Pro bike: Robbie Hunter’s Barloworld Bianchi 928 Carbon T-Cube

Going for the line

Barloworld sprinter Robbie Hunter’s team swapped bike sponsors last year and now finds itself aboard the familiar celeste hue of famed Italian nameplate Bianchi, which returns to the top tier of the sport after a one-year hiatus in 2007.  Unlike that last year with Liquigas though, there is not an aluminum Bianchi to be found in the field as all of the riders are now on new carbon models, Hunter included.


Bianchi actually supplies the Barloworld team two top-end carbon road frames: the 928 Carbon SL and the 928 Carbon T-Cube.  While the SL is intended as more of an ultralight climbing machine, the T-Cube’s stouter construction sacrifices a bit at the scale in order to get the added rigidity its star sprinter requires. 

The T-Cube is built with tube-to-tube construction (Tube-To-Tube, TTT, T3… get it?) that Bianchi says allows it a bit more freedom to tune the frame characteristics.  In this case, the frame is more heavily reinforced around the bottom bracket shell, chain stays and head tube.  Even with the extra carbon plies though, claimed frame weight is still an admirable 1kg for a bare 55cm sample. 

Team-issued Bianchis are outfitted with an amalgam of componentry mostly from Shimano, FSA, Mavic and fi’zi:k.  Barloworld’s bikes use 7800-series Dura-Ace componentry like many other Shimano-equipped teams but they certainly use less than usual: only the STI Dual Control levers, rear derailleur, chain and cassette bear the Shimano stamp. 

FSA makes up the lion’s share of the remainder, including the SL-K dual-pivot brake calipers, SL-K Light crankset, Energy front derailleur, CarbonPro SL-240 CSI seatpost, OS-115 stem and Energy Ergo handlebar.  Rolling gear is provided by Mavic and Vittoria in the form of speedy Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels and Corsa EVO-CX tubular tires and fi’zi:k provides Hunter with its comfy Aliante saddle.  Helping Hunter put the power down is a set of steel-spindled Look KeO Carbon pedals.

Complete bike specifications           

  • Frame:Bianchi 928 T-Cube,        
  • Fork:Bianchi FFV       
  • Headset:FSA Orbit CF       
  • Stem:FSA OS-115, 120mm x -6°       
  • Handlebars: FSA Energy Ergo, 44cm (c-c)       
  • Tape/grips: fi’zi:k bar:tape       
  • Front brake:FSA SL-K with Mavic carbon-specific pads made by SwissStop       
  • Rear brake:FSA SL-K with Mavic carbon-specific pads made by SwissStop       
  • Brake levers:Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800       
  • Front derailleur:FSA Energy         
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7800-SS       
  • Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800       
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7800, 11-25T       
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7801       
  • Crankset: FSA SL-K Light (labeled as K-Force Light), 172.5mm, 53/39T       
  • Bottom bracket:FSA MegaExo Ceramic       
  • Pedals: Look KeO Carbon       
  • Wheelset:Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate       
  • Front tyre:Vittoria Corsa EVO-CX tubular, 21mm       
  • Rear tyre:Vittoria Corsa EVO-CX tubular, 21mm       
  • Saddle:fi’zi:k Aliante       
  • Seat post:FSA SL-240 CSI       
  • Bottle cages:Elite Pase Carbon       
  • Computer:Suunto Bike Pod       

Critical measurements           

  • Rider’s height: 1.78m (5′ 10″)   
  • Rider’s weight: 72kg (160lb)   
  • Seat tube length, c-c: 470mm   
  • Seat tube length, c-t: 520mm   
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 750mm   
  • Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 575mm   
  • C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem): 555mm   
  • Top tube length: 550mm   
  • Total bicycle weight: 7.27kg (16.03lb)