Bianchi launched its new time trial bike, the Aquila CV, at the 2014 Tour de France’s only time trial, with Team Belkin.
The 2015 Aquila CV, which celebrates the company’s forthcoming 130th anniversary, borrows vibration-damping technology developed for racing cobbles.
Last year, Bianchi launched the Infinito CV, an endurance bike with an innovative carbon layer embedded within its frame layup. That layer is Countervail (CV), which both stiffens the structure, increasing efficiency, and damps road shocks and vibration.
For a bike aimed at the gnarly terrain of Paris-Roubaix this made obvious sense, but when you consider the iron-stiff nature of time trial bikes that are focussed completely on efficient power transfer and aerodynamics, with rider comfort coming a poor third, using CV here is a good solution too.
Since Bianchi hold the exclusive rights to the use of Countervail for cycling applications, there will be no proliferation of bikes with the material from other brands.
The important front end integrates the stem, front brake all cables and the frame and fork in to a seamless, aerodynamic whole: the important front end integrates the stem, front brake all cables and the frame and fork in to a seamless, aerodynamic whole Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media
The integrated cockpit improves aerodynamics, while the CV technology improves the ride
The Aquila itself replaces the Pico time trial frame with one that has been designed for total integration of the bar, stem, brakes and cabling. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software matched with wind tunnel testing using Belkin team riders helped complete the drag-cheating design.
The result is a high-modulus monocoque carbon frame incorporating a CV layer, and using NACA UCI-compliant 3:1 tube profiles. The geometry offers a steep 76.5-degree seat tube and slack 72 degree head tube for TT-specific positioning and stability, plus the rear dropouts are adjustable fore and aft to position the rear wheel as close to the frame as possible.
All cable routing, whether mechanical or electronic, is internal, and a clever removable carbon cover completely shields the front V-brake and cable from the wind, blending seamlessly in to the fork legs and head tube. The rear brake is located beneath the chain stays, behind the PF86.5 bottom bracket, helping the bike’s clean look.
The dropped down tube features a rubber bumper at the top to protect the frame and fork from each other in a crash, and the leading edge is scalloped to follow the radius of the front wheel: the dropped down tube features a rubber bumper at the top to protect the frame and fork from each other in a crash, and the leading edge is scalloped to follow the radius of the front wheel Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media
Note the rubber bumper on the down tube behind the fork and the scalloped trailing profile
The one-piece carbon handlebar and stem is offered in 90, 110 or 130mm lengths. It has a slim frontal profile with a NACA airfoil shape that was designed by Bianchi and manufactured by Vision, and the stem blends perfectly in to the flat top tube. The Vision tri bar extensions bolt through the bar and are adjustable in height.
Seating is taken care of with a two-position alloy clamp atop the carbon seatpost, for time trial or triathlon setups, utilising a +/- 18mm setback. Seatpost lengths are 300mm for the two smaller sizes and 350mm for the larger options.
Four sizes are offered, XS-S-M-L, equating to 46, 55, 58 and 61cm bikes. The Aquila CV will also be available as a frameset, with a claimed weight of 1.3kg, or with Shimano Ultegra mechanical and a Fulcrum Racing Quattro wheelset, or Shimano Di2 electronic with Fulcrum Red Wind XLR 80mm wheels. Prices have yet to be announced, and availability is likely to be several months away.