Earlier in the year Jamie tested out the new Bianchi Aria. This is the entry level aero carbon bike from Bianchi with prices ranging from £2,250. This is the model tested and comes equipped with Campagnolo Centaur and Vision Team 35 wheels and runs calliper brakes. There are also disc versions available. His review is below.....
Snappy and direct ride
It’s best to describe the ride as snappy and firm. This bike feels quick and the race derived geometry means it’s long and low. Taking the bike around the fast sweeping curves of Lee Valley Velopark it was sure footed on the corners and responsive when you push on the rises.
Whilst purpose built circuits like Lee Valley are a great hunting ground for this machine it’s also likely to be a workhorse spending much time pinching out the miles on UK country roads. I took the bike on a few of my favourite local loops and commutes. It’s fair to say tha on the bumpier roads of Bedfordshire the firmness was noticeable, probably mostly due to the stiff aero shaped frame. Overall the bike felt fast, and when it looks this good and feels fast, what’s not to like!
Aero frame with trickle down technology
The aero looks can divide opinions, but I think the frame looks great. As with all Bianchi bikes you have to love the colour. This has the new CK12 Celeste which has a more flouro finish than the traditional colour. I like it, but it may not be for the Bianchi traditionalists.
There are some nice trickle down technologies on the Aria. The fork borrows it’s bowed shaping and flush junction to the frame down tube from the top of the pile Oltre XR4 range. Not bad given these bikes start at over double the price of the Aria. The dropped down tube and short rear seat stays also make the bike look fashionably aero.
As for the benefits of aero frame shaping, I’m no scientist, and at the speeds I tested the bike probably didn’t get the most from this feature. If you’re into saving watts and shaving time off your PB then the science of aero is likely to be important to you. To me the frame just looks great and if I was to go a little quicker on this bike, then great it’s an added benefit.
More practically, there are some neat touches on the frame; like the cutaway above the bottom bracket allows for a short wheelbase making the bike lively when out of the saddle. The lowered drive side chainstay reduces the risk of chain slap on bumpier surfaces. The frame is also drilled for electronic gearsets should you wish to upgrade in the future (all standard specifications are mechanical).
Sublime Campagnolo groupset