Bianchi have just launched their 2012 range near their base in Bergamo, Italy. On the road side of things, there's a new mid-level aluminium sportive bike, the Impulso, and other models get new colours, updated groupsets and some tweaks. Shimano’s electronic Ultegra Di2 groupset, the worst kept secret in cycling, is also confirmed for the range-topping Oltre and upper-midrange Sempre. We'll bring you news on Bianchi's 2012 mountain bikes later this week.
The Impulso is designed to sit above the Via Nirone in the C2C (Coast 2 Coast) family of entry- to mid-level sportive bikes. It’s made from 6061 aluminium using a new triple hydroforming technology that Bianchi say is exclusive because while others have tried it, none has succeeded. The tubes are formed under intense water pressure as normal, with the top tube and head tube being welded together and then placed back into a mould to be hydroformed together.
This process adds the crease line that, along with the width of the top tube, is claimed to increase stiffness in this crucial area by 10 percent. It also smooths out the welds, making the frame look like it's made from carbon fibre. Bianchi think buyers will like this, especially as the Impulso's price is likely to overlap well into carbon frame territory. In fact, they say the frame’s styling was the top priority, albeit with performance a close second.
The 55cm frame is claimed to weigh a very respectable 1,500g. In total, nine sizes will be offered, from 44cm to 63cm. The fork is carbon fibre with an aluminium steerer and features Bianchi’s proprietary K-Vid Kevlar insert that’s claimed to dampen vibration.
The bike will be available with Shimano Ultegra Gray, 105 or Campagnolo Veloce, all running a compact FSA Omega MegaExo crankset and Reparto Corse components. It's be available as a frameset too. No prices have yet been released but expect the Impulso to cost from around £1,400 for the 105 version when it goes on sale later this year.
The pro-issue HoC Oltre gets three new colourschemes and an Ultegra Di2 option (details on this coming soon on BikeRadar) alongside Dura-Ace Di2, Shimano's mechanical equivalents, and Campagnolo Super Record and Chorus. The Sempre from the B4P (born for performance) family also gets electronic Ultegra plus the regular version, 105, SRAM Red and Campagnolo Veloce, covering a very wide price range.