Cycling Plus - - FIRST RIDE -

Ital­ian brand Bianchi is the oldest sur­viv­ing bike com­pany in the world (it’s 132 this year) but it hasn’t rested on its prodi­gious lau­rels and ig­nored in­no­va­tion. The Pro team­bred Ol­tre XR1 com­bines a cul­tured Con­ti­nen­tal feel with cleanly ef­fi­cient, sub­tly aero de­sign.

If you’re fussy about fit you’ll love the fact that the Ol­tre XR1 is avail­able in seven dif­fer­ent finely graded sizes. In true Ital­ian style, Bianchi tends to fit longer than av­er­age stems and the aero seat­post has a lot of lay­back so that a given size of bike will feel longer and more stretched out than nor­mal.

The brakes are con­ven­tion­ally mounted rather than hid­den (like the Ar­gon) and the frame is a mix of aero and com­fort-ori­ented tube shapes. The han­dling is all about com­posed, sweep­ing ges­tures and it prefers to build speed smoothly.

While it might feel a bit too leisurely for a flat-out lash, the longer you ride it the more this re­fined steed re­wards you in terms of re­duced fa­tigue and un­flus­tered ef­fi­ciency, mak­ing it great for long haul speed.


Weight 7.7kg (55cm) Frame Car­bon mono­coque Fork Car­bon mono­coque Gears Shi­mano Ul­te­gra 6800, 52-36T, 11-25 Brakes Shi­mano Ul­te­gra 6800 Wheels Ful­crum Rac­ing Qu­at­tro Fin­ish­ing kit Reparto Corse al­loy bar and stem, Selle San Marco Con­cor Startup Man­ganese sad­dle, 25mm Vit­to­ria Ru­bino Pro tyres

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