Johan Museeuw’s Colnago C40 Pro Bike
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Johan Museeuw’s Colnago C40 Pro Bike

October 9, 2019


– [Man] For cycling
fans over a certain age, this bike will almost undoubtedly have, at some point, been your dream bike, if it’s not still today. Because this is a classic Colnago C40. But then, even more than that, this is a legendary Mapei Team Colgnago C40. And if that’s not enough still, this is actually the very
bike that Johan Museeuw raced in the Tour of Flanders in the year 2000. And it’s still in fact owned
by the Lion of Flanders today. Now what makes a Colnago
C40 such a classic bike? It is a good question because
when this was introduced to the Pro Peloton, in
secret, back in 1993, it was not the lightest bike out there, although it was super light still at under 1000g for a 54 frame. And it’s said it wasn’t
the first carbon bike out there either, even
though there weren’t many people riding carbon back then. And neither was it the stiffest, although I can tell you with
good authority that this is a super stiff bike. So perhaps the secret,
then, lies in the fact that it is a combination of
all three of those things and also, Colnago
sponsored some of the best pro teams of the era. And so this bike won a lot of races. Now, the carbon construction of this frame differs quite significantly
to most carbon frames today in that instead of coming out of a mould, it’s still made by hand. So carbon tubes are
bonded, literally glued, into carbon lugs. So the headtube here, the bottom bracket is seat tube cluster. And so what that allows Colnago to do is effectively custom-make carbon frames. And so this one here, Johan
Museeuw’s very own bike, is custom-built to his
exact specifications. You can see by eyeballing it that I suspect he’s customised a very laidback seat tube there. Unlike carbon bikes of
today, there was much less specialisation of bikes
back in the year 2000. So the Colnago C40
excelled in both Classics and Grand Tours alike. Although I have it on good authority that the bikes of Paris Roubaix had quite a lot of extra carbon involved, so the frames weighed 300g more. So I do wonder, given how stiff this bike of Johan Museeuw’s is, whether
or not he’s actually got a few extra layers of carbon
in this layup as well. Now, for many Colnago
fans, it would be sacrilege to put anything other
than a Campagnolo groupset on this frame. And so, I’m very pleased to be able to say that this has Shimano Dura-Ace. I’m sorry. But the Mapei Team used
Dura-Ace for a long, long time. This is Dura-Ace 7700 which actually was launched back in 1996. And what’s on this bike is
the 25th anniversary groupset which came out in 1998. And actually, it’s almost as
long lasting as the frame, which was retired in 2004. This groupset was
superseded in 2004 as well. The eagle-eyed amongst you may well notice two exceptions to that 7700 groupset. First is the cassette, which is actually an eight-speed cassette and not the usual nine-speed cassette that
Museeuw would’ve been running at the time. The likelihood is, he
would’ve had an 1123. And the other one is more interesting. That’s the cranks, which
are actually Dura-Ace 7410, which was the previous
iteration of Dura-Ace. We think that the reason they’re on here is because Museeuw, like
a number of other riders at the time, was a little
bit sceptical about Shimano’s HollowTech crank technology. He elected to stick with
the solid previous cranks rather than go for the
lighter, hollow versions that we now just take for granted. And the other interesting
thing about these cranks is the fact they are so long. They’re 177.5 millimetres
long, which is pretty epic by today’s standards. And I guess would’ve come in handy for levering his way up the burgs. Because he’s only got a 41-tooth
inner chaining on there, making it 41 and 53 up front. We’ve also got the old-school Shimano SPDR Dura-Ace pedals on there as well. Now, wheels on this. Classic bike-lovers will rejoice at the Ambrosio Nemesis wheels on there. Complete with Durex coating. Yeah, seriously, Durex. It says it on the rim. Now, at that time, all Classics
riders were still using the box section aluminium rims. Super comfortable, super durable. And although some riders, Museeuw himself, had dabbled in deep
section aerodynamic wheels quite a long time before this point, these were still the to-go wheel of choice for the Classics. The tyres are also not the exact ones that Museeuw used in the
2000 Tour of Flanders. On that day, he was using green Vittorias. Here, he’s got Vittoria Corsa CXs that are quite a lot narrower
than he would’ve used on the cobbles of Flanders. He’d have gone for 25s, whereas these are probably like 21s. Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Goodness me, that is
an awfully long stem,” you’d be right, because it is. It’s 140 millimetres long,
which is quite surprising given that it’s a fully custom bike. But nonetheless, it’s
certainly in keeping, especially it being a
Colnago owned brand stem. And handlebars are ITM, and
the seatpost, as you can see, is a now little-seen Shimano one. Then the other thing, the last thing I’m gonna point out for you is this. Which is brilliantly retro. It is the wired cycle computer. Johan used a cat-eye computer on there. And you can see the
wire very neatly tied up next to his brake cable up there. This is an iconic and
quite formidable bike, all capped off by the now
legendary Mapei colour scheme. And yes, I definitely
was one of those people for whom this was a dream bike. If it isn’t now, actually, still. But I was lucky enough
to actually ride it. And we have a video that is just up there and you can get through
to it with one click. Before you go there though, do make sure you subscribe to GCN. To do it, it’s very easy
and it’s completely free. Just click on the globe. And then to finish off this video, why not watch, talking
about Johan Museeuw himself, an interview with the
very man conducted by Matt, and that’s just over there.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Yup, it's still a beauty. I wish it were mine. Back in the 80's/90's I was still riding a steel frame Peugeot with toe clip pedals, a 6 clog rear cassette 12/26 with Shimano Tourney derailleurs and down tube shifters.

  2. Yes all well and good showing "retro" bikes but since Strava did not exist until 2009, technically nothing happened before that… Mind Blown…

  3. I just can understand the reasons for such a high transmission ratio. Even the lowerst is something like 1 to 3.

  4. Superb bike, but Si forgot to weigh it. Perhaps the gravity of its heritage was too much for him to lift.

  5. It's funny, but I still have that exact same front wheel. 28 hole slotted front 7400 hub with radial bladed spokes. I still use it for TT's on days with bad gusting side winds. The rear hub on the C40 is also a 7400 series hyperglide. It also has a 7410 seatpost. (I still have one in my parts bin)……PS. Those Vittoria CX were 21.5mm…..Back then 22mm Continentals were considered "wide". People only used 23 & 25mm tires in the rain, or in the "Classics".

  6. Si – you mentioned custom geometry and in particular the seat tube angle, but as far as I'm aware the lugs don't change shape (i.e. the socket angles are fixed), so Colnago can make the frame bigger or smaller in very specific increments but they do not change the angles of the tubes. Could you clarify this please? #torqueback

  7. much cooler than any new bike. If someone would start making thin tubed carbon/carbon lug bikes they would make big $$

  8. The bike is super and I dig the paint unique and euro. I would love to ride it with 172.5 mm cranks and fly the You know what out of it!

  9. I'm 43 and this bike takes me right back. I was fortunate to ride a C40 many times "back in the day." Loved the frame, never really loved the forks and the front end geometry on the Colnago bikes at the time to be honest. Another frame from that era that was just mega, albeit somewhat less iconic, would be the Bianchi 110th Anniversary Titanium. Spectacular bike. Impossible to get. Thanks Si for paying respects to such an iconic and great bike!

  10. Great looking bike and one that I need to add to my list to do. Just finished a Colnago Master Piu and love it so much so that I'd put it over any new carbon ride! Thanks for the video Si, all the best Andy

  11. Dura Ace 7700 cranks were not hollow, they were in fact solid aluminium. It was the Octalink bottom bracket spindle that was hollow, the original 'HollowTech', before 'HollowTech II' with it's hollow arms and integrated hollow spindle arrived in 2003 in the form of Dura Ace 7800!

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