In a trend that’s seeing road bikes move away from being full-on aero, Bianchi has targeted both lightweight and aerodynamics with its latest Specialissima Reparto Corse (RC), which features a revamped fuselage and streamlined rear triangle, resulting in a frameset that’s designed to defy gravity as well as it cheats the wind.
“If our Oltre RC was about starting a revolution in the way we think about aerodynamics, the Specialissima is intended to give cyclists the very best tool for mountains and steep gradients,” says Bianchi. “The Specialissima RC is the choice for Grand Tour general classification riders, ultra-light and with world-class stiffness-to-weight. It is built to take up the task on parcours where an aero bike is no longer able to support the rider as needed.”
“The project’s goal was to enhance aerodynamic performance without compromising weight and responsiveness while providing a competitive edge — even on less severe inclines. Reparto Corse [Bianchi’s racing division] achieved this by shifting the parameters of slope and power with which the Specialissima offers an advantage over a pure aero bike. This is what we call the tipping point, the level at which one bike becomes more functional than the other. While the previous Specialissima needed an 8.8 percent slope to offer an advantage [over the heavier but more aero Oltre RC] to pro athletes, Reparto Corse has lowered this threshold to 6.2 percent,” adds the storied Italian Brand.
According to Bianchi, compared with the previous Specialissima, the new version provides an 8.7-second advantage over 10 kilometers to a rider producing 200 watts on a 6% climb, while on flat roads, the advantage for a 200-watt output increases to 31.19 seconds over 10 kilometers.
“For the world’s strongest climbers – those capable of reaching 30 km/h on a 6 percent climb – the new Specialissima saves a remarkable 3.6 watts of power,” says Bianchi, pointing to what they learned from the Oltre RC.
“The joint between the fork and head tube was a key area of focus, with the fork now effectively integrated into the frame for minimal drag,” explains Bianchi. “The sculpted blades of the Specialissima’s new fork are also inspired by the Oltre.”
As one can glean, the profile of the head tube extends slightly beyond the front of the fork crown, a design that Bianchi says results in better airflow, while the D-shaped seatpost has also been aerodynamically optimized as well. Moreover, wider aero sections regarding the fork, top tube, head tube and down tube also enhances the Specialissima RC’s aerodynamic signature, while slim seatstays and chainstays serve to keep the weight down.
“Dropping the seatstays allowed Reparto Corse to shed material and weight from the back end of the bike, while preserving the vital stiffness required to explode into climbs, or chase down attacks,” says Bianchi.
Elsewhere, the new Specialissima RC gets Bianchi’s full-carbon integrated handlebar that’s compatible with Acros internal cable routing, along with 33mm, tubeless-ready Reparto Corse 33R wheels and Ceramitech hubs that can accommodate tires up to 32mm.
In addition to the top-tier RC, Bianchi is also offering the Specialissima Pro and the Specialissima Comp, with the Pro relying on the same high modulus carbon as the RC, while Comp utilizes less premium material. Interestingly, Pro is also treated to Bianchi’s vibration-dampening CounterVail technology, while the RC is not.
Here’s how the three variants breakdown, with pricing to be announced:
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