Colnago have unveiled their lightest frame to date.
The V1-r, a collaboration with Ferrari, comes with a claimed weight of 835g and also represents the Italian firm’s first foray into the aero road market.
The V1-r is the second headline launch from Colnago in 2014 and follows hot on the heels of the long-awaited C60. While the C60 retains the lugged construction of its predecessors in the ‘C’ range, the V1-r is a different beast altogether and one Colnago claim is the best monocoque frame in the Italian firm’s 60-year history.
Three themes have dominated road bike design in recent years: aerodynamics, weight and disc brakes, and the V1-r tackles the first two head on, while the frame will also available in both rim and disc brake versions.
First, aerodynamics. Colnago say the V1-r’s tube profiles have been developed in the wind tunnel and the frame uses the truncated Kammtail-style shape popular on aero road bikes across a number of manufacturers. This shape, Colnago say, strikes the best balance between low weight and rigidity (both sometimes sacrificed with a traditional airfoil shape), and drag, though the launch of the V1-r isn’t accompanied by any wind tunnel statistics. The truncated airfoil is used across the frame, including on the fork and 27.2mm seatpost, which should offer a little more flex than the 31.6mm seatpost used on the C60.
Colnago have, on the rim caliper V1-r, also chosen to move the rear brake from the seatstays to behind the bottom bracket. The frame will take direct-mount brakes (which have two mounting points, one on either side of the caliper, rather than a single central mounting point) at the front and rear, said to improve aerodynamic performance and save a little weight but, more pertinently, offer superior braking performance. Shimano builds will use the Japanese firm’s direct mount brakes, while SRAM and Campagnolo bikes will be equipped with a version developed by Colnago.
A new fork has also been designed to accommodate the direct mount front brake. It’s also aerodynamically refined, using the truncated airfoil tube profile found on the rest of the frame, and has a 1-1/4″ to 1-1/8″ tapered steerer.
As for weight, the V1-r is Colnago’s lightest-ever frame and we expect that’s where Ferrari come in, though it’s difficult to gauge the depth of that partnership. Either way, Colnago is perhaps the most ‘Italian’ of bicycle brands and the V1-r continues the company’s relationship with the most ‘Italian’ of supercar manufacturers. Colnago say the frame is made from “the highest quality carbon fibre, selected in co-operation with Ferrari.” Naturally, the frame wears a Ferrari logo.
Other features include the same ThreadFit82.5 bottom bracket developed for the C60. It’s an innovative design said to combine the best of threaded and pressfit systems thanks to a design which combines an 86mm-wide shell with removable and replaceable aluminium sleeves that house the bearings. That, Colnago say, provides the stiffness of a traditional pressfit system while improving reliability, durability and serviceability. The bottom bracket shell is suitably oversized, too, and should offer plenty of stiffness.
Otherwise, the V1-r has full carbon fibre rear dropouts (the front dropouts are aluminium), with a replaceable derailleur hanger. Needless to say, all cables run internally.
As we mentioned at the top, the V1-r will be available in both rim and disc brake versions. Colnago have been ahead of curve as far as disc-equipped road bikes are concerned since the launch of the C59 Disc way back in 2012. Fast forward to 2014 and the disc V1-r is still in development but we expect full details soon. We do know it will use thru-axles, rather than standard quick release skewers.
That’s it for now – full UK pricing and availability is to be confirmed but we expect to see the V1-r at the Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire with the Colnago-sponsored Europcar team.