The New Bianchi Oltre XR4
I was fortunate enough to be taken to Italy to visit Bianchi at their factory in Treviglio, to try out their new bike the Oltre XR4. This is the fourth bike to be made by Bianchi using their patented CV technology. CV (or countervail) technology is a vibration cancelling component (developed by NASA and tailored by Bianchi) which is layered into the carbon fibre in the production process.
First up, I was sat down and shown what Bianchi had to offer for the 2017 range. I’m happy to report it has not lost any of its Italian charm from previous years and you can get a quality Bianchi bike at just about any price. My particular highlights were the Intenso and Via Nirone which have great specifications, colours and value for money. Next up was the factory tour, you’ll remember I spoke of the hand painted Specialissimas that were launched last year. Being able to see the amount of detail that they put into the frames, really does make you appreciate the time and effort they put into the manufacturing process of the frames and what really makes them unique!
Now on to the main event, the Oltre XR4! The Oltre range is built for no-compromise performance, yet the XR4 introduces comfort, unlike any other race bike. The Oltre XR4 is still as stiff as you would want a race bike to be, it accelerates like its falling off a cliff, and you can feel the power you put out going straight into the road. The CV tech takes the edge off of the stiffness to your body without losing the performance. It feels like you’re floating along at 25-30mph! That being said you don’t need to ride at that speed to feel the benefit, the bike feels fast and responsive at normal speeds as well as being very nimble. It climbs exceptionally well and it’s one of the very few bikes I’ve felt comfortable on straight away, especially as all I did was adjust the saddle to my height, screw the peddles in and go! We went on an undulating route, riding up some beautiful climbs, even taking on the final climb of the Giro di Lombardia. It was the perfect day to be riding a bike around the smooth roads in Italy in the sun! It doesn’t really get any better than that.
The Oltre XR4 is available to order now with arrivals later in the year.
Words by Andrew Hargroves.