Marco Fontana is one of the most well-loved, stylish and charming riders in the world of XC racing.
We spotted his bike lounging in the Bianchi-Countervail team tent at the Albstadt round of the XC World Cup and the affable Italian kindly took 20 minutes to talk us through the build of his Bianchi Methanol, which was still set up for the previous evening’s inaugural short track race.
Marco Fontana talks us through how he set up his Bianchi Methanol CV for the inaugural short track race at Albstadt
Marco Fontana’s Bianchi Methanol CV spec
Frame: Bianchi Methanol CV
Fork: Fox 32 SC Factory
Brakes: Shimano XTR
Shift levers: Shimano XTR Di2 M9050
Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR Di2 M9050
Cassette/chain: Shimano XTR
Crankset: FSA SL-K, 38t chainring
Wheelset: Crankbrothers Cobalt 11 Carbon
Front tyre: Prototype Kenda
Rear tyre: Kenda Sabre 29×2.0
Handlebars: FSA K-Force carbon
Stem: FSA SL-K drop
Pedals: Crankbrothers Candy
Saddle: Fizik Gobi
Seatpost: FSA K-Force Carbon, 25mm setback
Computer: X’Plova X5 Evo
Marco Fontana’s Bianchi Methanol CV
Marco can most often be found on a hardtailJack Luke / Immediate Media
Fontana runs the Methanol hardtail for the majority of races, though he did hint that he would likely use the full suspension version of the bike for a handful of events this season.
Up front was as a prototype Kenda tyreJack Luke / Immediate Media
Up front, Fontana is running an as of yet unnamed prototype Kenda tyre with, relatively aggressive, closely spaced knobs. According to Fontana, the tyre features a sticky compound and a very lightweight construction that has made it a quick favourite among the team.
A Kenda Sabre is fitted out backJack Luke / Immediate Media
On the back was a near-enough slick Kenda Sabre, chosen for its low-rolling resistance for the largely smooth short-track race. The tyres are mounted to a set of Crankbrothers’ distinctive Cobalt 11 wheels.
The whole team runs XTR Di2Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Like the rest of the Bianchi-Countervail team, Fontana runs a full Shimano XTR Di2 groupset, save for the FSA SL-K carbon crankset.
Marco isn’t fussed by weight or power figuresJack Luke / Immediate Media
Clearly not a man that is fussy about figures, Fontana forgoes the power meter version of the crankset, claiming he finds it distracting. Likewise, when we asked him the weight of his bike, he said that he “really didn’t care”.
A chain guide is a very lightweight bit of insuranceJack Luke / Immediate Media
This is a very rare attitude in the normally weight-obsessed world of XC racing, but if anyone was going to be this mellow, it was going to be the man who has become famed for racing in baggies and loose fitting jerseys.
Team sponsor X’Plova supplies computersJack Luke / Immediate Media
FSA supplies the cockpitJack Luke / Immediate Media
The Methanol has been in the Bianchi lineup in its current guise for some years now and when asked whether something new was on the horizon for the Italian marque, Fontana said he was unable to give away any more detail, other than suggesting a slightly revised version of the bike may be coming soon.
Thanks to Marco for taking the time to talk to us and congrats on the 13th place position this weekend!
Jack has been riding and fettling bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of his tandem, Cecil, cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.