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Master Road Framset-2015

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When you throw a leg over the top tube of Colnago's Master Road Frameset, you're stepping over the divide between eras. The Master was first manufactured in the 1980s, and its construction hasn't changed much since — even the assembly jigs used are the same. In an industry where marketing hype can often border on hyperbole and each new great leap forward in innovative technology seems to be surpassed yet again in the next model year, the Master's ride is still as plush, still as springy, and still as steel as it was some 30 years ago. While other frames have been riding a self-congratulatory wave of perpetual "innovation," the Master has just been riding. Its timeless design means it will continue to do so for the next 30 years.

The Master's lifeblood is its clover-shaped DT15V steel alloy tubing, which differs from the original Master's Colombus tubing in name only. When Columbus moved its factory from Italy, Colnago poached the engineer responsible for drawing these tubes, so they're virtually the same material and design with different branding. The signature cross section finds expression throughout Colnago's line, but the Master's long, slender tubes lend the shape a certain romance that makes the latest carbon techno-bobbles look like over-priced toys. The clover shape isn't just for looks, though. It actually reduces twisting under load for less lateral flex without sacrificing vertical compliance. The lugs also help by reinforcing critical joints for power transfer, but we love them primarily for their aesthetic value.

The use of steel in cycling fell out of vogue because of our collective obsession with weight. Make no mistake, the Master is a little heavy — at least compared to bikes like Colnago's new monocoque frame, the V1-R. We normally shy away from tepid modifiers like "a little," but when we say the Master is a little heavy, we really mean only a little. It's easy to build it up within one or two pounds of almost any of the lightweight wonder frames coming out of molds in Taiwan, and it gives you the added confidence of a solid frameset that almost pilots itself through sweeping corners. Side effects may include faster, less jittery descents and reduced road noise.

Another benefit steel has over its lightweight usurpers is its repair-ability. The Master's tubes, fork, and dropouts can be straightened, re-welded, and repaired to bring it back from virtually any mishap. This isn't an anonymous frame designed to be warrantied after a crit tumble; it's designed to be your cycling companion for life. We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention the inimitable ride quality of steel. It has a responsiveness and lively feel that materials like carbon and aluminum tend to lack — though, to be fair, certain frames do a respectable job of approximating this feel. (Colnago's own C60 comes to mind.) Ride quality is admittedly a subjective assessment; however, there's a reason why steel enjoys such popularity around the Competitive office for tackling everything from a century cruise to a hilly race parcours, and we're sure your local scene harbors similar pockets of devotion.

The Master's geometry remains true to the original, which revolutionized the way frames were shaped from the fork to the seat tube angle by ushering in the era of tighter wheelbases and more aggressive riding positions. Today, it sits between the versatile V1-R and the aggressive, low stack height of the C60 — an ideal geometry for all applications. The fork is Colnago's timeless Precisa, one of the first forks to straighten the blades and tighten up the sweeping rake of mid-century designs. It was designed over six years in cooperation with the pro peloton in order to maintain the comfort of high-rake forks while improving responsiveness. The bottom bracket, as you might imagine, is everything the purist in us wanted it to be: Italian and threaded.

Please note that the Master Frameset does not include a seatpost.


  • Clover-shaped DT15V steel tubing
  • Original geometry
  • Precisa straight-blade steel fork
  • Threaded Italian bottom bracket
  • Headset included
  • Item #CLG000K
Frame Material
DT15V steel
Colnago Forcella Precisa
Fork Material
DT15V steel
Head Tube Diameter
Headset Included
Bottom Bracket Type
70 mm Italian threaded
Cable Routing
Front Derailleur Mount
Seatpost Diameter
27.2 mm
Recommended Use
road endurance
Manufacturer Warranty
2 years