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  • Jake(Aus)

    Great review thanks, very balanced. Also interesting to see the beginnings of through-axle debates (as have previously occurred with mountain bikes), now that disc brakes have arrived. I’m not so sure a non-through-axle design would have as big a negative impact to the ride as it does on a mountain bike, given the more severe forces being applied just in general when riding trials etc. Would be interested to hear others thoughts though…

    • I was speaking with some design engineers from Specialized a couple weeks ago and asked them about through-axels. There was some debate amongst them, but one was adamant that they could achieve fork stiffness through other means where through-axels aren’t required. Disc alignment is the only reason for them. Personally, I’m not a fan of through-axels. They don’t fit on my roof rack or my maintenance stand.

      • Mr Bailey

        You can get adapters for roof racks and work stands

        • Yes, I know, but it’s not something I really care to spend more money on.

        • Dave

          And of course N+1 applies to all that kit as well as bikes.

      • Andy B

        My biggest issue with through-axles is that it just creates more limitations of swapping wheels between bikes
        My Mountain bikes are all different, different widths/sizes/one with QR rear etc so the wheels aren’t interchangeable
        Having said that I think they work well on mountain bikes but agree those benefits wouldn’t be as noticeable on road bikes with wheel size/weight
        I would prefer less complications and limitations when it comes to buying wheels so they can be used on different bikes.. Maybe I just have too many bikes though

    • Sean

      The quarter turn system (which I do think is rather clever) was first developed and patented by Focus Bikes wasn’t it? In the review it is call a Manitou Hex Lock, yet I have seen it as the Focus R.A.T. system on CX bikes for over 12 months…
      Very nice bike…
      and Wade, you can get very quick and simple adapters for you workstand and rack mounts :) Or its an excuse to upgrade….

      • John

        Manitou use this system on their MTB forks, it is a slightly less awesome, more agricultural looking version of the RAT, slightly different systems though.

  • Arfy

    “The frame is so fast only a tailwind can slow it down”
    It’s a nice looking bike, and good to see the innovations starting on road disc axles. It will be interesting to see what solutions other manufacturers come up with in the upcoming UCI window period. Of course we all want to see standardisation in the industry, but there’s no doubt that several ideas will come out first before everyone settles on the most popular. I just hope that with several bike manufacturers having their own in-house wheel offerings that we don’t see them trying to make proprietary solutions. Hopefully they’re wise enough to recognise that people don’t want to be locked into brands when they buy a bike.

  • Cam

    I wish my bike would gain some extra momentum over 35km/hr, I just find it’s hard work!

  • MK

    is the $5k price for the framme or the commplete bike? If for the complete bike, it is resonable when compared to others

    • Dave

      I would not expect a top of the range Colnago to be under $5k for a complete bike, it sounds a little too good to be true.

      That sort of price bracket belongs to the mass-produced bikes made in Asia and stickered up as “Italian” or “American” brands like Pinarello or $pecialized.

      • Arfy

        “…it is identical to two other Colnago race frames, namely the CLX and AC-R, and together, all three frames are manufactured in Taiwan”
        That said, I personally don’t have an issue with products made in Asia. As long as the factories have high levels of product volume coupled with a high level of quality control, then the factories should be the least of concerns. Nearly all cars, smartphones, computers etc that we buy in Australia are manufactured in Asia. It’s then up to the product designers to ensure their product designs are competent enough to stand up to the expectations of the consumer, the factories are just building to order.

        • Dave

          Really? I thought they still built their race frames themselves.

      • Andy

        FYI Colnago is owned by Giant before we get high and mighty about mass produced…

        • Dave

          Giant has a minority stake of Colnago’s ownership, and only mass-produce the mid-range Colnago bikes.

    • Price is for the frameset. Colnago doesn’t offer the V1-r as a complete bike except for the CF10 special edition bike (which retails for almost $12K).

      • Mark

        “The V1-r retails for $5,999 for the disc version and $5,599 for the rim brake”
        “RRP $5,199 for the rim brake version, and $5,599 for the disc brake version.”

        Are the prices going to continue to drop?

        • Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency, Mark and I’ve amended it. The lower price applies to the frameset sans seatpost.

  • Dave

    Can we correct the revisionism?

    “Enzo Ferrari was convinced of carbon’s utility and his engineers shared their technology and experience with Colnago to develop the new frames”
    should read more along the lines of
    “Enzo Ferrari was sceptical of carbon fibre and tried to get it banned from Formula 1 as his engineers couldn’t keep up with the competition, so when the team finally got dragged kicking and screaming into it they were so far behind they needed the collaboration with Colnago to catch up on their knowledge about the material.”

    • That’s an interesting version of events. Would Colnago really have had the experience to help Ferrari?

      • Dave

        Not back then.

        But it would have given Ferrari’s development engineers working under John Barnard a way to get experience with CF as a structural material without getting in the way of the existing race team’s program. Ferrari is the one F1 team which cannot afford to have a ‘rebuilding’ year without any wins – they had one of them last year and lots of heads rolled as a result.

        They had CF body panels on their F1 cars for a couple of years before Barnard arrived, but they still had a fairly conventional chassis until after Enzo Ferrari died in 1988.

        • I wonder how much local (Italian) expertise either company had to draw upon. Aeronautics and boating were driving CF development in Japan, USA and the UK, but what kind of industry experience would have been available in Italy? Enzo says, “go build some bikes, work out how this carbon fibre works.”

          • Dave

            I would be very surprised if Enzo Ferrari even knew about the Colnago collaboration before he died in 1988, that sounds a lot more like something that would have been organised quietly in the background by the F1 technical director John Barnard who was poached from McLaren in 1987 when Ferrari were closing in on two years without a race win.

            Italy has a small but respectable aerospace industry, but that’s not too relevant to Ferrari in F1 at the time because their design office was based in Guildford, just up the road from McLaren in the heart of England’s tech district.

            For a new technical director trying to bring about a revolution at a team stuck in the past, an exercise like building a bicycle would have been a good way on winning the engineers over to the routine use of carbon fibre.

              • Dave

                I wouldn’t take that as evidence of anything other than two great icons of Italian sport paying each other mutual respect.

                Cadel Evans met a different Ferrari once as well, but if I tried to infer a conclusion from that I would be shouted down within a couple of minutes.

                The closest that Ferrari were getting to doing anything you might call radical at that time was designing a supercar – the F40 – which had some carbon fibre in a few of the non-structural body panels but otherwise still a very conventional chassis.

          • SteveAck
  • Ralph

    Matt, what’s the benefit of “Ferrari helping with the selection of carbon fibre for the project” over Colnago’s existing selection process? Did you press them on this issue? From what I can garner Eligio Re Fraschini supplies Ferrari’s CF.. does it mean access to better materials from these guys over normal Colnago stock?

    You think Ferrari would be quite keen to emphasis what they’re actually doing here rather than just putting a logo or something (e.g. http://bit.ly/1JLHSkL) or am I not cynical enough..

    • Having visited the Ferrari merchandise store in Milan, I share a little of your cynicism. Sorry, I have no more info on what Ferrari’s exact contribution was.

  • Andrew MacKenzie

    Thanks for a great review Matt. In regards to the geometry you mention that it tends towards an aggressive fit. Comparing the numbers to a Colnago C60 it appears that they are very similar in geometry (54s). Would you also say the C60 tends towards an aggressive fit? The reason I ask is many people refer to the C60 as comfortable for long hauls…

    • The sloping geometry provides a pretty generous head tube length in both instances. Not quite as generous as a gran fondo bike, but it’s relatively easy to set the bike up to suit a more upright riding position. In contrast, a C60 with traditional (ie horizontal top tube) geometry has a relatively shorter head tube that is better suited to an aggressive fit (ie. less upright position). For any given fit, the C60 will be more comfortable than the V1-r because it lacks the same kind of stiffness. The V1-r is a race bike, the C60 is much more versatile, a good choice for long haul riding.

  • Marcus

    Good review. Late last year when searching for a new frame it was down to this or the S-Works Tarmac. Due to a lack of reviews of the V1-R, and being unable to find one to test ride (in London), I went for the Tarmac. I’m still very happy with my decision, but I’d love one of these too!

    • Disgruntledgoat

      Good god man! Why would you not take the Colnago?! Its a Colnago!

      • Marcus

        True, and I did nearly get one just because of that. But it doesn’t make it the better bike, and I wasn’t up for dropping £3k on a frame that I wasn’t convinced was exactly what I was after. I have no regrets whatsoever.

  • Wil

    I’ve been using discs on road bikes for a while now and have a few observations

    1 – bolt through axles in my opinion are a necessary evil on road bikes. I’ve had multiple occasions where a fist-full of front brake has pulled the front wheel across in the drop out. Not enough to pull the wheel completely out, but enough to force the disc to rub on the caliper. Now I’ve raced XC and DH in the past on normal QR drop outs and only had this happen occasionally but it does seem more frequent on the roadie. This was on a set of Reynolds Assault discs with the supplied skewers but also with shimano skewers and I’ve also tried a different fork. I switched to bolt-thru eventually as I feel the additionally faffage is worth the security.

    2 – Discs warp. A lot. I’m not especially heavy and like to think I don’t drag brakes. But I’ve had a few Avid rotors warp to the point where they had to be replaced. I’ve also had the same happen with Formula rotors. Both were 160mm and both on the front and rear. The only way I’ve found around this is to not use the one piece rotors. Either the standard shimano ones or the floating hope ones don’t do this, even down to 140mm so worth keeping in mind.

    3 – Don’t think that a cross bike or gravel bike is any comparison to a proper road bike, discs or no discs. I swapped to discs initially on a Niner RLT, then went to a Salsa warbird and finally a Specialized Crux. All felt a lot slower than a standard non-disc road bike and it wasn’t until I tried a proper ‘head down, arse up’ disc’d roadie that it actually felt as quick as my standard road bike. Probably not so relevant now that there are more proper disc road frames but I ended up going the custom route as at the time there were no true disc road bikes.

    4 – Disc road bikes are a pain to travel with. I’ve got both an Evoc bike bag and a cheap CRC one and multiple times I’ve had issues with rotors bending in transit. I’ve never had this issue before flying with my bike, but its a right pain in the arse when you arrive and have that tell-tale squeak as the disc rubs against the caliper. Only solution I’ve found is to remove the discs prior to packing. Takes some explaining at Security though…

    5 – discs are awesome. I’ve used my Di2 setup for about 18 months now and love it. Its taken a lot of time and effort to get it to a point where I prefer riding it to my other bikes but now its now the one bike I won’t sell.

    Realise none of the above is specific to the ‘Nago in the article, but might counter any arguments against discs on road bikes.

    • Winky

      I’d be extremely worried by the idea that my front wheel might be torn from it’s dropouts by the force of braking. The braking forces in road biking are typically much greater than in mountain biking. If through axles make sense there, they make even more sense in road biking.

      Discs also need to be bigger on road bikes than on mountain bikes in my view. But they’re not…….interesting

      • Dave

        Do you have a source for your assertion that the braking forces in road riding are higher than with mountain biking?

        Road discs don’t need to be larger, 140mm rotors are easily large enough to saturate the tyres and increasing the diameter of the rotor would reduce the level of modulation available to the rider which would counteract the whole purpose of having them in the first place.

        • Winky

          It’s physics. Road riders, on high grip surfaces, scrub off high speed for corners (as well as shed poetntial energy from the gradient if coming downhill). Coming down from 80km/hr to take a hairpin on a mountain descent takes a lot of braking force and requires a lot of energy to be dissipated in a short period of time. The grip the tyres have on the road is greater than can be achieved on dirt which in turn allows for greater braking forces. Higher speeds plus higher forces equals much more power (energy/time) to be radiated. The “power” of braking essentially equals speed times force and is a decent proxy for the rate at which the rotors have to dissipate heat.

          Road motorcyles have massive twin discs with mutli-piston calipers at the front (pretty much as large as can be fitted in sportsbikes). Dirt bikes have much smaller single rotors. Same logic.

          I believe the desire for light weight in roadbike disc systems will occassionally end in tears.

          • Dave

            Ah, so you were talking about energy and not force.

            Again, the limiting factor with the braking force is when you saturate the tyres, not the 140mm disc. There’s no point having a 180mm disc when you can already lift the rear wheel with a 140mm disc on the front.

            Washing off the heat is a legitimate concern if you’re a n00b dragging the brake down a long descent, but a bit of cadence braking or a downgrade to a cross bike should solve that. For a roadie serious enough to buy a $5k Colnago for just the frame, I wouldn’t see that as an issue.

            • Winky

              I’m talking about both. The force and the speed determine the power and therefore energy that needs to be dissipated. I’m not sure what you mean by saturate the tyres. But yes, the limiting force on high friction surfaces like the road is often determined by when the back wheel lifts (especially if you don’t have your weight well back). Off-road, the friction of the front tyre might be the limiting factor before the back wheel lifts (maybe depends on the slope, I guess). A locked front wheel often doesn’t end well, so modulation is important.

              Noobs dragging brakes isn’t really an issue with rim brakes due to their very large area for shedding heat (carbon clinchers notwithstanding – but hey, at least they’re expensive ;)). Adopting a braking system where brake dragging comes into play as a serious safety concern must be considered carefully.

              I’d be careful about equating bike cost with alpine hairpin braking experience!

              I still expect that the energy dissipating capacity of small lightweight road discs will be exceeded on occasion – leading to very bad things. And perhaps the eventual up-sizing of rotors.

  • Andreas

    red hubs for Ferraristi ;)

  • Winky

    Isn’t a chronically slipping seatpost a “fatal flaw” that would disqualify a bike from any sort of recommendation? Apart from too much carbon paste, how does one live with that long term? It’s not like there is an after-market clamp that would fit this bike for a proper fix.

    • With a sample of n=1, I can’t know how widespread the flaw is. I was able to get it to a point where the post no longer slipped, essentially addressing the flaw. Potential buyers can judge for themselves how much that impacts on the appeal of the bike.

  • Cliff Nichols

    Very interesting to see an ‘aero bike’ that, to my eyes at least, looks like a great general performance bike (in weight and in appearance). This is no bad thing….it just looks more like and Ultimate SLX than an Aeroad – if you’ll accept the analogue. Anyway, Me like very much….

  • Haden

    I own a rim brake V1-r and run Campag SR and Enve 4.5 wheels with carbon bars. The frameset including seat posts are widely available for under $5k. I’ve never had an issue with the seat post as discribed in this review and feel it might have been an isolated issue. The faster you go the better the bike performs, with quality deeper rims combined with the carbon bars creates the smoothest ride you’ll ever have. Bumpy roads don’t get absorbed as expected, must be due to the greater stiffness. It climbs and descends like a demon with a noticeable lightness in the back end when climbing. To ease people’s minds the rear brake is set and forget. I added an inline rear brake adjuster but I don’t use it. Many get hung up on the Ferrari badge but it’s a small 1in symbol each side of the top tube due to the collaboration in design….that’s all, not some Colnago status symbol.
    This bike doesn’t disappoint.

  • Stompin

    I thought Ferrari red would have been more appropriate as a standard finish. Stealth black is starting to date a little.


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