The brand new 849 is Olympia’s lightest ever frame, the culmination of some advanced carbon fibre development, produced to commemorate their 120th anniversary. road.cc was given an exclusive first look at the only frame to leave the Italian company’s factory, just before they closed for holidays.
One of the oldest bike manufacturers in Italy, although still relatively unknown in the UK, Olympia has managed to keep abreast of the latest trends and technologies in the road bike market. Lightness has never been their driving goal, however. They are more about producing frames that handle well with durability a key factor.
The 849 is properly light though. Poshbikes, the UK distributor, put this size small frame, with all bottle cage bolts, front mech clamp and seat clamp, on the scales and it weighed 818g.
One really interesting detail is the use of a machined aluminium bottom bracket insert. They could have saved a few grams by using a carbon shell, as Cervelo, Cannondale and many other manufacturers are doing, to reduce weight, but they wanted it to be easy for the customer to fit and remove bottom brackets. The higher tolerances of the alloy insert allow this without adding much weight.
The frame uses a combination of three types of composite (T800, T1000 & M40J) to achieve the desired balance of ride stiffness and comfort. The T1000 carbon fibre is key to the frame's light weight. It has a very high tensile strength which means less material can be used while still achieving the required frame stiffness. It’s expensive though.
Up front is a tapered head tube (1/8in to 1 1/2in), cables are internally routed and the frame is Di2/EPS compatible. A 27.2mm seatpost is designed to work with the very slender seat stays and tapered top tube to dampen vibrations caused by riding over rough roads. The frame will be available in fives sizes and a couple of built kits are being offered. Shimano Ultegra builds will start at £3,392.
Poshbikes have planned a high-end build for this frame with some very lightweight components, which should be seriously impressive. We’ll have details on that just as soon as they’ve built it, which should be within a couple of weeks.
More info at www.olympiacicli.it, or you can contact UK distributor Poshbikes on info [at] olympiacicli.co.uk or telephone 01622 764440.
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.