Eurobike 2010: Highlights from Bianchi's 2011 range

Range topper Oltre celebrates company's 125th birthday

Sitting at the top of Bianchi's 2011 road range is the new Oltre, created in part to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary and boasting the most comprehensive list of features yet from the Italian brand.

Claimed weight is 930g for a 55cm frame plus 350g for the matching fork, which now sports a tapered steerer tube for more precise handling. The correspondingly larger head tube affords a bigger joint with the down tube for more front triangle stiffness along with Bianchi's 'X-Tex' internal structuring, which essentially reinforces the internal surfaces of the front end with a lattice of extra material.

An oversized BB30-compatible bottom bracket shell similarly allows for a bigger down tube, seat tube, and chain stay, but as is becoming increasingly common these days they're matched to very thin seat stays for rider comfort.

Additional details include carbon nanotube-reinforced resins, internal cable routing and an integrated seatmast.

Complementing the Oltre is the new Sempre, which is aimed more at fast recreational riders than pure racers. Claimed frame weight for 55cm sample creeps up to 1,100g due to the less advanced fiber blend and thicker tube walls and the Sempre also makes do with a non-tapered carbon fork and alloy steerer.

Cable routing is external on the Sempre and the top of the frame is fitted with a conventional telescoping seatpost but the bottom bracket is still BB30-compatible.

With 'cross season just around the corner, Bianchi fans can also look to the new carbon Cavaria model and its impressive 1,080g claimed frame weight. In addition to the usual increase mud clearance and cantilever mounts, the Cavaria sports a heavily shaped top tube for easier shouldering and flattened chain- and seat stays for better comfort on rougher courses.

Bianchi adds a high-end 'cross bike with the Cavaria.

Up front is a non-tapered fork with carbon blades and an alloy steerer tube and all of the cables are routed across the top tube to help shield them from mud and debris. Barrel adjusters are integrated into the rear brake and front derailleur stops to ease setup and maintenance, too.

Bianchi has a strong background in cross-country mountain bike racing, too, with the top spot occupied by the 1,170g Methanol SL. Key features include a wall-to-wall rib running vertically inside the down tube for extra rigidity, an integrated seatmast (that can also be trimmed and fitted with a standard 31.6mm post if desired), a BB30-compatible bottom bracket shell, and reinforcing ribs that wrap around the sides of the straight head tube to lend additional torsional stiffness.

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