Colnago C40. Mapei Pro Team Issue. That says enough already, surely? What more needs to be said? This bike was once the personification of excellence in racing bicycle design and manufacture, the veritable King of the Hill. This is the game changer. The frame that signalled the departure of steel from the pro peloton, and heralded the dominance of the new wonder material, carbon fibre. First tested in actual competition by Tony Rominger, subsequently ridden to emphatic wins by the likes of Fondriest, Museeuw, Tafi and Bortolami, to name but the first of many. Team Mapei pros who rode just such a C40 include Bartoli and the great Franco Ballerini.
At the beginning of the ’90s, when Ernesto Colnago developed the C40, so named as a celebration of forty years in the business, he partnered with automobile manufacturer Ferrari, who were themselves exploring new methods of joining the separate structural members of their race car chassis at that time. The techniques that resulted from that fruitful collaboration made it possible to produce a frame which did not immediately depart from the classic aesthetic, staying with the parallel top tube silhouette which had for so long been familiar, and also retaining the principle of tube-in-lug construction. The main tubes even mimicked the cross section of their Gilco steel forebears from the top-of-the-line Master, with four pronounced grooves along their lengths. The lugs too were of carbon, and Colnago went to the not inconsiderable trouble of creating individual lugs for every frame size, as geometry varies markedly with seat and top tube length changes.
This lightweight road rocket is assembled with a full house of Campagnolo Record components from the 9 speed era. Because of course it is! The black base colour of that stunning paintjob is nicely complimented by the black deep section rims of the Shamal system wheelset. The bars 3ttt and stem are by ITM Italmanubri and the requisite grip at terminal velocity is provided by a fresh wrap of black leather tape. The lucky rider perches upon a simple and fittingly classic black leather Flite Titanium saddle, itself mounted on an alloy CNC seat post. As for that lavish decoration, we’ll let the photos do the talking. A great deal of time and effort went into adorning this race winning device with those distinctive graphics. There. Have we said enough now?
Handlebar: 3ttt Ergopower Due 40cm ct. – ct.
Stem: ITM Krystal Titanium 115mm
headset: 1″ threaded Campagnolo Record
Shifters: Campagnolo Record 9 spd. Ergopowers
Cranks: Campagnolo Record 175mm 52T x 42T 170mm
B.B.: Campagnolo Record
Fr. Der.: Campagnolo Record
Rear Der.: Campagnolo Record
Brakes: Campagnolo Record
Wheels: Campagnolo Shamal 16 hole
Tires: Continental Sprinter
Seatpost: Selcof CNC 27.2mm
Saddle: Flite Titanium