BIANCHIARIA CAMPAGNOLO POTENZADISC £3350
Bianchi’s pro tour machine, the Oltre XR4 Disc, is the brand’s premium aero road bike, but the Aria is no watered down Oltre. It’s unique aero design and sharp handling make it the Porsche Boxster to the legendary 911 – you get 95 per cent of the fun for 70 per cent of the price. The Aria rides fast, handles sharply but with ease and feels every inch the superbike, despite its relative-to-the-XR4 modest price tag. To be honest we’d save money, look at some serious upgrades and opt for the Aria.
We loved the rim-braked Aria, but that one feels firm compared to a non-aero bike. The disc version allows for more tyre clearance and when running on plush 28mm Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slicks, this Aria conquers poor road surfaces and smooths out ruts, making for a balanced speed machine with tons of grip when riding downhill too.
Campagnolo is seen less and less on complete bikes, but from the performance of Potenza here, we think that’s a real shame. The shifts actuate quickly with a mechanical thunk that feels so different to Shimano’s soft touch. The disc brake performance is miles ahead of Shimano’s equivalent. The Potenza braking has so much feel and subtlety to the lever that we revelled in the absolute control.
ONE THING WE’D CHANGE The narrow handlebar
Our 59cm test bike comes with a relatively narrow 42cm bar. The shape is great, but for our broad-shouldered tester it was just too narrow.