It may be one of the world’s oldest bike brands, but Bianchi is certainly not stuck in the past. That has been proved time and time again with innovative releases from the Italian brand which constantly push the limits when it comes to aerodynamics and geometry. Bianchi’s Oltre XR4 has previously sat at the forefront of the bike brand’s legacy of premium road bike offerings, adopting modern design, clean internal routing and wider tire clearance. The Oltre XR4 was Bianchi’s top-tier contribution to the aero road bike market, but today it has been topped by an entirely new collection of Oltre bikes.
The Treviglio-based company has launched three bikes: the Oltre RC, Oltre Pro and Oltre. Bianchi says it has “rewritten the concept of a high-performance aerodynamic bicycle with the launch of the Oltre platform.” The Oltre RC sits at the top of the range (referred to by Bianchi as “the first Hyperbike”) with unique geometry that Bianchi says aims to actively dominate and exploit airflow through its integrated bike-athlete and frame-component system.
Perhaps the most eye-catching and innovative feature of the Oltre RC is the Air Deflector technology, which Bianchi says is inspired by the world of motor racing. The Air Deflectors are integrated into the sides of the head tube which Bianchi claims channels airflow and creates a low-pressure zone at the rear of the tube. The cockpit, with an unusual hole in the centre of the handlebars, is said to complement the Air Deflector technology by generating low-pressure air vortices directed toward the legs of the moving rider.
Certified by Bianchi’s own wind tunnel testing, the new Oltre RC apparently saves 17 watts at a speed of 50 km/h and gains 45 seconds over a distance of 40km with a power output of 250 watts/h compared to the previous Oltre XR4. Bianchi also says that “in variable wind conditions, the advantage over the best aero bikes on the market increases by 30 percent, ensuring extreme performance even during sudden changes in wind direction.”
The other notable feature of the new Oltre range is that, for the first time, the Oltre RC and Oltre Pro bikes will come with a frame and component platform that has been designed and manufactured entirely by Bianchi. This means that the frame, handlebar system, wheels, hubs and saddles are all made by the Italian company, developed by ‘Reparto Corse’ – Bianchi’s in-house racing department. Bianchi explains that the Reparto Corse RC50 and RC65 tubeless ready wheels were developed with four guidelines: stiffness, smoothness, weight, and design. The new wheels, which feature a 3K carbon finish, are said to be stiff, super-responsive and weigh 1540 grams (per set) while smooth performance is guaranteed by SPB Tech (Super Precision Bearings Technology).
Two bikes in the Oltre range also come with an RC139 carbon air saddle featuring a pad developed with 3D technology, weighing 168 grams. Bianchi argues that this “allows the athlete to maintain an aerodynamic position even over long distances without sacrificing the best ergonomics. The old Oltre XR4 came with a Vision cockpit and Fulcrum wheels.
Bianchi’s CEO, Fabrizio Scalzotto, says "The Bianchi Oltre RC sets a new technological standard in the cycling world. With Oltre we started from scratch to create an unprecedented aero bike.”
The three options in the Oltre range start with the Oltre RC, a bike developed for WorldTour professionals and extreme athletes looking for speed. The bike comes with RC50 SPB Tech and RC65 SPB Tech tubeless ready wheels (50mm front profile and 65mm rear profile) and features the RC139 Carbon air saddle. It is priced from €13,800.
Next in line is the Oltre Pro, which also features the new Air Deflector technology and aero cockpit but its frame incorporates the Bianchi CV vibration cancellation system into the carbon fibre, which Bianchi says increases riding comfort for a less extreme rider. It also has Reparto Corse components and the RC139 Carbon air saddle but comes with RC50 tubeless ready wheels which have a 50mm profile both at the front and the rear. Prices start at €8,000.
Finally, the Oltre “represents the gateway into Bianchi’s fledgling aero collection” and is “designed for a wider range of cyclists who also seek the thrill of speed.” It has a fully carbon frame but uses Velomann components: aero handlebar and stem, V50R wheels (50mm profile front and rear) and a Mitora saddle. Its retail price starts at €5,400.
Further aiming to push the limits of modern technology, Bianchi has also created “an advanced 3D digital communication space using virtual and augmented reality.” The brand says that in addition to the virtual experience available on their website, a special filter will be available on all of Bianchi’s social channels which will allow users to “experience the sensation of seeing and almost "touching" the new Oltre RC through a multi channel online.”
The new Bianchi Oltre, Oltre Pro, and Oltre RC will be available from the Bianchi dealer network starting in November 2022. The bikes will also be exhibited at Rouleur Live 2022. Tickets are on sale here.