Bianchi is the world’s oldest surviving bicycle manufacturer, a title in which the manufacturer takes a great deal of pride. The Italian company’s latest and greatest, the Oltre, has been the flagship road model since last year (replacing the 928), and took teams like Androni-Giocattoli to grand tour stage wins in 2011. This year, riders from three top teams are swinging their legs over the Oltre: Colombia-Coldeportes, Androni-Giocattoli and Vacansoleil-DCM.
- Article By Logan VonBokel
Needless to say, when Bianchi offered us a chance to ride the latest Oltre Black, equipped with Campagnolo Record EPS, we jumped at the chance. Here are our initial impressions after unboxing, building, and heading out for a maiden voyage. Check back in a few weeks for a more in-depth review.
The celeste team graphics might be a bit flashy for the average rider, but the special edition Oltre Black that we received is much more subtle and still carries some special touches from component providers FSA and Campagnolo.
The Oltre Black goes from fab to fabulous with the addition of Campagnolo Record 11 EPS — a group that is quickly becoming an editorial favorite here in the office for its positive shift action and good looks. The new groupset has been one of the most talked about new products in early 2012 with its low weight and flashy Italian design.
Out of the box, the bike was easy to assemble. Bianchi shipped the drivetrain assembled, eliminating the need to “play” with the uninstalled EPS parts. All we had to do was adjust the bars, attach the front wheel, and turn on the EPS, which is done by removing a small magnetic stick from the battery. From there, tuning the derailleurs is easy and done by holding two small buttons near the thumb lever for six seconds and then micro-adjusting the alignment of the derailleur using the shift levers — a much easier process to accomplish while riding than holding the tiny button on Di2’s “brain” box.
At 15.0 pounds the Oltre Black is barely legal, and swapping out the aluminum-railed Fi’zi:k Antares saddle for a saddle with carbon rails and losing the Eurus clincher wheels in favor of some carbon tubular hoops put this rig well into the “too light for competition,” segment. Given the $12,900 retail price, it is a bit disappointing that the Oltre doesn’t come out of the box under 15 pounds, however.
To read the rest of the review, please visit our friends at Velo News at http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/04/bikes-and-tech/quick-look-bianchi-oltre-black-eps_214048
The short-and-sweet review: The Osprey Hydraform 3-liter (100 ounce) bladder is the best thing to happen to mountain bike hydration since the bottle cage. Next time you’re in the market, do yourself a favor and buy. You won’t be sorry.*
The longer, more circuitous review: To truly appreciate just how great a product this is it’s necessary to back up and take the long view. Establishing context in this category starts with Camelbak, which has managed a feat of brand awareness second only perhaps to what Kleenex has accomplished in the tissue market. Because it was the first real big success story in wearable hydration packs—and because “Camelbak” just rolls off the tongue so much easier than “wearable hydration pack”—the company quickly became synonymous with the category and remains a dominant player the market, but it wasn’t long before the playground started getting crowded.
Even my very first “Camelbak,” circa 1995, wasn’t an actual Camelbak. It was a budget Blackburn Designs model made up of little more than an insulating foam/neoprene-like sleeve and wispy half-inch Nylon straps. It didn’t even have pockets—I just jammed a tube and a few tools down its gullet alongside a bladder that was dripping with condensation on the outside and, without any space-age chemical coating, probably had fuzz growing on the inside.
To read the rest of the review, please visit our friends at Bicycling Magazine
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 9:08:18 AM PT
by Charles Manantan
| ||Lake Cycling Shoes have been around a while longer than a lot of folks in North America might realize.|
The brand doesn’t have the recognition in North America that some others enjoy, but it’s not from a lack of quality and/or background. Lots of folks remember Andy's fairly good Giro days, and he sported frozen-Lakes...
Lake’s founder, Lee Katz popped out of Illinois to helped Shimano develop its first shoe line and started up their Korean manufacturing division. No secret why these have some similarities to the very popular Shimano molders. Lake produced in the same facility for 11 years but they've gone on their own for the past 4.
The CX 401 is Lake's current top of the line and under use by guys like Tyler Farrar, Carlos Sastre and several others.
From the 2XU website News:Last month a dedicated group of 2XU fans set out to take on Tasmania’s Overland Track kitted out in 2XU Compression! After purchasing their Tights from our Brisbane Performance Centre in November, Ron + Sally Fredericksen and friend Jane Postle promised to keep the 2XU Brisbane team updated on their six day adventure through Cradle Mountain and the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
All three trekkers walked in their 2XU Compression Tights during the day and slept in them at night for recovery. “Having completed similar walks in New Zealand earlier in the year without 2XU, the difference in terms of reduced muscle soreness and fatigue was very apparent,” said Ron.
With its stunning scenery and physical challenges, the Overland Track is renowned as one of the world’s greatest wilderness bushwalks. Thrilled to hear 2XU Compression stepped up to the challenge!
- Posted: 01/14/2011 Industry News Release Written By: Julie AthertonCortez, CO – January 14, 2011 – Osprey Packs, Inc., a leader in creating top-quality, high-performance, innovative packs to comfortably and efficiently carry gear, is introducing a new line of snowplay packs for Fall/Winter 2011. The Karve Series offers sharp styling and practical utility for the rider seeking sidecountry adventure.
“At Osprey, we enjoy a variety of winter resort, sidecountry and backcountry riding options,” said Gareth Martins, marketing director of Osprey. “Karve represents the next generation of winter packs, designed with the sidecountry enthusiast in mind.”
Karve packs are low profile for comfortable lift riding and dynamic skiing. They carrymost shovels and probes, offer quick ski and snowboard carry options, plus insulated hydration delivery. The on trend styling features offset zippers and bold ski and snowboard inspired graphics.
Shared features for all Karve backpacks include:
• Thermo-formed backpanel with HDPE plastic frameset• EVA fixed harness with slide adjustable sternum strap
• Removable Ergopull waiststrap
• Continuous zippered access from hydration reservoir to insulated hose sleeve in shoulder strap
• Diagonal ski carry with retractable cable and removable hypalon reinforced compression patch
• Small zippered pocket for keys, money, lift passes
• External quick access sleeves for shovel handle and probe
• Full foam padded front panel to prevent ski edge wear
• Internal shovel blade storage
Karve 16 Unique features:
• Quick release side compressors
• Snowboard carry• Zippered front pocket for shovel blade and ski goggles
• 16L of cargo space for spare layers, skins, etc.
Colors: Double Black, Redline, Whiteout
• 11L of cargo space for gear and food
• Zippered front pocket for shovel blade and ski goggles
Colors: Double Black, Redline, Whiteout
• Low volume for super low profile
• Shared main compartment for reservoir, shovel blade, etc.
Colors: Double Black, Redline, Whiteout
New Kode Series Color
In addition to the introduction of the Karve series, Osprey is adding a new color to their current snow packs, the Kode series. All three Kode styles will now be available in Blue Smoke, in addition to carryover Black.
Independent since 1974 and anchored by the design genius of company founder and owner, Mike Pfotenhauer, Osprey Packs has long set the standard for creating innovative, high quality gear carrying equipment. The collection includes packs and bags designed to help adventurers enjoy their outdoor, biking and travel pursuits.
The location of company headquarters in Cortez, Colorado, near the rugged San Juan Mountains and on the edge of desert canyon country, provides a constant inspiration and a superb testing ground for Osprey products. Osprey also maintains a product development office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, near the factories where they manufacture their products, ensuring face-to-face relationships and transparency with their suppliers. In 2010, Osprey opened a design office in Mill Valley, California, a hub of design talent and the birthplace of mountain biking. All three of these offices play a crucial role in creating Osprey gear that lasts a lifetime.
To celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2009, Osprey launched the All Mighty Guarantee, an enhancement of a lifetime warranty that was already one of the most robust in the industry. Free of charge, the company will repair any damage or defect in its product – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. Every Osprey product reflects the company’s commitment to protect the wild places its customers love to explore. For more information, visit www.ospreypacks.com.
The Bianchi brand celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2010
The Bianchi brand celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2010. The Italian firm has surely played an important role both in cycling history and modern industry, becoming a legend well beyond the sports. Only a few brands can truly be considered as a legend. Only time, passion, high professionalism, innovation and excellence can provide such an acknowledgement over the years.
“When we think of Bianchi, everyone correctly thinks about Bianchi's longevity and success to be a leader in bicycle racing, design and technology but another area of Bianchi's strength is the passion of all of the people who have been associated with Bianchi over the past years and until today”, Bianchi CEO Bob Ippolito stated. “Success begins with great people and we must recognize all of the people past and present who have made Bianchi a truly unique and powerful name in cycling", Ippolito added.
Since 1885, Bianchi has meant Italian Designed bicycles with very high quality standards and advanced technological content, and their unmistakable Celeste colour marked a step in the history of cycling. Bianchi is not only bikes; Bianchi is a way of life, a way to move, a way of racing. That is why many VIP’s and fashion stylists chose Bianchi’s leading brand.
Fausto Coppi built his career riding a Bianchi bike, just like Felice Gimondi, Moreno Argentin, Gianni Bugno, Marco Pantani and all the champions that wrote a part of the Bianchi legend.
Today Bianchi is an international bike manufacturer based in the historical factory of Treviglio, Italy. Since 1997 Bianchi is part of part of Cycleurope A.B. group, the Swedish company of the Grimaldi group, known as the worldwide most important holding in the cycling sector.
“Bianchi is one of the finest bicycle brands in the world with a fantastic history. 50 years have gone by since Coppi passed away in 1960. It is now 125 years since Edoardo Bianchi founded the F.I.V.E. Bianchi company. I have been the very proud owner of Bianchi for 13 years, and I will continue to invest in Bianchi for a bright future development”, Salvatore Grimaldi said.
Bianchi keeps a racing soul and believes in successful partnerships with international cycling teams to enhance global visibility. For the 2010 season Bianchi will supply professional cycling road team Ceramica Flaminia with the innovative 928 SL IASP frame.
Bianchi is also owner and official supplier of TX Active-Bianchi MTB team (equipped with the Methanol SL model) as off-road cycling is very important for the Italy-based company. Since 1991 Bianchi has been sponsoring its own MTB team and achieved impressive victories all over the world: Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, 10 world championships and numerous continental and national titles.
Felice Gimondi, President of TX Active-Bianchi team, perfectly embodies the image of Bianchi:
“I remember when Bianchi management gave me the chance to ride for such a prestigious name and wear the legendary Bianco-Celeste jersey. I was a child and I was very excited. Bianchi won my heart and that’s why I’ve spent my life in the name of Bianchi passion”.
Sitting at the top of Bianchi's 2011 road range is the new Oltre, created in part to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary and boasting the most comprehensive list of features yet from the Italian brand.
Claimed weight is 930g for a 55cm frame plus 350g for the matching fork, which now sports a tapered steerer tube for more precise handling. The correspondingly larger head tube affords a bigger joint with the down tube for more front triangle stiffness along with Bianchi's 'X-Tex' internal structuring, which reinforces the internal surfaces of the front end with a lattice of extra material.
An oversized BB30-compatible bottom bracket shell similarly allows for a bigger down tube, seat tube and chainstays, but as is becoming increasingly common these days, these are matched to very thin seatstays for rider comfort. Additional details include carbon nanotube-reinforced resins, internal cable routing and an integrated seatmast.
Complementing the Oltre is the new Sempre, which is aimed more at fast recreational riders than pure racers. Claimed frame weight for a 55cm sample creeps up to 1,100g due to the less advanced fibre blend and thicker tube walls, and the Sempre also makes do with a non-tapered carbon fork and alloy steerer. Cable routing is external, and the top of the frame is fitted with a conventional telescoping seatpost, but the bottom bracket is still BB30-compatible.
Bianchi aim the new Sempre at fast recreational riders
With cyclo-cross season just around the corner, Bianchi fans can also look to the new carbon Cavaria model and its impressive 1,080g claimed frame weight. In addition to the usual increase mud clearance and cantilever mounts, the Cavaria sports a heavily shaped top tube for easier shouldering and flattened chain- and seatstays for better comfort on rougher courses......
For the complete review, please visit http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/eurobike-2010-highlights-from-bianchis-2011-range-27646
By James Huang, in Friedrichshafen, Germany www.bikeradar.com
|Bianchi 928 Carbon SL ISAP Super Record Review|
Roadcycling.com reviews the Bianchi 928 Carbon SL ISAP Super Record road bike.
Since I began road cycling in 1998 most bikes I've owned were from the same manufacturer. I was extremely excited to be given an opportunity to test Bianchi's ultimate 928 Carbon SL ISAP Super Record road bike. In addition to being the top of the line, it was mated with top of the line Campy Super Record component group and Fulcrum Speed Racing XLR wheel set. Once I had the Bianchi 928 SL set up for my measurements I noticed how light weight it is, not surprising from a full carbon bike with carbon cranks and hubs.
My first time out on the 928 SL I thought I would test out how it handled around sharp corners and how it climbed short steep hills. I hit my practice crit course. After the first corner I remembered why I don't like to practice crit corners. This was the site of my first crash!! Not today though, the 928 SL turned like a dream. I had more confidence from the bike and pushed a number of corners at 30 plus mph. I didn't feel any pushing or skipping. When I dove into a corner and positioned the bike at an angle it smooth and accepted my acceleration at any point in the turn. I was having so much fun I did multiple laps with one lap faster than the last. I even punched it out of the saddle a couple times coming out the corner and found the bike remained rigid and stable even when I stood on the pedals. It felt as though the rear triangle enabled me to distribute the power with finesse or all out very efficiently. I'm not a sprinter but I felt with the 928 SL under me I could actually win a sprint in my local Thursday night worlds!
With a smile on my face I was off to tackle some short steep hills. I attacked the first hill with as much power as my chicken legs could muster; again the 928 SL was responsive. My first thought was I wish I had my power meter on as I might have hit my 30 second all time power record. I backed off the power a little on the next set of hills but I still found that the 928 SL reacted soundly to my efforts. As with the crit corners and sprinting, it transferred my efforts instantly.
What goes up must come down. My next time out with the 928 SL was on long climbs and long fast descents. I hate climbing and just thinking about it gives me a rash. I decided to do a climb that was about 5k in length with an average gradient of 7.5%. Challenging for a rider of any ability! I hit the base of the climb conservatively to see if I could increase my speed as I climbed. I rode in and out of the saddle and found I was more comfortable out of the saddle. Seated, I didn't feel like I was able to transfer the power to the bike like I was accustomed to. Obviously, gravity and terrain were factors. Out of the saddle, the 928 SL responded and I could feel my speed increase even on the steepest grades. I was able to do so with essentially the same cadence. I wasn't pushing myself. Having a full carbon bike from head to toe didn't hurt either. Also, the Fulcrum Speed Racing wheel set was an added bonus. Thank god I finally hit the top; now the fun begins, descending.
To read the complete review by By Tedd Jacobson Jul 14, 2010 - 2:28:41 AM
Please visit: http://www.roadcycling.com/reviews/Bianchi-928-Carbon-SL-ISAP-Super-Record-Review_003720.shtml