Interestingly it’s the second-tier of Bianchi’s Countervail-equipped aero road race bike that is the first to get disc brakes. The new Oltre XR3 Disc is being quietly rolled out this weekend in BeNeLux, which makes us wonder if it coincides with the early season pro road classics.
Oltre XR3 Disc – CV carbon, disc brakes aero race bike
Until now, the only one of Bianchi’s road bikes technically classified as “Racing” to offer disc brakes has been the more affordable Aria Disc debuted at Eurobike. That bike looks to expand on the aero characteristics of the top-end Oltre family, but doesn’t add Bianchi’s signature vibration damping CV carbon tech. You could get an “Endurance” rated Infinito CV Disc for several years that combines Countervail carbon & disc brakes, but as more road racers are demanding comfortable aero bikes, the disc brake Oltre seems the way forward.
Bianchi says the new Oltre XR3 Disc is the perfect mix of aero performance and comfortable control. The goal was obvious, to add the superior power & modulation of disc brakes to their race-winning Oltre aero road bike – more reliable braking means maintaining speed, later braking, and overall faster race times.
The new Oltre XR3 Disc builds on the newer, simplified & more affordable rim brake XR3 rather than the XR4 introduced a year earlier, which is raced by the LottoNL Jumbo pros. But in fact, the new Oltre XR3 Disc does pick and choose tech from both of its rim brake predecessors to optimize its ride and aerodynamics.
The new monocoque carbon frame mixes high strength and medium modulus fibers to achieve a claimed frame weight of 1150g (55cm). Of course Countervail is a key selling point on the new bike. Using the unique carbon layup and viscoelastic resin, Bianchi says it cancels 80% of road vibration, significantly reducing rider fatigue.
The disc brake bike does move to a wider set fork crown with a 1.125-1.5″ tapered carbon steerer, which also provides a simple top entry for internal front brake routing. The new Countervail disc brake fork claims a weight of 450g. Axles are 12mm with flat mount disc calipers at both ends (140 or 160mm ready), and full carbon dropouts.
Its seatstays are aero shaped, yet still fairly thin, and join the toptube at a mostly conventional seat cluster. The seatpost is the same aero & integrated design, with either 10 or 25mm offset.
The bike uses a PF86 bottom bracket, gets modular internal routing, and full internal guides for brake hoses.
Geometry is the same as other Bianchi road racing bikes, with a full seven size (47-61cm) range available. The paint job for now is limited to this matte black & celeste combo.
The new Oltre XR3 Disc will be available with a Shimano R8000 Ultegra build kit with hydraulic brakes, and a Fulcrum Racing 418 wheelset wrapped in 28mm Vittoria Rubino Pro tires.