My last Bianchi was an Infinito CV and my analogy for the ride was that it was like riding a pat of butter across a hot plate – smooth and velvety with all of the lumps and bumps in the road ironed out. So how to improve on perfection?
Start with the Specialissima CV frame then add elegant, light components. Simple really.
At 780g for a medium frame, the Specialissima CV is definitely on the light side. The fluro Celeste paint adds some weight (and time) to the build and is prone to collecting road grime but the colour is so stunning that a few extra minutes spent cleaning it are worth all the turned heads every time it takes to the road.
Obviously for the ultimate frame from the oldest (Italian) bike manufacturer in the world the group set had to be Campagnolo. I chose Record for my group set for a number of reasons, first I wanted something different from the production specification and second I’d had Super Record two bikes ago and was keen to see if there are any differences between the two group sets other than weight and price (there aren’t).
The HED Ardennes Black wheel set was chosen for three reasons – lightness, aesthetics and depth. I’m not a fan of deep dish wheels and carbon braking surfaces and I are not compatible. The HED Ardennes look and feel fantastic so nothing more to say, other than they’re fitted with Schwalbe Ones.
Handlebars, stem and seat post are Deda Super Leggera – keeping with the lightweight, minimalist, Italian theme. I chose Arundle Mandible cages for the same reasons, no they’re not Bianchi branded but they’re matte finish so they work in perfectly with everything else.
So with everything fitted and this baby ready to roll, how much does she weigh?
A massive 6.745kg
The Specialissima CV is a climber’s race bike whereas the Infinito CV is an endurance frame and the difference is obvious. While the Specialissima has the same smooth velvet ride of butter across a hot plate, it also has the power of the Oltre XR2 and climbs as you would expect such a lightweight frame to climb, like a bat out of hell. Specialissima also holds her own in a bunch sprint, not that I’m much of a sprinter.
The CV technology provides handling that you just don’t get from a conventional carbon frame, no matter who it’s made by. This bike couldn’t be more responsive and the feeling of connection with the road will quell the nerves of even the most apprehensive descender.
After almost 6 months together there is still a big smile on my face every time I take my Specialissima out and that’s really what it’s all about. Passione Celeste!
Want another perspective, read the Bike Radar Review