Colnago has broadened its product portfolio with an all-new venture into the gravel bike market, launching the all-new Colnago GX3. The renowned Italian brand’s latest release takes cues from its cyclo-cross model, the Prestige, but features an array of frame details that make it true to purpose as a long-distance gravel grinder, adding greater tyre clearances and mounting points for bottles and bags.
Although Colnago has the Prestige cyclo-cross model in its line-up, market dynamics convinced the company that a dedicated gravel bike was also required, to satisfy growing demand. True to form, the G3X features subtle geometry enhancements to prioritise high-speed stability and gravel surface riding comfort.
Recognising the need for quicker steering responses on gravel terrain, Colnago’s G3X is kitted with a much shorter stem than the brand’s traditional road and cyclo-cross bikes.
Engineers have also stretched the G3X’s top tube in relation to most other Colnago bikes, which increases reach and balances the reduced stem length. The interplay between this shorter stem design and increased frame-reach makes the G3X a great deal more stable at speed, especially when descending a fire road at speed, on a surface littered with loose rocks.
Overall stability is further enhanced by the presence of thru-axles and braking is served by hydraulic disc brakes paired with 160mm rotors front and rear. Colnago’s G3X front fork also has generous tyre and mud-shedding clearance, capable of accommodating a 700x42c tyre.
The G3X will also offer excellent endurance riding benefits on gravel, by mitigating terrain fatigue with the vibration absorption that Colnago’s carbon frames and forks are famous for. The seatpost clamp is neatly integrated into the top tube, making for a tidy aesthetic and easy-access adjustment.
Acknowledging the abuse that off-road conditions can have on a frame, Colnago’s industrial design team have added a rubber sheath cover to the drive-side chainstay, along with a rubberised cover to the bottom-bracket area. It protects the frame from rock strikes and potential trail debris when riding along at speed. By removing this patch, riders have the option to add an additional bottle cage mount and in total, the G3X can mount no less than four water bottles.
As an overall build, Colnago’s first dedicated gravel bike uses the Shimano GRX 810 groupset. Although the G3X will accommodate 650B wheels, it rolls as standard on 700c Shimano RS370 tubeless-ready gravel wheels laced with Pirelli’s Cinturato Gravel H tyres, measuring 700x40c.
We're looking forward to getting our hands on Colnago's first charge at the gravel segment to see if it's worthy of inclusion in our round-up of the best gravel bikes.
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Lance Branquinho is a Namibian born media professional, with 15-years of experience in technology and engineering journalism covering anything with wheels. Being from Namibia, he knows a good gravel road when he sees one, and he has raced some of Africa’s best-known mountain bike stage races, such as Wines2Wales and Berg&Bush.
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