Bianchi’s race-ready Oltre XR family has been around since 2012. First there was the original XR and that was superseded by the XR2 in 2013, the flagship machine used by the Lotto NL-Jumbo team.
This, the Oltre XR1, is a new addition for 2015 and comes out of the same mould but with a revised layup to increase the weight and drop the price.
It’s cycling’s trickle-down effect in full flow, but while the XR1 is a more affordable version of the XR2, it’s still a high-end machine in its own right, with four builds starting from £2,700. This Campagnolo Athena-equipped model sits one rung up the ladder at £3,100.
And the result? The Oltre XR1 is an engaging and well-balanced machine, exhibiting the rigidity and handling attributes you’d want from a race bike. However, performance is dulled a little by a wheelset which, in reality, isn’t in keeping with the rest of the package, and we’d expect more for the money.