Bianchi Oltre XR
Bianchi Oltre XR
21st November 2012
Bianchi’s new Oltre XR
The Bianchi Oltre XR was first introduced 3 years ago and this latest version is a refinement rather than an overhaul. Bianchi claim to have shaved just 30g off the Oltre (a small enough amount to create a bit of heckling in social media space) taking its weight to 895g, but they have added a claimed 20% extra stiffness which no-one will complain about.
As you’d expect the Bianchi Oltre XR has a tapered headset, internal cable routing and a BB30 bottom bracket but other more interesting features of the frame include Bianchi’s X-TeX Technology, which is an X-shaped carbon reinforcement that is moulded internally to the head tube and bottom bracket to help resist the twisting forces applied to these areas.
The Bianchi Oltre XR also makes use of Bianchi’s new nanotube technology to produce a frame that is 49% stronger than one utilising standard resin and 20% stronger than one with first generation carbon nanotechnology. Bianchi’s ‘Wrinkless Moulding Process’ is used as a method of controlling the layup of the carbon laminate to avoid wrinkles, which can lead to weaknesses in the frame.
If all of that isn’t enough for you and you feel that the £6500 Bianchi Oltre XR is a little too common for your liking, then perhaps you should look to the Felice Gimondi Special Edition. A limited run of just seventy will be made and each sports his impressive palmares on the down tube. It will come equipped with Campagnolo Super Record 11 EPS groupset and a special-edition set of Campagnolo’s flagship Bora 50mm deep section carbon wheels.
Also included is a semi-rigid, wheeled bike bag, on which the ‘Gimondi 70’ logo is emblazoned. That sounds good but there is also a bike cover with logo, a commemorative brochure, and replica 70’s shorts and jersey from Santini. Finally, in case anyone doubts the provenance of your purchase, a certificate of authenticity signed by the man himself to prove you parted with close to £11,000…
Despite all this from Bianchi, a famous name steeped in cycling history, and endorsement from one of the sport’s greatest ever riders, some were still raising questions via the security of social media as to whether this Bianchi is a true Italian thoroughbred if it is not fully manufactured on Italian soil. In reality, no matter what these ‘die hards’ think, the Far East has the expertise, skills and manufacturing capability to produce the best high end carbon cycling products, and Bianchi, like most manufacturers nowadays, simply takes advantage of this clustering of expertise and the associated cost savings this creates. Proof that it works? Well this frame is already race proven under hardmen like Thomas De Gendt at Vacansoleil-DCM. Enough said.