Exclusive first look: Olympia 849 lands in the UK

First 849 spotted outside of the Olympia factory. Frame celebrates 120th anniversary

by David Arthur   August 8, 2013  

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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@olympiacicli.co.uk or telephone 01622 764440.

11 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Worried the finish on the downtube near where it meets the bottom bracket looks a bit rough Confused

posted by Al__S [603 posts]
8th August 2013 - 15:16

5 Likes

Looks nice enough but for me lacks the wow factor.

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
8th August 2013 - 15:27

4 Likes

Sleepy Another tedious black carbon frame

posted by kitkat [216 posts]
8th August 2013 - 16:02

4 Likes

It's hard to judge CF finish from photographs as it's tough to get the lighting just right so that the photos show what the eye sees. As a result, you have to look at photos with grain of salt.

posted by Psi Squared [6 posts]
8th August 2013 - 16:25

4 Likes

Al__S wrote:
Worried the finish on the downtube near where it meets the bottom bracket looks a bit rough Confused

I've held the frame, and it's very definitely smooth all over. What you're seeing is the carbon fibre weave under a clearcoat finish, it's quite a distinctive finish

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1647 posts]
8th August 2013 - 16:37

7 Likes

kitkat wrote:
Sleepy Another tedious black carbon frame

Tedious? Do me a favour

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posted by David Arthur [1647 posts]
8th August 2013 - 16:37

7 Likes

I'd like to know what you ride if you find this tedious! I can't wait to have a close up look with one of these!

posted by mathewshotbolt [100 posts]
8th August 2013 - 20:06

10 Likes

From the photos that carbon finish looks a bit like the finish on a Campy crank, I like it.

posted by Nick T [821 posts]
9th August 2013 - 8:01

6 Likes

So you've spent a chunk of cash on something which from not very far away could be any old carbon frame. At least Colnago put some effort in to making their bikes look good.

Black is the colour of choice for 10 year old schoolboys Smile

posted by kitkat [216 posts]
9th August 2013 - 8:07

4 Likes

Or rather, black (carbon) is the look of choice for manufacturers wanting to save 50g of paint to achieve a more easily marketable weight target.

Some of those modern Nag paint jobs just don't cut it either, my art decor Master looks the business of course, but those C59 colours are pretty dull - 2013 Europcar scheme not withstanding. And that new logo they're trying on the new Mapei frame isn't very good at all.

posted by Nick T [821 posts]
9th August 2013 - 9:13

6 Likes

So we're down to colours? Come on boys, that's the bike selection criteria my wife uses! Plain Face

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posted by altobici [2 posts]
9th August 2013 - 13:01

8 Likes