The new Colnago V4Rs hasn’t specifically been the most effective-held top secret in the planet. In fact, the prototype precursor, dubbed the Prototipo, had what amounted to an unofficial launch. Each the previous model and the prototype have what would be respectable palmares for any bike, with the former clocking up several victories at grand excursions and Monuments, and the latter podiuming at the Tour and selecting up Il Lombardia much too. It is tough to dispute that, on paper at least, it’s one of the finest highway bikes on the market place. You’d certainly hope which is the circumstance offered it has a selling price tag north of €15,000 in the UAE Staff Emirates spec model I got to journey for the duration of the launch…
Even though I only acquired to experience it on the start working day for all around 85km, we did pack in a good deal of elevation, which includes ascending the Coll de Charges two times, as soon as from every single side. Furthermore I managed to sneak an further 50km in the next day by working with it as what may possibly be the world’s most pricey commuter bike to go and photograph some WorldTour bikes from other teams that were being acquiring their winter season coaching camps in Spain. This is pretty significantly a to start with-trip evaluation, but all remaining perfectly, I hope to have the bike back early in the new yr to place it through its paces in a much more familiar environment.
Style and design and aesthetics
The V4Rs pretty a lot resembles the V3Rs, and the intermediate Prototipo, visually at any amount. Colnago doesn’t have an aero bike and a light-weight bike, it as an alternative has a bicycle for professionals (the V collection) and a bicycle to “make the really greatest feeling” (the C sequence).
The V4Rs is, as we always be expecting, lighter, stiffer, and far more aerodynamic. Our information piece for the new V4Rs addresses all the key information about precisely wherever it is lighter, stiffer and far more aerodynamic, so if you want to nerd out on it I propose you head there. The brief version is that the total deal (bicycle and rider) is a claimed 19-20 watts faster at 50km/h, as nicely as coming in a lighter deal 47g lighter for the frame, fork, headset and cockpit bundle. In addition to the stiffness at the rear, the major gains in pounds and aero surface to have been designed at the entrance close with the new built-in cockpit and lighter fork.
Details and wattage promises aside, as all those are a lot more or considerably less extremely hard to validate, the ethos of the bicycle seems to be pretty much pro-going through. The presentation, offered to a tiny gaggle of biking media immediately after breakfast at the UAE Group Emirates resort in La Nucia, was unashamedly pro-experiencing. The bicycle has developed to a lot more simply earn at the best degree, and it does not surface that there has been any thought for the non-professional consumers.
Though lighter, stiffer, and a lot more aero unquestionably have impacts on how a bicycle rides, so does the geometry. The V4Rs is for a longer time in phrases of attain than the V3Rs, 5mm for a longer period in point, which is significant for two frames nominally the identical sizing. In get to counteract the enhanced duration the chainstays have been taken in by 6mm, and the headtube steepened up by a 50 %-diploma.
A longer, a lot more stretched out, and hence more aero position was the intention, dictated by professional responses and possibly the implementation of the ban on the puppy paws using situation. The cockpit much too has extra to the get to, with it being for a longer time not so considerably in the stem, but in the distance from in which the stem clamp would be, if it weren’t a monocoque one particular-piece program, to the hoods. This does have driving implications, as we will get to.
Before we get into the sensitive-feely, contentious environment of aesthetics there is the issue of the componentry. The execs on the UAE group are presently acquiring made use of to the change (pun meant) from Campagnolo Super-History EPS to Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Enve wheels. It is rather prevalent in the pro peloton to see Shimano-sponsored teams also sporting Shimano wheels opting for Enve in its place appears to have been a final decision based on aero tests. All the major wheel options ended up tested both of those by Colnago at the Milan Polytechnic wind tunnel and individually by UAE Workforce Emirates at the Silverstone Sporting activities Engineering Hub in the British isles, with Enve ending up as the determination. This does fly in the face of our impartial aero wheels wind tunnel testing, but that was finished prior to the newest Enve SES wheel launch, and our check was carried out in isolation, unbiased of a bike, so in this scenario we may perhaps have to consider Colnago’s phrase. In any scenario, my check bike came with not Enves, but a wonderful shiny pair of Fulcrum Wind 40s. Colnago was at pains to place out that it is ‘agnostic’ when it arrives to componentry, and the client can have whatever they want. To further this level, just about every journalist existing experienced a different wheelset.
Aesthetics then? A tough 1 at the ideal of moments but even much more so for an Italian manufacturer with a heritage as wealthy, and a fanbase as fully commited as Colnago. The group spec bicycle, regardless of whether for the gentlemen or the girls, is predominantly just uncooked carbon to preserve some grams. The similar can be viewed in the world of gravel with the Component Ostro Gravel, and if you like black bikes then it is manna from heaven. There are subtle silver fade information to accentuate particular sections of the frame, but on the total, it’s very a approach package. Stylish? Indeed. A minimal uninteresting? Also of course.
Do not fail to remember this is a €15,000 Colnago, it ought to trigger individuals to faint on catching a reflection of it in a passing auto window. For me, it does not have the visuals of a Colnago, in the workforce spec or in the block black, white or pink variations of the frameset possibly. It’s risk-free, it is conservative, it’s a paint career from a enterprise capitalist consortium and not something conceived in excess of a late lunch with half a bottle of Barolo. Enable the execs preserve their grams, but remember to allow my heart to be set aflutter. Let me have Nathan Haas’ custom G3-X paint work.
This area will be devoid of any mention of the groupset. Many thanks to freezing ailments in excess of most of Europe (but the good news is not Benidorm), the check fleet only arrived the evening prior to we rode out, and as such, I was plagued with skippy gears. It’s Dura-Ace, it is the pinnacle of Shimano shifting, and I’m reasonably self-confident that when set up by a nicely-rested and sufficiently caffeinated mechanic with far more than 12 hours to establish a fleet of bikes, it would complete excellently our independent Dura-Ace assessment confirms as such, but in possibly case, I have taken any drivetrain overall performance out of my judgement.
My very first impact of the V4Rs was actually pretty underwhelming. It felt noticeably more time than my extensive-phrase Canyon Greatest, and much much less nimble. The access is only 2mm for a longer time, but mine was specced with a 110mm stem and reachy bars, and getting the steering enter so far in front of the steering axis slows the managing down. This is compounded by a head angle that is .8 degrees slacker, though I’m instructed this is ordinary for a Colnago. “Predictable” was the phrase utilised most often to describe the handling, and I assume that is really place on.
I never want you wondering it is some variety of barge, due to the fact it isn’t. It’s an particularly gentle, pretty stiff, Tour de France level race bike, but upon very first using the turn-in, specially on limited corners and hairpins, was not as rapidly as other race bikes I have ridden. Bear in mind while, it’s hard to give a bike you’ve only ridden for an hour the Whole Monty on an unsighted descent on wet streets. In much more open up, quicker cornering it is joyous, although it does not always persuade you to change your line. It corners like it’s on rails, but you will need to opt for your track just before you enter the convert.
Climbing is the place it feels most excellent, to coin Monthly bill and Ted’s phrasing. The short chainstays and stiff rear retain issues significantly effective. I believe an inline seatpost would boost things for most riders, particularly on steeper terrain to continue to keep the bodyweight centralised. Tadej Pogačar himself would concur, provided he is operating his saddle slammed ahead outside of its restrict. As is normally the case with these early rides, my set up was not just how I’d want it, but specified time I suspect I’d have the Selle Italia slammed ahead on its rails also.
To start with impressions are a risky factor in this match although, and should not cloud one’s judgement. Fortunately, Colnago permit me maintain maintain of the V4Rs to hoon about Alicante involving other workforce camps, which undoubtedly caught the eyes of a few mechanics and other execs alike. I managed to squeeze in yet another 50km or so, hilly they ended up far too, and items modified a minor, significantly at speed.
Our to start with take a look at journey was on specialized streets, it experienced not long ago rained, and my tyres had been contemporary and way too hard. On my 2nd experience I enable some air out, the roadways had been dry, and I was able to commit a minimal far more to each corner. At increased speeds, the managing that was at first a little dulled livened up. At speeds where by my Canyon can become a tiny nervy, the V4Rs continued to inspire assurance this integrated drafting an oil truck for 10km at close to 50km/h. The original lean-in to each individual corner was however needed a trifle previously, but in fast, difficult cornering, it felt really positive-footed.
This is the crux of the issue for me. Yes, you can buy this bike if you have a spare €15,000 kicking about, but except you are heading to experience it quickly and hard, it is not likely to be an extremely satisfying working experience. I am examining this from the level of look at of a biking journalist a keen, in good shape, and reasonably capable newbie bike owner, with an emphasis on amateur. I are not able to communicate from the point of look at of a professional, and at 31 years aged I suspect I by no means will, but I am inclined to feel the positive feedback from the execs that normally leaves me full of scepticism.
It is €15,000. Fifteen thousand. That’s an incredibly significant sum of income to invest on anything at all. It’s a deposit for a household, it is a vehicle, and it’s just about adequate to invest in two of those people Canyon Ultimates. For fifteen grand you want regardless of what you obtain to give you more than enough serotonin to get you via at minimum a few reasonably severe winters. I really don’t believe this bicycle will do that. If you gave me fifteen grand and insisted I invest in a bicycle with it, I would not purchase this. I’d have to journey at my limit to get the greatest out of it, and I do not journey at my limit usually sufficient to justify it. I haven’t ridden the C68, but I strongly suspect that would be a better use of your income.
I overheard a sentence that I to begin with thought was unnecessarily snobby over supper. I’m paraphrasing, but the essence was that other companies make bikes for buyers that execs also ride, whilst Colnago tends to make bikes for professional racers. I really do not assume this is completely correct, but in the situation of the V4Rs, it absolutely has a main of relevance.
The V4Rs has been built for professionals and this demonstrates out on the street. When you can obtain it as a client I feel that until you are racing at a large level, or at minimum riding consistently at an equal speed, you will struggle to get the most out of it. What’s additional, it doesn’t have the ‘icon’ issue of other Colnagos. It is rather unashamedly a bike for professionals from my first impressions.