Bianchi have unveiled their latest creation: the Specialissima. It’s a climber’s steed built around a super-light 780g frame that the Italians have infused with the Countervail vibration dampening technology first seen in their Infinito CV Classics bike.
Countervail is Bianchi’s patented viscoelastic carbon material that’s inserted into the frame between carbon layers. It has a unique fibre architecture that Bianchi say cancels up to 80 per cent of the vibrations through the frame from the road. They developed it in conjunction with the MSC (Material Sciences Corporation), and it’s also been tested in NASA operations. Bianchi say that the key difference between Countervail and other dampening technologies is that it’s material, not mechanical, so in other words, it’s an improvement in the carbon technology of the frame, not, say, a rubber insert or decoupler.
As well as the weight and Countervail, Bianchi say that the Specialissima features increased rigidity which will make it as much as a weapon downhill as it is up. The bike has been designed to be sure, fast and reactive on descents to give riders as much confidence as possible.
One more interesting touch in frame design terms is that the front end has been designed with aerodynamics in mind. Bianchi based it on the front end of the Aqulia CV time trial bike, and you’ll notice that the headtube comes to a gentle point, and the headtube/fork have been integrated for maximum aero benefit.
Spec-wise the frame features a BB 86.5 x 41 PressFit bottom bracket, a 27.2mm seatpost, full internal cable routing and the carbon dropouts come complete with alloy inserts to prevent damage from quick-release skewers. You’ll also have the choice between 50/34 or 52/36 crankset options, and there will be a number of wheel options available including Campagnolo’s Bora Ultra 35 hoops and Fulcrum’s Racing Zero Carbons.
The 780g frame weight is for a 55cm model in the black colour scheme. Bianchi also point out that there’s a +/-5% range on the frame weights, and that the Celeste model will weigh slightly more due to the paint (which, in reality, does actually add about 20g). Another weight-saving feature is that all the graphics on the frames are hand painted in Italy, rather than decals, which not only gives the bike a beautiful, artisan finish, but also saves a few precious grams.
The bike will come in seven sizes from 47-61cm, and features a ‘pro’ racing geometry. Elsewhere, the frame is both electronic and mechanical drivetrain compatible, but Bianchi will only be offering the Specialissima with four suitably top-end groupsets: Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Super Record mechanical, and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and mechanical.
The two standard colour schemes are black and Bianchi’s iconic Celeste, but the celeste has a twist that is called CK16, which is essentially a fluro-ised version of the classic colour. On top of that, though, there is the ‘Specialissima Tavalozza’ (tavalozza being Italian for a painter’s palette) where you can choose from a wide range of custom colours to have your own bike looking any way you’d like. Bianchi say they wanted to give buyers a chance to have a unique look for their bike with the Specialissima, and this is how they’ll do it. One last thing to mention is that UK pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we find out.
While we’re here in Italy, we’re getting the chance for a first ride on the Specialissima, so keep your eyes peeled for out first impressions of what the bike can do on the road very soon.