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September 7, 2008

Part 4 – Top-end bikes from two of Italy's finest

By Ben Atkins in Friedrichshafen, Germany

Colnago goes integrated with two new frames

The Colnago EPS in fourteen standard and eight sloping sizes
Photo ©: Ben Atkins
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Colnago, one of Italy's most sought-after brands, introduces two new road frames for 2009 and both of which have already been spotted in action in the professional peloton this season under veteran sprinter Erik Zabel of Milram and Rabobank's Grischa Niermann.

The EPS is the latest development of the Extreme Power and now tops the range with a mix of high and very-high modulus carbon fibres bonded to monocoque carbon lugs. According to Colnago, this mix of higher quality materials and larger tube diameters makes the EPS even more rigid than the Extreme Power. In a departure from traditional Colnago frames, the EPS has a semi-integrated headtube with a tapered steerer that widens to 1 ¼" at the fork crown.

Colnago will offer the EPS in fourteen standard and eight sloping sizes, and as with most Colnagos it's available made to measure if you can stand the wait.

Also new for 2009 is the CX-1 which, in spite of the misleading name, adds to the top-end of Colnago road lineup, not 'cross. Unlike the EPS or Extreme Power, the CX-1 is a semi-monocoque frame where the front triangle is moulded as one unit and then bonded to a separately constructed rear triangle. Colnago says the CX-1's polygonal main tubes, large bottom bracket area and oversized head tube (again with a semi-integrated headset) make this its stiffest frame yet. The CX-1 is available in eight sizes, but custom geometries will not be available.

Colnago has also finally brought to market a time trial bike that actually looks the part. The new Flight abandons round tubes in favour of aero cross-sections and includes some other now-common drag-reducing trickery such as the deep cutout for the rear wheel, slightly dropped down tube and well-integrated fork. Colnago will include two seat posts with the Flight: one with a 74 degree seat angle for time trials and one with a 77 degree angle for triathlon.

It's all in the details for Pinarello

Pinarello has good news for Valverde fans
Photo ©: Ben Atkins
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The Pinarello Prince maintains its flagship position in the range and remains unchanged for 2009 from the one ridden by the Caisse d'Epargne team this year. New graphics and colour schemes will be offered, though, including the striking red and yellow Spanish champion version ridden by Alejandro Valverde in this year's Tour de France.

New to the range is the FP6 which borrows most of its styling from the Paris but uses the same Torayca 30HM3K carbon fibre as the F1:13. The FP6 will replace both frames in the Pinarello stable and will be offered in ten sizes (two of them sloping) and seven different colour schemes. Claimed weight for a 54cm frame is 1100g.

Also new is another modular monocoque frame, the FP3. As the FP6 is the visual descendent of the Paris, the FP3 borrows its shape from the highly successful Prince but uses less expensive 30HM12K carbon fibre instead of the range-topper's 50HM1K – of which Pinarello supposedly has exclusive use. Aimed at the growing 'enthusiast' and Gran Fondo market, the FP3 will be sold as a complete bike and comes in ten men's and four women's sizes.

... and a stealthy all-black
Photo ©: Ben Atkins
(Click for larger image)

Pushing further into the multisport market, Pinarello has created the tri-specific FT3. This is exactly the same in shape to the existing FT1, but is built from the same 50HM1K carbon as both the Prince and the top level FM1 time trial frame. The FT3 was used to success by Cameron Brown earlier this year in his victory in the New Zealand Ironman. As Colnago does with its Flight, the FT3 will use one of two different seatposts: one with a 74 degree effective seat tube angle and the other with a 76 degree angle.

Ever paying attention to detail, the Treviso company has also extended the range of colours of its MOst brand of parts and accessories. The Talon integrated handlebar is now available in black, white, red, blue and yellow to match any of the Pinarello colours schemes including the Valverde version.

The MOst range of wheels has also been expanded with the Claw utilizing a carbon-and-aluminium deep section clincher rim and the Panther which uses a more conventional 6061 aluminium hoop. Pinarello has also entered into a branding agreement with German wheel maker Lightweight to present 'MOst Lightweight'.


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Images by Ben Atkins/Cyclingnews.com

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