We knew that today was the day we’d be receiving our first Colnago 50th Anniversary bike. What we weren’t expecting, though, was the fact that it’d be arriving in an 18-wheeler. With one glance of the box the bike came in, you’d certainly understand that nothing short of BJ and the Bear’s big rig could handle the shipment. You could’ve all but packed a compact car in it. Unbelievable. Not only was the bike inside the box completely built, but it was shipped with both wheels and handlebars on. After cutting the painful check for $180 in freight (and that’s from Houston, not Italy), we went through the joyous process of unbuilding then rebuilding the most anticipated bike of 2004.
Our thoughts? We scrutinized it from every angle, and each new look provided proof that it was gorgeously, flawlessly constructed. Given Colnago’s history of, um, vibrant paint schemes, the understated aesthetics reinforced its vibe of pure class. The sculpted, oversized monocoque construction of the main triangle looked especially masculine in comparison to the graceful bi-conic tubes of the C50 HP. We trust that the lucky owner of this beauty will confirm what our first impression suggested — under hard efforts the sheer surface area of the tube junctures will lead to torsional and lateral stiffness unparalleled in any other Colnago.
Small details mean a lot, and a few items on the 50th are awfully intriguing. For starters, the front hub was something we’ve never seen before. We were expecting a high-quality carbon hub to match the rear one. But where the rear one was the cylindrical carbon jewel we’ve seen in the past, the front hub shell is comprised of several ridges and divots of carbon. While I’m skeptical of the performance enhancements this design might bring, it looks quite cool. The embroidered 50th saddle looks fantastic, and the tires had an air of mysteriousness to them. They were stealthy all-black Vittorias, but instead of all of the ‘Open Corsa CX’-type decals you normally see, these had nothing more than the green Vittoria logo and an unmistakably sticky feel to the rubber. These tires were definitely from the private reserve, and I want 20 of them for my own usage.
More 50th bikes are expected to trickle in over the next few weeks, and I must emphasize that if you’re interested in one the only way we can assure delivery will be to place one on backorder. Given the excellent price of the bike, many folks we expected to pull the trigger on a C50 HP went for the 50th instead. Quantities were limited at the outset, and as time progresses the number of the 200 bikes earmarked for the US will quickly dwindle. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.