Bianchi, that most Italian of Italian bike brands, has shocked the world with the announcement of an e-bike. Yes, that’s right, your favourite celeste bike company is entering the e-bike market. But don’t wander off to another part of the internet just yet, this thing looks interesting.
There will be two versions, the Impulse e-Road for the road, and the Impulso e-Allroad for gravel and adventure, the latter loosely based on the Allroad platform road.cc has tested in the past. However, powering each bike will be an Italian made Polini E-P3 36V 250W motor.
A claimed weight of 2.85kg makes it one of the lighter systems currently available. And the 500WH battery is reasonably well concealed in the downtube, so its lines look a bit more mellow than those e-bikes with a big ugly battery clipped into place on the downtube. The range is claimed to be good for 200km, but as with all e-bikes so much depends on your terrain and the level of assistance you call for.
Both bikes will be built up with disc brakes and Shimano 105 and Ultegra groupsets, with the Polini motor system allowing a normal chainset to be used. Expect wide-range 11-32t cassettes to help winch up the steepest climbs and biggest mountains. The e-Allroad is equipped with Kenda Flintridge 40mm tyres, the e-Road gets 32mm wide Vittoria Zaffiro Pro G+ tyres. We don't have any idea on pricing yet, or availability, but we'll update you as soon as we find out.
That Bianchi is investing in e-bikes should come as no surprise; most bike brands are getting in on the act as the market is definitely growing for them, and as these brands are in the business of selling bikes it’s a potentially very big growth market that they would be mad to ignore.
What interests us here at road.cc is the development of e-bikes that look very much like regular road bikes with only modest weight penalties, and with seamless and usable assistance from a smaller capacity battery. Others are at it too, there are the Focus Project Y and Orbea Gain for example,
What do you think? Answers in the comments section...
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.