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Bianchi Specialissima review

20 Feb 2018

Page 1 of 2Bianchi Specialissima review

Verdict:

A lightweight Italian thoroughbred that is as comfortable as it is fast

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£8,100 (frameset £3,800)
For 
Sublime handling • Outstanding Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels • Attention to detail
Against 
Bar flex for heavier riders • Non-carbon wheels don't look the part • Slightly odd gearing

Buy the Bianchi Specialissima framset from Hargroves Cycles here

Bianchi has a long and illustrious history in cycling and with the Specialissima the company’s aimed to combine all its expertise and experience with the very best technology to create a lightweight, high-end superbike.

With a claimed frame weight of 780g, it’s one of the lightest frames available and when built up with such a desirable component selection as our test bike, the result is impressively light.

A closer look shows just how much detail has gone into not just the overall frame design, but also the smaller components.

The cable routing, for example, is extremely clean, with the rear brake cable entering into the head tube to give a smoother line.

The Fulcrum Racing Zeros are superb, with excellent stiffness and braking performance that will outperform carbon rims in wet or damp conditions.

When paired with the Vittoria Corsa G+ tyres, handling is superb with feel and accuracy through the corners and the ability to change direction with ease.

The Specialissima uses Countervail (CV) technology to reduce vibrations from the road and increase control and comfort.

It feels smooth and the CV technology appears to work well, especially through the fork and also on larger bumps in the road. Of the three bikes, it provided the most comfortable front end and felt the most balanced front and rear.

Front-end comfort may be helped slightly by the FSA K-Force handlebars, with a slightly oval top section, although heavier riders or sprinters might notice a little flex.

Despite being a mechanical groupset, Dura-Ace 9100 is fantastic, with easy, quick and accurate shifting every time.

The choice of gearing is a little surprising, with a compact 50/34 chainset, given this is intended as a top-end race bike, but for many this may be the best option and is at least simple to change.

The Specialissima proved to be a very fast bike, even if it didn’t always feel like it – the stats don’t lie and we set one of our fastest ever times on a regular test lap with varied terrain.

It never felt harsh or nervous, taking the roads in its stride but doing so quickly.

Ratings

Frame 10/10; Components 9/10; Wheels 10/10; The ride 10/10

Verdict: The Specialissima feels like a gentleman's racer. It is beautifully smooth and never felt frantic or scary to ride, but set times and hit speeds that tell another story. This is one light, fast and really enjoyable bike to ride. The level of detail is fantastic and its components are all superb.

Spec

Frame Specialissima super-light carbon with Countervail
Groupset Shimano Dura-Ace 9100
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace 9100
Chainset Shimano Dura-Ace 9100, 50/34
Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace 9100, 11-28
Bars FSA K-Force Light carbon
Stem FSA OS-99 CSI
Seatpost FSA K-Force Light Carbon
Saddle Selle San Marco Aspide Carbon FX Open
Wheels Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite, Vittoria Corsa G+, 25c tyres
Weight 6.55kg (size 55cm)
Contact bianchi.com

Page 1 of 2Bianchi Specialissima review

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