If Pogačar takes back the yellow jersey at the 2023 Tour de France, he will likely do it on Colnago’s revised, pro-spec roadie.
Updated testing methodology, a comprehensive approach to weight reduction, and race-vetted carbon layup structures — Colnago poured them all into its newest thoroughbred, the V4Rs.
UAE Team Emirates contributed to testing, which took place both on the road and in the lab. The main testing objective was to land on the proper stiffness, and the company’s approach resulted in geometry and sizing tweaks.
Colnago said in a press release the testing accounted for “both stress factors (static and dynamic conditions)” and helped create a “perfectly balanced frame” in terms of stiffness and rideability in variable race conditions. New seat stays are significantly more resistant to bending and impacts. They’re also more aerodynamic — for speed gains.
UAE Team Emirates riders also helped test multiple approaches to carbon layup in the frame throughout last season. The carbon test project occurred under the name “Colnago Prototipo.” In it, the company scrutinized various carbon layering methods to land on the carbon the team would eventually ride in the 2022 Tour.
Colnago said that elsewhere in the design process, it struggled to cut weight from the previous V3rs.
“It hasn’t been easy to improve this aspect in comparison with its predecessor, the V3Rs; that’s why Colnago worked on the weight of the overall module (frame, fork, headset and handlebar) instead of on the values of each single component,” the brand said.
The changes saved 47 g, swapping out the old Sr9 stem and Colnago Hbr41 handlebar and headset. Now on board, there’s a Colnago CC.01 handlebar and a CeramicSpeed headset with “Solid Lubrication Technology” or SLT. Along with the weight savings, Colnago said the headset should protect the bearings better from water and grit ingress, thanks to its ceramic and stainless steel construction.
Geometric changes for the V4Rs include making the “relationship between seat tube length and reach almost linear.” That, Colnago said, should mean easier and more precise size selection, plus more comprehensive adjustability to the saddle position. The brand also “harmonized” the stack/reach ratio across all sizes and cut the length of the chainstays.
According to Colnago’s press release, the V4Rs proved worthy to Pogačar.
He called the bike “[r]eally responsive. For me, that’s good on the climbs to attack because when you push the pedal, the bike goes really, really well. This helps to attack faster.”
And, he said, in the Tour de France, “You need the comfort in the bike because we have such long stages. It’s not only about speed and lightness; it’s also about comfort. It’s really important that after six hours on the bike, you don’t feel completely destroyed, so … our bike is just perfect for that.”
MSRP, spec’ed with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, ENVE 3.4 wheels, and Continental GP5000’s: €15,260 — or just over $16,000 as of this writing. It’s on Colnago’s website.