Bianchi Intenso Ultegra Di2 review

Italian Endurance machine with a racing slant

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £3,100.00 RRP

Our review

Plenty of compelling reasons to own but looks pricey against some of its competitors
Buy if, You want a bike that’ll see you through an epic endurance ride but still have the fun factor
Pros: Smart handling, smooth riding and great looking
Cons: Expensive compared to some of its rivals
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The classic Italian marque’s Intenso forgoes Campagnolo for a complete raft of Shimano Ultegra Di2. This model sits below Bianchi’s latest frames that feature the company’s unique and effective vibration-nulling Countervail technology. But it still has one high-tech trick up its sleeve, infusing its carbon fibre with layers of Kevlar, which is designed to reduce the amount of vibration that reaches your hands and hindquarters.

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Bianchi’s long-distance machine comes with geometry that still gives it some sharpness. The very slightly shallow 72.5-degree head angle is paired with a race-standard 73-degree seat tube, and it’s only a little taller at the front and with marginally less reach than a pro-style racing machine. It’s the sort of set up that allows you to get into the drops when the mood takes you.

Bianchi hasn’t departed from Shimano Ultegra on this bike, with the groupset’s excellent dual-calliper brakes complementing the always impeccable electronic shifting

Coming in at over 8kg/17.6lb the Intenso is not exactly a featherweight, but it does at least carry its mass well, hustling you briskly along rolling terrain. When the road is made up of constant rollers it holds on to its speed impressively, giving you a real boost every time the road rises again. On steep ascents it always felt fantastically punchy, any short out-of-the-saddle efforts being met with a fantastic response, carrying us over the top.

Smooth descender

The feel is both solid and compliant, which is a difficult balancing act to carry off but a real bonus on broken tarmac. On descents its smooth-rolling nature and snappy handling encourage you to pedal harder when you might otherwise be coasting on a less forgiving frame.

The wheels are Fulcrum’s mid-range Racing 5s in their slightly wider LG version. It’s a fine quality wheelset, seriously stiff, absolutely free of flex and running on smooth hubs, which in our experience have proved very durable. These are paired with 25mm Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick tyres, which offer a lovely compliant ride and impeccable grip in the dry, suffering only the slightest slip on wet greasy surfaces.

Bianchi hasn’t departed from Shimano Ultegra on this bike, with the groupset’s excellent dual-calliper brakes complementing the always impeccable electronic shifting.

The chainset and cassette combo covers most eventualities, pairing a compact 50/34 chainset with a pretty wide-ranging 11-28 cassette. In fact it’s a very sensibly specced bike overall, but against similarly kitted out bikes like the Eastway Enitter, which costs less, and the Ribble Endurance that’s roughly the same price as the Bianchi, it does look expensive.

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It goes a long way to justifying this apparent lack of value thanks to that Kevlar-infused frame that we’d put ahead of both of those two for ride quality and handling, however. It’s also worth comparing it with Bianchi’s highly rated — but more expensive — Infinito CV, as both aim to combine, comfort, control and speed. The Intenso has very similar handling and feel to the Infinito, achieving about 80 percent of the fun factor for 75 percent of the price.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Intenso Ultegra Di2
Brand Bianchi

Available Sizes 44cm 47cm 50cm 53cm 55cm 57cm 59cm 61cm 63cm
Headset Type FSA
Wheelset Fulcrum Racing 5 LG, 24.5mm (f)/27.5mm (r) deep rims, 18 spokes (f), 20 (r)
Weight (kg) 8.1
Trail 5.9
Stem Reparto Corse 120mm
Shifters Shimano Ultegra Di2
Seatpost Reparto Corse carbon 31.6mm
Seat Angle 73
Saddle Selle San Marco Era Startup Power
Rear Wheel Weight 1700
Rear Tyre Vittoria Zažro Pro 700x25mm
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra Di2
Head Angle 72.5
Bottom Bracket Hollowtech2
Handlebar Reparto Corse 42cm
Front Wheel Weight 1220
Front Tyre Vittoria Zažro Pro 700x25mm
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra Di2
Frame Material Carbon
Fork Offset 4
Fork Carbon
Cranks Shimano Ultegra 172.5mm, 50/34
Chain Shimano
Cassette Shimano CS-5800 11-28
Brakes Shimano Ultegra
Frame size tested 59cm