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Bianchi Oltre XR Electronic Road Bike Frameset - 2013 $0.00
Think of your cycling heroes -- Olmo, Coppi, Gimondi, and Pantani. Now, think of the records that could have been set had they been riding the Bianchi Oltre XR Electronic Road Bike Frame instead of lugged steel or aluminum -- Coppi would have crushed it. Lighter, stiffer, and faster than ever before, the Oltre XR is the quintessential Italian race machine for anyone looking to light up the tarmac.
Oltre roughly translates to 'beyond,' and believe us, it's an apt description of this frame. And for this year's iteration of the Oltre, Bianchi went beyond the 'beyond' of last year by both dropping the overall weight and increasing rigidity. This was primarily achieved through a new carbon layup that's exclusive to the XR. Now, the Oltre uses a selective blend of UMS 40 and CN60 carbon fibers. Bianchi makes the claim that this alteration has increased stiffness by 20% while dropping the frame weight around 30g. Outside of the new materials, you can expect the same sophisticated production methods that make the Oltre Bianchi's fastest race bike in its 125 year history. The frame has made stronger by using Carbon NanoTube technology, which increases the strength and fracture-resistance by 49% compared to using standard epoxy resin systems. As unlikely as it may sound, these benefits come without adding appreciable weight.
Along with the nanotubes, there are other hidden details that further the race characteristics of the frame. The Oltre uses something Bianchi calls X-Tex technology. The carbon fiber has an X-shaped grid inside the bottom bracket area and behind the head tube. This is done with an internal molding process that eliminates excess resin. The result is added strength and stiffness that barely affects the weight. Bianchi's Wrinkleless Molding Process guarantees that all of the composite layers are uniformly compressed to ensure that no voids disturb the laminate. This produces an internal finish that's as smooth as the outside. This uniform production creates a lighter, stronger frame with smoother ride qualities.
Fabrication smarts executed to perfection is great, but it only matters when it translates into greater outputs. Since humans are not machines, we need our frames to take as much of our pedaling force as possible and channel it into driving the rear wheel through the chain and crank. This is why frames need to be stiff, of course. But, too stiff and the ride quality is compromised. Bianchi balances these competing needs by pairing a beefy bottom bracket juncture with massive chain stays. And while this creates an efficient transfer of power, the compliance has been segregated to the Ultra-Thin Seat Stays. Since the chain stays are beefy, the super slender seat stays are there merely to balance the load and firmly, yet lightly, connect the dropouts to the rest of the frame. These thin stays are part of what gives the Oltre a degree of compliance over broken pavement, making for a better ride and a lighter frame.
Bianchi fills out the Oltre package with aerodynamic elements borrowed from its Crono time-trial frame. This makes sense when you think about the length of road races. Compared to a short time-trial, the aerodynamic benefits are better felt over significant duration -- especially if you like to ride off the front. You see these influences on every tube section of the frame. Frrom the straight-blade fork with the elongated, wing-like, aero crown, to the internal cable routing, it becomes obvious that the Oltre XR was solely built for speed. to the seat post clamp with flush pinch bolt, to the proprietary seat post.
And given that this iteration of the Oltre XR is specifically designed for use with electronic shift systems like Campagnolo EPS or Shimano Dura Ace/Ultegra Di2, the Oltre XR has dedicated mounting bosses for external batteries on the downtube.
The Bianch Oltre XR Electronic Road Bike Frame is available in the color Black and in six odd sizes from 50 to 61cm. The frame weight comes in around 895g for a 55cm and is intended for use with electronic shift systems. Please note that the Oltre XR is also available in mechanical shifting version. The frame also comes equipped with Bianchi's proprietary aero seatpost.
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Reviews & Community
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Magical handling at all speeds. The roads in Eastern PA are totally shot after the winter and this bike gives me the confidence to go downhill fast and know I can change my line and stay planted and upright. Reasonably compliant ride for a race bike. Handling a half notch better than my Zero 7 and ride is similarly not brutal. My favorite bike ever.