Why Are Colnago Bikes So Expensive? (Are They Worth It?) | PedalChef

If you want to buy an Italian-made bike, Colnago may be the top brand in your mind. However, why are Colnago bikes so expensive, and are they worth it?

Colnago is one of the most coveted bike brands in the world. Although its classic bike models start from over $3,500 ( a very hefty price for a bicycle), it is their Made in Italy bikes that start over $11,000. So what’s the big deal?

Colnago specializes in high-performance bicycle frames made of the best material, including high-grade carbon. Its Made in Italy lineup is a class apart and made exclusively in Italy for pro riders. In addition, the brand is known for consistently adding cutting-edge new tech to its bikes.

In this guide, we will find out about what makes Colnago more special than other bike brands in the market. We will list down some of the technologies that make it a renowned brand in the world as well as assess the quality of the bike’s frame and components as well as the riding experience. We will also take a look at its most expensive model, the C64, and find out what sets it apart from other models.

As a person who saved up for several months to buy a Colnago C64, I am really excited to write this review. If you are someone who is considering splurging on a Colnago, I recommend you read this guide to understand if the bike would suit your needs.



A History of Innovation and R&D

Colnago was formed by Ernest Colnago, an employee at the Gloria bicycle factory where he had been working since he was 20. The first Colnago facility was established in Cambiago, Italy, in 1952, and was over 250 square feet and was built using wood from his family’s mulberry tree.

A short time later, Colnago was making wheels for some of the best bike riders of that area including the likes of FiorenzoMagni, Giorgio Albani, and FaustoCoppi. However, Colnago’s glory days came in 1955 when he customized a racing bike for Magni.

In 1955, Magni was diagnosed with chronic knee pain which threatened to end his career as a pro racer. It was at that point that Ernesto Colnago used his special powers of persuasion to convince the Italian pro rider to work his magic on the bike. While studying Magni’s bike, Colnago realized that it had an uneven drivetrain and thought it might be the cause of his countryman’s woes.

After Colnago revamped Magni’s bike, the pro racer’s knee pain all but disappeared. This was the start of Colnago’s success. Once news of this was heard, Colnago was appointed as the official mechanic of the Giro team that year. Also in that year, Magni won his third Giro prize — an event that shot Colnago to stardom.

Since then, the bike manufacturer has continued to innovate and develop some of the most state-of-the-art and appreciated bikes in the world. Later, Colnago used racer Eddy Merckx as its brand ambassador. During his time in the Molteni team, every member of the team rode on a Colnago bike and Merckx won every major title for the brand in the 1970s.

Aside from these, there are many other times when Colnago bikes found their way to glory. Colnago’s most famous partnership was with the bike brand, Cannibal, which broke records in 1971 in which Colnago created a custom bicycle made of titanium stem and drilled chainrings. This bike was so complicated and advanced that it had to be manufactured in the United States since the technology used to make it was not available in Europe.

Hence, since its establishment, Colnago has maintained its reputation for being a master of invention and innovation when it comes to bike technology.

Where are Colnago Bicycles Made?

Since 2005, Colnago has had two different places where it produces its bikes. The brand’s mid-range models are designed in Italy but their production process takes place in Taiwan. On the other hand, its high-end bikes are made in Italy, just like they have always been since 1954.

State-of-the-Art Technologies of Colnago Bikes

Since its inception, Colnago is known as a leader in bike innovation. Colnago has an impressive tradition of non-stop innovation, research and development, precision, and attention to detail which is the reason for its success. The company is known for creating the most ergonomic bikes that were specifically designed to reduce chronic joint pains and offer a super comfortable ride.

Apart from the constant developments in design, Colnago bikes boast some of the most stylish bicycles in the industry. Let us take a look at some of the major improvements in technology that have catapulted Colnago into one of the most premium bicycle brands in the world.

World-Class Bicycle Frames

It may not be an exaggeration to say that Colnago bike frames are the safest and most secure in the world. The company was the first one to create high-end frames that used premium-grade carbon fiber in its design. The weight of the frame is also lighter than other models and has a lower rear fork and better balance. In fact, the inner parameters that Colnago works on exceed at least five times the standards set by the Uni-ISO Global Standards on Resistance.

Perfect Lug

The tolerance between the bike’s tubes and lugs should not exceed 0.15 mm. This limit ensures a very safe bonding and allows the lugs to withstand flex and torque stresses without detaching. These tiny details are something that is not easily understood but which make a world of difference to the sturdiness of the bike.

1,200 KG Tensile Test

The bike has to undergo a very stringent tightness test that determines the tensile strength of the tube. The tube attached to the joint needs to withstand 1,200 kg (~441 lbs) of tensile test before it is deemed good to go.

Aerospace Testing

In partnership with the Aerospace Department of the Milan Polytechnic, Colnago was able to create innovative fatigue and crash test machines. These allow Colnago bikes to do exceptionally strict resistant tests. In fact, some of its newer bikes are equipped with over 40 different sensors placed at major points in the bike. This allows pro racers to ride on all sorts of terrains, including paved roads, asphalt, dirt, and cobblestone, and endure all kinds of surface stresses.

Extreme Condition Testing

The two-component adhesive that is used to glue the tubes and the lugs together is also designed for aerospace use and can tolerate high stresses. The company along with the Aerospace Department carried out a series of strict tests that verified the integrity of the adhesive in the most extreme heat, humidity, and air salinity.

How Expensive are Colnago Bikes?

Proudly designed in Italy, Colnago bikes consist of high-quality components and structures and a supremely smooth and comfortable riding experience. Of course, not every lineup of the Colnago bike is made in Italy. However, this does not mean that the bike manufacturer does not keep superior performance and comfort in mind. All the bike models are also integrated with state-of-the-art technology and excellent quality components, which justify the high price.

This is also the reason why Colnago mid-range models are not as low-priced as other bikes. However, you pay for quality and if you have the money to do so, even a mid-range Colnago bike will give you a lot of value.

Below are the current price ranges of Colnago bikes:

  • Made in Italy Bikes: Starting from $11,899.99
  • Electric bikes: Starting from $6,799.95
  • Gravel bikes: $5,683
  • Road bikes: $4,699.95
  • Classic bikes: $3,699.95
  • Triathlon bikes: $3,764

Are Colnago Bikes Worth It?

Colnago Bikes are the most coveted racing and road bicycle brand in the world. A lot of this has to do with the company’s rich history of innovation, excellent handling, and superior comfort. In fact, many pros have likened the experience of riding on Colnago bikes as if they were riding on rails, the bikes offer this level of comfort and smooth travel. Colnago offers a range of classic bikes, road bikes, gravel bikes, electric bikes, triathlon bikes, and Made in Italy bikes all of which offer excellent performance in the terrain that they are made for.

Let us take a look at some of the factors that set it apart from other bikes.

Superior Quality Materials

Since the bike manufacturer considers itself to be an innovator, they do not stick to just one material for their bike frames. They use a variety of high-quality materials and understand that each of them come with their own share of advantages and disadvantages. A very strong material may be very lightweight, but it may result in rider fatigue. It may also be too expensive for the rider to buy and hence not worth the cost of adding it. Colnago bikes are equipped with materials that offer a good balance between each factor.

Carbon Fiber: One of the most important materials that Colnago is known for is carbon fiber, which is an excellent material for road racers. Colnago uses various grades and types of Toraya fiber, as required by the frame or component of the bike. The company’s one-piece monocoque frames are made with a pre-preg carbon cloth, aligned with laser precision, and high-pressure heated to form a strong, light, and seamless framework.

Steel: The very first Colnago bikes were made of steel and hence the company still has a soft place in its heart for steel bikes. As such, the manufacturer’s state-of-the-art DT15V tubing equipped on the Colnago Master X-Lite uses a high-strength alloy of chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum and is molded and shaped to precision.

Aluminum: Aluminum is an excellent option if you want to create bikes with less expensive frames that are nevertheless, strong and durable. The metal has a low density but has high strength which enables it to be molded into light and rigid frames that meet the demands of a wide range of riders. If you want to make it more comfortable and ergonomic, the addition of carbon fiber forks and stays can do a wonderful job.

The manufacturers have made recent advancements in aluminum tubing and use hydroforming to strengthen and shape the tubes in strategic areas like the bottom bracket and head tube.

Perfect Frames

One of the Colnago’s claims to fame is their sturdy frame that is made of premium-quality carbon tubes. This very strong frame is able to surpass the quality of the more rigid frames that are created by competitors like Pinarello and cover the routed cables via the bike’s handlebars. In addition, the bike’s carbon tubes are especially attached to carbon lugs, which allow the manufacturers to create a large range of bike sizes in sloped and horizontal top tubes.

To increase its bikes’ aerodynamic capabilities, Colnago also designed their bikes so that the distance between the frame and the cage is decreased by integrating it with an indented bottle cage.

Premium Components

Aside from the excellent quality bike frames, Colnago has also invested in the research and innovation of other components. When it comes to the chainring, the manufacturers offer small and compact chainring with a wide array of lower gears.

People who are lucky enough to ride on a Colnago bike find that the bike has an excellent aerodynamic design when it comes to shifter levers, more relaxed hoods, convenient ease of access, and a very comfortable ride that prevents joint pain.

Colnago uses Shimano and SRAM drivetrain components which have an active click component. This feature alerts the rider whenever they shift gears and enables multiple sprocket-wheel to shift when held down.

Riding Experience

Colnago offers a much improved and more controlled biking experience when it comes to riding. The bike allows you to feel the road and is very responsive. This is the reason why so many people want to get a Colnago road or gravel bike since you can trust them to go in the direction you point it to.

The bikes are known to be very stiff and lively and if you are pedaling slowly on a high gear, you still would. Riders have said that even in high-speed crosswinds, the bike remains very steady and does not wobble at all, making for a truly flawless ride.

Colnago Made in Italy Bike: Performance

The Made in Italy lineup of Colnago bikes is the most expensive segment of the brand. Currently, the brand’s flagship model is the Colnago C64 which is stiffer and more lightweight due to its reduced thickness, a one-of-a-kind internal rob, and a one-way fiber.

Although the bike has the same geometry as its predecessor, the C60, the C64 headtube is integrated with innovative new technology. This is what allows the manufacturers to reduce the overall thickness level and the weight of the bike. Moreover, the C64 had a modified design which added more side rigidity. The headtube of the bike was molded from a lightweight UD carbon finish.

The downtube of the bike features more twists while offering much more responsiveness. At the same time, riders might feel enhanced stiffness from the torque force, thanks to the smaller width. In addition, the seat tube offers excellent stiffness and lightness without sacrificing performance. Plus, the single-piece monocoque gives more rigidity to the frame while not increasing the bike’s weight.

As for the bottom bracket, the C64 has an even more complicated design than before. This is because of Colnago’s patented ThreadFit 82.5 technology, which is a PressFit that consists of a detachable base sleeve. The bolted plastic cable guide is turned into a lug, which reduces the overall weight of the bike but also offers the biggest radius possible for excellent performance when shifting.

The C64 allows riders to use any 28mm tires which offer a lot of tire clearance since the frame features a 36.5mm diameter and a 345 mm radius. Since the brakes are not the best feature, the disc brake version can offer you more space.

Hence, when riding the Colnago Made in Italy bike, you can expect to feel optimum comfort and safety.

The C64: Colnago Made in Italy

TheC64 is the perfect Made in Italy product that is Colnago’s flagship product. The frame of the bike is designed and manufactured in Italy after a whopping two years of research and development. The C64 is a testament to the manufacturer’s persistence and dedication to innovation that has allowed it to gain a lot of success since 1952.


The stem of the C64 is constructed with a brand-new dedicated design. The manufacturers had to create an exclusive, one-of-a-kind stem to finish the C/D fork because of the brake cable housing’s inner routing. As such, this stem is compatible with all the handlebars. In addition, it also consists of a bottom port to plug in the brake cable.


Colnago offers its riders very reliable speed, thanks in part to its specially designed bottom bracket for the frame. Since the ThreadFit 82.5 project was first started, Colnago has diligently maintained the reliability of the threaded bottom bracket but has also ensured the bike has all the advantages of a broader shell of a PressFit system.

The manufacturers have recently done further innovations by partnering with CeramicSpeed, which offers premium quality bearings. Having said that, Colnago has also designed its very own threaded larger bottom bracket with high-end bearings. Customers can choose from three different bottom bracket options from Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo, which are leaders in the bike drivetrain market.

Head Tube

The head tube of the C64 features less weight without sacrificing quality. The head tube is not just built more sturdily, it is also very lightweight as well. Overall, the C64 is still molded in the same general shape as the previous C60 model; however, its head tube is equipped with advanced technology. This system results in reduced thickness and less weight. In addition, the manufacturers also adjust the shape to increase side rigidity.

Seat Tube

Another great feature that the C64 is equipped with is its seat tube. The seat tube is designed to deliver a lot of stiffness as well as lightness without sacrificing any major benefits, due to the single-piece monocoque. In addition, it also offers more rigidity to the bike’s frame without increasing its weight.

Because of the unique design, the monostay is not straight anymore; however, it is still designed to create the most optimum gluing surface. Hence, the C64 currently offers 14 different types of seat tubes for all 14 of its sizes.


The C64’s fork has undergone a new design for increased stiffness and resistance and as a result, weighs 40 grams less than the version in the previous model. The bike is integrated with an outer rib shape, which offers sturdiness in the front and a more comfortable riding experience. Thanks to the side rigidity, the bike also offers increased ride quality.

For extra durability and reduced flex, Colnago has also integrated an inner rib in the bike’s steerer tube which can accommodate the nuts for the top car and eliminate the need for an expander plug. In addition, the C64 disc fork also comes equipped with a C/D steerer tube shape for easy assembly. Like the C60 model, the thru-axle is still 12mm but is equipped with a threaded system that further reduces the bike’s overall weight.

So are Colnago Bikes Worth It?

If you are wondering whether a Colnago bike is worth it, you need to know that a bicycle can’t get much better than that. The bicycle is lightweight, extremely durable and sturdy, and offers sublime handling. The brand is known for its reliable and consistent innovation and it has been endorsed and used by world-famous pro cyclists who have won major awards on it.

Although the price ranges at which the Colnago is currently retailing may be prohibitive for some reasons, if you are willing to save up, you will find that the Colnago bike will offer you near-limitless value.