The price and overall status of this bike means it’s all top-level components. It is definitely a name that we will have to put a face to for you.
The Specialissima showcases Shimano’s new 12-speed semi-wireless Dura-Ace Di2. This drives Vision’s grand-tour proven SC40 tubeless carbon wheels, wrapped up with Pirelli’s range-topping P Zero 26mm tyres, making for a ride that will crush the road wherever you are.
The stem and bar are made in collaboration with the Reparto Corse stem made from 3D-forged and CNC’d 6061 aluminium and the bar made from unidirectional weave carbon. Finishing things off is a Reparto Corse K-Force light UD carbon post, topped with Fizik’s carbon-railed Antares R1 saddle. The drivetrain mixes a 50/34 compact chainset with an 11-30 cassette, allowing the new Dura-Ace to shift with the same accuracy as the 11-speed Di2 was famed for.
What our team will confirm is that the derailleur shifts beautifully. Even when out of the saddle and going for it, the derailleur never faults, drags or does anything beyond getting the chain from one chainring to the other. The semi-wireless setup means the bike looks incredibly clean and slick, however, with the ACR system and the frame design, you aren’t able to see the wires.
The Specialissima is undoubtedly a performance bike. The 59cm bike came with a 575mm stack height and 398mm reach and when you add in the 120mm stem and 20mm offset of the seatpost, it results in a bike that’s long and low. This means that this bike is 100% for sure designed for a racing mindset rather than casual riding.
Parallel 73-degree angles are classic race-bike stuff, and the 43mm fork offset makes for a trail of 59mm. These are numbers that suggest a fast-handling bike, and those suggestions certainly come to fruition.
FIRST RIDE IMPRESSIONS
Within minutes of riding the Specialissima, we knew this bike was truly something special. The bike is all at once stiff and responsive, yet it feels vibrant – something that’s often missed when it comes to lightweight carbon bikes.
It accelerates with ease, as you’d expect a lighter bike to do, and when it comes to heading upwards, the light weight makes it a mean companion. The steering requires little effort because the front end is weighted perfectly. It means you can dart in any direction, so navigating through a race pack or zooming between hazards on bad paths is never a worry. It’s so responsive that such manoeuvres are all part of the fun. With its light weight and fast handling, the Bianchi is just an amazing all start bike. It’s exactly what we would expect from Bianchi.
The Specialissima is just wonderfully composed and smooth at all times. Often with a light, stiff bike and one running just 26mm-wide tyres, the trade-off is a rough, jarring ride on anything but the most pristine of road surfaces. This Bianchi smoothly strides over rough tarmac without problems. Its ability to ride the straight and narrow and ignore vibrations makes this one of the best bikes to be riding when the road heads downwards. Did we mention it’s one mean climber as well?
WHAT WE THINK
With the Specialissima’s latest guise, Bianchi may have moved away from the origins of classic lightweight design by introducing some modern aerodynamic styling. However, it’s still a very all around spectacular machine and one that absolutely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the most important factor; riding the bike itself.
It’s a bike that’s fast, nimble, and tough, yet made with confidence when riding on below average surfaces or pushing the limit of your ride. It’s a bike we found wanting to live up to, not a bike for going for a bit of a chilled ride on. This is a bike that you’ll concentrate on getting a proper rest, eating well, and turning down that extra drink just because you can’t wait for your morning ride the next day. You’ll want to be at your best to make the most of what’s one of the best bikes in the world.