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Bianchi Matta S9: The stunning Italian titanium bike you've never heard of

Joe Robinson
23 Sep 2021

A lesser spotted classic in 2000s' metal that reminds us why we love bikes

The Bianchi Matta S9 Titanium is a bike that is as rare as hen’s teeth. It was produced by the legendary Italian brand throughout the late noughties using ‘material for life, not just for Christmas’ titanium that you just don’t see in normal bikes.

In fact, before owner and general bike collector Jamie Anderson pulled the bike from his shed at the Flandrien Hotel in Brakel, Flanders – of which he is co-founder and owner – I’ll admit that I’d never even heard of the Matta S9.

A rudimentary Google search suggests you might have a chance of picking one up in the US and Japan, but in Europe? Nothing. If you want one, you will have to cross your fingers that one crops up on the second-hand market.

Luckily for Anderson, that is exactly what happened. He picked this one up second-hand from a Belgian based in Liège – a former architect with a passion for the finer things in life who had bought the Matta as a custom build directly from Bianchi in 2008.

However lower back pains coupled with the bike's aggressive geometry meant he could no longer ride it comfortably. A shame for him, a blessing for Jamie.

Bikes, in general, date quickly. Look only as far back as 2012 and Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France-winning Pinarello Dogma. The bike looks old. And yet, despite being built in 2008, the Matta S9 looks like it could have rolled out the factory yesterday. That’s titanium for you: timeless.

The frame really is the pièce de résistance of the build. It is believed that this iteration of the Matta S9 Ti frame was a collaboration between Bianchi and independent bike manufacturer Passoni, though that is unverified.

What we do know for certain is that it came in a selection of sizes from 49cm to 62cm or in custom geometry. Bianchi did the design, Passoni likely the manufacturing. For this particular build, which measures close to a 53.5cm frame, you can see a longer top tube with a short head tube and down tube for an aggressive position.

When Anderson bought the bike, it was provided with Bianchi’s own carbon fork but due to its weight, he has since swapped his out for a lighter Easton EC90 carbon option.

The bike was built with Campagnolo Super Record (anything else would be heresy, right?) and has since had a Rotor 3D crankset with 52/36 chainrings and a Power2Max power meter fitted for when Anderson uses the bike to race.

Being a bike from 2008, you’ll spot Campagnolo’s Super Record rim brakes which, for us, are in keeping with the timelessness of the bike. As are the wheels – unmarked Miche-built rims onto Chris King hubs completed with 25mm Continental GP 4000 tyres, perfect for temperamental Belgian road surfaces.

To help keep weight down, there is also a carbon Ritchey World Championships series seatpost and carbon Thomson stem. Finishing touches include a set of raw carbon Trivio bottle cages and a Selle Italia Filante saddle.

All in, the complete build tips the scales at less than 7kg. Not bad for a 13-year-old titanium bike...

Frame: Bianchi Matta S9 Ti
Headset: Hope
Wheelset: Unmarked Miche carbon wheels
Shifting: Campagnolo Super Record
Crankset: Rotor 3D with Power2Max power meter
Handlebar: Ritchey Classic EvoCurve
Stem: Thompson carbon
Seatpost: Ritchey World Champions carbon
Tyres: Continental GP 4000
Saddle: Selle Italia Filante

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