Cyclingnews takes a look at the 2020 range of Bianchi road bikes, revealing some extreme performance bikes soon to be appearing at sportives and races near you.
Dating as far back as 1885, the Italian brand's roots in cycling run deep. For decades the Celeste, or Bianchi-green paint jobs, have made the brand's bikes instantly recognisable.
Bianchi has come along way with a massive range covering everything from aero race bikes to gravel and CX rippers. Today, the Celeste green has been paired with the bright yellow jerseys of Team Jumbo-Visma, such as that of Wout Van Aert's new 'cross bike.
Scroll down for our roundup of the 2020 range, followed by a short overview of the key Bianchi information.
Bianchi race bikes
Aerodynamic celeste race rocket
Frame material: Carbon | Sizes: : 47-61 | Brakes: Rim and Disc | Price featured: Oltre XR3 Ultegra
The Oltre XR is Bianchi's aero-racing platform available with both rim and disc brakes. With aero tubing and a curved top tube, the Oltre features a foil-shaped seat tube, aero seatpost and hidden clamp and integrated fork crown, all purpose-built to slice through the wind.
The top-end XR4 frame gets the Countervail vibration dampening treatment to soften what is an extremely stiff aero frame. At the front, the head tube borrows design cues from the brand's TT bike and features an integrated Vision Metron 5D aero bar and stem combo.
Taking a step down in price and spec, the XR3 (for which the price above represents) looks almost identical to its more expensive sibling, although Bianchi says it’s not quite as fast in the wind tunnel. The XR3, even with top-end spec, doesn't receive the integrated cockpit (which is likely the culprit for some of the additional drag) and is available in more budget-friendly component specs.
Very special Italian mountain climber
Frame material: Carbon | Sizes: : 47-61 | Brakes: Rim | Price featured: Specialissima CV Ultegra
With a frameset claimed to weigh 780g and the fork at 340g, the Specialissima is Bianchi's climbing bike. While it has a racy geometry and oversized bottom bracket and headtube for maximum stiffness, Bianchi hasn’t forgotten about rider comfort incorporating the Countervail bioplastic resin into the frame.
Prioritising weight over all else the Specialissima is only available with rim brakes — for the time being. Don’t expect to find one of these cheap, with the lowest spec listed on Bianch’s website, the Ultegra model, coming in at €4,999.00.
One for the privateer racer
Frame material: Carbon | Sizes: : 44-61 | Brakes: Disc | Price featured: Aria Ultegra
Rather than trickle the Oltre XR down into more budget friendly builds or produce versions made from lower-end carbon, Bianchi decided to design an entirely new bike, the Aira. With a race-focused geometry, the Aria features aero tech, trickled down from the Aquila TT bike (like the deep-section tubing), an aero fork and integrated seat clamp.
The bike is made with a slightly lower grade of carbon than its more expensive counterparts and doesn’t receive the Countervail treatment. The geometry is still racy with a 72.5-degree head angle, 541mm stack and 395mm reach in size 55. Available in both rim and disc brake versions, Bianchi also offers a triathlon build that comes with a set of Vision Mini TT clip-on aero bars for the tri-curious among us.
Bianchi endurance bikes
Celeste mile-muncher that you can race too
Frame material: Carbon | Sizes: : 47-61 | Brakes: Disc | Price featured: Infinito CV Disc Ultegra
Bianchi calls the Infinito CV an Endurance Race bike, meaning the head tube is a bit taller, the chainstays are a hair longer and so is the wheelbase for a more stable ride. In size 55, this amounts to a 72-degree head angle, 569mm stack and 382mm reach.
The bike sees the brand’s Countervail technology and a new D-shaped integrated carbon seatpost. Adding to the comfort and grip available, the Infinito will accept up to a 32mm tyre and is available in both rim- and disc-brake versions.
Bianchi is also offering an XE version which replaces the Intenso, this features the exact same geometry as the CV version but loses the viscoelastic resin. The XE will be available in a Shimano 105 build, as the Infinito CV only goes down to Ultegra.
Via Nirone 7
Entry-level alloy roadie that's not a bone rattler
Frame material: Aluminium | Sizes: : 47-63cm | Brakes: Rim | Price featured: Via Nirone 7 105
One of only a few alloy bikes still in Bianchi’s range, the Via Nirone 7 is made from hydroformed and triple-butted 6061 aluminium and sees a relaxed endurance geometry.
Named from the address of Edoardo Bianchi’s first workshop, the bike features Kevlar inserts in the seat stays and carbon fork legs to absorb some of the road buzz and improve adherence to the surface. Bianchi also offers two Women's specific versions of this frame which are available in sizes down to 42cm and come in Sora and 105 builds.
Impulso All Road
Confident handling on the road and off
Frame material: Aluminium | Sizes: : 47-63 | Brakes: Disc | Price featured: Impulso Allroad GRX 600
Every brand is dipping their toes into gravel bikes nowadays and the Impulso Allroad is Bianchi's highest-spec gravel grinder offering. Shod with Shimano’s new GRX group, the frame is made from triple-hydroformed alloy tubing, has a carbon fork and sees tyre clearance for 40mm rubber at the front and rear.
The bike features mounts all around for racks and mudguards, and the compact bend drop bars feature a healthy flare for added control when the road gets rowdy. The geometry is a bit slacker and taller than the Impulsio CV, with a 71.5-degree head angle, a stack of 657mm and reach of 382mm in a size 55 frame.
Via Nirone 7 Gravel
Perfect for those looking to dip their toes into gravel without taking out a loan
Frame material: Aluminium | Sizes: 47-63cm | Brakes: Disc | Price featured: Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Gravel
Also available with Shimano GRX, the Via Nirone 7 sees the same geometry as the Impulso Allroad with a slightly heavier frame and fork. Bianchi also saves money by taking a step down in wheels and tyres too.
Bianchi cyclo-cross bikes
Stiff and light celeste CXer with provisions for 1x and 2x drivetrains
Frame material: Carbon | Sizes: 48-58cm | Brakes: Disc | Price featured: Bianchi Zolder Pro
Updated at the beginning of 2020, the new Zolder Pro finally has thru-axles and internal cabling. It’s a carbon frame, with full internal modular cable routing and can accept both 1x and 2x drivetrains.
The bike is built with Shimano GRX 2x build, flat mount brakes and features a fairly traditional ‘cross geometry,' including the flat top tube for shouldering. With the brand also expanding into gravel bikes, it has removed the fender and rack mounts on the CX frame, although it still has two bottle bosses.
One for the collectors
Frame material: Steel | Sizes: 50-63cm | Brakes: Rim | Price featured: Eroica ST 2020 Campognolo
Made using Columbus Zona tubing, the Bianchi shows off its heritage with the vintage styling of the L’Eroica.
It's a classic build, featuring everything from a quill stem to down tube shifters, a 10-speed Campagnolo groupset, Ambrosio Montreal rims (your choice of tubular or clincher) and skinwall Vittoria tyres.
Bianchi key information
Bianchi’s flagship technology, Countervail, sees viscoelastic resin integrated into its carbon layup to absorb and dampen vibrations from the road before they reach your body. While it sounds too good to be true, the same technology has been utilised in military helicopters and by NASA.
Bianchi says the viscoelastic resin knocks out 80 per cent of the vibrations coming up through the frame while also increasing stiffness and strength — it's a big claim but one we would mostly agree with.
Bianchi offers many of its bikes in sizes from 44cm up to 61cm, with some frames available in up to nine fits.
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