Colnago AC-R 2015
NICHOLLI EE | 7th Jul 2015 | PRODUCT REVIEWS
Cycling is one sport or hobby that can really be addictive, especially for the those who yearn for the thrill of moving as fast as possible under your own strength and effort, the feeling is quite indescribable as your legs power you forward at over 30 km/h or much faster for some very fit and experienced cyclists, in addition to the wind travelling over your entire body, it’s gives you a sense of freedom that could probably only get superseded by skydiving or bungee jumping.
Taking heed from public opinion and demands, Colnago introduced their entry level carbon bike the AC-R, the UCI approved carbon frame is anything but entry level, based on the world famous M10 frame, it was designed in full compliance with their racing philosophy. The AC-R monocoque frame was designed in eight different sizes, with the effective horizontal top tube length ranging from 504 cm all the way up to a huge 590 cm length for very tall riders, not many bike manufacturers are able to claim that they are able to cater to such a huge variety of rider sizes, let alone for some of their high end models, but Colnago is able to offer such a huge range even for their entry level bikes, this says a lot about a bike manufacturer that’s really dedicated to listen and then meet the demands of the public. The frame’s riding position is a summary of Colnago’s vast knowledge and decades of bike building experience, it is a combination of maximum performance and excellent handling while providing adequate comfort as well, and it has also been designed to accept both mechanical and electronic groupsets with internally routed cables.
The head tube is tapered, with a diameter of 1-1/8″ at the top and a wider 1-1/4″ at the bottom, making the steerer stronger and the front end more rigid, when matched with a fully carbon fibre fork with full carbon sheaths and pivot. The bottom bracket is a traditional BSA threaded 68mm which is time tested to be very durable, simple and very reliable, and has been fitted with a Shimano 105 BB. The rear triangle of the frame basically consists of two forks, with one end connected to the bottom bracket while the other end is connected directly to the seat tube. Contact points are from Deda with a 100mm long Deda Zero stem which is mounted together with a Deda RHM01 handlebar, no carbon here in order to keep the final price down, the very comfy X1 saddle is by popular brand Selle Italia.
The bike that I had the honour to test with weighed in at a very decent 9 kilos, probably due to the slightly heavier aluminium rims with Colango hubs that had been fitted with Vittoria Zaffiro Slick 23mm tyres, the slightly wider tyres provided much comfort and road damping while riding but still needed a little bit more extra effort to get the wheels to spin up when accelerating. The brakes are Colnago’s very own X-Brake 3 models and they provided strong braking strength, even when going downhill at speed.
This test bike was fitted with an 11 speed cassette and matched with a compact Shimano 105 50/34T crank, which provided more than sufficient gearing ratios for any entry level rider would need for any given situation that he or she might encounter while riding. Gear shifts were the usual silky smooth Shimano style with the 105 shifters and a RD5800 rear derailleur. Even when climbing, shifting to a lower gear was effortless, allowing confident shifts up or down whenever required without the chain missing a beat.
Overall, this bike was a decent performer considering it’s slight weight handicap, but a great bike for anyone looking into converting from an aluminium frame bike, but an added bonus is the slightly lower price tag as compared with other carbon frame bikes from other manufacturers, so the AC-R should already have its work cut out for it in the entry level segment of the market.