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Bianchi Infinito CV review

25 Apr 2017
Verdict:

A well-equipped all-rounder that's fast, comfortable but above all else great fun to ride

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£3,300

Weighing in at a respectable sub-8kg figure, the Infinito certainly has the low weight required to propel you up a hill with minimal fuss.

But the Bianchi’s most impressive claim is its ability to cover distance at speed in greater comfort than bikes equipped with damping inserts and the like, by using clever technology in the make-up of the frame to dial out the vibes.

Three hours in the saddle should see whether that claim rings true.

Frameset

Bianchi claims its ‘Countervail’ construction tech increases this bike’s vibration cancellation ability by 80%.

By combining elastic polymers with the carbon-fibre weave, the firm reckon its frame isolates high-frequency vibration, greatly reducing rider fatigue.

The frame has a sloping top tube for increased standover height and a compact rear frame triangle. Arching seatstays and chainstays meet at the rear axle.

Arrow-straight carbon forks make contact with a 155mm head tube, which gives the bike a relaxed riding position.

A massively oversized, almost triangular down tube, adds to the urgency with which this bike transfers power.

Buy the Bianchi Infinito now from Tredz

A measured head angle of 71.4° is firmly in the ‘endurance’ category, while a seat angle of 74.4° urges you forward, for maximum leverage and feeling of road connection.

Our test bike is wearing 25c tyres, but there’s frame clearance to run 28s. On a purely aesthetic note, if anyone has invented a colour that evokes as much passion as Bianchi’s celeste blue/green, we’ve yet to see it.

It’s instantly recognisable, but on the flip-side, a pig to keep in showroom condition, especially in the changeable conditions of early spring.

Groupset

Campgnolo’s Potenza groupset – four steps from the top of the Campag component ladder – is used throughout.

Comparable to Shimano’s Ultegra groupset in terms of weight and function, the main difference on the road is a much more positive selection of gears.

This bike has a 50/34 compact Potenza chainset and 11-29 cassette, providing an ample choice of ratios.

Campag’s ergo-friendly brake hoods house a long-throw lever (left-hand lever for front mech operation, right-hand for the rear mech), while thumb switches on the inside of the hoods engage the little ring and harder gears on the cassette.

Finishing kit

Bianchi’s own ‘Reparto Corse’ (‘race department,’ since you ask) alloy finishing kit is satisfyingly functional and comfortable.

The 420mm bars and 110 stem offer a good reach, while the compact-drop bars allow a really comfortable riding position in the drops.

A carbon seatpost dials out any spare road noise, while Fizik’s R7 saddle is particularly comfortable over distance.

Wheels

Fulcrum’s Racing 5 LG wheelset offers longevity and robustness, but don’t allow the bike’s exceptional frame and groupset to show us everything they’ve got.

If you wanted to stick with the Italian theme, we’d say a set of Campag Zondas would be an ideal upgrade.

Vittoria’s 25c Rubino Pro tyres, on the other hand, are a fine choice here – grippy, supple, quick-rolling and comfortable.

On the road

Initial impressions centre around an enjoyment of the bike’s more relaxed riding position compared to the firm’s racier models.

On a par with the Bianchi Intrepida we tested recently, an easy-going head angle is allied to a tallish head tube and steep seat angle to put you in the ideal position for attacking undulations. All good so far.

For all its claims of offering a supremely comfortable ride (more on that in a minute), Bianchi failed to mention the bike’s ability to slap a massive grin on your face.

The way this machine responds to pedalling input in the big ring almost puts it on a par with some of the best race bikes we’ve tested.

There’s a feeling of utter solidity to the bottom bracket area, and absolutely minimal losses in the drivetrain, which all adds up to a responsive ride whenever you feel the urge to get out of the saddle and try to set off an electronic 30mph warning sign.

Buy the Bianchi Infinito now from Tredz

We like it – a lot. When the flat roads fade and we enter the more testing section of our test loop, however, the fun keeps on building, with the Infinito’s relatively lightweight construction and overall stiffness providing one of the most exciting ascents we’ve had so far this year.

It urges you to stay in the big chain ring on shorter climbs, but is just as efficient when you’re climbing in the little ring, with your hands on the tops of the bars.

Up to the task

There’s no need to swap this cassette for anything closer-ratio if you’re tackling a big ride or two this summer – it’ll handle any incline.

The Potenza shift levers do reveal themselves to have a long throw, however, which irks ever so slightly if you’re used to the short-throw operation of Shimano shifters.

Handling Despite the bike’s fairly high head tube there’s 32mm of height to play with thanks to four carbon spacers on the steerer.

We were happy to leave them all below the stem on this occasion, revelling in the particularly planted way in which the Infinito takes long, sweeping corners, and even tighter, downhill turns that require a sizeable pull on the brakes before tipping in.

Those dual-pivot Potenza callipers are a very good advert for eschewing disc brakes, too. With fearsome outright stopping performance, not to mention very easily modulated power, for when a little finesse is required, they’re top performers in this package.

We’d happily smash out a 20km descent with full trust in them. The key contact points of the tyres are confidence-inspiring, too, offering good feel for the road and a comfortable ride throughout. And there’s that word again...

The fact that this bike enables you to unleash hell is only part of the story; the more impressive thing is that you can get yourself all giddy with noticeably less fatigue than a full-on racer might provoke.

It's a bike we'd have been happy to stay on till the sun went down. It cossets the beginner, and yet still allow more experienced sportivists to shine.

The Infinito CV flatters your riding, and what’s not to like about that?

Ratings

Frame: Uses magic (or something) to cancel out most bumps. 9/10
Components: Carefully crafted Campagnolo throughout. 8/10 
Wheels: Robust and reliable but lacking a little fair. 7/10 
The Ride: Truly a bit special. Comfort and thrills abound. 9/10

VERDICT

The Infinito CV is a well-equipped all-rounder that's fast, comfortable but above all else great fun to ride.

Geometry

Claimed Measured
Top Tube (TT) 535mm 535mm
Seat Tube (ST) 500mm 500mm
Down Tube (DT) N/A 623mm
Fork Length (FL) N/A 371mm
Head Tube (HT) 155mm 155mm
Head Angle (HA) 71.5 71.4
Seat Angle (SA) 74 74.4
Wheelbase (WB) N/A 987mm
BB drop (BB) 68mm 68mm

Spec

Trek Domane SL5 Disc
Frame Infinito carbon frame and fork
Groupset Campagnolo Potenza
Brakes Campagnolo Potenza, dual-pivot
Chainset Campagnolo Potenza, 50/34
Cassette Campagnolo, 11-29
Bars Reparto Corse Compact, alloy
Stem Reporto Corse, carbon
Seatpost Fizik Aliante R7
Wheels Fulcrum Racing 5 LG
Saddle Reporto Corse, carbon
Weight 7.88kg (53cm)
Contact bianchi.com

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