The Red Ducati Panigale has been replaced with a new 2008 Bianchi C2C Italian made racing bicycle and we are looking forward to spending the best part of a week testing this carbon fibre beauty.
In the bicycle world it really doesn’t get much more prestigious than the Bianchi brand. The first Bianchi was built in 1885 in Milan of all places and is considered by many to be the oldest bicycle brand in the world. The firm is famous amongst cycling fans with a number of recent cycling champions such as Marco Pantani, Mario Cipollini and Jan Ullrich all having raced on team Bianchi bikes.
The 928 series of road bikes sits at the top of the Bianchi model tree with the eight different variants, which all feature full carbon fibre frames, priced from our AUD $3,999 test bike through to a AUD $13,499 top spec model which is decked out fit for a professional team bike.
Being a proud Italian bike it was good to see that our Bianchi 928 C2C came with Italian Campagnolo components. The Veloce groupset is positioned more at the entry level competitive cycling taregt market than the more expensive Centaur, Chorus, Record and Super Record groupsets but this is a key factor why this bike comes in at under $4,000. However it only takes one look at this sleek machine to realize that the words ‘entry level’ and ‘928 C2C’ don’t really belong in the same sentence.
The C2C stands for Coast to Coast and signifies frame angles that are more relaxed compared to the higher priced T-Cube 928 models. If you work full time and like me are no longer as flexible as when you were a teenager the C2C is a smart choice as you get the looks of a Tour winning bike yet will be comfortable even after a couple of hours in the saddle.
Everyone in the office loved the frame design, with highlights including the large diameter triangular shaped down tube with its unique curve and a top tube that goes from a block design at the head tube to an almost triangular design where it meets the seat post. The fork and rear stays also feature sexy cutout grooves painted in Bianchi’s trademark Celeste Green. This colour is also tastefully used on the comfortable Aliante twin flex saddle and the bar tape on the narrow FSA handlebars which feature the fashionably winged flat design.
For those that believe that you can never have too much carbon will be pleased with the carbon FSA stem and carbon seat post. The wheels are Campagnolo Khasin G3’s, no penny pinching from Bianchi to save a few dollars on this rig. Whilst they aren’t the lightest wheel set available the 27 spoke design is reportedly durable and they certainly look the part on the 928 C2C.
So far we’ve only had the chance to roll down Melbourne’s beach road and from this short ride we’re looking forward to getting some kilometers under the Bianchi. Next week we’ll report how the C2C handles itself in the peloton as it participates in a local club critireum. And it will be travelling their in none other than Bianchi’s own team car in Australia, the Mercedes Benz C200K Estate. If you’re wandering what YouandIride is check out their site at www.youandIride.com
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