Bianchi Infinito CV Disc review

Billed as an endurance race bike, the Bianchi Infinito CV Disc blurs the line between a full-on racing bike and endurance bike. While the geometry leans towards endurance riding, a large portion of the bike's comfort lies in its frame technology.

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Pioneering Kevlar-infused C2C frames in the early 2000s, Bianchi has continued to develop vibration-reducing comfort features with the Infinito CV through their Countervail vibration cancelling technology. Developed in collaboration with the USA's Material Sciences Corporation, the unique technology is integral to the carbon lay-up used and results in some flex to allow compliance and comfort over cobbles, harsh roads and on longer rides. Bianchi claims that their proprietary use of this material "dramatically reduces road vibration – maximizing ride control, increasing rigidity and peak power output, and diminishing rider fatigue over long distances".

 

While the Countervail technology takes care of muscle fatigue, the frame's geometry also adds comfort for the rider on the bike. As frame dimensions follow size progression, it is difficult to compare the Infinito CV's geometry next to the racier Specialissima or Oltre models. For example, on a size 47cm the headtube is 140mm whereas on the 63cm it is 230mm. To add to this, as you go up the size curve, head angle becomes slacker and seat angle becomes steeper. This is to allow the optimal bike fit, ensuring the same performance and feel through the size curve. Thus, depending on size, compared to the Oltre the head tube is 20mm - 40mm longer, the reach is 6mm - 9mm shorter and the chainstays are longer for a broader wheelbase. All of this is aimed at a more forgiving ride. On the sizing, the Infinito CV Disc is available in sizes 47-50-53-55-57-59-61-63cm.

 

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Fortunately, Bianchi did not have to change the rim brake Infinito CV frame too much to create the disc bike. Frame modifications to allow for brake forces and mounts have only added 40g to the frame weight. Post mounts are used front and rear with the front brake hose routed through the fork. As one would expect, all other cables and houses run internally and Bianchi has done an exceptional job to make the exits look as integrated and unobtrusive as possible.

 

The rear axle spacing is 135mm and uses a 12mm thru axle with a removable QR system. The extra width, and move to disc brakes, allows greater clearance for up to 28mm wide tyres which further adds to the on-road comfort. The frame is mechanical and electronic groupset ready, future-proofing your purchase should you later wish to change things up.

 

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It was interesting to see that unlike other manufacturers who chase comfort, Bianchi has opted against the use of a thinner 27.2mm seatpost and have gone for a 31.6mm instead. Usually smaller diameter posts provide some flex which reduces road chatter through your backside. Bianchi must have been very confident in their technology and geometry changes and, as my experience proved, this has paid off. Other frame details include aero tubing, a tapered head tube, Pressfit 30 bottom bracket, and UTSS (Ultra Thin Seat Stay) inspired BAT (Bianchi Active Technology) seat stays.

 

Specification


  • Frame Infinito CV Disc
  • GroupsetCampagnolo Super Record 11-spd Disc
  • WheelsCampagnolo Bora One 35mm disc
  • TyresVredestein Fortezza Tricomp 25c
  • SaddleAstute Sky Team I-prof Carbon VT
  • Weight7.32kg (with one bottle cage, no pedals or other mounts)
  • Retail priceR 140 399

 

On the Road


Another review, another absolute beaut of a bike. Hats off to Bianchi for staying true to their Celeste ways and still managing to make this bike look current and elegant at the same time. Swing your leg over the bike and you will be forgiven if you can't immediately feel the endurance-esque geometry changes. For a bike that's geometry is not out-and-out comfort focussed, the Infinito CV is a very smooth ride. Smooth, not soft. I remember the Lapierre Xelius SL 500 CP I reviewed to be softer out back, especially when pushing hard.

 

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The bike actually manages to feel lighter than what it is and is a peach under acceleration. The Bora One 35 carbon wheels' claimed weight of 1405g certainly helps and they do a stellar job of maintaining momentum. In crosswinds, they are heaven sent as they manage to stay the course without much rider input and compliment the bike well, with road chatter kept to a minimum through the 25c Vredestein Fortezza Tricomp tyres. I'd like to bump the tyres to 28c for most riding, but the 25's manage a good balance between comfort and speed.

 

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Under hard braking, the bike maintains its poise and sheds speed with great enthusiasm. The Campagnolo hydraulic disc brakes performed a great job in all weather conditions and have cemented my opinion that we should all migrate to disc brakes when the time comes to upgrade. The weight penalty is negligible compared to the confidence one gains from the predictable and consistent braking.

 

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The 11-speed Campagnolo Super Record groupset was exactly what one would expect from a top tier drivetrain. The shifting technique did take some getting used to after riding SRAM Red eTap bikes for most of 2017. The lever shifters can do with a bit less throw, but I am a fan of the thumb shifters, they are direct, fast and located in the perfect position for my hands. Shifting was near perfect straight out of the box and with some minor adjustment, it was solid and stayed that way for the duration of the review period.

 

It certainly doesn't have that knife-edge feeling that some pure race bikes have which is a good thing, but at the same time, it doesn't feel sluggish. I'd say the overall handling when pushed hard leans towards its racier side with a touch of calmness and composure - even more so through twistier sections. Over rough terrain, the bike soaks up most of the excessive road chatter for a controlled ride. Where I noticed and appreciated it most was going through rough high-speed corners. Where one would usually need to back off a bit to keep the bike on its line, on the Infinito CV these corners can be attacked.

 

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Something has to be said about thru axles on road bikes. Where have they been all our lives? Not only do they add much-needed stiffness on key parts of a bicycle, they also make things so much easier when the time comes to remove a wheel whether for transport, to fix a puncture or mount your bike on an indoor trainer. What a joy they are.

 

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Verdict


The endurance racing category that Bianchi touts for the Infinito CV treads a fine line. One that could easily be considered nothing more than the marketing department's latest, greatest scheme, but the Infinito CV Disc walks that line with grace as it offers a great balance between high-speed performance and all-day comfort while producing an engaging ride with handling to keep purists happy. In a world where lines are blurred, the Infinito CV Disc carves a niche for itself by being an endurance bike with a racer's heart.

 

If you're a racer at heart but spend most your miles riding rougher roads, then this could be the bike for you as it won't leave you feeling compromised come race day.

 






4 Comments

TheJ, May 14 2018 12:23

As I open this article I'm thinking to myself, having only seen the picture on the main page... R80,000 would be lots but probably justifiable on some planet, R100,000 would be insane. Bianchi, hold my beer. R140k.

 

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pista, May 14 2018 01:54

Campagnolo Record 12 is out so that makes this spec outdated already.

shaper, May 14 2018 07:59

Am also failing to see value!

Manuel De Jesus, May 14 2018 08:28

It's beautiful frame, I really like the color combo and tube profiles :). I would prefer a Di2 or eTap version though, difficult to settle for the bird's nest of cables upfront on a 2018 bike at that price!