Tadej Pogačar’s performance in the final time trial stage of the Tour de France in 2020 was likely the best marketing that Colnago could have asked for when it comes to time trial bikes. The Slovenian prodigy took an emphatic win that year, finishing one minute and twenty seconds ahead of his closest rival on his Colnago K.One. Today, the Italian bike brand has released an entirely new time trial model for the UAE Team Emirates riders taking on the Giro d’Italia, named the Colnago TT1 and it’s said to have “better aerodynamic performances, components integration and safety” than the model used by Pogačar and his teammates in previous seasons.
Colnago developed the new TT1 through extensive testing in the wind tunnel at the Politecnico di Milano University. Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and 3D models, Colnago explains that unprecedented performance gains have been achieved in the TT1. Some of the most notable differences between the previous K.One and the TT1 is the horizontal top tube – it was sloping on the K.One – and a significantly shorter top tube.
Colnago also notes that riders can now find their their most efficient position using a greater number of spacers under the elbow rests, with Colnago’s technicians finding that this has a better result in aerodynamic testing than using a more voluminous frame. On the front end of the bike, Colnago has opted to use a bayonet fork which reduces the impact of the frame in the air while maintaining rigidity.
Aside from the gains made in aerodynamics, Colnago has used a different handlebar system than used in the K.One. The monocoque base bar is now lighter, more rigid and more aerodynamic than the previous iteration, and it is compatible with the Colnago aero cockpit which will be available to the public from autumn this year.
Other changes which Colnago has made to improve the aerodynamic performance of the TT1 is an integrated bottle holder and a 3D printed prototype water bottle which has been developed in collaboration with Elite.
For the first time in the history of Colnago’s time-trial bikes, the TT1 will come with a disc brake system. The brand explains that this choice has been made due to improvements in the routing of the hydraulic hoses inside the frame. In addition, Colnago argues that it will lead to an improved braking performance and greater rigidity of the bike due to the thru-axles on the wheels. Despite the addition of disc brakes, Colnago explains that the weight difference is “minimal” compared to the previous K.One model.
As well as the switch over the disc brakes, the new TT1 is also compatible with electronic groupsets and has the option to mount a single front chainring or a double chainring depending on preference and the parcours of the race. With input and feedback from riders like Mikkel Bjerg, a three-time UCI U23 ITT World Champion and time-trial specialist, Colnago appear to have invested huge resources and time into the development of the TT1. The bike is still homologated as a prototype with the UCI and will have to undergo a further process of modifications that will make it available for sale to the public from autumn this year.
The bike will be first put through its paces by the pros in the 9.2km ITT at the Giro d’Italia this year and once again in the final stage which is a 17.4km ITT in Verona. Should Giro’s final time trial decide who takes home the maglia rosa in 2022, UAE Team Emirates will be grateful for every gain they are making aboard the new Colnago TT1.