New Colnago V4: 'same thrills as V4RS but with a more accessible configuration'

The enthusiast-friendly version of the bike Pogačar and co ride is not only priced much lower but has some practical features too

Colnago has launched the V4, a more ‘accessible’ version of the V4Rs that Tadej Pogačar is using to dominate the WorldTour this year. According to the Italian brand, the Colnago V4 is “an allround bike that fits into the vein of the V4Rs development project, the bike built to win, accompanying the great successes of the UAE Emirates team and the UAE ADQ team.”

By ‘accessible’, the Italian brand on the one hand means the V4 is priced much lower than the V4Rs: the Shimano Ultegra Di2-equipped model that’s the only one available in the UK has a SRP of £5,500, whereas a similarly-specced V4Rs costs almost twice that. The V4Rs frame alone is priced at £4,999. On the other, the V4 is more accessible in terms of equipment: it comes with a separate bar and aluminium stem (still with integrated cable routing) and Fulcrum Racing 600 DB alloy wheels, which are basic, bombproof and help keep the price low. Although it’s not sold as a frameset – it’s only available in three complete builds with Shimano Ultegra Di2, Shimano 105 Di2 and SRAM Rival AXS – the V4 is mechanical groupset compatible, whereas the V4Rs is electronic only.

Colnago V4 head tube

Colnago says the V4 frame is a monocoque which is “stiff, solid, reactive, and which enjoys the same carbon layup R&D and aerodynamic studies that led to the realization of the V4Rs.” Additionally, the front area of the frame is similar to that of the V4Rs: it has the thinned-down head tube and the aerodynamic fork design of its pricier stablemate.

The same ‘Real Dynamic Stiffness’ (RDS) testing, using Colnago’s own proprietary methodologies, was also used to develop the V4. To recap, a bicycle when ridden is subjected to several different loads acting on it at the same time. For example, sprinting out of the saddle exerts different forces on different areas of the frame compared with seated climbing. Colnago’s RDS system replicates the loading forces of standing on the pedals and seated positions to check overall frame deformation and stiffness rather than focusing on localised areas of the frame. When Colnago launched the V4Rs in 2022, it claimed that in these tests the V4Rs was 4% stiffer in the sprinting position and 5% stiffer in seated than its predecessor, the V3RS.

Colnago V4 front end

There are no supplied figures relating to comparative stiffness for the V4, or even frame weight. We’ve reached out and asked for more details and will update this story when we have them. All Colnago says is that “the result is an extremely balanced bike, whose all the stiffnesses are fine-tuned and harmonized to deliver an amazing riding performance.”

The release of a more affordable version of the flagship race bike is something Colnago did with the V3, the enthusiast-friendly version of the V3Rs that Pogačar rode to his two Tour de France victories in 2020 and 2021. In that instance the Colnago V3, built as a complete bike with mechanical Shimano 105, was priced even lower than the V3Rs frameset. The V3 frame was made from a lower grade carbon-fibre and weighed around 200g more. We’d expect the V4/V4Rs difference to be something similar.

Colnago V4 rear of seat tube and rear triangle

The carbon might be a little different, but the V4 comes in the same seven sloping sizes as the V4RS, the geometry is identical – traditionally racy with a longish reach and relatively slack head tube angle – and tyre clearance is also 30mm. When I rode the V4Rs, the geometry was something that stood out for me as very nicely balanced, confirming Colnago's description. Initially I found the V4Rs didn’t quite have the same plush ride feel or sensitivity as the Colnago C68, which is not designed as a race bike, so I predict that if the V4 isn’t as stiff as the V4Rs, that can only be a good thing for most amateur riders.

Colnago V4 rear end

As the V3 was to the V3Rs, the new V4 looks like a cost-effective way to get hold of what is essentially the dominant bike of the era with few compromises and possibly even some benefits for amateur riders. The Colnago V4 will be available from July in the following configurations:

  • Shimano Ultegra Di2 and Fulcrum Racing 600 DB wheels
  • Shimano 105 Di2 and Fulcrum Racing 600 DB wheels (not available in the UK)
  • Sram Rival and Fulcrum Racing 600 DB wheels (not available in the UK

Head to Colnago's website for all the details.

Shop now