Bianchi unveils controversial new Oltre road bike


Bianchi has unveiled its new series of Oltre aero road bikes, featuring what the storied Italian brands calls “Air Deflector”, a technology that’s designed to channel airflow down the sides of the head tube, and an innovative aero cockpit. 

Bianchi highlights that it has rewritten the concept of a high-performance aerodynamic bicycle with the launch of the new Oltre platform, which is topped by the Oltre RC hyperbike and complemented by the Oltre Pro and Oltre models.

Created as a result of Bianchi Reparto Corse’s research and development, the Oltre RC is a revolution in terms of design and engineering with an aim to actively dominate and exploit airflow through engineering a perfectly integrated bike-athlete and frame-component system.

Bianchi states that the all-new Oltre is a revolutionary design thinking approach, defined by the introduction of Bianchi Air Deflector technology.

“The Bianchi Oltre RC sets a new technological standard in the cycling world,” said Bianchi’s CEO, Fabrizio Scalzotto. “With Oltre we started from scratch to create an unprecedented aero bike. It’s a project developed by our Reparto Corse that marks a turning point for the brand. The new Oltre family represents the first complete frame/component platform designed and manufactured entirely by Bianchi: from the frame to the handlebar system, plus the wheels, hubs, and saddles.”

“To develop the new Oltre project, Bianchi put the athlete at the center and the need to make him as fast as possible with the least use of energy,” commented Claudio Masnata, marketing and communications manager for Bianchi. “The first revolutionary element is the Air Deflectors, a technology inspired by the world of motor racing at the highest level to optimize aerodynamic efficiency in every situation.”

Bianchi designed and integrated Air Deflectors into the sides of the head tube, thus channelling airflow and creating a low-pressure zone at the rear of the tube. The action of the deflectors complements the performance of the new aero cockpit, which generates low-pressure air vortices directed toward the legs of the moving athlete through a centrally located hole.

The result is a significant reduction in aerodynamic resistance by the athlete-bike system, as certified by wind tunnel testing. In short, results proved higher speed with less effort.

Additionally, the new Oltre RC marks a departure from the previous range-topping XR4, by using a newly-developed aero cockpit by in-house components brand Reparto Corse.

The new handlebar unit replaces the externally sourced Vision Metron 5D integrated bar, featuring a steep rise and splits off into two, while the stem section stays as one piece until much closer to the handlebar intersection. Moreover, the split rises sharply to the handlebar tops, with a small carbon bridge adjoining the shoulders, forming an air channel that Bianchi says creates low-pressure vortices directed down the stem section towards the rider’s legs. Much like the Air Deflectors, this is said to reduce drag with rider aboard, all-in totalling a 17-watt saving at 50km/h.

“The advantage over the best aero bikes on the market increases by 30% variable wind conditions,” boasts Bianchi.

The new launch also sees the introduction of new Reparto Corse tubeless-ready RC50 SPB Tech and RC65 SPBTech wheels, which feature 50mm (front) and 65mm (rear) depths, and have a 21mm internal rim width.

The hubs incorporate what Bianchi calls “super precision bearing technology”, with SKF ceramic bearings included, weighing in at 1,540g.

Elsewhere, the Oltre Pro features the RC139 Carbon saddle and a set of RC50 tubeless-ready wheels (50mm profile front and rear, with a 21mm internal rim width), tipping the scales at a claimed 1,590g.

The Oltre RC comes fitted with a Reparto Corse-branded, RC139 “carbon air” saddle, which Bianchi says takes advantage of 3D-printing technology to provide a comfortable perch when riding in a typical aerodynamic position for long periods, while the Oltre Pro gets a non-3D printed version of the RC139 saddle.

As for the entry-level Oltre, the bike gets its wheels and finishing kit from third-party supplier Veloma.

All models will be available in November, with prices starting at €13,800 for the Oltre RC, €8,000 for the Oltre Pro and from €5,400 for the Oltre.


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