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

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/

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.