As both Eurobike and the Olympic mountain bike race get closer, Italian bike maker Olympia has just released detail on their newest cross-country racing carbon 29er hardtail, dubbed the F1 Race. The new bike is set to make its debut in Rio under Italian mountain biker Luca Braidot before being official introduced at Europe’s end of summer tradeshow. But we have a few details ahead of that launch, plus a closer look at the bike with its pierced headtube…
The new bike will take over the top XC hardtail designation from Olympia’s current carbon Iron, which we saw being raced back at the XCO Worlds a few weeks ago. The new F1 shares some visual similarity with the outgoing frame, but takes a more advanced approach to pretty much every element of its design.
The most striking is probably the revised front-end shape with a small window just behind the headtube and a kinked toptube (Olympia likens it to the O in their logo). The small hole is oddly enough said to actually increase front end stiffness quite a bit. By creating a bridge from one side of the frame to the other, the entire area is reinforced laterally. Like we just saw on the recently introduced Level B+ from Kross, the updated bent toptube shape lets Olympia have more room to add material at the front of the frame while keeping standover and frame stack in control. Olympia says that this revised shape helped them achieve both better damping of impacts from the fork and improved steering precision combined with wider handlebars.
The F1 Race also updates tubing shapes throughout with more boxy top and down tubes, while the new seatstays now go through 4 different shape transitions, from triangles to trapezoids and back, to better balance drivetrain stiffness and comfort at the saddle.
The new F1 Race is claimed to weigh 1050g for a small, bringing it closer inline with other race hardtails, but still not amongst the lightest. Olympia trimmed weight off of the previous Iron where they felt they could match stiffness with improved tube shapes and a mix of M40J, T800 & T100 carbon. But ultimately getting super light was not their main concern.
The bike uses a tapered headtube, PressFit 92 bottom bracket, and fully internal cable routing. With the new frame also comes Boost 148 spacing out back, which Olympia matches with a RS1 fork on the top end complete bike. The F1 uses a 27.2mm seatpost with a good bit of post exposed to allow for more comfort to the rider. While the frame doesn’t have a front derailleur mount, the seattube is round just below the bottle bosses so that a top-mount derailleur can be mounted with the included Sideswing routing port.
Olympia shortened the chainstays on the new bike, down 5mm to 435mm, but otherwise were said to keep the rest of frame geometry the same, including reach and angles. Overall wheelbase numbers to seem to change a bit though, presumably through the spec of longer travel XC forks.
The new bike will be offered in eight complete options from an entry SRAM NX1 build, up to the top-level XX1 setup. In the midst of the 1x 11 & 12 speed drivetrains, there are a few Shimano doubles as well with their Sideswing front derailleurs. The F1 will looks like it may only be available in this color scheme of black, white & red, and will come in a 4 size range when it comes to market in October 2016.