Review By Kyle Armstrong, Store Manager - Rutland Cycling Histon
Countervail technology combined with discs? Could this be the ultimate road going machine?
Bianchi's countervail technology is said to reduce up to 80% of road vibration - a figure which is not only impressive, but rings a sweet sound in my ear. Living in Cambridgeshire can be beneficial from a gradient point of view - long flat roads to build up and maintain speed - however in some places it feels not too far off the cobbles of Paris Roubaix and the like - so when I got the chance to take out the latest model in the Bianchi range, I jumped at the chance!
When the bike was first dropped off, my first thought turned to just how good the bike looks. All the lines and aero forming, along with the black paint work and subtle Celeste make this one of the best looking bikes I've seen so far this year. I'm usually not the biggest fan of an 'all celeste' colourway, so I'm glad that the Oltre has gone for this less full on approach. I think it works well, and certainly stands out from the crowd. I was initially surprised that it was specced out with mechanical Ultegra, however it makes complete sense - its not overpriced, works flawlessly, and is the foundation for a great ride.
I'm a bit of a sadist, so I planned to ride the bike home along a route that takes in some fairly rough surfaces, during what may have been the wettest and grittiest week so far this year - and I wasn't disappointed. Whilst I wasn't under the impression I was floating along on a mattress, I was aware of the bike easing out a lot of the usual bumps and ruts. The main attraction was the consistency in getting rid of the road buzz that usually wears you out by the end of a long ride - not the big bumps or the lumpy tarmac, but the constant vibration that slowly eats away at you after hours in the saddle - it just wasn't an issue with this bike. For me that's a big game changer - being able to enjoy being in the saddle, for longer, with less fatigue is a win.
The bike also rolls up to speed well, and holds it incredibly well. Although the Oltre XR3 disc isn't the lightest of bikes, to me this simply does not matter. Acceleration is quick and measured, whilst keeping the momentum up is an absolute dream.
I won't say too much on the discs, as there are countless reviews of Shimano hydraulic discs, however what I will say is that the combination of discs with this bike is a match made in heaven. All day comfort, speed and stopping power is like the Holy Trinity.
The bike comes as standard with 28mm - however the test model I had came with 25mm - and I noticed a cut in the rear tyre after the first ride - it would have been nice to try the 28's as I think this would have only improved the overall ride quality.
Pros: - Great looks, discs, comfort.
Cons: - Tyre's aren't up to much, but most people will swap these out for their preferred weapon anyway.
Bianchi Oltre XR3 Disc Ultegra
Superior control through added braking power combined with the race ready Oltre XR3 chassis, the Oltre XR3 Disc Ultegra 2018 is the evolution of racing prowess. Benefiting from the same revolutionary frame design as the standard Oltre XR3 with improved aero dynamics to complement the disc brakes, the Oltre XR3 Disc Ultegra is just as fast and smooth. Countervail technology is present to help smooth out vibrations to keep you fresh on even the most gruelling stages. Shimano's powerful hydraulic discs provide the control for consistent speed through corners with less effort from you in all weather conditions. Shimano's standard Ultegra shifting components ensure slick and responsive shifting and power transfer while the light weight Fulcrum Racing 418 wheels shed in Rubino Pro G+ tyres offers the aero and grip performance needed at the top level.
- Frame - Carbon With Countervail Technology
- Fork - Full Carbon Aero Disc
- Drivetrain - Shimano Ultegra 22 Speed
- Brakes - Shimano Ultegra Hydraulic Disc
Click on photo to enlarge
Kyle's Previous Reviews
Read through a selection of helpful and informative product reviews previously penned by Kyle for the Rutland Cycling blog. Simply click on the links below to be re-directed to the relevant article!
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