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Australian gravel racer Nathan Haas has a shiny new carbon Colnago G3X gravel bike to race Unbound this weekend in a hotly contested gravel race that will see 3x road World Champ Peter Sagan on the start line looking for a win. Haas’s secret weapon though, will be retro Italian airbrush style…
Colnago G3-X Unbound retro Art Decor custom for Nathan Haas
Haas last placed second at the UCI Gravel World Series (yes, that’s a thing now) race a few weeks back in Seven, Australia. Unbound Gravel isn’t part of the UCI series, but plenty of big names are expected to show up. And he will stand out in the pack, racing this 1990s retro-style Colnago gravel bike.
Colnago describes that old look as “real works of art”, although for many, the airbrush look was always over the top flashy Italian style that now feels dated. Yet, as Colnago has transitioned to a simpler, more modern aesthetic, this feels like a nice dose of nostalgia to see the style reimagined.
Haas’ new Colnago G3-X gravel race bike for Unbound takes inspiration from the colors and sunset fade on Kansas’s state flag, but taken a bit further with a dash of neon.
Can I just say that more modern bikes need to bring back chrome stays? And that shiny chrome fork looks soooo good! (Although, why in the world are all the dropouts white instead of chrome!)
The Art Decor bike design even features the silhouette of Nathan Haas himself riding the bike just behind the headset (…in case he forgets what he’s supposed to be doing mid-race?) Plus the state’s Latin motto “ad astra per aspera” on the top tube.
“Through roughness to the stars” isn’t a bad motto both for the pioneers that settled the Midwestern state and for a modern icon of gravel racing.
Colnago says that designer Richard Pierce ‘curated’ the look together with Castelli, and Haas should be decked out in a matching kit too, inspired by the same ’90s style. We imagined a bright, flashy Euro pro look with lots of sponsor logos and color-matched shorts? But thankfully they at least gave Haas some black bibs for modesty’s sake.
The bike itself is the same Colnago G3-X that we looked at earlier this season under Haas, and the same bike ridden to win last year’s Unbound by Lauren De Crescenzo.
The G3-X is a bike design inspired by Colnago’s decades of proven cyclocross racers, and this Kansas Art Decor custom build really does look a lot like an old cyclocross bike. But it is a proper dedicated gravel bike with bigger 42mm tire clearance (with room for the Kansas mud that is forecast this weekend), longer wheelbase, lower BB, and generally more comfortable & stable geometry for long-distance off-road racing.
There’s also 3 sets of bottle cage mounts and a direct top tube bag mount, although no clue what Haas’ race day setup will really look like?
Unfortunately for retro Colnago fans, this is a one-off bike.
You’ll have to find your own Italian airbrush artist to recreate this look for your own gravel bike…