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Colnago launches the V1-r aero road bike

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The internal cable routing is convertible between mechanical and electronic systems. There's also a charging port built into the bottom of the down tube for Campagnolo's latest EPS v2 internal battery system

The internal cable routing is convertible between mechanical and electronic systems. There's also a charging port built into the bottom of the down tube for Campagnolo's latest EPS v2 internal battery system
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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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)
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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The seatpost features similar Kamm-type shaping in an effort to decrease aerodynamic drag. According to Colnago, this also improves rider comfort, too. Multiple seat tube slots improve clamping consistency on the seatpost as well to reduce slipping

The seatpost features similar Kamm-type shaping in an effort to decrease aerodynamic drag. According to Colnago, this also improves rider comfort, too. Multiple seat tube slots improve clamping consistency on the seatpost as well to reduce slipping
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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The fork crown is notably squared-off

The fork crown is notably squared-off
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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A stainless steel plate is affixed to the chain stay to protect the frame against chain suck

A stainless steel plate is affixed to the chain stay to protect the frame against chain suck
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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Sleek shaping on the seat stay bridge

Sleek shaping on the seat stay bridge
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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Colnago will offer the new V1-r in three colors, including all-black, all-white, and a black/white/red scheme

Colnago will offer the new V1-r in three colors, including all-black, all-white, and a black/white/red scheme
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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Shimano-equipped Colnago V1-r bikes will come with Shimano calipers while Campagnolo ones will feature Colnago-branded aluminum calipers made by Hayes

Shimano-equipped Colnago V1-r bikes will come with Shimano calipers while Campagnolo ones will feature Colnago-branded aluminum calipers made by Hayes
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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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
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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The tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in fork steerer features an integrated lower bearing seat

The tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in fork steerer features an integrated lower bearing seat
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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The aluminum replaceable rear derailleur hanger is intentionally designed to break on impact in order to save the carbon dropouts

The aluminum replaceable rear derailleur hanger is intentionally designed to break on impact in order to save the carbon dropouts
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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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 convertible internal routing system is also designed to accept Campagnolo's latest EPS v2.0 internal battery setup, complete with a hole in the down tube just above the bottom bracket cable guide to accommodate the external charging port

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 convertible internal routing system is also designed to accept Campagnolo's latest EPS v2.0 internal battery setup, complete with a hole in the down tube just above the bottom bracket cable guide to accommodate the external charging port
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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According to Colnago, the new V1-r is lighter than the C60 but also has a firmer and more aggressive ride quality

According to Colnago, the new V1-r is lighter than the C60 but also has a firmer and more aggressive ride quality
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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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
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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One of the defining features of the Colnago V1-r is the direct-mount brake interface. The rear brake has also been moved down below the chain stays, all in the name of better aerodynamics and improved braking performance

One of the defining features of the Colnago V1-r is the direct-mount brake interface. The rear brake has also been moved down below the chain stays, all in the name of better aerodynamics and improved braking performance
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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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
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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Rear dropouts are made of carbon fiber - a first for Colnago

Rear dropouts are made of carbon fiber - a first for Colnago
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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The down tube is extremely wide and the chain stays are very tall. Both are anchored by Colnago's clever ThreadFit 82.5 bottom bracket shell

The down tube is extremely wide and the chain stays are very tall. Both are anchored by Colnago's clever ThreadFit 82.5 bottom bracket shell
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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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
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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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
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)
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The cross-section of the proprietary carbon fiber seatpost

The cross-section of the proprietary carbon fiber seatpost
(Image credit: James Huang/Future Publishing)

Colnago may be an Italian brand steeped in history but it's also a company that isn't afraid to keep up with the times. Announced today is its latest collaboration with the 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.

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 aluminum calipers made by Hayes.

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.

Airfoil tube profiles, ThreadFit 82.5 bottom bracket system

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.

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.

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 bearing 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 aluminum 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.

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 aluminum 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 aluminum to better withstand repeated mounting and dismounting on roof racks.

Designed to ride like a Colnago

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. We'll hopefully begin testing of a long-term sample around then, too.