Developed to be as fast as possible, the new Colnago Concept takes aero and adds Italian style. The new bike takes its name from the first carbon model that Colnago developed in partnership with Ferrari back in 1986, and builds on that racing pedigree to develop a bike where speed was the highest priority. Colnago says that they studies every detail to eke out as much aero performance they could while at the same time working their carbon magic to improve drivetrain stiffness for the racing machine. That refined carbon development also promises a frame that will keep a racer fresh and comfortable after a long day in the break to sprint for the win at the line. Take a closer look with us at the shiny goodness after the jump…
The new Concept puts Colnago’s touch on the aerodynamic race bike and does so with a little bit of customization from one bike to the next to tailor to different drivetrain setups. Overall the frame gets narrow and deep down and seat tubes, as well as dropped aero seatstays, while the headtube and gently sloping toptube are not especially thin.
The bike uses an aero seatpost with stepped transitions both above and below the seat cluster to smooth airflow, and also incorporates a wedge-type post clamp integrated into the top of the toptube. The post itself then gets a thinned section with an integrated elastomer to take out some of the shock of a deep section aero seatpost.
In a nod to real world usability, the Concept uses a direct mount rim brake calipers mounted in their standard configuration on the front of the fork and at the seatstay bridge. It seems that wind-tunnel tests from a number of brands have shown that there isn’t so much to be gained by more sheltered brake locations, and clearly no one who ever has to maintain the brakes appreciates having to fight to get access to them.
The Concept’s tapered-steerer fork uses thin straight blades on its fork legs to keep drag down at the front, combining with neatly integrated (but normally serviceable) internal cable routing. Frames are specific to what type of shifting they are spec’d with (so you get locked in with electronic or even wireless gruppos if you go that way), with mechanical shifting frames routing cables though a modular port on the top of the Kamm tail style downtube, and the rear brake and electronic shift wires making their way into a small port on the side of the headtube.
The widest part of the frame tubes comes together at the bottom bracket with a ThreadFit BB that is said to balance traditional threaded ease-of-use with the extra rigidity of widely spaced press fit setups. The way it works is by just threading in two light alloy cups that then get bearings pressed in, but can be simply replaced if worn.
Colnago prides itself on their race focus, and was quick to point out that the new Concept frameset has already been approved by the UCI for competition. The bike will be available in at least four standard builds, three with Campagnolo groupsets and one with mechanical Dura-Ace. A SRAM eTap build was also shown, highlighting the setup with even fewer wires. The Concept comes in eight standard sizes from 51-62cm for the effective seattube length.
The bikes get size-specific geometry to deliver consistent handling across the range, so geometry varies quite a bit, but uses a fairly stable head angle around 71.6° and steep seat angle of 74° for their medium 54cm frame; pretty much the same as on their C60. Chainstays for that size are tucked in and still short at just 406mm, with a deep rear wheel cutout.