It’s hard to beat the versatility of a cyclocross bike.
Cyclocross bikes aren't exclusively for racing on a cyclocross course. ‘Cross bikes are commonly used for commuting to work, riding on rail trails, tackling centuries, touring, and logging off-season training miles under harsher than normal conditions. Clearance for wider tires and fenders, rack mounts, and all-element brake options help make ‘cross bikes the only bike most riders will ever need.
With increased demand for do-it-all bikes, Bianchi has brought out new models for 2015 and updated current models to help dealers satisfy the demand they are seeing on their shop floors every day.
It all started back in 1986 when Bianchi introduced the US market to its first cyclocross-specific model, the Volpe. The Volpe quickly became the adventure bike of the everyman.
For Bianchi Dealers, the Volpe has been one of the top four best selling bikes east of the Mississippi. With a track record like that, you don't want to make changes that would ruin a good thing. After much input from our dealers and defining how we'd like to see the new version sit within our bike range, we now have the Volpe Classic.
The steel framed Volpe adventure bike has been updated for 2015 with new brakes, upgraded crankset, enhanced touch points, and new tires. Retaining its long running heritage within the Bianchi steel bike line up, we have a frame that offers the rider the ability to run a cyclocross or trekking tire with fenders. You will want to mount the necessary front and rear racks when the trip to the store requires more than just a backpack to carry the goods. When the hills go up, the gearing goes down on the Volpe Classic thanks to a crisp shifting Shimano Tiagra triple ring crank. Keeping with the Shimano parts theme, Tiagra hubs offer miles of smooth rolling and cyclocross specific CX50 cantilever brakes provide ample stopping on the double walled wheel set. A satin black paint job with a brown saddle and bar tape keep the Volpe Classic simply stated and buttoned down in appearance.
It is no surprise that more bikes for 2015 are coming to market with disc brakes and the Volpe will be doing so for the upcoming season. The Volpe Disc is built for speed and utility. Utilizing the same platform as our well loved Volpe with a back end that has been stretched outward to accommodate disc specific wheel and a larger tire. Hayes CX Expert (old CX5) cable disc brakes offer single finger stopping power and the multi-surface Kenda Kwick Tendril 35c tires are well suited for street, dirt and gravel roads. A full 10-speed Shimano Tiagra build kit with 50/34T compact crank complete the build on the nickel satin Volpe Disc.
Last season we brought out the Lupo which will be carrying over to 2015 as the baby brother to the Volpe. It will feature many of the same parts as last season’s Lupo - Shimano Sora drivetrain and hubs along with Bianchi cantilever brakes. The crank has been changed to a compact and the tires upgraded to a Kenda Kwik Tendril 32c for greater versatility. The Lupo is based off the Volpe and in a price range that puts the rider on a bike that leaves them cash in their wallet to buy a set of lights and Banjo Brothers Market Panniers.
The market for fixed geared bikes has really shrunk in the past six years but the need for a simple to use and reasonably priced “urban” bicycle has not changed. To better suit that market, we now offer the Strada. It’s based off our best selling cyclocross bike, the Volpe. Featuring the same double butted Bianchi Cro-Mo tubing, tire clearance for a 38c tire, and geometry based off our Coast to Coast bikes (with a longer chain stay), the Strada uses Shimano’s Claris build group, cantilever brake set, and a riser bar instead of a drop bar. The stock tires are Vittoria Randonneur 28c with a reflective sidewall for high visibility during low light riding conditions.
Any given fall weekend, from Providence to Portland and down to DC, riders are pinning on numbers to race one of their local cyclocross events. This type of bicycle racing has been growing like wildfire and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Many of these weekend racers are racing bikes that they used for training throughout the winter in addition to the occasional commute to the workplace. This sort of bike needs to be quick, agile and durable.
The Zurigo Disc steps up to that challenge with two build kits for the racing privateer; Shimano Tiagra and SRAM Apex. Both builds feature disc brakes with the Shimano bike, painted in celeste, using the new Hayes CX Expert system. The SRAM bike in gloss black relies on the Avid bread and butter BB5 disc stoppers. The Zurigo Disc frame is constructed of hydroformed aluminum tubing that’s pulse TIG welded for the highest level of temperature control. The frame passes EN safety testing thanks to Italy’s diligent QC facility in Treviglio which means it can take a pounding at DCCX or the Dirty Kanza 200. A carbon fiber fork takes the edge off the hard hits and tubeless ready rims open up a new level of bike control for the rider. The internal rear brake housing keeps the down tube smooth and easy to grab while reaching for it during a dismount and run-up during your next cyclocross race. A Pressfit 30 bottom bracket opens up crank options for the rider should they want a stiffer pedaling platform.
If you need one bike to ride all season long, race the next Monster Cross event and keep your annual mileage legit, we have the new Bianchi Zolder. This new Bianchi cyclocross bike has a carbon monocoque frame with a Pressfit 86 bottom bracket and a tapered head tube. A full carbon fork with a 1.5” bottom bearing provides quick steering while internal shifter cable routing will keep the shifting smooth and free of dirt.
The latest disc brake wheels from Fulcrum are the Racing Sport DBCX which offer increased contaminant protection at the bearings via larger double lip seals, keeping the bearings running smoother and longer versus standard seals. Built up with the latest kit from Shimano, they've upped the game for the workhorse 105 build group including improved ergonomics at the shifters, better front derailleur leverage (for quicker up shifts), and the addition of an extra cog on the cassette giving the rider eleven gears to choose from at the rear.
The bottom bracket drop of this bike is 2mm lower than our previous generation carbon cyclocross bike so it falls in line with the demands of riders using the Zolder for long days in the saddle across all kinds of road conditions.