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XR3 CV Disc Ultegra Road Bike


Item # BIA804J

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Item # BIA804J

Oltre XR3 CV Disc Ultegra Road Bike

Improving on something that's already been scrupulously refined is never easy, but Bianchi somehow managed to do just that with its new XR3 disc. This bike rivals the performance of the XR4, but uses a few simple measures to keep the cost much more reasonable, like a slightly heavier carbon layup and non-integrated cockpit. Though it lacks the XR4's integrated cockpit and it's incremental aero gains, the XR3 disc is still an aggressive race bike designed for the competitive rider who's looking for a bike that's fast, light, versatile, and simply a pleasure to ride.

No amount of rider feedback can turn a dumpy noodler into a rocket ship, but since Bianchi was starting with the already impressive Oltre XR.2, interstellar travel wasn't that far away. Compared to the XR.2, the XR.3's changes include deeper, more pronounced tube cross-sections, an integrated seatpost clamp design, a lower seatstay junction, and the inclusion of Bianchi's Countervail technology.

Engineering aside, for now, our most important question is: How does it feel to ride it? The answer is very, very fast. As we mentioned above, the Oltre XR.3 is responsive enough to inspire rocket ship metaphors, a trait it owes to its oversized tubes, intimidating bottom bracket, and the high-modulus carbon fiber that the Countervail elastomer is designed to support. It obviously loves the flats, but even on punchy hills or long, grueling mountain passes, the Oltre XR.3 never leaves us feeling off our pedal stroke. No matter the terrain, the drive spine seems to always feel high-strung, eager to accelerate and with no noticeable mushiness or dead spots.

The Oltre XR.3 does carry a few extra grams than your typical climbing frame, but it inspires more confidence at high speeds and while contesting lines in corners and sprints. Its robust body means the XR.3 also approaches those sprints with the menacing inevitably of stylized violence in ironically exploitive postmodern cinema. That is to say it winds up in an instant—no gradual escalation needed—and when it goes it goes in spectacular fashion.

Bianchi says the paint tricks borrowed from the aero-obsessed motorsport industry represents the first time that this technique has been used in developing a bicycle frame. We say that it's borderline criminal to spoil a Bianchi paint job with glow-in-the-dark slop. Those drag savings do go some way toward assuaging our umbrage, though, and even to the naked eye the frame does present a noticeably reduced leading edge to the wind, with the head tube in particular bearing a remarkable resemblance to Bianchi's TT bike, the Aquila CV.

The material changes are, of course, not apparent to the naked eye; as the carbon fiber with Countervail may be the biggest influencer to this bike's ride quality. Countervail is a proprietary viscoelastic carbon layer in the frame that devours vibration and road noise without compromising stiffness. Up in the third paragraph, we employed a noodler-to-rocket ship metaphor. While that's obviously a bit of poetic license, there is some truth to it, as Countervail was actually developed by a US-based firm called the Material Sciences Corporation, which developed the technology for use by NASA itself. If Countervail is good enough to help keep actual rocket ships from tearing apart at speeds of around 20,000mph, then we're happy to have it on our figurative ones.

According to Bianchi, Countervail actually improves aerodynamics not by reshaping the frame but by reshaping the rider. Ok, it doesn't technically reshape the rider, but it does limit the punishment of road vibrations, taking some of the sting out of contorting into an aerodynamic position and letting you stay aggressively tucked for longer. That equates to less time acting as a human-shaped parachute clinging to the back of a technologically advanced frame shape and more time shedding drag—the benefits of which are obvious. At terminal velocities, road chatter can also contribute to instability and tempt us into a self-defeating series of micro-corrections that produce speed wobbles and force us to slow down or risk losing control. By reducing chatter, Countervail reduces that risk and allows for more speed when the gap is tenuous, at best.

  • All-around road race bike that's not afraid of big mile days
  • Versatile geometry suitable for all racing conditions
  • Disc brakes offer powerful, controlled braking
  • Carbon lay-up with Countervail to damp road noise
  • Aerodynamics informed by motorsport technology
  • Oversized tubes for responsive power
  • Ultegra drivetrain offers consistently reliable shifts

Tech Specs
Frame Materialcarbon fiber with Countervail
ForkBianchi full carbon aero with Countervail
HeadsetFSA Orbit 1-1/8 - 1-1/4in
ShiftersShimano Ultegra R8020 2 x 11
Front DerailleurShimano Ultegra FD-R8000
Rear DerailleurShimano Ultegra RD-R8000 SS
CranksetShimano Ultegra FC-R8000
Chainring Sizes52 / 36t
Crank Arm Length[47 - 53cm] 170mm, [55 - 59cm] 172.5mm, [61cm] 175mm
Bottom BracketShimano SM-BB72-41B
Bottom Bracket TypePF86
CassetteShimano Ultegra CS-R8000
Cassette Range11 - 28t
ChainShimano Ultegra CN-HG701
BrakesetShimano BR-R8070
Brake Typehydraulic disc, flat-mount
RotorsShimano SM-RT800 CenterLock, 160mm
HandlebarReparto Corse Aero Compact, 6061 Alloy
Handlebar Drop116mm
Handlebar Width[47 - 53cm] 40cm, [55 - 59cm] 42cm, [61cm] 44cm
Bar TapeLa Spirale Ribbon Cork
StemReparto Corse 3D-forged, 6061 alloy, +/- 7-degree rise
Stem Length[47, 50cm] 90mm, [53cm] 100mm, [55, 57cm] 110mm, [59cm] 120mm, [61cm] 130mm
SaddleFi'zi:k Antares R7
SeatpostOltre Full Carbon Aero with adjustable and reversible alloy head, 25mm/-10mm setback
WheelsetFulcrum Racing 418 Disc
Front Axle12 x 100mm thru-axle
Rear Axle12 x 142mm thru-axle
TiresVittoria Rubino Pro G2.0 Graphene
Tire Size700c x 28mm
Pedalsnot included
Recommended Useroad cycling
Manufacturer Warranty5 years

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    What do you think about this product?



    Assuming the XR4 frame will fit 28mm tires, as the XR3 bike is spec'd with them. Correct? How wide a tire will fit?


    Are these available as framesets? Not overly thrilled with some of the components and would like to put together my own build.