Colnago unveils new TT1 time trial bike ahead of Giro d'Italia

Colnago TT1 during wind tunnel testing
(Image credit: Colnago)

In the waning moments of the 2020 Tour de France, Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates used a Colnago K.One to snatch victory in dramatic fashion. Today Colnago introduces the successor to that bike. It comes with a new name, the TT1, and a host of other upgrades. Most notably is the continued shift of braking from rim to disc. 

Development of the TT1 followed a familiar arc to most modern aerodynamically optimised bikes, both road and time trial. Using the experiences learned from the past bike, the team started with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). 3D models were first optimised virtually before having those findings verified in the wind tunnel at the Politecnico di Milano University. 

A major part of the development process for the new bike was a shift to disc brakes. The TT1 is the first Colnago time trial bicycle with disc brakes and the choice comes undoubtedly from consumer demand but also a recognition of the whole system. Disc brakes weigh more but as technology continues to advance, the difference continues to shrink. Meanwhile, the shift allows for greater rigidity of the entire frame thanks to the use of thru-axles at the wheels. Hydraulic hoses have been aero optimised with careful routing through the frame and compared to the K.One, the TT1 claims to deliver a better ride experience through better braking.

The front end sees other changes on the new TT1 as well as tie-ins with overall geometry changes. The new frame will offer three sizes, (S, M and L), with a shorter headtube and taller spacer towers. The change comes from wind tunnel testing showing that the spacer stack performs better aerodynamically compared to a larger head tube. The front end is then further minimised through the use of a bayonet fork that forms the front of the headtube instead of using a steerer tube.

Following the changes to the front-end shapes is a change to the top tube of the TT1. Gone is the slight slope of the K.One and in its place is a completely horizontal top tube. This is similar to other recently introduced aero road bikes and time trial bikes and it's not the only update that is becoming more common. Electronic groupset only compatibility and options for single or double chainrings also show up with the TT1. 

Colnago TT1 side profile

(Image credit: Colnago)

Pricing and availability

The Colnago TT1 frame is currently homologated as a prototype with the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). Not unlike the BMC Speedmachine we featured this week, the expectation is that development will continue with racing as the testing platform before fall consumer availability. Colnago is clear it expects further modifications before consumer sales but gives no further details as to what that might mean. Similarly, there are no details covering pricing. 

The frame itself isn't the only new product though. Part of the changes at the front includes the carbon fibre monocoque base bar. It's said to be lighter, more rigid and more aerodynamic than the previous design and compatible with both Colnago aero cockpit and with the most popular aftermarket solutions, including the Deda Jet One as used by UAE Team Emirates. Look for availability this Autumn.

Further supporting the aerodynamic profile of the TT1 is a new, integrated, bottle holder and bottle kit. As of today, the 500ml bottle is a 3D printed prototype not ready for public sale. As with the other pieces though the expectation is a consumer release later this year. In this case, Elite will be the development partner and there is no pricing information currently available. 

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Josh Ross

Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutiae of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 140 lb.
Rides: Salsa Warbird, Cannondale CAAD9, Enve Melee, Look 795 Blade RS, Priority Continuum Onyx