One of the legendary names of Italian bike building, Bianchi have been peddling cycles since 1885. Italian greats such as Fausto Coppi, Felice Gimondi, Moreno Argentin, Gianni Bugno and Marco Pantani have all raced the distinctive celeste (turquoise) bikes, although the Infinito is a more relaxed gran fondo bike rather than a Grand Tour contender.
The frame has a correspondingly thin and graceful look, with the tall, 185mm head tube reinforcing the cruising intent behind its ‘Coast to Coast’ decals. Tapering tubes include Kevlar vibration-damping panels in the fork blades and seatstay ends.
Bianchi fans may be disappointed that the signature celeste colour is restricted to a few frame swatches, ‘custom’ decal FSA finishing kit and anti-cable rub tubes – and we weren’t keen on the big black and white ‘Star Wars stormtrooper’ cable adjuster blocks that interrupt the clean, internal cable routing.
There’s nothing malevolent or imperious about the ride of the Infinito though, with the organic looking tubes building into a naturally sprung and compliant ride that places comfort first. Fizik’s Aliante saddle and an FSA carbon bar noticeably reduce general vibration levels over every ride surface, and the Infinito even took our sections of test cobbles and cratered back road in its easy, stable-steering stride.
If you’re used to a more direct, aluminium-framed ride or you like your bikes sharp then the amount of fluidity between tarmac and rider can create a slightly uneasy ‘icy road’ feel until you’re used to trusting the bike.
The tall head, soft fork and long stem give it a less than laser accurate attitude to cornering and, when you put the power down, there’s a bouncy, soft carpet feel which isn’t helped by the weighty Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels and overall bike weight. Once you’ve spun it up to speed, though, it’s not likely to rattle you out of your rhythm or give you a bad back.
As the flex is throughout the bike rather than from just one element it’s a balanced and predictable ride. That means once you’ve learnt to trust it it’s perfectly happy swooping and swinging through country lanes all day long, aided by Shimano’s 105 transmission and FSA compact crank.
Highs: Effortlessly relaxed and very comfortable cruiser with a matching high rise position and rattle-hoovering components and composite inserts.
Lows: The softly sprung feel and heavy wheels dull dynamic feel for more aggressive riders. Kit value is low too.
Workshop view: All-internal cabling mercifully provided with removable access panels, requiring a 2mm Allen key and a Phillips screwdriver.
Buy if: You want a legendary Italian name on a super comfortable ‘Coast 2 Coast’ cruiser rather than a passionate podium hunter.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.