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by Trent Iliffe
November 6, 2015
Photography by Jeff Curtes
In this edition of Bikes of the Bunch, Trent Iliffe shares the story behind his new Colnago C60, which involved custom paint that was inspired by an old Steve McQueen film.
I update my bike every few years or when there is a reason to get a new bike. This time it was driven by a combination of a few factors—the new C60, EPS V2.0 and the new Bora clinchers—so it was a fait accompli.
I have ridden Colnagos for the last 15 years. I like the classic styling and the ride associated with the lugs. This latest bike is a noticeable step up in both the quality of the ride and handling. I also decided to go down a frame size, which added to the handling while easing back strain.
I purchased the bike frame and components from Bikebug. The frame was then sent to the Carbon Bike Doctor at Mona Vale to be stripped back to raw carbon and repainted. We spent a long time working on getting the logos to fit with the frame sizing. The hardest choice was the font for the number 4. This was my brother’s number and I wanted it to remind me of him.
The design and painting took around a month to complete. It was a detailed process, but I enjoyed it. The bike was assembled at Bikebug with final touches and tuning at Skunkworks (Zak has a magic touch!).
• Frame: Colnago C60
• Groupset: Campagnolo Super Record EPS
• Wheels: Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35mm clinchers
• Seat: Fizik Antares carbon
• Stem: Deda Nero Zero
• Bars: FSA
• Pedals: Time
• Weight: Don’t know, the paint looks so good that I don’t care!
I have learnt over many years to never compromise on the bike and components — always get what you really want then there are never any regrets later on. And I would not dare mix Europe and Asia — it would be like putting a Honda motor in a Ferrari — so the components are all tried and tested Italian that I have used for years.
I waited for the second generation of EPS. The groupset not only looks the goods but also offers a big improvement in the quality and ease of gear changes. I also waited for the new Bora 35mm clinchers to come out before completing the bike. I stuck with a Deda Zero Nero stem combined with a shallow reach FSA bar to improve the reach and handling.
I had toyed with this bike design and colours for years, switching between many options, but kept coming back to the same colour combination. I have always loved the cars with this combination of baby blue and orange, which comes from the 1971 Steve McQueen movie, Le Mans. Obviously, I’m hoping to be associated with Steve and some of his cool!
Whilst no one really gets the Steve McQueen connection, the bike certainly gets noticed. It is very different from the norm of black bikes out there and does make me wonder why I didn’t do it years ago. The only issue is now I have to wear blue or orange kit, which limits my choices, however Rapha have been kind enough to put out a range of light blue jerseys, bibs and socks to keep me in toe with the bike’s paint job.
It has been a rewarding choice of bike. The bike rides like a dream—I can’t fault it. It’s the combination of all the components that really makes it, not one particular piece.