built on the Extreme Power frameset with rich red Ferrari paint and loads of red detail work throughout the Campagnolo/FSA parts package. (Believe it or not, Colnago forsakes their traditional Cinelli RAM for an FSA Plasma integrated bar/stem). It’s a stunner for sure. It will be available in two versions: One with Fulcrum Zero wheels for ~$11,500. And then the Limited Edition model (only 60 will be produced -- as in the 60th anniversary of Ferrari) will come with a painted-to-match set of Lightweight wheels at ~$14,500.
  • One other detail of note: Starting in ’08, the palette of available stock colors for Colnago bicycles is scaled back immensely. The Extreme Power and C50 will be available in 3 stock colors only. Other colors are indeed available, but at substantial added cost & leadtimes. And the Extreme C will be available in one color only.