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Reviewed January 26, 2005

Nathan O'Neill's Navigators Insurance Colnago Dream

Photo ©: Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews

Dream Machine

By Anthony Tan

Stella Azzurra's 'Guizzo' one-piece crankarm
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Navigators' training bikes
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Campagnolo's Hyperon carbon wheels
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The BB cluster
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Speedplay Zero pedals
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The 2005 Australian time trial champion Nathan O'Neill had a dream start to the year, taking his second consecutive national title - his sixth in total - aboard his Colnago Dream TT machine earlier this month.

Navigators Insurance mechanic Shane Fedon, in his second year with the team and a former US national team mechanic, told Cyclingnews a new front wheel was used by O'Neill in Echunga, South Australia, along with Campagnolo's rear disc wheel.

Made by Italian accessories firm Stella Azzura, the new quad-spoke front wheel is in fact only UCI-legal when used in time trials, as the UCI believe it to be unsafe when riding in the peloton - just like the Spinergy wheel that was banned a couple of years ago. To understand the reason behind the moratorium, think of someone's hand going through a massive food processor at 110 RPM if you were to fall off... not a pretty sight.

"Nathan said after the race 'it was the fastest wheel he's ever used,'" said Fedon, also mentioning that Stella Azzura also supply (or will be supplying) the team with cranks, bars and stems to the team, as well as some UCI-legal road wheels, which will be ready for the team's outing at the Tour Méditerranéen. Campagnolo will continue to provide wheels where necessary, but Fedon says the team are keen to work closely on the R&D side with Stella Azzura's new line-up of road hoops.

The Colnago Dream pictured is Navigators' training bike for 2005 (the Dream being made of aluminium alloy with carbon fibre B-stay seatstays and HP chainstays); their C-50 race bikes yet to arrive until the team return to the States, with five also headed for the team's next outing at the Tour de Langkawi.

According to Colnago, in 2005 the C50 has undergone a substantial upgrade, with the tubes and lugs made of a new type of high-modulus carbon fibre that provides more rigidity and lighter weight. In a medium size frame, the weight savings is said to be 100 grams. Further changes have been made to the carbon fibre lugs, which use new high-modulus carbon fibre, making them shorter and lighter but more rigid, according to the company. This 'new' carbon fibre is made with a “Twill” weave, which offers a way for the new C50 to be distinguishable from previous models. The group is a mixture of Campy Record and Chorus, but it'll be all Record, all the time, on their C-50 race bikes.

While ProTour riders generally receive four road bikes and two TT bikes each, Pro Continental (the old Division II) teams aren't so lucky; each rider on Navigators gets three road and one chrono bike each. However, four Colnago's apiece isn't something to sneeze at!

Interestingly, Fedon also told Cyclingnews both standard and compact chainring/crankarm set-ups will be used this year, "and in a number of races, particularly in Europe, the compact set-up will actually suit the rider more", he said.

"Both models comprise a one-piece aluminium spider wrapped in carbon," said Fedon, who I almost thought was going to say 'wrapped in plastic' for a second, a là Twin Peaks. On his Dream and yet-to-be-delivered C-50, O'Neill will be using Stella Azzurra's standard 'Guizzo' 175mm cranks, and at this stage, Nathan is yet to decide whether he'll give the compact 'Rapido' crankset a whirl.

Who would have imagined ever-popular saddle company fi'zi:k struggled to find a team to sponsor just a few years ago? Navigators were in fact fi'zi:k's first pro cycling team sponsor (yes, in the whole, wide, world), and the Italian company haven't forgotten their first friends, continuing to put bums on their seats four years later.

Another success story that first began with Navigators is Speedplay. Also used by Sydney 2000 Olympic Sprint champion Marty Nothstein, Speedplay pedals have now infiltrated the European peloton in a very similar vein to that of fi'zi:k, and are now supply ProTour teams such as Phonak and Team CSC.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews


Full specification

Frame: 2005 Colnago Dream
Fork: Colnago Star carbon
Colour: Navigators Insurance

Critical measurements
C of BB to C of seat tube: 550mm
C of BB to T of seat tube: 582mm
C of BB to T of seat: 796mm
Top tube length (C-C): 574mm

Cranks: Stella Azzurra Guizzo, 175mm, 39/53
Chain: Campagnolo Record 10 speed
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Chorus 10 speed
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Chorus 10 speed
Brakes: Campagnolo Chorus 10 speed
Levers: Campagnolo Record 10 speed
Rear sprockets: Campagnolo Record 10 speed, 11-23


Rim: Campagnolo Hyperon carbon tubular (Stella Azzurra wheels also to be used in 2005)
Tyres: Challenge 'Criterium' tubular, 23mm (Challenge 'Chrono' tubular used for TTs)

Bar: Stella Azzurra (to be custom-made with 'Belgian-style' drop), 46cm (O-O)
Stem: Stella Azzurra, 125mm
Headset: Campagnolo Record 1'1/8"

Pedals: Speedplay Zeros
Seat post: Thomson setback
Saddle: Fi'zi:k Aliante with Ti rails
Brake pads: Koolstop

Cycle computer: Cateye Mity 8