Spotted this bike at the last stage of the Pro Cycling Challenge. It's a Colnago, who I never pegged as a strong developer in Cyclocross. After looking at the bike closely however, my friends and I got into a discussion about what the bike was really for. It has slicks, and could just as easily be for road riding. The differences between a Cross bike and a road bike are:
- Beefier frame and fork
- More compact frame
- Gearing is usually a 36/46
- Wheels usually have more spokes for strength
- Cross bikes usually have center pull or disc brakes
- Frame is lighter and not as strong
- Road gearing is usually 36/52 or 42/52
- Wheels usually have fewer spokes for weight reduction
- Caliper brakes
So I'm not sure what this bike is for. Either way, it has some really cool features, mainly, the carbon hydraulic disc brakes. It was all internal routing, so it was clean and felt so smooth!
It was running the Campagnolo 10 speed, which was a drag, I've never seen the 11 speed in person. Maybe the more burly 10 speed works better with the battering of a cross race, or this shifter and brake were in development before the 11 speed took hold.
The back end
One of the neat features of this bike is that the rear caliper acts as a strengthening member by bracing the stays on the non drive side. All in all, this is a really cool innovation, and whether for road or cross it's great to see new things from a big company like this!