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Bianchi's radically updated endurance bike has arrived for testing at road.cc

Bianchi has dramatically updated its endurance road bike, the Infinito, with an all-new carbon fibre layup incorporating vibration-damping layers. We were at the grand unveiling of the Infinito CV earlier this year; we even got to have a ride on it over some Paris-Roubaix cobbles for a First Ride. And now we've got our hands on a bike to review fully.

The headline news here is the CounterVail Vibration Cancelling Composite Technology - from where the CV bit of the name derives. This is a viscoelastic material incorporated into the carbon fibre layup which, Bianchi claims, massively increases the bike's vibration-cancelling capacity compared to a regular carbon frame. The idea is to dampen the vibrations that pass through the frame to the contact points, such as when the wheel encounters a bump or hole. They claim it’s more effective than other designs that use “rubber inserts” or “isolators." 

Bianchi only use this material in key places in the frame, but the exact locations are a closely guarded secret. We suspect it’s used at the junctions, such as the seat tube/top tube/seat stay area, the rear dropouts and head tube junction... but we could be wrong and we don't think they'd be too happy if we took a hacksaw to the frame in an attempt to find out. The frame doesn’t pay a weight penalty for the use of this material, with a claimed 950g for a size 55cm.

It’s a striking looking frame whichever angle you look at it from. It’s particularly pleasing from the front, with your eyes drawn to the curved down tube. The frame is packed with such modern details as a BB30 bottom bracket and a tapered head tube, and internal routing for mechanical and electronic groupsets. It's a muscular-looking frame with neat curves and it is particularly understated for the Italian company.

Where the Infinito CV is clearly differentiated from its Oltre XR stablemate is in the geometry. Falling into Bianchi’s C2C (Coast to Coast) range means it is designed with an emphasis on comfort. That means a slightly longer wheelbase (achieved with longer chainstays), taller head tube and shorter top tube, which should combine to provide a stable ride with handling that isn’t too nervous or twitchy. That's what you want if riding fast over long distances in comfort.

There’s room here for 28mm tyres. The capacity for fat tyres is a really important consideration for any bike wearing the ‘endurance’ label. Even the pros are cottoning on to the benefits of 25mm tyres and for the Classics they're all choosing 27/28mm tyres (and some even wider than that). In the past you would have seen a lot of 'cross bikes at such races, as regular race bikes won't take anything much wider than 25mm, and sometimes that's a squeeze. Manufacturers are responding, with road frames with extra clearance becoming increasingly available, satisfying both the pros' and mere mortals' desire to fit wider tyres. Wider tyres offer extra cushioning leading to a more comfortable ride and you can run lower pressures with little compromise of rolling resistance.

Bianchi is offering the Infinito CV in seven builds, with prices starting from £3,500. We have a bike equipped with a Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed compact mechanical groupset. The regular build comes with Campagnolo Racing 4 wheels and costs £4,200, but there are several wheel upgrades available. Choose these Racing Speed XLR carbon tubulars and the prices jumps to £7,100. And very nice they look too. Or you could choose Fulcrum Red Wind wheels for a complete bike cost of £5,600. If you have the cash, like!

The rest of the build consists of Veloflex Arenberg 25mm tubular tyres and FSA SL-K stem, handlebars and seatpost. A Fizik Aliante saddle completes the package. On the scales that never lie, the weight is 6.99kg (15.41lb).

It’s no mistake this bike was first spotted at the early season Classics, races like Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, with the Vacansoleil-DCM team. This is a bike designed to deal with rough roads, smoothing out the vibrations that lead to a jarring and uncomfortable ride. Now we need to find out how all that transfers onto the roads of Britain.

I tested the previous Infinito earlier this year and was left a little disappointed by the lack of smoothness the bike offered on anything but billiard table smooth roads, though its speed and handling did impress. Based on the substantial changes to the frame, I have high hopes for this latest incarnation. I'll soon find out how it stacks up. The endurance sector is hotting up with some strong contenders. The Bianchi needs to be really good to stand out.

www.bianchi.com

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

11 comments

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VeloPeo [300 posts] 2 years ago
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Very much looking forward to seeing the full road test of this - considering it as my next bike

BTW the link to last year's review is wrong (got an extra ttp// in it)

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David Arthur @d... [651 posts] 2 years ago
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VeloPeo wrote:

Very much looking forward to seeing the full road test of this - considering it as my next bike

BTW the link to last year's review is wrong (got an extra ttp// in it)

Will keep you updated on the full review. Thanks for pointing that out, link now works

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ashfanman [111 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

The regular build comes with Campagnolo Racing 4 wheels and costs £4,200, but there are several wheel upgrades available. Choose these Racing Speed XLR carbon tubulars and the prices jumps to £7,100.

So a £2,900 upcharge for a wheelset with an RRP of 2,250? That can't be right, can it?

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sorebones [138 posts] 2 years ago
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Any news on whether this will be available as a frame-only option?

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CyclingDan [39 posts] 2 years ago
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Another Overpriced Italian bike like they all are. All because its "Italian". Stick to a Trek Domane , Giant Defy advanced or Cannondale Synapse if you want a well thought out and developed endurance bike at a more affordable level

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Yariv [5 posts] 2 years ago
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Is your test bike the disc enabled version?

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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 2 years ago
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Yariv wrote:

Is your test bike the disc enabled version?

no, that one's not quite ready yet

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Metjas [359 posts] 2 years ago
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CyclingDan wrote:

Another Overpriced Italian bike like they all are. All because its "Italian". Stick to a Trek Domane , Giant Defy advanced or Cannondale Synapse if you want a well thought out and developed endurance bike at a more affordable level

some would argue that Trek/Giant/Cannondale are grossly overpriced compared with what you get for your money with Canyon  1
If only the frame only versions of these bike were available at a more reasonable price. You'd think they'd make more money as the molds are there and a lot of enthusiasts would love the opportunity to have their ideal bike built up exactly the way they like it.

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CyclingDan [39 posts] 2 years ago
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Ture, Saying that I was just going to mention Canyon/Rose  4 but Im not sure they have hardcore Endurance bikes in their range  39 Your certainly right about Canyon's other model's they are excellent value for money, even though you don't get this so called "shop/bike fitting service" because they're online. My next bike is probably the Roadlite/Ultimate AL for Sunday best rides/sportives but then I want too many bikes  4 best start saving

Metjas wrote:
CyclingDan wrote:

Another Overpriced Italian bike like they all are. All because its "Italian". Stick to a Trek Domane , Giant Defy advanced or Cannondale Synapse if you want a well thought out and developed endurance bike at a more affordable level

some would argue that Trek/Giant/Cannondale are grossly overpriced compared with what you get for your money with Canyon  1
If only the frame only versions of these bike were available at a more reasonable price. You'd think they'd make more money as the molds are there and a lot of enthusiasts would love the opportunity to have their ideal bike built up exactly the way they like it.

Avatar
Yariv [5 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks Dave, looking forward to your review. I'm excited about the CV because it seems to me that it's technology might be a step ahead of all the other sportiv bikes for 2014. Great to read that the bike comes in at under 7kg. I guess with the disc brakes it will be a little more, though this might be offset by having carbon wheels not requiring any aluminium for the rim brakes.

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GriffUK [2 posts] 2 years ago
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Yes, frames will be available later in the year, probably around the end of September.