Eurobike 2014: Bianchi Gravel and ‘Cross
Bianchi is a legendary bicycle brand, and the company seems to be starting to warm to the idea of getting the famous celeste blue paint a little bit dirty. With a new cyclocross model, and a Spring Classic-style bike with disc brakes, Bianchi shows it knows there’s grit in the air. Even though there aren’t any celeste-coloured bikes in this corner.
Infinito CV Disc
It’s quite likely that the cobblestone ‘roads’ of Paris-Roubaix are more rugged and rough than most ‘gravel’ rides you’re going to experience. Therefore you can surmise that any bike already proven on the many pavé sections of Paris-Roubaix would be a good candidate for long, gritty and gravelly rides.
Bianchi brings its iconic brand to the world of gravel riding. The monocoque carbon fibre Infinito CV is made to race the world’s toughest bicycle races like Paris-Roubaix and the other cobbled Spring Classics, but it’s also designed for endurance riding and conquering gravel rides. Especially the Infinito CV Disc model which, of course, features disc brakes.
What makes this road bike an able gravel-riding contender? For starters, Bianchi makes this frame with its exclusive Countervail technology. To help mute road (or gravel) vibrations, Bianchi helped develop a carbon fibre layup that uses layers of viscoelastic material in between the layers of carbon to help reduce that nasty, continued vibration. Additionally, the Infinito CV Disc disc-specific frame has enough clearance for 28mm tires.
Named for the legendary auto racing venue in Belgium that also hosts a legendary World Cup cyclocross race in December, the Zolder is Bianchi’s higher-end entry in the cyclocross market.
While the Zolder is a fully carbon rig, it has a rather modest spec. It’s sold with Shimano 105 bits and Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes. Bianchi was sure to tell me that cyclocross is still a growing sport in Italy, and therefore the company doesn’t want to price themselves out of an embryonic market. It’s not such a bad idea. Such a rig could nicely appeal to seasoned road riders looking to get a dash of that fine Italian Bianchi legacy with their first foray into cyclocrossing.
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