Lightweight Italian Superbike
Bianchi has a long and illustrious history in cycling and with the Specialissima the company’s aimed to combine all its expertise and experience with the very best technology to create a lightweight, high-end superbike. With a claimed frame weight of 780g, it’s one of the lightest frames available and when built up with such a desirable component selection as our test bike, the result is impressively light.
A closer look shows just how much detail has gone into not just the overall frame design, but also the smaller components. The cable routing, for example, is extremely clean, with the rear brake cable entering into the head tube to give a smoother line.
The Fulcrum Racing Zeros are superb, with excellent stiffness and braking performance that will outperform carbon rims in wet or damp conditions. When paired with the Vittoria Corsa G+ tires, handling is superb with feel and accuracy through the corners and the ability to change direction with ease.
The Specialissima uses Countervail (CV) technology to reduce vibrations from the road and increase control and comfort. It feels smooth and the CV technology appears to work well, especially through the fork and also on larger bumps in the road. Of the three bikes, it provided the most comfortable front end and felt the most balanced front and rear. Front-end comfort may be helped slightly by the FSA K-Force handlebars, with a slightly oval top section, although heavier riders or sprinters might notice a little flex.
Despite being a mechanical groupset, Dura-Ace 9100 is fantastic, with easy, quick and accurate shifting every time. The choice of gearing is a little surprising, with a compact 50/34 chainset, given this is intended as a top- end race bike, but for many this may be the best option and is at least simple to change.
The Specialissima proved to be a very fast bike, even if it didn’t always feel like it – the stats don’t lie and we set one of our fastest ever times on a regular test lap with varied terrain. It never felt harsh or nervous, taking the roads in its stride but doing so quickly.
- Weight: 6.55kg (size55cm)
- Frame: Specialissima super-light carbon with Countervail
- Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9100
- Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace 9100
- Chainset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9100,50/34
- Casette: Shimano Dura-Ace 9100,11-28
- Bars: FSA K-Force Carbon
- Stem: FSA OS-99 CSI
- Saddle: SelleSan Marco Aspide Carbon FX Open
- Seatpost: FSA K-Force LightCarbon
- Wheels: Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite
- Tires: Vittoria Cosra G+, 25c
Handling – Sublime ride and steering control.
Superb wheels – They might not be carbon, but the Fulcrum Racing Zero are outstanding.
Finishing touches – Shows lots of attention to fine detail.
Not so good
Bar flex – Adds comfort but may not suit heavier riders.
Wheel appearance – Carbon wheels might look the part more on a bike like this.
Gearing – Slightly odd choices on a bike for racers.
The Specialissima feels like a gentleman’s racer. It is beautifully smooth and never feels frantic or scary to ride, but set times and hit speeds that tell another story. This is one light, fast and really enjoyable bike to ride. The level of detail is fantastic and its components are all superb.