In the latest revamp of World Cup level XC race bikes, Bianchi has renewed their Countervail vibration eating carbon Methanol hardtail into two models. The new range-topping RS is lighter, more capable and 1x only. Then, a new S version closer to the top 2018 bike is more affordable, still gets Bianchi’s CV system, and also made in their Italian Reparto Corse factory.
2019 Bianchi Methanol CV RS & S carbon XC hardtails
Based around the same Countervail carbon fiber and viscoelastic resin construction, the two new bikes promise the elimination of vibrations from trail chatter to the damping of bigger impacts as well. Bianchi calls is “After-Shock Control”, aimed at keeping racers and performance riders fresher longer, even on a light hardtail.
Developed with the Pros
The new 2019 Methanol CV series hardtails were both developed together with Team Bianchi – Countervail pro riders like including Stephane Tempier and Marco Aurelio Fontana who we saw earlier this year racing the hardtails in Albstadt (with Tempier earning a spot on the middy podium.)
Methanol CV RS
To that end, the new 2019 Methanol CV RS is said to weigh just 940g, the first time the Methanol is said to break the 1kg threshold.
The new bike was developed for tougher, more demanding race courses and gets updated geometry for improved capabilities. That essentially boils down to longer reaches across the four size range, and a 1.5° slacker headtube that also helps deliver the same handling across all frames sizes.
The new RS also builds in more mud clearance thanks to revised chainstay designs, bumping up to 2.3″ (58mm) for better performance in muddy racing. To make that fit, the new bike also ditches the front derailleur, now going 1x-specific.
The new bike will be available in a number of premium specs, built up with a couple SRAM Eagle options or the new XTR 1x, and in team replica Celeste or a slightly more subtle black paintjob.
Methanol CV S
The Methanol CV S is essentially a repackaged, and slightly updated version of the bike introduced back in 2016, and that same one that Tempier and Fontana were racing at least midway through this World Cup season. Already a race capable bike, the Methanol CV S version is still tailored to less technical cross-country and marathon racing where the Countervail carbon will still benefit rider comfort.
One real update over the prior Methanol, like the new RS version, the 2019 Methanol CV S frame was also optimized in the rear end to fit the same larger tires (up to 58mm). The S version does still retain the full modular cable routing features of the 2018 Methanol, and can be built up with 1x or 2x drivetrains thanks to a removable high mount front derailleur hanger.
The new Methanol CV S is slated to hit a lower pricepoint than the new CV RS, but is also really geared towards racing less technical tracks. If you are looking for a more affordable hardtail, still capable of the technical racing, the recently introduced Nitron (minus the Countervail carbon) could also be an option.