The Colnago V2-R boasts top notch aero credentials from a prestigious brand. A newer, improved version of the V1-R, updates have been tried and tested in the wind tunnel and certainly don't take anything from the ride. Here's what earned this bike a place in the 2017 Editor's Choice awards..
The Colnago V2-R, launched last summer, builds on the famous marque’s V1-R aero race machine. It’s the brand’s top of the line aero race bike, with an emphasis on lightness, rigidity and aerodynamics.
At the launch, Ernesto Colnago said: “This bicycle is an evolution of the V1-R monocoque. It improves on the design yet it retains the same high-quality construction and methods.”
We put the rim brake model to the test, but it's also available with disc brakes and sold in the UK as a frameset only.
The Colnago V2-R frame has been wind tunnel tested to verify its aerodynamics. It features short Kammtail tube profiles, for aerodynamic efficiency without excess material to weigh it down.
The frame weight sits at around 800g, and the bottom bracket and head tube have been bolstered in stiffness too when compared with the V1-R.
Aero gains have been made in the incorporation of the seatpost clamp, which is now built into the top tube, and the brake is direct mount on the seat stays - allowing for 28mm tyres if desired.
The front brake on the Colnago V2-R is also direct mount and the fork blades have a deep, truncated aerofoil profile.
The geometry of the Colnago V2-R has also been tweaked, with a 4mm reduction in head tube length relative to the V1-R, for a more aggressive ride position. This will suit those planning all out efforts, or perhaps wanting to put the aerodynamics to good use in a time trial or long break-away attempt.
Colnago’s proprietary TF82.5 threaded bottom bracket shell is used on the Colnago V2-R for better fit and easier maintenance than a standard pressfit bearing.
A real race machine
When it comes to pushing the pedals, the Colnago V2-R feels like a race machine from the off. There’s excellent power transfer through the stiff bottom bracket and not a hint of flex in the frame under load. It feels super-planted too and you can pilot it confidently through tight curves on fast downhill runs. The Colnago V2-R feels like a bike that wants to go fast.
This is helped by the very grippy Hutchinson tyres, which hold on without slip even when climbing damp back roads out of the saddle. The Colnago own-brand direct mount brakes on the Colnago V2-R, combined with the wheels’ braking surface give effective stopping power, even in the wet.
As is almost always the case, the flip side of the excellent power transfer is noticeable transmission of road vibrations. To some riders this simply creates a ride that feels alive and ready to go - but if it's not your cup of tea then making use of the frame’s increased clearance to up the tyre width from 25mm to 28mm, with a concomitant reduction in tyre pressure should alleviate this.
The overall weight for the Colnago V2-R at just over 7kg looks good for an aero machine. And though Colnagos don’t come cheap - and the V2-R frameset is priced at £2999 - it's cheaper than many models boasting similar aerodynamics.
Along with FSA carbon bars, alloy stem, and Vision Trimax 30 KB alloy rims, the build came in at approximately £5000.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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