26/02/2024
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The Colnago Prototypo Roadbike is the next-gen V4R prototype that Can win the heart of bike lovers

Tadej Pogaฤar has had some great results with the current Colnago V3Rs, the last two being the Tours de France, but now they have the new V4R Prototype road bike at their disposal.  The new race-ready prototype, which the UAE team has at its disposal this weekend, shares many similarities with Colnago’s single all-rounder road racing bike, but also hints at advanced aerodynamics and all-new construction inside the carbonโ€ฆ

Colnago Prototipo Prototype V4R road bike

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, angular,  C.  Colnago

While many companies have built separate climber bikes and aero road bikes at the top of their line, Colnago is focusing on a universal road bike for its pro racers – currently V3Rs.  Revised in 2019 with disc brakes and finely tweaked aerodynamics, there seems to be a new version at workโ€ฆ

Colnago is calling it Prototypo, which is simply a prototype in Italian, but my money is finally going to be called the new V4R, a single all-rounder lightweight climber and aero road bike, all-in-one.

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, logo

The new bike is still in the prototype stage, with Colnago officially giving Emirates riders of their UAE team a chance to start racing this weekend, reviewing the final carbon design for production bikes.  In all likelihood, everything on the outside is the same and it will probably get an official announcement on the V4R this summer, probably just 3 weeks before the start of the Tour de France.  As far as we know, it has not yet been added to UCI’s approved frame list (interestingly, Colnago has not approved a new frame from current V3Rs.)

Development of the Colnago prototype

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, front

Colnago says the team has already helped refine the bike’s individual components, and also its layout by attaching new V4R Prototypo pieces to their tube-to-tube C68 carbon.  While the new V4R Prototypo is a monocoque carbon production bike like its predecessors for the best balance of lightweight and rigidity, the C-Series’s production allowed it to replicate and refine individual components separately in an accelerated development schedule.

UAE Team Emirates Pros Pre-Race at Colnago V3Rs C.  UAE Team Emirates

In fact, the result is that the UAE team gets 5 different carbon layouts to test under race conditions, choosing the best balance of stiffness, lightness, comfort and responsiveness.  R&D Head of Collnago describes the typical feedback process, โ€œWe have used an entirely new approach to improve the performance of this framework – that is, cooperate directly with the UAE team of Emirates athletes, proposing to race with frames made with different carbon laminations.  The ultimate goal is to achieve a good lamination to the most versatile frame that meets the needs of sprinters, rulers and climbers and can be topped at different stages of the race.

“Abacus and aerodynamics tests are important, but they have restrictions. Race-specific scenarios, irregularities of the course, terrain pressures, aerodynamic turbulence, accelerations at different moments of competition are difficult – not impossible.  We hope to take our racing bikes further and further by taking advantage of the experience of those who ride their bicycles for hours.

What’s new?  Technical details

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, zoom

From a design standpoint, the prototype Colnago Prototypo V4R combines inspiration from both current V3Rs and C68s – adding a slightly thinner and more aero-integrated front to the lighter race bike.

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, new headtube shape

Specifically, the new Prototypo moves to a more aerofoil and hourglass headtube profile, smoother integration from headset to toptube, and an updated transition from Fork Crown to reset Aerofoil downtown.

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, new fork crown

The new fork looks to get a bit thinner, though the crown is closer to the original 25mm wide 26c Pirelli tires on 19.4mm internal Campagnolo wheels.  I expect maximum tire clearance, no more than 30mm.  At the dropout, this new flat mount disk fork gets the same replaceable alloy thru-axle insert of the latest C68.

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, new seatstays

On the back of the new Colango Prototype V4R, box chainstays now turn into larger, more scalloped dropouts and newly aero-shaped seatstays.  The seat tube remains where the short rear wheel cutout and the seat rests, but this junction receives a refined horizontal conversion to smooth airflow, just like the lower headtube.

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, rear detail

For a proprietary aero seatpost, the Hidden Wedge-style clamp carries fully internal cable routing.

Similar to those Aero Seatpost V3Rs, this prototype runs the ultralight Darimo Carbon T2 seatpost instead of the standard heavy OEM Colnago post.

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, ceramicspeed SLT headset

A welcome upgrade here is the extra-long life ceramicspeed SLT headset bearing, which we’ve seen is a great idea with all the cables rotated through the upper bearing.  If you need to replace your headset with one of these modern road bikes, you have to pull out every single cable and re-bleed the brakes, so a permanent grease-free headset once built is one less thing to worry about.

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike

This is less obvious, but Colnago and his partner bike design consultant Torgny Fjeldscar both emphasise that the new bike takes advantage of the larger bottom bracket cluster, which increases stiffness for improved pedal power transfer to the drivetrain.

New Colnago Prototypo V4R Road Bike Availability?

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, 2023 Colnago V4R?

This prototype is still completely up in the air when it becomes a commercially available Colnago V4R road bike.  The bike’s design looks to be complete, so the moulds are probably already finished and awaiting production in Taiwan.  If Colnago hopes to take UAE feedback into consideration this summer, we predict that any of these new V4R road bikes will make it to the hands of consumers early this coming autumn, perhaps in winter.

Colnago Prototypo V4R prototype all-rounder lightweight aero road bike, coming soon

At least, there should be a new V4R in the Colnago stores for the start of the next racing season.

Colnago.com

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