Colnago C59 & Colnago EPS

11 Apr

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Each week, I receive emails from folk around the world asking how does the EPS compare to the new C59 Italia model. Quite a natural question to ask, especially if you are thinking about buying a C59. Its always a hard decision, especially when there is a new kid on the block! Of course, many will say, you just have to ride them. That’s all well and good, but that’s not an easy proposition. So, I have decided to write about these two frames. However, this is not a write up which will be pitching the EPS against the C59, instead its a blog looking at the various nuances of each frame which may help you decided in the long run. Sadly, the EPS is no longer in production, but dealers do still have models in stock. Of course, just to throw a spanner in the works, you may decided to go for an EPQ which has now replaced the EPS. Sadly, I can’t help you there, as I have not cocked a  leg over one.
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If we look at both models in turn, the structural engineering is very different. Obviously if you are reading this, then you will be familiar with the tube and lug differences between both models. The only thing which remains the same are the forks which are amazing. Rock solid and inspire confidence, especially on a very fast decent! The EPS tubes are internally ribbed offering the riders stiffness and performance. The C59 tubes are more of a clover leaf in design which is achieved by using a Mandrel. This external rib effect most certainly offers more rigidity and stiffness. OK, some may prefer the EPS tubes as they are deemed more ‘traditional’, however the external rib effect is nothing new to Colnago, so it could also be argued they are both termed ‘ traditional’ within the Colnago camp if you get my meaning. At the rear end, again some big differences. On the C59 the rear lug and upper stays are more squarer, a kind of boxed look. Whilst the EPS has a larger ‘wishbone’ area and is a tad more fluid in the design. You certainly notice the stiffness at the rear end of the C59, especially when you give the frame some beans. The chain stays of the EPS are the elegant ‘bay leaf’ design, whilst the C59 stays are more compliant with a slight bend. So, how does this all tally up on the road. Personally, I don’t think you can give a true opinion unless you own one. Riding a bike for a week will give you an indication, but it takes time to get to know a bike or frame. These things cannot be rushed. Its a bit like dating, you don’t know everything about the girl in the first week. There needs to be time, there also needs to be intrigue! 
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So, how do they ride? Well as you can imagine, both offer the owner a unique and exquisite experience every time you take them out for a spin. However, lets scratch the surface and take a further look. I have owned the EPS for well over two years. Its a frame that has brought lots of joy and pleasure. Its fast, compliant and comfortable. I guess you could call it an all rounder. It does everything well. You can go fast or you can cruise along. It will do all things very comfortably. Its incredibly comfortable which enables the ride to go for a long distance ride in relative comfort for a race bike. The EPS is a flattering experience when riding and an all round good feel factor. However and lets not forget, it really is down to the engine driving these frames. So many people get caught up with this and that and is it light enough etc. If you are fit with strong legs, you can max these frames out. However, if you are a regular guy like me with all the commitments of work and a family life, it is not always easy to get out on the open road. During the week I can be found on the turbo trainer because its all about time. I would class myself as a reasonable competent rider, but I’m not Thomas Voeckler, but it doesn’t hurt to dream now and then. So, if you are like me then the EPS is the ideal choice. Or is it?
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What does the C59 offer over the EPS. well, its a totally different riding experience. I can only describe it in the following way. Imagine jumping into bed with someone half your age, its fun, its fast and its exhilarating as I can remember before I got married. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the C59! OK, humour over lets get down to it. As soon as you turn the first pedal stroke you know you are going to be in for an experience. A few more strokes and you can feel the power being forced out via the back wheel. This baby wants to motor. Brian Palmer wrote that you may wish to train for this frame, he’s not far wrong. Folks, this frame wants to move and move fast. You have to be very careful that you don’t give it your all at the beginning of the ride, because it will take what ever you can throw at it. Its light, agile and the steering is immensely sharp, in fact its as sharp as a bag of razor blades. Its so nimble which I have noticed on hill climbs. Its just keeps giving with every turn of the crank. If you have got the beans in your legs, this frame will reward you big time! How comfortable is it, folks, its comfortable. OK, not as comfortable as the EPS, but its comfortable. Yesterday, my friends and I completed a long and hard 75 mile ride and I felt comfortable all the way. Yes, its stiff and extremely compliant and you can feel this, however, its comfortable for an out and out racing machine! At speed I find this frame lightning quick, put a nice set of wheels on it and the worlds your oyster! Once you get use to this frame and realises you don’t need to go 100 mph everywhere, its a real gem. I totally adore and love this frame. Please, don’t get me wrong, I adore and love my EPS, but in different ways which I have described. Folks, I’m not a journalist, but I will tell you from my heart how these frames perform and function

So, I class myself as being extremely fortunate. I have the best of both worlds, an EPS and a Colnago C59. With all that’s happening in the world and all the doom and gloom, I can take off into the lush green English countryside and enjoy my Colnago bikes. Grazie Ernesto!              

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4 Responses to “Colnago C59 & Colnago EPS”

  1. CicloByron April 11, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Nice write up! I can vouch for how quick the C59 is, I never get a look in on the hills any more (as my swearing will atest)! Going to have to get you to carry some extra weight help me out a bit…. first rainy weekend we get, let’s get both those babies photographed….

  2. dannyalpin April 11, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    have you ever ridden an extreme c? wonder how that compares, as that is my bike

  3. Colnago Con Brio April 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Cheers guys

  4. Colnago Con Brio April 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Cheers guys

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