Pro bike: Alessandro Covi’s Colnago V4Rs

One of the most successful bikes in the pro peloton, Colnago’s V4Rs has proven its race-winning ability on virtually every type of WorldTour terrain

Clock02:05, Wednesday 24th April 2024
Alessandro Covi’s Colnago V4Rs


Alessandro Covi’s Colnago V4Rs

Officially released prior to the 2023 season, the Colnago V4Rs has only had one full season in the WorldTour peloton, but it managed to pull together an impressive palmarès in that time. Two Monument victories, claimed by Tadej Pogačar at the Tour of Flanders and Il Lombardia, were joined by three stage wins at both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, resulting in a win list that can rival virtually any other bike in the pro peloton.

This success hasn’t slowed down over the first half of the 2024 season, which has already returned an extra 22 wins for the bike. The first of those came at the Tour Down Under in January where we got our hands on Alessandro Covi’s Colnago V4Rs for a closer look at one of the most successful bikes in the WorldTour peloton.

Read more: 2024 Men's WorldTour bikes: A guide to the bikes, groupsets, and tech of the top-tier teams

Colnago V4Rs: Built to win on any terrain

According to Colnago, the V4Rs is built for one very specific purpose: “to win”.

Significantly, it isn’t built to win on a specific terrain, but across every type of parcours the WorldTour throws at riders - barring time trials. That’s because it hails from the modern breed of superbikes, which forgo traditional categories for an all-round approach. The concept is simple: squeeze aerodynamic and lightweight features into one all-round package.

It’s easy to see how the bike ticks the lightweight box, as it has relatively thin and narrow tubes, in sharp contrast to the meaty beasts that make up aero bikes.

Its aero credentials may not be as immediately obvious, but there are some clear clues pointing to its wind-defying capabilities. The kammtail tube shapes are now the go-to for many brands, while the narrower head tube, compared to the previous V3Rs, creates a more aero front end.

Read more: Pro bike: Nils Politt’s Colnago V4Rs for the Classics

Performance meets modern practicality

Wider tyres are on-trend right now, even in the pro peloton where 28mm is currently the dominant choice.

Bike brands have had to act accordingly to meet these wider demands as can be seen through the V4Rs’ 32mm tyre clearance. Some bikes are far eclipsing this, but in the realms of pro-level bikes, it is an impressive amount of clearance that adds an extra layer of versatility to the bike.

There was no need to max this clearance out at the Tour Down Under, though, where Covi stuck to the popular 28mm width for his Continental Grand Prix 5000 TR tyres - set up tubeless of course.

These were paired with ENVE’s SES 4.5 wheels, with a 50mm-deep front rim and 56mm-deep rear. It’s been a busy 2024 season for ENVE after its bikes entered the WorldTour peloton for the first time at the hands of TotalEnergies.

Read more: Raceday becomes ENVE’s 'fastest-ever' SES tyre

Standard Shimano set-up

The 2024 season has been characterised by larger chainrings and set-ups - most notably Ineos Grenadiers at the UAE Tour - but there was none of that on show on Covi’s bike.

He used what is by far the most popular set-up for Shimano’s Dura-Ace groupset among the pros, combining a 54/40t chainset with an 11-34t cassette.

More ENVE componentry could be found at the front of the bike in the form of its integrated bar and stem. This was also home to the route profile for the stage.

Elsewhere, Covi’s saddle of choice was the Prologo Scratch M5, while the team also uses Elite Leggero bottle cages.

And if proof was ever needed that pros can be meticulous about set-up, we spotted Covi using a tape measure to double check that the geometry of the bike was to his exact liking.

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