Saturday saw the Bianchi road demo at Rockets and Rascals in Poole. Bianchi put on a selection of 2016 road bikes so that customers could get a feel of the kit before forking out, Rockets and Rascals offered lubrication in the form of coffee and lunch mid day, all for £20. My reason for going? apart from Bianchi bikes and road cycling? I quite fancy a new bike and an Infinito CV would be near the top of the list.
The day started at around 9:00 where we were all welcomed in and offered a coffee, our pedals were fitted up to the bike of our choice, and the required adjustments were made to our steeds ready for the first outing. I was partnered up with the Infinito CV Athena but there were a few others to choose from. On test were the Specialissima Dura Ace Di2, Oltre XR2 Super Record, Oltre XR1 Ultegra, Intenso Veloce, and Impulso Veloce.
The mornings route would be around 30 miles around the Purbecks, the perfect testing ground for a new road bike. On the road the box fresh Infinito was pure class, it was immediately noticeable, but then in comparison to the old winter steed it was going to! We headed out from Rockets into Poole and out over the twin sails bridge, through Hamworthy and out to the Bakers Arms roundabout. After a quick regroup and a chat about our rides we headed through Sandford and Wareham then across to East Creech and past Blue Pool. From now the road started to point a little more skywards. The Infinito was great, helping me to set a new PR up the climb. We regrouped again and headed via Church Knowle to Corfe Castle on the route back, taking the B3351 New road to Studland and eventually ending up at the Sandbanks ferry. From the ferry we had the short trip around the harbor an back to Rockets in Lilliput.
After grabbing lunch we had a chance to discuss our bikes with each other and ask any Questions of Bruno from Bianchi (what a great name for someone representing an Italian bike brand!). I was very impressed by the Infinito’s ability to feel so stiff and direct yet be so smooth, it wasn’t much harsher than the charge….. and that’s steel! The CV in the bikes title stands for Countervail, its the carbon layup used in the frame and fork partnered with other vibration dampening materials to smooth out the ride. I have to say it works, my Ribble is nowhere near as smooth.
Post lunch there was another opportunity to ride and to swap to another machine if you so wished, I decided to stick with the Infinito and join in the 10 mile loop. There were a few little climbs to play with and also some poor road surfaces to contend with, the bike made light work of all with only my fitness levels slowing it down. If i were to have one criticism of the bike it would be the groupset. Being a Campagnolo virgin my comparative experience is that of 6800 Shimano Ultegra, and I just think the Campy is a bit flimsy and indirect. I think you would be hard pushed to beat the positive feel of the Ultegra set up, luckily this bike is available in various groupset options.
I think I’ve found a top contender for the replacement of the Ribble, and it might be Celeste in colour, and it might be from Italy. A well organised day from Bianchi and Rockets and Rascals that i’m sure has cemented the quality of these bikes into the minds of all that attended, hey we even left with a goodie bag with a Bianchi/Rockets branded Peroni! Perfect for post ride calorie replacement. I’m looking forward to the next one, and i’m also looking for a way to convince the wife i need a new bike……..