New F1 continues the Olympia lightweight tradition

Olympia F1 race bike
The Olympia F1 premium build spec is ready for any XCO race (Image credit: Olympia)

Naming your XCO racing hardtail ‘F1’, is awfully brazen.

But when you are a brand of Olympia’s standing, with a history of frame building which dates to 1893, you probably have the right to such a hyperbolic naming convention.

The Italian frame brand’s latest F1 is built as a dedicated XCO racing hardtail, featuring a sophisticated carbon-fiber frame and some rather interesting cable routing.

Although the F1 frame looks much like many other premium 29er XCO hardtails in its profile, the actual fiber composition of its composite tubing, warrants a mention.

Making the most of three different fibers 

Olympia’s engineers have blended three different specifications of carbon-fiber materials to make the F1 frame: T1000, T800 and M40J.

By combining these three strands of Toray carbon-fiber, Olympia’s engineers have not only managed to deliver a terrifically light frame, but also one with unique ride characteristics. Orientating those different fibers, within specific parts of the frame, allowed Olympia’s design team to optimize lateral stiffness, for superior power transfer, without sacrificing too much vertical compliance.

Overall frame details will be familiar to anyone who has been on a contemporary XCO race bike in the last year. With a 148x12 rear axle, the chain- and seat stays are wide enough to clear a 2.35” width tire, although the factory builds all roll out of Olympia’s production facility with Vittoria Barzo 2.25s.

Available in four sizes (S, M, L and XL), the F1 has been shaped along the current trends in frame geometry. The 100mm fork sets the bike at a 68-degree head angle, balanced by a 76-degree seat tube angle, for optimal climbing efficiency. As a reference for the overall ratio of frame stability to agility, a size L has 468mm of reach.

Using FSA’s ACR stem and cable management technology has enabled Olympia to tidy the appearance of its F1’s controls. The brakes are guided into recesses within the carbon-fiber handlebar.

Olympia is marketing its new F1 in five specification grades, from Pro to an Evo R1, with pricing in the $2,600 to $6,500 bandwidth, depending on exchange rates.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.