Bianchi has introduced a new full-carbon gravel bike called the Arcadex that will sit in the range alongside the existing aluminium alloy Impulso Allroad.
Bianchi says that the Arcadex frameset has been aerodynamically optimised, featuring like deep-section fork legs, dropped seatstays, and an internal seatpost clamp. No specific aero claims have been made, though.
It comes with clearance for 42mm wide tyres if you run 700C wheels, and 47mm tyres if you go with a 650B setup (for comparison, the Impulso will take 700C tyres up to a maximum width of 40mm).
The bike features eyelets for the installation of mudguards and a rear rack, so you can equip it for bike-packing – or even weekday commuting, come to that.
Bianchi says, “Arcadex can run manual or electric drivetrains, with an ACR compatible headset and a streamlined connection between frame and stem courtesy of custom head tube and spacers. As a result of these features, the rider will enjoy a sleek fully integrated cockpit.”
ACR is FSA’s Aerodynamic Cable Routing system, which allows for the internal routing of cables, wires and hoses through a handlebar/stem and into the frame or, in the case of the front brake hose, the fork steerer.
The Arcadex's gear cable runs externally between the handlebar and the top of the down tube.
Bianchi claims a weight of 1,100g for the frame (size 55cm).
The Arcadex comes in two colour options, gold storm and classic celeste, both of which get a dark blue front end.
Five different sizes are available from XS to XL. The medium sized model, for example, features a 550mm effective top tube, 520mm seat tube, and 150mm head tube. The head tube angle is 71° and the seat tube angle is 73.5°.
Bianchi gives a stack height of 595mm and a reach of 374mm for the medium sized frame, meaning a stack/reach of 1.59. That suggests a riding position that’s considerably more relaxed than that of the Impulso Allroad bike which, as the name suggests, is intended for rolling on various different types of surface rather than being a full-on gravel bike.
Bianchi is offering the Arcadex in two different models. The higher level model is built up with a Shimano GRX 800 1x (single chainring) groupset and Alexrims GD24 Disc wheels with WTB Riddler Race 700x37 tyres.
Bianchi says that the plan is for this one to be priced £3,150, although it could be 14% higher (about £3,590) if no Brexit deal is achieved.
The second model features a Shimano GRX 600 groupset (the level below GRX 800), also 1x, with GRX 400 brakes. The wheels and tyres are the same. This one is £2,800 (or about £3,190 in the event of a no deal Brexit).
Each of these bikes has a 40-tooth chainring and an 11-42-tooth cassette, and shifting is manual rather than electronic.
They are being delivered to dealers now.
Go to www.bianchi.com for more details.
Mat has been 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.