Colnago V1-r aero road bike launched

835g frame with direct-mount brakes, Kamm tail shaping

Colnago may be an Italian brand steeped in history but it's also a company that hasn't been afraid to keep up with the times. Announced today is its latest collaboration with storied automobile brand Ferrari: the 835g V1-r carbon fiber aero road bike.

Colnago says the new V1-r is a generally "more aggressive" race bike than the recently introduced C60. According to Colnago America national sales manager Billy Kanzler, the V1-r has a stiffer, racier, firmer, and more responsive feel than the Italian-made C60 flagship, and at 835g for a bare frame (size 48s, verified actual weight), it's also the lightest frame Colnago has ever offered by nearly 150g.

Colnago says its new v1-r is by far the lightest frame it has ever offered. actual weight for a bare frame is just 835g (size 48s): colnago says its new v1-r is by far the lightest frame it has ever offered. actual weight for a bare frame is just 835g (size 48s)

Colnago's latest joint venture with Ferrari is the new V1-r

Another departure for Colnago is a move to direct-mount brake calipers, including a rear caliper that's now located below the chain stays. Colnago says that this saves a bit of weight over traditional center-mounted calipers but more importantly, their more compact arrangement is less prone to flex so the braking power and modulation is improved as well. Shimano-equipped complete bikes will come with Shimano brakes but other builds will get Colnago-branded aluminium calipers made by The Hive.

The direct-mount brakes save a few grams over standard calipers but according to colnago, also work better as there's less flex in the system: the direct-mount brakes save a few grams over standard calipers but according to colnago, also work better as there's less flex in the system

Direct-mount brakes are used front and rear

As good as direct-mount brakes can be, Colnago also has a disc version of the V1-r in development that will likely use thru-axles at both ends along with some form of Hayes' slick – and very fast – HexLock quick-release skewer system.

Colnago will also eventually release a disc brake-compatible v1-r featuring hayes' slick - and ultra-fast - hexlock 15mm thru-axle system. there's no firm timeline on the bike's release but it isn't far off: colnago will also eventually release a disc brake-compatible v1-r featuring hayes' slick - and ultra-fast - hexlock 15mm thru-axle system. there's no firm timeline on the bike's release but it isn't far off

Don't get too excited yet. A disc version is coming but is still in development

Subtle Kamm-style tube shaping lends the new V1-r a purported aero advantage over round-tubed bikes, too, with the truncated airfoil profiling being applied to the down tube, head tube, seat tube, and seatpost. Colnago says the sculpting makes the V1-r faster than a conventionally shaped frame "in all conditions" – although we should point out that there was no test data provided to support those claims.

The stays are notably slender with very clean aesthetics. the fork is built with a 1 1/8-to-1/4in tapered carbon fiber steerer: the stays are notably slender with very clean aesthetics. the fork is built with a 1 1/8-to-1/4in tapered carbon fiber steerer

Subtle Kamm tail-type shaping is used in several areas of the frame

Nevertheless, Colnago has never set out to create the absolute lightest, stiffest, or most aero machines and Kanzler stresses that the usual company hallmarks faithfully carry over. In particular, Kanzler says that despite the low weight, the V1-r is as durable, strong, and safe as any other frame in the Colnago lineup.

"These will last forever – period," he said. "Is there a weight penalty? Absolutely. But is it worth it? Oh, yeah."

Part of that slight weight disadvantage over some other companies' so-called superbikes is directed at the bottom bracket where Colnago has again applied the novel ThreadFit 82.5 system that was first introduced on the C60.

Colnago's threadfit 82.5 bottom bracket - here shown on a c60 shell - uses a permanently bonded-in aluminum threaded sleeve. pf86-compatible cups then thread in to provide what is supposed to be a creak-free fit: colnago's threadfit 82.5 bottom bracket - here shown on a c60 shell - uses a permanently bonded-in aluminum threaded sleeve. pf86-compatible cups then thread in to provide what is supposed to be a creak-free fit

Shown here on a C60 bottom bracket shell, Colnago's novel ThreadFit 82.5 design promises to eliminate creaking while still offering the benefits of an extra-wide system

According to Colnago, the currently accepted practice of pressing bearing cups into a bonded-in sleeve or inserting the bearings directly into molded-in seats isn't some sort of technological advantage; it's merely a thinly veiled way to decrease manufacturing costs and is unacceptably prone to creaking or play over time that often isn't easy to rectify.

"Pressing bearings directly into a frame is a really poor way to save weight," said Kanzler.

Instead, the ThreadFit 82.5 system features a threaded steel sleeve that is permanently bonded into the shell. From here, a set of precision-machined aluminium cups are then threaded into that sleeve, and then Shimano PF86-compatible bottom bracket are pressed into those. Proper alignment is thus insured between both sides and in the event of long-term wear, those threaded cups can simply be removed and replaced.

This setup also lets Colnago build the V1-r with the more generously proportioned tubing that the extra wide shell geometry allows while still maintaining broad compatibility with a wide range of component manufacturers.

In response to the various problems associated with newer bottom bracket standards, colnago's threadfit 82.5 system is meant to be a 'forever' system that firmly threads into the frame with a secure metal-on-metal fit but is still compatible with modern shimano-standard pf86 cups: in response to the various problems associated with newer bottom bracket standards, colnago's threadfit 82.5 system is meant to be a 'forever' system that firmly threads into the frame with a secure metal-on-metal fit but is still compatible with modern shimano-standard pf86 cups

Tubing proportions are notably generous

Colnago also traded weight savings for durability up in the 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in tapered head tube, where the headset bearings rest on tough, precision-machined aluminium seats instead of carbon fiber ones. And while the rear dropouts are carbon fiber – another first for Colnago – the tips of the matching 395g fork are made of forged-and-machined aluminium to better withstand repeated mounting and dismounting on roof racks.

Colnago is fully anticipating having to justify the V1-r's existence when compared to other bikes in its category that perform better on paper with lower weights, higher stiffnesses, or better aerodynamic performance. However, Kanzler says that Colnago's goal has never been to make the lightest frame – only the best riding and most durable race bikes that also hold their value over time.

"The numbers don't mean anything," he said. "It's designed to ride like a Colnago."

V1-r framesets will retail for US$4,749 / €3,100. The first shipments are expected to land in stores in about a month, but you'll see the Europcar team on them sooner than that as many of them will be racing the new V1-r at next month's Tour de France – and we'll hopefully begin testing of a long-term sample around then, too.

As colnago has done on numerous occasions in the past, the v1-r was developed in collaboration with ferrari: as colnago has done on numerous occasions in the past, the v1-r was developed in collaboration with ferrari

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