Bianchi Specialissima Pantani limited 20th Anniversary edition lightweight carbon race road bike

To get ready for next year’s 20th anniversary of Marco Pantani’s Giro-Tour double, Bianchi is painting up a limited run of their lightweight carbon Specialissima road race bikes in a retro recreation of the Team Mercatone Uno-Bianchi livery Pantani won on. It was a light alloy Bianchi MegaPro XC bike that Pantani rode to victory in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in the spring and summer of 1998 – one of only seven riders to manage the same feat over the years – but now you can get a modern Countervail-equipped carbon road bike in those same 1998 colors…

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani limited 20th Anniversary edition lightweight carbon race road bike

The recreated bike of il Pirati is Bianchi’s standard Italian made & hand painted Specialissima, no slouch with a claimed frame weight of just 780g. The Countervail vibration canceling tech makes it fairly unique as well, claiming one of the smoothest rides of a top-level super light race bike.

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani limited 20th Anniversary edition lightweight carbon race road bike toptube

The complete Specialissima Pantani gets a light build appropriate to the memory of the light climber, with a full Campagnolo Super Record mechanical groupset, Bora Ultra 35 tubulars, and a painted-to-match FSA K-Force carbon cockpit.

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani limited 20th Anniversary edition lightweight carbon race road bike headtube badge Bianchi Specialissima Pantani limited 20th Anniversary edition lightweight carbon race road bike fork

The graphics and yellow-celeste fade are true to the original, with updated modern tech details called out in the original bike’s style too, plus of course a modern UCI race-approved decal. It even gets a proper recreated Bianchi headbadge.

Bianchi Specialissima Pantani limited 20th Anniversary edition lightweight carbon race road bike

No word on pricing or exact availability of the anniversary bike yet, so get in touch with your local Bianchi dealer if you feel the need to recreate the 90s on a modern ride.


  1. All these Italian bikes are beautiful, but I can’t help but think that from a technology stand point, they are at least two iterations/versions of technology back behind the likes of Trek and Specialized and even Giant. These big guys have so much money backing their R&D is it even conceivable that these smaller guys can keep up with carbon technology, pro racing R&D feedback loop, wind tunnel testing, etc…..

    • How do you figure? What technology are they missing? Bianchi has exclusive rights to Countervail… nobody else has that.

  2. @Matt You don’t need aero enhancements, vibration damping elastomers, or even disc brakes to go fast on a road bike. Spend all the money you want on that technology. It is marginal gains but it is equivalent to ZERO soul which this bike has in spades. The big three will never understand that because they didn’t exist when bikes where still simple metal machines.

    • I hear what you are saying and feel like this applied more in the days of steel frames where craftsmanship was felt in the way the bike road. When you get to a carbon frame, I feel that it is more about technology – weave, layup, materials, setup, etc… and that the big three have greater resources to push this technology. I don’t know this emperically, it just feels that way. But I am open to changing that opinion, thus why I am hoping more join this conversation.

    • Um, to your last point, yes they were. You can look up the history of each. ‘Soul’ here is an emotional construct tied to European brands around during the golden age of cycling. On the product level a good carbon frame is how the carbon is laid up and nothing more, while it could be argued that a hand welded steel frame is an extension of the welder’s skill and passion, and therefore contains some ‘soul’…

      • Yeah, Giant was only building frames for Schwinn back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. And where are all those sweet new Canyons made? A Giant factory. Most of the Treks? Giant production. The newest guys would be specialized (which Giant manufactured for, for years) and they design good bikes even though ZERTZ is total BS. The big three innovate like crazy; and deal with the success and failures of their engineering. Layup is of course super important for carbon, but a poorly designed carbon frame will still lack some soul to it. I just love all the vintage Schwinn folks that HATE to hear about their Taiwanese made Schwinn frame. Some of these newer riders weren’t around when the big three predominantly offered good steel bikes (Giant Allegre, Specialized Allez, Trek 520s, etc.). Bianchi loved to tout their Reparto Corse “made in Italy” bikes, that were really Chinese manufactured frames and assembled in Italy. Orbea in the mid 2000’s were also the same deal; made somewhere else, painted and assembled in Spain. Still not great bikes.

  3. I wish that Bianchi would be content to just use their lovely Celeste to tell the world what brand of bike we were looking at. The 10+ Bianchi logos (Two on each side of the downtube!!) spattered all over this bike (and most all their bikes) ….bleccch. Bikes not billboards!

  4. Not an Armstrong fan AT ALL but it’s pretty hilarious that a guy like Pantani who was doped to the gills virtually his whole career is lionized while Tex gets hammered.

    • I don’t get that either. Why are we celebrating Pantani? When does Trek come out with their ‘special editions?’

    • Because Pantani wasn’t a narcissistic cocky jerk that manipulated his teammates to his own self serving end? And wasn’t everyone doped going up those hills anyways??

      • While I’m not a Pantani fan, I certainly don’t begrudge those fans their hero, even if he was coked up.

        Doping was never my problem with Armstrong. As others have said, everyone was doping then. What turned my stomach was the doping combined with enough smug sanctimony to kill a Clydesdale.

        Remember the Nike ad? “Everyone wants to know what I’m on. What am I on? I’m on my bike, busting my ass, for six hours a day. What are you on?”

        The dude is a sociopath, full stop. His dealings with Betsy Andreu, Emma O’Reilly and many others make that abundantly clear.

        The thing about sociopaths is that they’re utterly predictable, at least in the big picture. Armstrong acted exclusively in his own interest, no matter what, even if it didn’t seem that way at the time.

        Pantani, in contrast, was a flawed human being who made some serious mistakes while achieving fleeting moments of greatness. Everyone I’ve ever liked or admired has fit that description to some degree. Pantani isn’t on my personal list of heroes, but I get why others revere him.

    • The people saying all these nasty things about Pantani probably first got into cycling in 1999 by buying a USPS-edition Trek 5200. Yes, he doped but, and it’s a big BUT, everyone was on it so par for the course. He didn’t purposely seek out to destroy people’s lives that tried to speak the truth about the situation. He wasn’t a crazed narcissist. Pantani’s life played out like a Greek tragedy. His life was full daring and emotional exploits played out in front of millions of dedicated and passionate fans, but his inner demons eventually won out.

      Personally, I love this Bianchi.

      • Just because many were on dope does not make them innocent. They are all cheaters and cheated out many riders that would only ride clean from a career and results. Pantani was a CHEAT. I will make sure no one I know buys this bike and give them hell if they do.

  5. OK boys your true intellect is showing. In spite of your negativity Marco was a true gentleman.
    I wonder how many of you smoke dope….

  6. Pantani is a CHEAT. It is sad that this bike maker has decided it is okay to praise cheaters. I am in the market for a bike right now and would have considered this one, but not now nor ever will I buy a Biancheat.

  7. Pantani used classic round bend. Not to be a nitpicker but it should come with round bends. at least this just one batch.

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