Marco Fontana's Bianchi Methanol CV

The Italian XC legend doesn't care about the weight of his bike

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 29x2.0
  • 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 hardtail
Marco can most often be found on a hardtail

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 tyre
Up front was as a prototype Kenda tyre

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 back
A Kenda Sabre is fitted out back

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 Di2
The whole team runs XTR Di2

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 figures
Marco isn't fussed by weight or power figures

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 insurance
A chain guide is a very lightweight bit of insurance

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 computers
Team sponsor X'Plova supplies computers

FSA supplies the cockpit
FSA supplies the cockpit

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 Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with 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 cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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