Bianchi Zurigo D2 Cross review

Designed to race hard and fast

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
GBP £1,100.00 RRP | USD $1,600.00

Our review

Seriously fun off-road all-rounder that looks gorgeous too
Buy if, You want a cross-bike-cum-commuter that could be capable of an event or two
Pros: Stability and speed off road; gorgeous looks
Cons: Basic kit, slightly weighty
Skip to view product specifications

Bianchi’s Zurigo is named after the venue of the 1967 World Cyclo-cross Championships, held in Zurich and won by Renato Longo on a Bianchi. It’s part of Bianchi’s D2 range, which are designed for specific racing duties. In this case, not surprisingly, that’s cyclocross, which is why this relatively inexpensive (in racing terms) ’crosser still has UCI approval.

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The frame is beautifully finished, the milky-matt celeste paint job giving the bike an air of expense beyond its entry-level spec. The top tube of the hydroformed triple-butted alloy frame is diamond-shaped where it meets the head tube for added strength, morphing into a flat section towards its rear for more comfortable shouldering. The cabling runs along the top of the tube for the same reason.

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The steepish 73.5-degree head angle contrasts with the 72-degree seat angle. The disc-specific carbon fork tracks superbly over rocky surfaces, and shares the frame’s 38mm clearance, though the frame has braces on the seat- and chainstays, which on a boggy section of our test route did pack a little.

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The kenda kwicker tyres preferred harder surfaces, and tended to clog up with mud when the going got stickier:

The Kenda Kwicker tyres preferred harder surfaces, and tended to clog up with mud when the going got stickier

The bike feels great when it’s doing the job it was intended for – hammering quickly across rough surfaces. The steering is stable, and low-speed balance and manoeuvring is a doddle. The Kenda treads favour hard-packed dirt, gravel and drier surfaces. In claggy mud they load up with sludge, doubling in width and presenting little in the way of grip.

Unlike most UCI-approved frames the Zurigo has mudguard eyes and rear rack bosses. Add in two bottle bosses and it’s more all-rounder than racer, which is reflected in the non-cyclocross 50/34 chainset and 12-30 cassette. The shifting is what we’d expect of Shimano’s Tiagra – positive and accurate, if not that rapid.

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The cyclocross-friendly cabling is routed along the top of the top tube:

The cyclocross-friendly cabling is routed along the top of the top tube

The only downsides are the lever units. The large gear window at the lever top unbalances them a little so when you’re descending down a fast, rocky descent they open and close under vibration of their own accord with a rhythmic clunking. The Hayes CX brakes are bulky, but thanks to a strong spring the action is good if lacking in all-out power.

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The Zurigo has a good chassis, though its basic build does it few favours and contributes to its 10.3kg weight – but we love the stable handling and the way it covers ground at speed off road. With a few upgrades it’d be truly raceworthy, and even as it stands it’s still a slice of serious fun, just a little hefty.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Zurigo D2 Cross (15)
Brand Bianchi

Brakes Hayes CX Expert
Cassette 12-30
Cranks Shimano Tiagra 50/34
Fork Carbon, disc specific
Frame Material Aluminium
Front Tyre Kenda Kwicker 32mm
Handlebar Reparto Corse compact alloy
Rear Tyre Kenda Kwicker 32mm
Saddle Selle San Marco Era Start Power
Seatpost Reparto Corse SP-620 alloy
Shifters Shimano Tiagra
Stem Reparto Corse alloy
Weight (kg) 10.3
Wheelset Reparto Corse Alex ATD490
Frame size tested 57cm