If you see a bicycle with a signature on the frame itself, you will know that it’s not there just for the design’s sake, but that this frame might have something special in store for you, and if that signature happens to be of Ernesto Colnago’s, then prepare to be surprised once you get this bike under your feet.
Though this aluminum framed Strada SL is not considered light when compared to most other carbon fibre framed bikes, it’s definitely not on the heavy side as well, as modern aluminum materials have enabled bike builders to create some truly lightweight aluminum frames. A new or beginner rider might actually think that this is a carbon bike, because it actually feels quite light, not only with its actual weight figures, but surprisingly in its very affordable pricing as well, now this is one entry level road racing bike that is perfectly suited for the budget conscious consumer market.
Although the Strada SL’s frame is made from aluminum, it is packed with some pretty advanced technical characteristics, without omitting any of the qualities that are considered essential to the Colnago brand. The oversized tubes that make up the front triangle is hydroformed based on a specific polygonal section design, and the seat tube, although round at the top where the seat post attaches, ends up in a rectangular shape at the bottom where it meets the bottom bracket, this is to provide greater frame stiffness, even the top tube has been hydroformed to be flat where it meets the tapered head tube, but gradually takes on a rounder shape profile when it meets the seat tube, all these technical features provides the best vertical compliance and shock absorption while offering more frame torsional stiffness.
The test bike that we had the pleasure of riding around for a while was kitted out with the latest Shimano 11 speed 105 groupset, although it is marginally heavier than the Ultegra groupo, it performs just as well and the lower price tag allows Colnago to price this beginner’s bike very high in the affordability scale. The 11-28T cassette when paired with the 105 compact 50/34 crank gives any rookie all the gearing options that he or she might ever need while riding this bike, this gearing combination also happens to be my utmost favourite cassette / crank combination, so this made riding this test bike even more enjoyable. The only thing that I would improve if I personally had this bike, is to probably swap the stock aluminum wheels for a lighter set, although I would still keep the original Conti tyres as they provide tonnes of grip while riding. The brakes are Colnago’s own branded models, and although they look very basic, that’s about the only thing as braking strength is very adequate when the Tektro brake pads clamp onto the aluminum braking surface, more than enough braking performance for someone new to road riding.
The aluminum stem and handlebar are Deda Zeros and is connected to the carbon fibre fork via an aluminum steerer tube. Another impressive feature of this bike is the very comfortable Selle Italia Q-bik saddle which has been branded with the Colnago logo as well, a comfy and plush saddle is definitely a very effective and surefire method of getting newbies to start riding and to stay on the saddle longer too, in all my rides with this bike, I never actually experienced any saddle discomfort while cycling, and I could visualize many of this bike’s owners spending long hours in this saddle. Overall, this bike and all the componentry and technical advances that have been put together to create this splendid riding machine, is worth much more than the retail price that it’s actually selling for, so if anyone is considering starting out or planning to give road riding a try, I highly recommend this bike, hands down just a perfect bike for almost any rider with any amount of experience, or in-experience for that matter!
Colnago bikes are exclusively distributed by:
1 Commonwealth Lane
01-14/15, One Commonwealth
Tel: +65 6475 4833
11 Woodlands Close
Tel: +65 6734 9972
18 Boon Lay Way
Tel: +65 6795 4320
166B Upper East Coast Road,
Tel: +65 6242 8330