Retro Vs Modern – Cobbled Classics Carbon Bike Special
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Retro Vs Modern – Cobbled Classics Carbon Bike Special

October 22, 2019


– I’m here on the Muur Van Geraardsbergen, The final battleground for so many years in the tour of Flanders. (Si groans)
– Sorry mate. Sorry I’m late. It took me awhile to
get ready this morning. – Sorry, Si, is that you? – Well, kind of. Today, Matthew, I am Johan Museeuw. – [Matthew] I’m not sure Johan Museeuw would be particularly
happy with you saying that, but anyway… – Well, no , that is a fair point, however, I do have Johan
Museeuw’s very bike that he used in the 2000 Tour of Flanders. That’s right, the era
defining Colnago C40. – Well that’s a little
bit of a coincidence ’cause I happen to be sat
astride the Trek Domane belonging to Yaroslav
Popovych which he rode in the Classics Campaign in 2016. – You know what, Matt? Wonder if we should put
these through their paces? – Do you mean, a retro v. modern? – Classic special? Let’s do it. (upbeat music) – Firstly, Si, I think
we need to put the bike into a little bit of context, or the rider in fact, Johan Museeuw, an utter legend of the sport. World Road Race champion, three times winner of Paris-Roubaix, and three times winner
of the Tour of Flanders. He is the Lion of Flanders. An absolute living legend, without a shadow of a doubt. – That is right, and arguably
though, this bike, the C40, is even more iconic than its former rider. So when it was introduced, the first time in secret
in to the pro peloton, it was 1993. And in ’95, it actually became the first
bike, first carbon bike, to win Paris-Roubaix. And it amassed incredible number of victories until it
was eventually retired from the pro peloton,
about a decade later. Now I said it was carbon, but it’s carbon in a very
different way to yours, even though they share the same material. Because it was made by bonding
carbon tubes to carbon lugs. And it gives it one
very, very big advantage in that it can be made
to be entirely custom. So this is Johan Museeuw’s
own personal custom geometry. And it is certainly quite a
unique feeling bike to ride, that’s for sure. – Well, in fact, Domane is
made of the same material, carbon fibre, but it’s
a little bit different. It’s made in a mold. It’s monocoque and whilst
Trek didn’t have the luxury of having custom frames made, but they did have a race-specific, limited edition geometry
which had limited availability to the general public as well. Built-in to this frame, as you can see, is an IsoSpeed decoupler, adjustable from the rear, giving the bike quite
remarkable vertical compliance, and of course the bike itself, is tremendously stiff. – Well, that is a funny point, actually, the stiffness side of things, because with these skinny tubes, this one definitely doesn’t
look anywhere near as stiff, and I think, if I was to
really stamp on the pedals, I’d probably find it very
different to that one. But the comfort, even though
it has no Iso-Speed Decouplers, it is still a very comfortable bike, and I think that comes down firstly, to those skinny tubes again. Then also to choice of wheels. So even in 2000, Classics riders were still using these
box-section aluminium wheels and they are significantly
more comfortable, although less aero-dynamic, than your deep-section
carbon bad boys there. (upbeat music) – How does it feel like there? That was the Bosberg, by
the way, we just rode up. How does it feel? You look pretty comfy. It’s a really laid back position, but I tell you what Si, you look like you could be Johan Museeuw. – Oh Matt, that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. “Like a slow Johan Museeuw.” – [Matthew] Look at that! – Yeah. Yeah! Yeah! – [Matthew] How does it feel, though? ‘Cause you’re very, very long. I mean, the position’s quiet aero itself, but how does it kinda handle? – I’ll tell you what, position is a really interesting thing
because even though this is entirely custom, he’s
put a 140 stem on here, but, yeah, there’s hardly any drop between the saddle and the bars. So although I’m still super stretched out, it contrasts completely
with modern-day race bikes. And aside from handling,
kinda slow actually, it feels really good. Feels like I could just
cruise around on this all day. Just, effortlessly
floating through the bunch. – I think another thing
we need to mention. We talked about the frames. Talked about handling of the bike. What about gears? ‘Cause on this bike, of course, I’ve got Shimano Di2. Giving me a really wide gear ratio. 11 to 28, I think it is on this bike. Twenty-two gears to choose from where, as back in 2000, as I remember well, I was racing as a pro back then, far more limited availability as well. A limited range of gears, sorry. – That’s right. So this C40 has got Shimano-Dura 7700 on there. Which, actually, this is
the 25th anniversary group so it’s particularly special. And I think, you correct me if I’m wrong, was introduced back in 1996. And actually wasn’t changed until 2004. And so we’ve only got
nine-speed at the back and Museeuw rode 39/53
chainrings in Flanders. And with a 12/23 or 11/23 block, I think. But the fact that this group set didn’t change for eight years, and the frame didn’t change for ten, means that even just, what, 17 years ago, pros didn’t change bikes
half as much as they do now. There was much slower turnover
of technology, wasn’t there? – Definitely and I think
another interesting point about your gears selection,
a narrower range of gears. And Museeuw actually
used to ride 177.5 cranks whereas Popovych, 172.5, a smaller rider. But that just shows about this leverage and the sort of slower gears. Lower cadence over the climbs as well. – Yeah, these are monster cranks. 177.5. – You’re rolling them beautifully! – There’s a reason why
I’m peddling at 50 rpm. It’s just a cruiser, this bike. A cruiser that’s also
won the Tour of Flanders. And Paris-Roubaix. – Privileged. – And the Worlds. (upbeat music) – I’ll tell you what, Si. The top of the Bosberg, the other side, I might just give it a bit of
a nudge on the cobble descent. You coming with me? – (Car passing drowns out
speaker) I’ll probably go a bit. It’s Belgian heritage.
I think I might walk. – You sure?
– Yeah – All-right, here we go! (intense rock music) – Sweet as a nut! (Si emits a sustained cry) – Belgium heritage! Imagine what they’d do if I broke Johan’s bike. (Matthew emits a sustained cry) – Here he comes! Here he comes! Mr. Modern-Day, cruising
down on his “cobble eater”. – Look out, Si! – Heritage! Heritage! – Uh, Si, we’re heading towards the Muur. – Yeah
– Do you fancy, for old times’ sake, giving it a nudge? – A retro modern race? – Definitely.
– Go for it! Hey Matt, who do you think would have won? Cancellara or Museeuw? (intense orchestra music) (sound of bicycle gears (heavy breathing) (Si groans) (Heavy breathing) – Well, Si, what an absolutely
wonderful ride that was. A mini cycling pilgrimage.
– Yeah! – And I can tell, by
the look on your face, now and out on the road, you
were having a whale of a time. – I was, I did have a whale of a time. I was a little bit unsure about the bike to start with because
it felt so different. The position and the geometry
was just so different to what I’m normally used to. But by the end, it was
like it was on rails. It was so fast, and super-duper stiff. One issue, though, that I
think we need to address before everyone raises it in the comments. Is that for a lot of you, and
us included, the year 2000 doesn’t actually feel all that long ago, but in bike-terms, I think these two are
like chalk and cheese. – Yep
– There is an awful lot that has happened in the last 17 years and so actually the year 2000, when you’re looking at a
classic bike like that, is definitely retro. 17
years prior to that, in 1983, really not quite so much a change, really. Just toe-clips, some straps
and down-shift shifters. – And maybe, I think,
a difference in weight. But in terms of look and
geometry, pretty much the same. – Yeah – But what about the other
key factor about a retro bike? The aesthetic.
(Si moans in agreement) The aesthetic of the bike. I
mean, both bikes are beautiful. But in particular, Colnago. It’s got this real sense of reverence. It’s always a piece of art. – Yeah, it is a piece of art, isn’t it? We are super, super lucky to have that. It must be said though, that if I was going to
have a bike to ride now. I’d go for the Trek. (Matt hums in surprise) I’d go for the modern bike. The kind of riding that will do short, fast, full-gas efforts now. That Trek is just robust and it’s fast and you just wanna thrash it. – I mean whatever the road threw up today. It kind of ate it for breakfast. That descent of the Bosberg, I just wanted to go faster and faster. The bike had no problem
dealing with the cobbles, even at really high speed. But yeah, that is the way to go. But perhaps this one? A nice gentle, tranquil
ride to the cafe, perhaps. – One day, I will have a classic
bike and ride to the cafe. – Definitely. Now, for all things cycling, you’ll want to talk shop in fact, how ’bout clicking on the globe? And that way you would not
miss another GCM video. – That’s right and make
sure you subscribe. And then, if you want more content? Well why not click just over there? Where Matt got to ride a bike even older than Johan
Museeuw’s Colnago C40. A genuine retro piece. The 1987 Battaglin of Stephen Roche. – Now right now I’m sitting
next to Simon Richardson, dressed as Johan Museeuw. If you want to see the real Johan Musseuw, in conversation with myself, how about clicking just down here?

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  1. Love this. So much to debate. Except aesthetics. There's no argument whatsoever which bike looks better…

  2. Dear GCN, may i suggest that you change the title from Retro to Classic. Retro refers to what is old that is fashionable as a new reproduction m This colnago is original therefore​ a classic.

  3. Si, would you be so kind to inform me on those glasses. Are they Rudy Project or Briko? Where to buy them?

  4. I'm just thinking the same way as Si at the end, but I just wonder that 30-40 years later the modern bikes of today will be retro or not?

  5. I have a C40 and put Campagnolo Potenza on it. Such a sweet riding bike. The racing pedigree is instant when you ride it. Loved this feature.

  6. The C40 is not as outdated as you may think! Colnago still make the lugged carbon C60, which is raced on by world tour riders…

  7. Looks like a 32 tooth cassette on si bike at the end and kept cutting back to the shot with the corn cob on it!

  8. Good to see the C40 being put through it's paces. I have a C40 and a C60 and a few other modern bikes BMC, Trek Madone, Milani, Viner etc. I can say the C40 is a totally different beast to modern day carbon fibre much more comfortable and equally as fast as my other bikes once it is shod with modern hoops and groupset. I had already guessed your conclusion before the end given much of your 'testing' is sponsored and linked to the manufacturers products you endorse. Let's face it all the 'stiffer' 'lighter' 'flex' marketing and R&D has no real world bearing on Weekend hobby cyclists performance. My C40 rides better than my C60 and is more involving and enjoyable to ride, go figure.

  9. What make and model of cycling shades is Si wearing in this video? I recall Matt wore the same pair in "How to Ride and Look Like a Professional Belgian Cyclist".

  10. It's "Muur van Geraardsbergen", not "Mur de Geraardsbergen". I'm not a Flemish nationalist, not at all, but this is 2017, it's been officially Flemish-spaking for a long time. It's almost like talking about la gare de Waterloo in London.

  11. Great video. Gotta say. Been riding 40 years and I have not found a better bike than my 2016 carbon. But on a sunny day I will still get out my 20 year old Aluminium bike for a quick jaunt. But I am relieved to be back on the regular bike.

  12. guys I'm going to be checking out a Motobecane Grand Touring, what do I need to know about this bike and how does it compair to a Trek 1.2

  13. I have to laugh at this because my everyday rider is now considered "retro." 2001 Trek 5900 with the exact same groupset as the Colnago. Apparently I need to upgrade :).

  14. How's about a seriously retro '77ish somethingorother?

    unrelated: "chalk and cheese?" Lord I may never get all these Englisms. cheers.

  15. Could you guys try one of lemond's bikes or how about one of those carbon pergeots that millar used to ride?

  16. Hi GCN, I know this was about old cobble bike vs new, fair enough, but could you please do a video where you use an older frame, but as modern components as you can??

    For example, with an old vs new, wether it's carbon, steel or alloy, fit the frame with the latest components and wheels. That way you will really see the difference between a modern FRAME vs an old FRAME.
    I'm not interested in the complete new vs old bike, as obviously modern wheels, tyres and pedals are the biggest difference and the newer bike as a whole will be better, but I am Interested in old frames vs new frames, but both with the same wheels and age of components.
    If Carbon, use a high end old carbon frame, like a Colnago C40 or LOOK KG196, but with the latest 2017 Record/Dura Ace groupset, pedals, wheels, seat, seatpost etc etc
    If steel, use a Cinelli Supercorsa, or Colnago Master or similar, built up with the latest and greatest.
    Surprisingly, you DONT HAVE A VIDEO where you do an accurate old vs new spokes with apples.

    If your doing old groupset vs new groupset, or old/retro wheels vs new wheels, well you can fit 8S to a modern frame and old wheels to a modern frame (as long as 130mm rear), so why not just do that instead of a complete period correct bike vs a modern period correct bike, and then trying to compare just 1 component? Redicullous! Your actually comparing way to many variables!

    Try reverse engineer as well. So latest frame with all old stuff (8S and heavy old wheels), vs an old frame with all the latest stuff. Way more interesting!

    This is not aimed at this video in particular, just all your old vs new vids collectively as a whole.

  17. Cool.. at 1:20, you're actually riding where I've lived for 18 years, kapellestraat (flat stretch leading up to the Bosberg).

  18. One of the reasons that Simon went down that hill so slow is that those old tires are shot. They must have been glued on those rims for 16 years. PS. 39×23 is a very manly gear. I used to get completely knackered riding that gear up a 20% grade.

  19. Si looks fat with those retro pro leather shoes on! And I mean fat, with an F, not PH phat. Still looks fast on that old bike though. lol

  20. I have a Bianchi ev and ev2 with campy and Mavic Equip.. I love the way they handle and look. Don't see any reason to buy new.

  21. Carbon deep section more comfy than Alu ones…..right!
    You didn't try my ones, mate!
    Shimano Dura Ace 1rst Gen hubs , Open Pro rims with Alpina butted spokes and Clement Strada Lgg tyres , like silk!!

  22. OMG….just banging cobble by cobble would be brutal…..well done lads….that last race portion showed the ugly of the bouncing cobbles….forward motion, strength, skill and just bravado on these roads with the sudden upgrades….damn, need to work harder

  23. Not all ex-dopers are loved equally post career, just a few are allowed the gift of repression. Lets not let history get in the way of a rose tinted story.

  24. All you ridiculous techno weenies getting your panties in a knot make me laugh…………………. Older was better. Doubt it? Dare to compare course times and avg. speed over the past forty plus years. But before you do, better pour yourself a stiff drink. You're going to need it……….

  25. Nice work, Matt and Si, and on your duel up that climb, I was expecting either of you to lean in and knock the other out of contention, like in a BMX race. And that was my problem with BMX, I was too friendly to do that, so I took my lumps and usually got center-punched in a berm or knocked down in the first turn. And oh well, that was just how the game was played, but it wasn't for everyone. I was happier riding a BMX bike for hours than racing it for less than a minute a moto.

  26. That Colnago was my dream bike when I was a kid. Combined with that sweet kit, its perfect. Maybe not the Brikos though.

  27. A hell of a lot changed in 16 years. If you didn't say Museseuw's bike was made of carbon, I would have thought it were steel based on how it looks. With those shallow rims, 9 speed at the back, and absurdly tilted hoods, looks like very "vintage".

  28. Was für Bekloppte! Der eine fährt mit Schwung den Berg runter um zu zeigen wie "toll" das bröselige Carbon ist. Der andere läßt sich ohne Schwung runterrollen um zu zeigen wie "schlecht" langlebiger Stahl im Fahrradbau ist. Denn bei gleichem Schwung hätte Carbon vermutlich Berg ab einfach nur schlechter abgeschnitten. Liegt das eigentlich an der Minze in deren Fressen oder am Frittierfett das Engländer so grenzenlos dumm sind und Dinge nicht direkt und unter den selben Bedingungen vergleichen können?

  29. My dream, a C40! With the RIGHT groupset! Only query about this one is the 9 speed sti levers with an 8 speed cassette. 9 speed spacing between the sprockets? If so, why?

  30. I’d love to see a C40 on the Vélodrome test for aerodynamic testing. I wonder if those skinny tubes which have less frontal area, shorter head tubes and the fact your knees are closer in line due to a skinnier top tube.

  31. There are definitely some Italians cringing about the Dura Ace on that Colnago but if you want your Italian bike to work, go with Shimano.

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