The Bianchi Specialissima CV has long been the Italian bikemaker’s most premium lightweight road racing bike. Yet while their pro team riders are still winning on rim brakes, the light carbon road bike finally gets its disc brake upgrade, dropping to 750g for the new frame without compromising on race-ready stiffness or handling…
Bianchi Specialissima CV gets lightweight carbon update & disc brakes
Even while Bianchis remain some of the few rim brake bikes being raced to World Tour wins – thanks in large part to impressive Jumbo Visma rides by Wout Van Aert & Primož Roglič – the Italians are still shifting all road bikes towards disc brakes, for pros and amateurs alike. The rim brake Specialissima had been around effectively unchanged since 2015. And while it was light at 780g then, beyond a couple of cool retro Il Pirata editions, it was due for a real update.
And the new 2021 Bianchi Specialissima CV Disc looks to hit on all you could really want. It maintains the Countervail vibration-damping carbon of the original, gets upgraded to disc brakes, thru-axles, integrated cable routing and a low-profile seatpost clamp, while dropping even more weight and still giving you the option for a classic Celeste paintjob.
Bianchi calls the new Specialissima a “totally re-engineered” all-rounder race bike. Not meant to be confined to mountain racing stages by its 750g weight claim (size 55, painted black), the bike is said to be stiffer than ever for efficient power transfer and takes in a few subtle aero cues so it can on flat days, too.
The overall look of the new bike looks a lot like the old Specialissima, but takes a few new aerodynamic cues from the Oltre aero road bikes. Bianchi says the new lightweight bike gets subtle shaping improvements like “sharper lines and aero-shaped tubes”, in addition to the fully internal cable routing with the FSA ACR cockpit system and flush-mounted seatpost binder clamp. The frame also includes regular modular cable port in the top of the downtube for riders looking for a conventional routing solution.
The new bike uses a straight 1.5″ headset for internal routing, flat mount disc brakes, 12mm thru-axles with replaceable alloy thread inserts in the full carbon frame & fork, a 27.2mm round seatpost, replaceable braze-on front derailleur tab, and a full-carbon PressFit BB86 bottom bracket. Frame weight is claimed at just 750g, plus another 370g for the new disc brake fork.
New disc brake Specialissima Geometry
The new race bike is still available in a wide seven size range (47-61cm) with pro-proven geometry, and a couple uniquely small steps in the middle of the size range. Two pairings in the middle essentially share the same frame reach figures, but differ slightly in stack and/or angles for racers looking to precisely dial in their ideal fit.
The geo is mostly unchanged from the previous rim brake version, although the new Specialissima does get 5mm reduced stack height across the range. Plus, chainstays are from 2-10mm longer depending on size, to fit in bigger tires and revised chainline to the wider new 12mm thru-axle spacing. Tire clearance both front & rear is decidedly conservative at 28mm, but still manages what most of the top pro riders are currently racing.
2021 Bianchi Specialissima – Options & availability
The new disc brake Specialissima is offered in three standard paint schemes – classic Celeste for the full Bianchi experience, a new “greenish blue that gets some celeste details, and the “ultra light black” that was actually developed for their World Tour racers and shaves 80g off the other paintjobs. Additionally, Bianchi’s “Colour Configurator” tool lets you further customize your frame, and adds five more “Signature Collection” finishes hand-painted in Italy and finished off with iridescent & holographic decals.
The new Specialissima is available on its own as a frame and fork kit for 4590€, or in one of five complete builds.
Pick from a mechanical Ultegra kit for the most affordable complete bike staring at 5490€…
Or top off your new Specialissima with a SRAM Red eTap AXS 10,790€, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 10,490€ , or a fully-Italian Campagnolo Super Record EPS build kit 11,900€.
The new 2021 race bike is available to order yours now from your local Bianchi dealer. The Specialissima will be arriving in shops in the next few days, and will become the lightweight race bike of the GreenEdge team next season.