Few bike manufacturers can boast quite as much heritage as Olympia, an Italian company founded in 1893 that still makes all its bikes in Italy including this one, The EGO RS. Despite that long history, it’s perhaps a surprise they don’t have a greater presence outside of Italy. That's set to change though, with Poshbikes in Kent becoming the exclusive UK distributor last year. We've just picked up this brand new EGO RS, their £1999.99 full-carbon road racer, for testing.
For many cyclists, an Italian bike is the only true measure of your passion for the sport. Only Bianchi can boast a longer history of bicycle production than Olympia, but only by a few years. Few bike manufacturers have been involved in the evolution of the bicycle through two centuries like Olympia have. Yet while Olympia is steeped in history, they’re a truly forward thinking company with a long history of innovation. And that shows in the EGO RS, a very nicely finished bike with that demonstates they're right at the cutting edge of bicycle design.
The EGO RS has been updated for 2013, it is their second-tier carbon offering. Olympia still make all their own frames inhouse, one of the few Italian manufacturers who have the capability to manufacture carbon fibre frames. It’s an 1,100g frame (for a size medium) made from a combination of Toray T70, 60 and 50 carbon fibre. They use the different fibres in key places, to add stiffness where it's needed, and design in a desirable level of comfort. Olympia aim to produce bikes that are fast and engaging to ride yet comfortable enough that you can ride them all day long.
It’s packed with all the latest design features that are fast becoming standard these days. So the carbon fork has a tapered steerer tube with a 1.5in lower bearing race. A BB86 PressFit bottom bracket allows this area of the frame, where the downtube and chainstays meet, to be hugely oversized. And it ensures maximum compatibility.
The downtube is a rounded square profile, while the top tube is extremely slim and tapers from the head tube, so plenty of knee clearance for those with a knees in pedalling style. The chainstays are huge, massive even, and ensure the bike is going to track in a dead straight line when you mash the pedals. Olympia have routed all the cables internally and has been designed to be compatible with Shimano Di2.
This model here cost £1,999.99 and for that you get a full Shimano 105 10-speed groupset with a compact 50/34 chainset. Olympia prefer to use components from recognised brands so there’s a pair of Mavic Ksyrium with matching Yksion tyres.There's an FSA Carbon Pro compact handlebar, carbon seatpost and stem. Saddle is a Selle Italia X Feel.
Weight on the road.cc scales is 8.2kg (18lb).
The EGO RS is available in six sizes. We have here a size medium which measures up with a 55cm effective top tube. Head tube length is 14.5cm, certainly on the short side and a sign of the bike's racing potential. Angles are 72.5 and 73.7 degrees for the head and seat tubes respectively.
Full review soon...
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.