Best Colnago Bikes | PedalChef

If you’re a cycling enthusiast, there is a good chance you’ve heard of Colnago, which has headquarters in Cambiago, Italy.

Founded by Ernest Colnago in 1954, this is a brand renowned for making some of the best road bikes in the world. Due to this, they tend to be a little pricey. So if you’re considering buying a Colnago, you might be asking yourself if they’re worth the cost and which particular models are the best.

If you are looking for a short answer as to which model to buy, I’d say that the Colnago C64 and the redesigned (and lighter) Colnago V3R series are among the best Colnago bikes on the market today.

Overall, you should expect the C64 to have the roots of a traditional bike but perfected to the best possible standard. Whereas with the V3R, you get a fast bike that provides a smooth riding experience.

To discuss everything related to Colnago, I’ve done thorough research on the numerous models offered and the history of the brand. So, continue reading to learn about the best Colnago bikes and the brand’s details.



What's the History behind the Colnago Bike Company?

Before discussing the best Colnago bikes, it’s worth understanding the brand’s origins.

It all started in 1952 when Ernest Colnago quit his 20-year job at the Gloria bicycle factory to go off on his own. Over time, the small 250-square-foot factory he started with grew to become the Colnago we know and love.

Some of the brand’s greatest achievements include being featured in Giro, the spring Classics, and even renowned marathons like the Tour de France. They have numerous well-known partnerships, the most popular being the “Cannibal” bike brand.

And in 1971, they had broken a world record by creating a custom bike with alloys, drilled chainrings, and a titanium stem. For the time, these were materials that were so complicated and advanced to deal with that they weren’t even obtainable in Europe.

As a result, the company has since been known for pushing the limitations of conventional bikes. They have constantly manufactured some of the most admired and cutting-edge bikes.

Now considered a well-known brand for the UAE Team Emirates and elite cyclists, it's known as the "Rolex of bikes." The company is just timeless and unlike any other, always believing in the best innovations from well-versed artisans.

The Best Colnago Bikes

With some basic history out of the way, it's about time I dive back into the topic at hand – the best Colnago bikes. As brushed upon earlier, the V3Rs and the Colnago C64 are definitely among the most popular alternatives. The following are details on each with a general review of what you expect from these bikes.


The V3R series by the Colnago bike company is a third-generation series of aero-optimized monocoque road bikes that started with the release of the V1-R in 2014. The original models were designed in collaboration with Ferrari.

It's worth mentioning that Ernesto Colnago has stated that V3Rs shouldn't be considered an upgrade of the V-2R or the V-1R. Instead, you should think of it as an entirely different model built from scratch. The following are some of the crucial concepts that make the V3Rs different:


Though slightly lighter in weight, the V3Rs are considered better than the previous models because they’re 12% stiffer from the rear and 6% from the front. This is due to the new-age and advanced carbon fibers that have created an optimized design. This is coupled with improved compliance, providing marginally increasing gains in every aspect.

Higher Compliance

With the V3Rs, you get newly developed frames with carbon-reinforced headset cups and dropped seat stays. This significantly adds to the compliance of your bike.


With the V3R, you get high-end carbon fibers and a size 50 disc frame weighing only 790g. This weight includes all of the bike’s metal hardware. And in comparison, only the frame of the rim-brake version of the monocoque V-1R weighed 835g.

There’s also a new disc fork in this version that has slimmed down compared to the V-2R. It weighs 340g with a steering tube of only a size 50 frame.

What To Expect from the V3R

Created by professional Italian bike builders, you can always get an animated, smooth and exciting ride quality when traveling with the V3R.

From the first ride, you’d find out that you can keep clicking down on the cassette to have your speed settle at the mid-40s effortlessly. You would hear nothing but a soft humming at this speed, only producing a higher pitch at significant speeds.

As brushed upon earlier, the bike has deep-section wheels with immense stiffness to its build. This scales well as a lightweight design, enabling its use in climbs and races. The structure would make you want to get into road scarring or bouncing over potholes out of habit. Other than that, you should just know that it’s well-known as one of the best Colnago bikes because of the way it takes advantage of its disc brake’s potential. Unlike other bikes, Colnago tried to understand how conventional disc brakes are designed and improved upon them.

Their frame is simply the perfect mixture of speed and comfort, proving itself the jack of all trades for bikes. Whether you’re traversing gravel, riding uphill, or utilizing the model as a versatile all-road racer, you’d find that it works with everything.


Another one of the best Colnago bikes by the renowned Ernesto is the Colnago C64.

Considered an evolution of the C60 and C59, the first custom carbon road bike featuring disc brakes, the C64 is as innovative and sublime as its predecessors. It comes with an array of refinements that have enhanced its comfort, clearance for wider tires, and stiffness.

The aspects that make this bike better than previous models of the same series include:

Frame Improvements

With the new C64, you get a handmade carbon bike with one-of-a-kind quality and attention to detail. Though some might argue that the design choice for the lug and tub construction is too traditional, it's considered an homage to race bikes and their manufacturing process.

The design is something that Colnago has perfected and refined over the last 30 years. It's a structure done so well that it can easily match the top-end carbon bikes on the market.

However, there have been a few modifications to traditional designs. For example, Colnago decided to add a new seat tube. This has lugs for the seat stays and top tube to be molded into the frame, increasing the stiffness while decreasing weight. The seat tube has the same aero-shaped post that you might find on the V-2R, implemented to improve vibration damping and aerodynamics.


The C64 is probably the best Colnago bike out there in terms of handling. It's fun, smooth, surefooted, and fast. Though it comes with a wallet-emptying price tag (amounting to a current total of 4,099 pounds), if you're lucky enough to afford it, you will not regret the purchase.

The C64 is a bike offering just the right balance of handling, comfort, and stiffness. When riding, there's not a single component that feels lacking in the C64. It's a well-engineered bike, capable of outstanding riding characteristics and handling.

What to Expect From the Colnago C64

Overall, you should expect the C64 to have the roots of a traditional bike but perfected to the best possible standard. You might not have the massive stiffness, aerodynamics, or lightweight design you get with other bikes, but it is still an iconic and classic frame that you can depend on.

Though it is ultimately a costly purchase, the price tag is still somewhat expected for a bike handmade in Italy by a company with a prestigious and deep-rooted history in the sport. It's a brand that many people depend on, so it'd make sense to raise the price for higher demand. That said, I would suggest the purchase if you can afford it. It's a reliable bike with superb stiffness, comfort, and handling.

Other Models Worth Mentioning

Though the C64 and the V3R are some of the best Colnago bikes currently, it doesn't mean that there aren't other bikes from the brands that you could also consider. The following are a few bikes that, though not perfect, are still ideal for the day-to-day decent biking experience:


The CF-10 is a new frame from Colnago made in collaboration with Ferrari. It's for cyclists who are specific about their weight-to-performance ratio.

It is made from the lightest and highest quality carbon fiber available. The frame is a monocoque with full-carbon rear dropouts and aerodynamically shaped tube sections. Every unique shape in this design, such as the rear triangle and fork legs, has been studied and tested in wind tunnels to understand how they could minimize drag.

Due to this, when considering structure alone, this is probably one of the best Colnago bikes. It has the best shapes for maximizing the torsional and flexural rigidity, regardless of how big the frame is.

In particular, from an aerodynamic standpoint, the most ideal part of the bike is its "drop" shape. This helps drastically minimize wind resistance while maintaining the same front footprint.


This is another new-age entry-level carbon frame bike that was developed by Colnago. Like the C64, it's a monocoque design created through the philosophy of traditional bicycles. It does this while boasting all the latest technological design choices and innovations.

And like the C64, it was also created to serve as one of the best Colnago bikes that meet the demand for a high-quality product without compromising on traditional structures. It has internal cable routing with numerous other features, enabling it to stack against more advanced products.


If you’re considering the best Colnago bikes for endurance riding, I’d suggest the Colnago CX-Zero. It’s especially ideal for reaching a compromise between comfort and performance.

By creating a classic framework with high-end materials and design, the CX-Zero is the perfect alternative to endurance riding. It meets the needs of century and sportive cycling alike.

Some notable aspects of the design include its extended head tube, uniquely longer than any traditional Colnago racing geometry. This is coupled with dropped seat stays, enabling the rider to maintain a peaceful and relaxed position for their arms and shoulders. You can also create a more open angle for your thigh and torso, encouraging easier pedaling.

And with its new rear triangle design, you get the benefits of premium carbon fibers for better shock absorption and vertical elasticity. The 25mm tires and 27.2mm seat post would further develop the bike's ability, reducing surface buzz and ensuring a comfortable riding position through its improved performance.


As brushed upon earlier, the V-1R is another frame developed before the V3R and influenced the V3R's design.

The primary concept behind its development was simple. It was meant as a frame developed to be as fast as possible. It was the first of many collaborations Colnago would have with Ferrari, and it was made with direct input from Enzo Ferrari and Ernesto Colnago themselves in 1986.

Despite the V3R being a more advanced and developed model, the V-1R is still considered one of the best Colnago bikes because of how monumental its release was. It marked the creation of a bike that paid attention to every detail relating to the aerodynamic performance at higher speeds. It came with one-of-a-kind ride quality, denoting the efficiency needed to turn into a racing weapon against your competitors.


Created in the early 1980s, the Colnago Arabesque is an ideal example of Colnago craftsmanship at its finest. It was made as a direct predecessor of an earlier model utilizing the Master Frameset.

The lugs that constitute the bike are reminiscent of wall decorations in Spain, Alhambra, and Granada. These lugs are central to this Arabesque model alone, and they are why the frame has been re-issued by Colnago so often.

You can find star-shaped tubing featured in newer models of the Arabesque. Whereas the original from 1982 boasted a Columbus tube set. However, besides the frame and lug distinctions, the Master frame is almost exactly like the Arabesque.

V3 Rival AXS

Like the V3Rs, the V3 series are models that perfect Colnago's signature handling, contact, and smooth riding experience.

The only difference between these two series is the type of carbon used in the main frameset. The V3 Rival AXS weighs about 200g heavier than the V3R. However, this is still significantly lightweight for a race frame.

Other subtle differences include using partially exposed brake hoses for entering a port at the top of the fork crown. And another hose for the down tube near the rear. Besides that, it’s pretty much the same as the V3R. If I was to mention a flaw, I’d just say that the tire could do with some improvement. They’re currently a two-way fit which is a dated design. You’d be much better off with tubeless tires at an ideal 28mm.


Danny Lawson

Danny Lawson

Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.

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