Bianchi Specialissima CV Carbon Road Bike FRAME in Black / Celeste 1E

  • €4,356.30

The Bianchi Specialissima in Black / Celeste with Countervail technology is the flagship lightweight frame from the Italian company and has it all from stiffness and responsiveness to comfort and control - all in a super lightweight package

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Product description

Season : 2019
Code : XLB27
Weight : 6KG

In recent years, the rapid rate of development of carbon and resin technologies within the cycling manufacturing industry has helped to yield bikes with ever decreasing weights and increasing relative strength.

These two traits are good news for riders of all levels and have helped in creating both the new generation of Aero road bikes - that not only cheat the wind, but do so without the historic issue of adding too much weight; as well as the newest breed of superlight climbing bikes.

The new generation of lightweight (sub 900g) bike frames will be received with great joy by many, but the super low weight does bring to light new challenges. Taken in isolation, reduced weight does mean that your machine will accelerate faster and climb quicker. However, low weight also results in bikes that are more twitchy and potentially unstable, causing problems for riders whilst cornering and descending and most noticeably, when doing both! If left un-checked, any speed advantage gained through a weight reduction can potentially be lost to poorer handling and to a consequent loss of confidence in the bike beneath you. Factor in the ever-dwindling weight of wheels and the increasing desire for aerodynamics and you have an undesirable situation exacerbated.

There are numerous ways in which to re-stabilise a lightweight bike. Certainly, recent aerodynamic design approaches in the manufacture of carbon wheels are taking stability into account far more than ever before.

For the most part, stability is built-in to lighter weight frames through subtle changes in frame geometry – but these changes have to be carefully balanced with responsiveness. Slackening off the head angle of a frame helps and is employed by many. Notably, Swift’s original Ultravox in 2011 had the feature as it’s USP at the time. Cannondale have a raked fork to increase the effective wheelbase whilst simultaneously positioning the drop-out slightly rearward to maintain responsiveness.

In addition to geometry changes, tube shaping and clever carbon or exotic materials use can help to dampen feedback from the road that would otherwise cause a frame to behave skittishly.

Although relatively late to the ‘lightweight’ party, this is where Bianchi have the drop on much of the competition with the introduction of their Specialissima.

Cannondale are a good reference point in this discussion; their SuperSix EVO is a benchmark lightweight all-round machine that is widely praised for its stability, handling and responsiveness; both by pros that are paid to ride it and those that are not. Much of the EVO’s success comes from the shaping of the chain and seat stays, and it works extremely well – I can attest to this as I ride one!

The Bianchi Specialissima shares a very similar geometry to the EVO (equivalent sizes have the same seat- and head-tube angles) and as such you would expect a similar ride feel. The Specialissima however, features extremely broad seat-stays, particularly at the junction with the seat-tube that helps convey a great deal of stiffness whilst allowing the absorption of road buzz for improved comfort and control. The junction of the bottom bracket and chain-stays is markedly different from the EVO as well, with a deep vertical shape and large volume interface to give the Specialissima it’s tremendous bottom bracket stiffness – a key element of it’s climbing prowess. These two elements of the rear triangle are key to rigidity, which in turn leads to a frame with excellent acceleration and climbing and it is why the bike excels in both areas.

In most bikes of this calibre there would be a heavier compromise between stiffness and road-taming vertical compliance at the back end, in order to keep the bike from bucking around beneath the rider and destroying the control of the ride.

So how does the Specialissima reconcile these opposing qualities?


Bianchi have exclusive rights to Material Sciences Corporation’s CounterVail material. It is the material that has helped create the success of Bianchi’s Infinito endurance bike. Originally developed for use by the US Military as a stealth technology and widely used in Helicopter and Aircraft cockpits, Countervail is a fibre reinforced visco-elastic material that substantially reduces vibrations. Countervail also helps to optimise the stiffness and weight of the Specialissima.

The video below is a simple visualisation of the vibration cancelling properties of Countervail and goes a long way in demonstrating how valuable the material is when applied to lightweight, stiff road bikes. It is the reason that Bianchi can maintain the larger rear stays without punishing the rider in terms of comfort or handling.

As mentioned earlier, low weight offers obvious performance advantages but Bianchi’s ability to maintain high stiffness in a super-smooth platform in the form of the Specialissima, is not only the key to the bike’s impressive handling but also to the confidence it inspires in the rider and it is the latter that helps you go faster.

The Specialissima climbs exceptionally well – it is what it was designed for after all. The frame weighs a scant 780g (55cm) and the short, stiff headtube and rigid press-fit 86 bottom bracket lend incredible overall stiffness to the bikes – a feature that is often degraded and sometimes lost on dedicated climbing bikes. Put power to the pedal and the response from the bikes is immediate.

What goes up must come down and this is the acid test for lightweight machines – much ground can be lost if a bike does not lend itself well to both the ascent and descent alike. The smooth ride feel afforded by the Countervail material is unexpected in such an efficient frame and it not only helps reduce fatigue in the rider but serves to cancel out the small vibrations that can lead to the rear wheel leaving the ground. This ability of the rear of the Specialissima to ‘track’ better creates a confidence in the handling that is immediately noticeable and highly beneficial.

Throw a bike into a corner, particularly when descending at speed, and you need to know that the bike beneath you is going to go where you point it. Under braking, you need the bike to be stable yet react to your movements to allow you the fastest line in and out of that corner. This is where the Bianchi Specialissima comes into it’s own. The confidence you feel on the bike almost dares you to brake that bit later and the stability and smoothness afforded by the Countervail lends an incredible sure-footedness to the handling once you commit. You’ll be on the gas early too, feeling totally in control with no bike squirming beneath you.

Despite its designation as a Climbing bike, the Specialissima is no slouch. Heavier riders and those with a sprint would not be dissatisfied with the Specialissima beneath them. With the Countervail taking care of comfort and handling, the additional stiffness that is possible in the frame gives the bikes a great turn of speed on the flat, responding immediately to the effort you feed it.

Designed and painted in Italy using Italian materials technologies, there is little to want for from this Italian lightweight all-rounder – except maybe the Dolomites to ride it in!


Description by Owner, Dave Words by Dave
Look like a Pro, Act like a Pro, Ride like a Pro.

Size Guide

Bianchi Specialissima Geometry

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Technical Information

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Monthly Payments £108.61
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Price £3,899.99
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