Colnago C68 Gravel review: An incredible frame with builds and details that don’t quite make sense

A Colnago C series is a pinnacle bike that reaches beyond superbike status, but do some of this bike's spec options match up with this?

Colnago C68 Gravel
(Image: © Josh Ross)

Cyclingnews Verdict

The C68 Gravel is everything you want in a high-end gravel bike. It’s got just the right compliance balanced perfectly with responsiveness. It's light and responsive, so fast you can mix it up in a group on or off the road, and it's both understated and a statement at the same time. Build packages don't include top-tier wheels or a power meter, and there is a poor-quality outfront mount. It’s a truly remarkable frame but I don't feel Colnago has been obsessive enough about the details. If you want the statement and refinement that come with riding a C series, buy the C68 gravel frameset and take some time putting together the build Colnago should offer.


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    Colnago C-series branding

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    Beautiful paint

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    T47 bottom bracket

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    Responsive, fun, agile handling

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    Low toe-overlap

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    Bento box mount

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    Incredible saddle


  • -

    Lacks third bottle mount

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    Cramped cockpit

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    Lacks a really top-end build spec

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    The out front mount is poor quality

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Tech Specs: Colnago C68 Gravel

Price: $13,199.95 / €12,010.00 / £11,099.99.99

Frame: Colnago C68 Gravel

Size: 480 (equivalent to a 54 or medium in other brands)

Weight: 8661 grams ready to ride including Garmin Rally XC200 pedals (448g)

Wheels: Zipp 303s

Groupset: SRAM Red XPLR

Bar/stem: Colnago CC.01 Wide cockpit

Saddle: Selle San Marco Regal Short Dynamic

Max tyre size: 42mm 

For anyone who starts caring about bikes, there are a few names that quickly become a dream bike. Are they the best bikes? Who knows and who cares? I've never heard of a kid with a bike poster on the wall, actually, I don't think anyone has posters anymore, and if they do they aren't bikes, but follow me here. If all that was a thing, Colnago would be a bike on a kid's bedroom poster. Colnago is heritage and aspiration turned into carbon and paint and the pinnacle of that is the built-in Italy C series. 

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Testing scorecard and notes
Design and aestheticsGorgeous paint choices, subtle logos, and a head badge that no one will ignore.10/10
BuildSRAM Red XPLR is great as is the saddle but less premium wheels and a handlebar system that hasn’t been thought through means it’s not worth buying a built bike.6/10
Performance, handling and geometryI dropped a single point off only because the C series isn’t supposed to be pinnacle performance and I had a hard time getting low and aero. That said, this is the kind of bike you want to push hard all the time and the kind of bike that rewards you for doing so. 9/10
WeightThe specs say it shouldn’t be that competitive but as a built bike, with light wheels, it’s one of the lighter gravel bikes I’ve been on. It also has an agile feel that makes it feel as light as scale says it is. 8/10
ValueNo one buys a Colnago because it’s great value but you should be getting a bike worthy of the heritage. If Colnago respected the customer base and only sold a frameset, this might be a 10 but one has to consider the build options as offered.7/10
OverallRow 5 - Cell 1 80%

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Josh Ross

Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutiae of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes. Height: 5'9" Weight: 140 lb. Rides: Salsa Warbird, Cannondale CAAD9, Enve Melee, Look 795 Blade RS, Priority Continuum Onyx