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New model uses brand's Countervail technology that's designed to reduce vibration

Bianchi has announced the launch of the Oltre XR3 aero race bike featuring Countervail technology that, it’s claimed, cancels 80% of vibrations while increasing frame and fork stiffness and strength.

Check out our review of the existing Bianchi Oltre XR4 here.

The XR3 is said to be “inspired by and derived from” the XR4 which was developed with UCI WorldTour Team LottoNL–Jumbo. 

“The proven benefits of the Countervail technology and the aerodynamic advantages of the Oltre XR4 are now shared with the XR3 model,” says Bianchi.

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Countervail technology

The Oltre XR3 uses the same Countervail technology as several other models in Bianchi’s range including the high level Bianchi XR4, the Iightweight Specialissima, the Infinito CV (including the Infinito CV Disc) endurance road bike and the Aquila CV time trial/triathlon bike.  

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Bianchi argues that because your body accounts for about 80% of the aerodynamic drag that works against you as you cycle, it’s vital that you’re able to stay in your most efficient riding position for as long as possible. The Countervail technology is designed to help you do this by cancelling vibration and thereby increasing your control and reducing muscle fatigue. 

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Countervail “is a carbon composite-material system that, with its special fibre architecture, combines patented structural carbon with viscoelastic resin,” according to Bianchi. It comes from Materials Sciences Corporation and is exclusive to Bianchi in the cycling world. 

“The result with the Oltre XR3 is a smooth ride and a racer who can stay focused on their fastest, most efficient aerodynamic position for longer,” says Bianchi. “Oltre XR3 riders retain the best possible control, a significant advantage wherever and however you ride and race, with no compromise in power transfer from pedal-stroke to pedal-stroke.”

Tech features

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The Oltre XR3’s carbon monocoque frame boasts many features designed to reduce drag including an aero head tube that’s said to be “inspired by Oltre XR4 profiles”.

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The seatpost is aero profiled too, with a clamp that’s hidden within the top tube. It has an adjustable head clamp offset (the amount the head clamp it is set back from the centre of the post) of 25mm or 10mm.

Many recognisable features of the existing Oltre models have been carried over, including the seat tube that's cutaway around the leading edge of the rear wheel and the wishbone seatstay design.

The full-carbon fork has deep legs while the crown is integrated into the head tube and down tube. 

That fork has a claimed weight of 370g while the frame is said to hit the scales at 1,110g (+/-5%, size 55cm).

For comparison, the Oltre XR4 has a claimed frame weight of 980g (-/-5%, size 55cm), while the fork is said to weigh 370g, the same as that of the XR3.

 

Geometry

The Bianchi Oltre XR3 will be available in seven sizes from 47cm to 61cm.

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The geometry is exactly the same as the existing Bianchi Oltre XR1, a bike that doesn't feature Countervail technology.

The top tubes of the various sizes are exactly the same lengths as those of the XR4 models while the head tubes are 5mm longer across the board. 

To take a 55cm model as an example, the head tube is 14.5cm, the effective top tube is 55cm and the seat tube is 49.5cm.

The stack height (the vertical distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and the top of the head tube) is 545mm and the reach (the horizontal distance between those points) is 388mm.

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The corresponding figures for the Oltre XR4 are 541mm and 390mm respectively, so the Oltre XR3 is a touch more relaxed but the difference is minor.

The Bianchi Oltre XR4 finished second in road.cc Bike of the Year 2016-17. Check out our top 10 here.

Builds

The Bianchi Oltre XR3 will be available in six different builds. These are they:

• Shimano Dura-Ace 11sp Compact 50/34
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing Quattro LG
 
• Campagnolo Chorus 11sp Compact 52/36
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing Quattro LG
 
• Shimano Ultegra Di2 11sp Compact 52/36
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing Quattro LG
 
• Shimano Ultegra 11sp Compact 52/36
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 7 LG
 
• Campagnolo Potenza 11sp Compact 52/36
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 7 LG
 
• Shimano 105 11sp Compact 52/36
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing Sport

You’re going to want to know prices, aren’t you? Unfortunately, we don’t have them yet because they’ve not been finalised. We’ll pass them on as soon as they're available.

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We will be riding the new Bianchi Oltre XR3 next week, though, so we’ll have a First Ride report following that.

For more information go to www.bianchi.com/global/focuson/oltre-xr3-365126

Mat has in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.