Just in: Bianchi Vertigo

New carbon comfort/endurance road bike from Bianchi with Campagnolo Xenon costing £1,399 arrives for testing

by David Arthur   February 7, 2014  

The Vertigo is a new bike from Bianchi built around a carbon frame and the company’s Coast to Coast geometry, which places an emphasis on comfort over long distances. We’ve just got the £1,399 Campagnolo Xenon model in for review, a Shimano Tiagra build is also available for £1,449, keeping everyone happy.

On paper the Vertigo has a lot going for it. It’s certainly a good looking bike, and very much unmistakably a Bianchi with a good dollop of that famous Celeste paint. We reckon they must get through a fair few tins a year. The frame gets some modern touches such as the full internal cable routing but sticks with a regular 1 1/8in non-tapered steerer tube for the carbon fork. It's a good looking frame, that curved top tube, oversize down tube and chunky chainstays give the bike a good presence.

As we pointed out earlier, the bike sits in the company’s Coast to Coast range. This is Bianchi's label for bikes that have a less aggressive, more relaxed geometry. The geometry pitches the Vertigo at those cyclists less interested in racing, and more inclined to want to take in the view while doing a 100 km sportive or riding with their mates on a Sunday morning. That doesn’t mean the bike shouldn’t be able to dish out the speed, the frame is oversized in the key places to provide a decent level of stiffness, without compromising comfort too much. 

The key change in the geometry is the 72 degree head angle and 72.5 degree seat angle, marginally more relaxed than an out-and-out race bike. The wheelbase is a smidgen longer at 999mm, so the result should be a more relaxing and stable ride character. Don't expect a tall head tube though, that's not something the Italian's really go in for, so the 16.5cm head tube on the 54cm we have here strikes a happy balance. 

The Vertigo’s build kit will satisfy those people who reckon an Italian bike should only ever be built with a Campagnolo groupset. The bike is well appointed with a Xenon transmission, which is roughly equivalent to a Shimano Tiagra groupset. The chainset though is an FSA Omega number, in a compact 50/34 configuration. It partners with an 11-25t cassette plugged into the rear wheel.

Straying from the Campagnolo catalogue too are the brake calipers, they’re sourced from Bianchi’s in-house Reparto Corse label. We find the same branded components for the carbon seatpost and alloy stem and handlebar set up. Wheels are Reparto Corse branded Maddux RX 5.1, and shod with Hutchinson Equinox tyres in a 23mm size. The saddle is a San Marco Ponza Power item. The bike weighs 8.61kg (18.98lb).

Nice looking bike isn’t it? It’s up against some stiff competition though, the £1400 to £1,500 road bike market is packed full of choice. For a start there’s the Cannondale SuperSix Evo 105 we’re currently testing. Okay, it’s £300 dearer, but it’s essentially the same as the company’s flagship Evo in shape, just a different carbon layup. Closer in price is the BMC GranFondo, with a similar approach in the geometry department, but an alloy frame with a 105/Tiagra build. That one costs £1,350. Costing the same is the Trek MAdone 3.1 C H2, offering a carbon frame with a Tiagra/105 groupset for £1,400.

More at www.bianchi.com/uk/

12 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Why do all modern Bianchi's seem to have a touch of the 'Liberace' about them?

posted by belgravedave [223 posts]
7th February 2014 - 13:04

30 Likes

I
Want
This
Bicycle

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1299 posts]
7th February 2014 - 14:09

2 Likes

That is a really odd looking spoke layup

posted by jarredscycling [456 posts]
7th February 2014 - 15:06

33 Likes

Not particularly a fan of the xenon range. I had to fit these shifters to my #2/commuter after my ancient record 9 speed shifters gave way. The plastic gear levers flex quite a bit before engaging into the next gear and there's no trim on the front mech.

It's a shame that if you want to maintain your 9 speed drive train these days you have to resort to fitting cheaper components, or replace the lot and upgrade to 10 speed

posted by Scoob_84 [233 posts]
7th February 2014 - 16:38

27 Likes

I have this bike from last year, and love it. They have downgraded the transmission from Campag Veloce / Shimano 105 (and taken £200 off the retail price) so if you want one I would suggest buying one of last year's models of which there are still a few available at a discounted price (so similar to the new price) but with better components. I also upgraded the wheels to Mavic Askium - lighter and stiffer.

posted by tomturcan [46 posts]
7th February 2014 - 17:05

1 Like

Lovely looking bike. Nice to see a proper Bianchi, complete with Italian groupo.

Bobbinogs's picture

posted by Bobbinogs [68 posts]
7th February 2014 - 18:00

4 Likes

jarredscycling wrote:
That is a really odd looking spoke layup

They look like they've taken their cues from Rolf wheels. More aero, apparently.

posted by Nick T [844 posts]
7th February 2014 - 21:14

29 Likes

jarredscycling wrote:
That is a really odd looking spoke layup

yep it is and a bugger to true up for more serious dings. The ambrosio rims on my Via Nirone wore out after only 5000 miles so are a bit soft but reliable and pretty tough to a point.
The Xenon stuff I think Campag have discontinued so must be old stock. OK but not tough enough for hard use, centaur is a much better proposition.
On another note the drive train is of cheaper components and will wear out fairly quickly. Buy genuine Campag replacements and they will last a little longer.

This carbon beauty is only half a kilo lighter than the alu version which is loads cheaper. I'd save my money to be honest.

We're all entitled to a reasonable opinion!

posted by Guyz2010 [291 posts]
7th February 2014 - 21:27

25 Likes

This would be interesting as a frameset, but for the life of me I can't find even the bike listed on Bianchi's UK website.

Ride your own ride

posted by CanAmSteve [169 posts]
8th February 2014 - 9:52

21 Likes

Xenon equivalent to Tiagra?

Really?

fourstringsisplenty's picture

posted by fourstringsisplenty [67 posts]
8th February 2014 - 20:24

29 Likes

No ...

posted by Chrisc [144 posts]
9th February 2014 - 12:54

16 Likes

I had trouble with my much loved and used Campagnolo ergo levers too: the ratchet finally went in the front shifter. Downland in Canterbury rebuilt it good as new. I couldn't have been happier. For Vicenza fans, in the meantime, we don't yet have to follow the upgrade path...

posted by paslemeilleur [57 posts]
10th February 2014 - 10:59

17 Likes