Having never seen Niels Albert race before, I learned something at the Cincinnati Kings Cross race: he’s fast. Real fast. Definitely deserving of the rainbow stripes that adorn the majority of his Colnago Prestige that he piloted to what looked like a fairly easy victory at Kings Park this weekend. Niels certainly looks on-point for this coming week’s World Championship.

After the race, we snuck into their pit to get a look at the freshly power washed machine, check it out after the break!

No question who rides this bike – you know, if all the rainbows didn’t tip you off first. The full carbon Colnago Prestige has a built-in shouldering rest designed at Sven Nys’s request.


Niels runs a pretty straight forward Dura Ace Di2 7970 group. No satellite shifters, no 9070.


Cross is hard on components, even with (or especially with) power washing every other lap. Niels’ drive train and chain  stay show the abuse. The big ring is a 46, with a 38t inner ring. Older XTR 970 SPD pedals keep Niels glued to his bike, which are either extremely well used or possibly prototypes for the new 980s, as Niels’ pedals have flats ground onto the center of the spindle like the new 980s. While the bike is pictured with low profile Dura Ace carbon tubulars, Niels spent most of the race on Dura Ace C35 carbon hoops.


In addition to getting your name and rainbows on your bike, you also get them on your brakes. Even though Colnago doesn’t even have a non-disc version of the Prestige on their website anymore, Niels (like most Euros) is still rocking the cantilevers. TRP Carbon Revo X brakes with Swissstop yellow carbon brake pads are used to grip the carbon rims. Yes, the pads don’t appear to be adjusted properly, but the bikes were just being prepped to be torn down and packed up for Worlds.

Out back you find the same brake set up with an extra barrel adjuster.

Again, when you’re the world champ you get some custom parts – including tires. Albert’s Dugast Rhinos are emblazoned with World Champion stripes and a king Albert logo. Although, during the race Niels was seen on Dugast Typhoons tubulars – winning a very muddy race without the aid of mud tires(!).


As a Shimano athlete, Pro parts make up the rest of the bike. A Vibe7s alloy stem holds a Vibe DC carbon bar. Note the backside of the brake hanger – it looks like it has been filed down for additional clearance and likely turning radius. That was one of the few things that really stood out as out of the ordinary.


Finally, the king sits on a throne made of a Pro Vibe carbon post clamped to another custom bit, a Pro Turnix Saddle.

Think Niels will be on discs next year? Both Niels and his teammate Wietse Bosmans obviously made it work with the “old” cantis, Powers meanwhile was riding Avid BB7 road discs.



  1. Alex on

    So, right, nothing weird, except WHATS IS UNDER THE BAR TAPE RIGHT NEXT TO THE STEM???? There is some type of obvious lump there.

  2. Zach Overholt on

    @Alex, check out a picture of the Vibe Carbon bar (google pro vibe carbon handlebar). The bulges are part of the bar design.

  3. CW on

    those bumps look more exaggerated then usual because the mechanics have the brake cables running on the front of the bars and not through the cable guides, which would fill in that space between the levers and the guides.

  4. Jeb on

    The pedals are in fact old Shimano 970’s (which all the Euro’s still use) which are much better at clearing mud than the new 980’s but even then what you saw was pedal material ground away to make them even better in the mud. Also, if you saw his shoes, depending on how much running the course has they’ll drill holes into the carbon sole to make it more flexible for running. They are all the little tricks that the US guys don’t know (except Page) because they don’t spend time in Europe.

  5. Steve on

    How about that crank? What do I have to do to get one of those sweet pieces?!? And the end caps at the end of spiders… interesting..

    • Zach Overholt on

      Good point Steve, I stand corrected. The 46/38 rings are custom pieces that then use end caps over the crank bolts to smooth out the transition since they are not part of the ring like standard 7900 rings. It looked so clean, I missed it!

  6. MsC on

    The Belgians will give the US riders a hard time – 90% chance one of them will win. Niels still rides the 970 pedals because he has snapped a number of axle’s of the newer 980’s. One of his mechanics even bought a pair of second hand 970 pedals from a friend of mine for Niels, as they are no longer available.

  7. slippy on

    The bike looks better in all-white vs the white and blue of last year, but is still hard on the eyes. The gusset tube between seat tube and top tube? Useless and clunky-looking. That’s not where your shoulder goes. (Or Niels’ shoulder, rather). Why Colnago would choose to include that tumor, and say it “comes from rider feedback”, is a mystery.

  8. Crabon Fibre on

    “The full carbon Colnago Prestige has a built-in shouldering rest designed at Sven Nys’s request.”

    Wait a sec, who is World Champ again? (for a few more days)


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