A “merciless” test for the safest frames in the world
11 March 2019 - Road
A “merciless” test for the safest frames in the world

For more than 60 years Colnago means technological excellence. Our technology is always the result of in-depth studies and tests: every detail introduced in our new frame is created with the sole purpose of making it better than the previous one.
This constant search for innovation allows us to create cutting-edge bicycles in every aspect: materials, design and, of course, safety. We are particularly keen on this last point. For us the safety of cyclists is in fact the most important thing: the legendary Colnago reliability must be total and guaranteed in any condition. For this we carry out crash tests “without mercy”: we want to be able to state without fear that our frames are the safest in the world.

To learn more: go to the “technologies” section

Science and security

In the design of each new carbon frame it is necessary to provide for the use of fibers with differentiated thickness, depending on the efforts that each part of the bicycle must withstand. A 3-year research carried out with the aerospace section of the Politecnico Milano gave us all the answers we needed to make products without weak points.

The study

A professional cyclist has traveled about 3,500 km riding a bicycle with 40 sensors applied to the lugs and other points, tackling all kinds of terrain. During the test the athlete was constantly followed by a computerized van, which recorded the angle and incidence of every effort suffered by the bicycle in the different areas of the frame, analyzing the effect of the stresses in real time.

Crash tests: how they are carried out

The valuable information obtained from this study led to the creation of exclusive crash test machines, which allowed us to obtain the strength of the fibers necessary to withstand any specific effort. The tests that the frames have to endure are really terrible. First of all a “fatigue” resistance test, in which the pedaling for a million cycles is simulated, with a weight of 80 kg fixed to the saddle and two pistons that develop a force up to 175 kg. The fork is also stressed, again for a million times, subjecting it to a force of up to 1,050 newtons.

5 times greater resistance

This test is followed by the “impact” test, the most severe ever for carbon fiber. With the frame positioned vertically, a weight is dropped down on the front fork: if a permanent deformation of 8 mm is not registered, the frame is considered to comply with the law. And it is here that Colnago brings a level of need and rigor without equal. In fact, the results we claim to obtain are not simply those required by the UNI – ISO world standards: to guarantee the maximum possible safety we have adopted internal parameters that require 5 times higher resistance limits, with a weight of 24.5 kg dropped by more than one meter.