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.
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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
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, 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.
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.
Like the rest of the Bianchi-Countervail team, Fontana runs a full Shimano XTR Di2 groupset, save for the FSA SL-K carbon crankset.
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”.
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.
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!