2015 Colnago Strada SL 105
The Colnago Strada SL is an exciting bike. It helps them lower the point of entry for people itching to experience the magical ride of a Colnago. By building the frame up with a mix of Shimano 105 parts, they’re able to bring a Colnago to market at an incredible price point. The bike’s paint reflects the excitement: the bold colors and accents as well as the bar tape matching the Selle Italia saddle provides an aesthetic that matches pricier rides.
The biggest factor in this equation is the Strada SL frameset. The frame itself is butted, hydroformed aluminum, welded together into a geometry that is moderns while still providing the aesthetic and ride Colnago is known for. Basically, Colnago only got into aluminum here because they could tune the tubes to ride the way a Colnago should. The oversized, hexagonal down tube functions as the spine of the bike, keeping it tracking in a straight line and directing power in a linear fashion through the crank to the rear wheel. The slender seat tube helps with compliance and the flattened top tube helps keep the lateral stiffness while allowing for some vertical give. The smallish, squared stays provide directed stiffness while giving the rear end some room to move vertically to both increase comfort and traction.
Mated to this are Shimano 105 5800 STI levers and derailleurs. The beauty of these is they are basically more economically finished Dura-Ace components. The levers, where you’ll interact with the shifting, as the same ergonomics and action of Dura-Ace. The front derailleur has the same redesigned lever arm, the rear derailleur likewise hugs the cogs better. An eleven-speed cassette, 11-28, mated to a compact 50/34 crank gives a wide range of gears.
Further keeping the price within reach is the ample use of Colnago components. the brakes, the seat post, and wheels all are selected by Colnago to function fabulously, and receive a finish that gives a little more Colnago flash to the bike. Tires are Continental’s Ultra Sport II, reliable training rubber, in the 25mm width.
Both fancy and practical are the Deda bars and stem. Italian suppliers practically own the bar and stem market. There seems to be no single reason, though the companies seem to have figured out how to make curves that work with people’s hands, wrists, and arms.
The Colnago Strada SL 105 bike is an incredible bargain that has something more important going for it: the legendary Colnago ride.