We knew Bianchi was on to something when we reviewed the pleasing Oltre XR.2 two years ago, but this new model confirms the brand’s re-emergence as a builder of storied bikes. The Specialissima feels ideally balanced, so steering it becomes intuitive.
There’s compliance, of course, but not so much that you can no longer feel the texture of the road. The components, Campy’s SuperRecord EPS group, feel like they were made to hold (and behold) and not simply tools to operate. At 13.8 pounds, it’s damn light, and that makes its stiff frame even more remarkable. Drive into the pedals and try to twist the tubes—you get nothing but smooth, instantaneous acceleration.
The paint, a derivative of Bianchi’s celeste, signals that the company remains influenced by its 125-year-old history but, crucially, also is willing to deviate from it in pursuit of exceptional bikes. And the logos and Specialissima model name on the frame are painted by hand in Italy, which adds to the feeling that with the Specialissima, you’re getting more than a remarkably fast, lightweight bike; you’re getting an exquisitely crafted manifestation of one company’s 125-year-long love of cycling.
Weight: 13.8 pounds