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Eurobike 2012 tech: Colnago expands electric/hydraulic range

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The Prestige cyclocross bike with Shimano Ultegra Di2

The Prestige cyclocross bike with Shimano Ultegra Di2 (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The Colnago C59 Disc

The Colnago C59 Disc (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The C29 comes in three sizes

The C29 comes in three sizes (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Tapered head tube on the C29

Tapered head tube on the C29 (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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With a frame handmade in Italy, the C59 comes with a variety of spec options

With a frame handmade in Italy, the C59 comes with a variety of spec options (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The down tube is shaped to avoid contact with the fork

The down tube is shaped to avoid contact with the fork (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Lugged construction on the C59

Lugged construction on the C59 (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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'Colnago for Ferrari' is a custom-only project

'Colnago for Ferrari' is a custom-only project (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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A logo not typically found on a something without a motor

A logo not typically found on a something without a motor (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Campagnolo EPS 11-speed is the only option for a custom Ferrari Colnago, isn't it?

Campagnolo EPS 11-speed is the only option for a custom Ferrari Colnago, isn't it? (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The integrated stem/handlebar of the C78 'Colnago for Ferrari'

The integrated stem/handlebar of the C78 'Colnago for Ferrari' (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Ferrari branding on Mavic wheels

Ferrari branding on Mavic wheels (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Campagnolo EPS battery

Campagnolo EPS battery (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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And Ferrari branding on the Monolink seatpost

And Ferrari branding on the Monolink seatpost (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The new C29

The new C29 (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The Prestige runs disc brakes, too, but mechanical ones

The Prestige runs disc brakes, too, but mechanical ones (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The new improved C59 Disc Formula shifters, with wider paddles

The new improved C59 Disc Formula shifters, with wider paddles (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The prototype C59 Disc Formula shifters, tested by BikeRadar in April

The prototype C59 Disc Formula shifters, tested by BikeRadar in April (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The new C59 Disc Campagnolo EPS Formula shifters

The new C59 Disc Campagnolo EPS Formula shifters (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The inside of the C59 Disc Campagnolo EPS Formula shifter

The inside of the C59 Disc Campagnolo EPS Formula shifter (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Colnago's Formula levers work with electric drivetrains

Colnago's Formula levers work with electric drivetrains (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Colnago and Formula are celebrating their partnership - even with branding on the Artemis wheels

Colnago and Formula are celebrating their partnership - even with branding on the Artemis wheels (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The Formula-made, Colnago-branded 140mm discs

The Formula-made, Colnago-branded 140mm discs (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Old school meets new school with internal routing for electric systems in lugged tubes

Old school meets new school with internal routing for electric systems in lugged tubes (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The 140mm rotor and caliper, neatly tucket inside the rear triangle

The 140mm rotor and caliper, neatly tucket inside the rear triangle (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Ernesto's name still appears on the bikes, and his face still appears at trade shows

Ernesto's name still appears on the bikes, and his face still appears at trade shows (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Ultegra Di2 on the Prestige

Ultegra Di2 on the Prestige (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Colnago for Ferrari

Colnago for Ferrari (Image credit: BikeRadar)

This article first appeared on Bikeradar.

At Eurobike, Colnago showed off a number of machines with electric drivetrains, including a cyclo-cross bike with Ultegra Di2, but the most impressive were the bikes with the Formula hydraulic/electric levers.

Earlier this year, Colnago had a fairly rough prototype of the Di2 Formula lever. BikeRadar tested the C59 prototype in April at the Sea Otter Classic. One of our complaints then was that the shift buttons were too close together. This issue has since been remedied, and the new levers have broad shift paddles with distinct textures for each button.

What's brand new is the Formula lever for electric Campagnolo EPS drivetrains. Like the Di2 set-up, this system has buttons in place of cable-pulling or releasing levers placed in the same spot - and with a similar feel - as those on traditional levers. Then, the brake lever activates the 140mm C59-branded hydraulic brake system, for which the C59 frame had to be redesigned.

Prices in dollars and in pounds were not immediately available at the show. The bikes will be available in October or November.

Also new from the Italian brand is the C29 carbon fiber hardtail 29er. The 1150g frame comes in three sizes, with a tapered head tube and lugged construction. The frameset is made in Italy.

As to why Colnago still uses lugs, company spokesman Alessandro Zenesini said there are a few reasons.

"One, lugs give you flexibilty to make full custom in carbon," he said, pointing out that monocoque frames require molds, which is cost-prohibitive for single frames. "And two, all the stress points of a bicycle are naturally reinforced by the lugs."

Speaking of custom carbon, the C78 "Colnago for Ferrari" machine is available in custom sizing for fans of cycle- and motorsport.

And, if you really want a traditional bike, Colnago still offers custom lugged frames in steel.