Colnago has launched an all-new flagship monocoque bike called the V3Rs. Succeeding the traditional two-triangle V2-R, the V3Rs adopts the now-universal dropped seatstay design and sheds some weight. It’s available in both rim and disc brake variants and is accompanied by a more affordable model called the V3.
While Colnago continues to make its lugged carbon C64 and C64 Disc in Italy, the company has for years offered a more conventional monocoque (i.e sheets of carbon laid up with epoxy in moulds) all-rounder with a frame manufactured in Asia.
The V3Rs is the latest to take up the mantle, providing an up-to-date lightweight counterpart to the aero-focussed Concept. For some early ride impressions, head over to our first ride review.
Yes, of course it’s lighter and stiffer
At 87, Ernesto Colnago is still the big dog at Colnago. Matthew Loveridge / Immediate Media
In recent years, road bikes seem to have converged on a predictable design recipe: dropped seatstays, truncated aerofoil tube profiles, and ever increasing levels of integration. The latest bikes from Specialized, Scott, Cannondale, Wilier and numerous others fit this mould and the V3Rs is bang on trend here.
According to Colnago, its design team was targeting a frame weight of 790g for a ready-to-paint size 50s (that’s 50 sloping, roughly equivalent to a standard small) with its permanent hardware installed. (Think front derailleur mount, dropouts etc.)
The more affordable V3 is claimed to be around 80g heavier than the V3Rs thanks to lower grade carbon. It’s also disc-only and lacks the hidden cables discussed below.
It’d be weird if a new road bike launched without claims of increased stiffness, so I’m legally obliged to inform you that the V3Rs claims a “rear stiffness” increase of 12 percent and headtube stiffness improvement of six percent compared to its predecessor, the V2-R.
There aren’t any specific claims about aerodynamics and comfort, but Colnago made it clear these were considerations and it’s well established that dropped stays offer an easy route to gains on both fronts.
Colnago used these 3D-printed mini frames to settle on the overall shape of the V3Rs Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
Increased tyre clearance and ultra-tidy integration
The fork is all-new too, now officially offering tyre clearance of up to 30mm; a Colnago engineer hinted that real-world clearance was more like 32mm, at least for the disc version of the bike. The disc fork weighs a claimed 390g uncut, or less than 340g when trimmed for a 50s frame.
The headset is an evolution of the design used across Colnago’s top-end bikes; one which makes use of carbon fibre reinforced nylon cups that claim to help absorb vibration.
In keeping with the trend for clean cockpits, the disc version of the bike hides its hoses and cables, routing them through the stem and down the steerer for an ultra-tidy look.
One of the more distinctive features of the V2-R was the quirky bump in front of the seatpost, created by the seat clamp. The V3Rs does away with this design, using a more conventional flush-fitted, two-part wedge with a bolt accessed from above. Colnago says this saves weight while improving clamping force.
You can just about see cables under the bar, but it’s a very clean cockpit. Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
Revised geometry, but still a race bike
On the assumption that riders will typically run tyres at least 28mm wide, the V3Rs’ bottom bracket is slightly lower than the V2-R’s at 72mm for all but the three smallest sizes.
While the fork has grown longer to accommodate larger tyres, the stack figures are actually very slightly smaller than those of the old bike thanks to shortened headtubes.
Colnago pitches the V3Rs as a race bike but with eight sizes on offer there’s scope to size up or down according to how aggressive you want your fit to be. A 52s falls somewhere near the upper end of a standard medium with 384mm of reach and 560mm of stack.
Dropping down to a 50s lowers the front end a good deal with 542mm of stack, but only knocks 2mm off the reach.
Colnago V3Rs and V3 pricing and availability
With the V3Rs to be sold as a frameset, you can go as mad as you want with the build.
The V3Rs will be available from August with framesets costing £3,599.95 and £3,999.95 for the rim and disc brake versions respectively.
A complete bike with SRAM Red eTap AXS and Vision Trimax 40 carbon wheels will cost £9,499.95.
The V3 will be available as a complete bike only, with two colour options available in the UK. Built up with Shimano Ultegra Di2, it will come in at £5,199.95.