Colnago has announced the TT1, a new time trial bike developed in collaboration with UAE Team Emirates. Colnago says the new bike builds on its previous time trial bike, the K.One, with the TT1 featuring updated geometry, a monocoque base bar, and a new fork design.
Most notably, the TT1 is the first time trial bike from Colnago to feature disc brakes. The press images suggest it will also be fitted with unreleased bar end brakes from Campagnolo, UAE Team Emirates’ groupset supplier.
Colnago says the bike offers “better aerodynamic performances, components integration and safety”, adding that, just like the recently-launched Colnago C68, the new TT1 continues with the brand’s aim to produce “iconic and desirable bikes.”
The bike is set to debut at the first time trial of the 2022 Giro d’Italia on Saturday May 7.
Colnago says the TT1 offers improved aerodynamics over the K.One time trial bike. The brand used computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel testing at Politecnico di Milano University to, Colnago claims, “obtain unprecedented results in terms of performance at high speeds.”
Behind the improved aerodynamics is new geometry available in three sizes (S, M, L) developed with feedback from riders, including Mikkel Bjerg, UAE Team Emirates rider and three-time UCI under-23 ITT world champion.
Colnago says it decided to shorten the head tube of the TT1 and achieve the right riding position by using a greater number of spacers under the elbow rests.
Colnago explains using spacers to increase stack height instead of a taller head tube results in better aerodynamic performance in the wind tunnel.
Colnago has opted to use what is called a ‘bayonet fork’ on the TT1. Also known as a hinged fork, the fork forms the front of the head tube, rather than having a steerer tube that runs through the frame’s head tube. This is said to reduce frontal impact while maintaining torsional rigidity. A similar design is seen on Factor’s Hanzo time trial bike, among others.
The TT1 compared uses a new monocoque carbon fibre base bar. Colango says this is lighter, more rigid and more aerodynamic than its previous base bar. It will be compatible with a cockpit available from Colango in autumn this year and aftermarket solutions including the Deda Jet One, as used by UAE Team Emirates.
The TT1’s geometry also differs from the K.One, featuring a horizontal rather than a sloping top tube.
As part of a bid to improve performance by looking at “the overall integration of solutions”, Colnago has developed a bottle holder and bottle kit in collaboration with Elite said to become part of the frame’s aerodynamics.
Fitting into the bottom of the frame’s triangle, this bottle solution is not dissimilar to the storage box on the new BMC Speedmachine, smoothing out airflow around the frame.
The line the top of the bottle creates runs into the seat stays which run horizontally before dropping down to meet the rear dropouts. This striking design is unlike anything we’ve seen on a UCI-compliant time trial bike. Colnago says the 500ml bottle is currently only a 3D-printed prototype but it will be available in autumn 2022.
First Colango time trial bike with disc brakes
The addition of a disc brake-equipped time trial to Colnago’s range means UAE Team Emirates will be one of a growing number of WorldTour teams moving away from rim brake time trial bikes.
Colnago says it opted to fit the TT1 with disc brakes as they offer better braking performance, which will come as a surprise to few. But the brand also says the use of disc brakes helps improve the rigidity of the entire bicycle due to the use of thru-axles.
While disc brakes are usually considered to come with a weight penalty, Colnago says the weight difference between the TT1 and K.One is minimal while delivering better overall braking performance and safety.
At this time, Colnago has not provided a claimed weight for the TT1.
The press imagery provided for the TT1 suggests there is a new Campagnolo bar-end brake lever in the works. These were presumably designed to make using Campagnolo hydraulic disc brakes compatible with time trial bikes.
The brake levers appear to have button shifters on the inside edge to operate the bike’s gearing, which is electronic only, according to Colnago.
When will the Colnago TT1 be available?
Colnago says the TT1 is currently only homologated, or approved for racing, as a prototype with the UCI.
The bike will have to undergo further modifications before going on sale to the general public in the autumn of this year, according to Colnago.
However, Colnago has not specified what modifications need to be made. The brand hasn’t given any indication of how much the TT1 will cost either.