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Bianchi is known for producing bicycles that deliver in terms of style, comfort and impressive performance and have been around in India for a while now. It’s 2018 range has entered the market and we got the opportunity to check out the Bianchi Kuma 29.2 (2018). Read on to know more about this bicycle.
The Bianchi Kuma 29.2 has been made using a triple butted Alloy 6061 frame. The high quality of the welding is evident from the visible smooth edges on the frame. Though the usage of an aluminium frame makes the bicycle relatively lightweight yet durable, I found this bicycle to be slightly heavier than expected. The frame has been designed with a downward sloping to tube, enabling additional control and stability while on technical trails. Additionally, a downward sloping toptube facilitates easier mounting and dismounting while on the saddle. The ergonomically designed frame geometry allows a perfect balance between a slightly aggressive riding position and comfort. The hint of aggression enhances the overall performance of the bicycle. The frame has mounting options for two water bottle holders and is available in three sizes - Small (15“), Medium (17“) and Large (19“).
The Bianchi Kuma 29.2 comes with a front suspension fork. The Suntour XCM HLO DS front suspension fork has 100mm travel and a hydraulic lockout. The 100mm travel will be great when on technical trails and extremely rugged surfaces. This bicycle has a well designed, center-tapering headset that enhances strength, stability and control of the front of the bicycle. Additionally, a shorter stem enables increased load bearing capacity, which makes this bicycle a great option when on technical trails involving a fair amount of downhill riding.
When it comes to designing good looking bicycles that also perform well, Bianchi has had it all figured out for quite a while now. The Bianchi Kuma is a well designed, good-looking MTB that is available in a single colour option, a primary black with signature Bianchi Celeste Green and Yellow accents and branding. The branding on the bicycle has been kept to the bare minimum, which goes with the overall look of the bicycle. The usage of internal cable routing not only adds to performance, but also adds to the aesthetics of the bicycle. And if this wasn’t enough, the rims of the wheels on the bicycle are colour coded to go with the celeste green and yellow decals. Full points for design, Bianchi!
The Bianchi Kuma 29.2 is a 27-Speed bicycle that comes equipped with a Shimano Altus Front Derailleur and a Shimano Alivio Rear Derailleur whose shifting is controlled by Shimano Altus shifters. The derailleurs worked effectively to enable smooth, seamless shifting without a hint of any lag or delay in changing from one gear to another. The shifters were quick to respond and in transmission. The wide range of gearing options makes this bicycle a perfect all terrain bicycle. This range will enable easier climbing, requiring less efforts and more controlled, stable descents. The placement of the shifters enabled easy, comfortable access.
The Bianchi Kuma 29.2 comes equipped with Shimano M315 Hydraulic Disc brakes. The braking performance was responsive and crisp. While on the test ride I felt that both feathered braking as well as sudden braking felt controlled and super stable. This is something worth mentioning especially when looking at the bicycle from a downhill/ trail capable point of view.
This bicycle comes with a 700mm Alloy handlebar that is relatively flat. The width of the handlebar enables a comfortable, ‘open-chested’ riding position. Additionally, a wide, flat handlebar ensures added control, stability and maneuverability. The grips on the handlebar exuded comfort with the perfect amount of cushioning.
The Bianchi Kuma 29.2 comes equipped with a pair of Kenda Honey Badger 29” x 2.2” tires which are attached to Alex DP 2.5 rims. The threading on the tires ensured stability while cornering, even on rather sharp turns. Additionally, the spacing of the threading ensures that the bicycle will be stable and with enough traction to handle wet and slippery riding conditions. The stability offered by these tires are great for intermediate - intense trails. The wheels on this bicycle come with a Quick Release Option.
The Bianchi Kuma 29.2 comes equipped with a TEC Rector Saddle. I found that the saddle was comfortable while on relatively less rugged trails and paths, however it could do with more cushioning to enable comfortable usage while riding on more intense trails, that are sure to transfer vibrations to the rider’s sit bones. The seatpost comes with a Quick Release option to adjust the seat height with ease.
The Bianchi Kuma 29.2 (2018) is priced close to Rs.3,000 lesser than it’s last year’s counterpart. So, what’s the catch? Nothing! Surprisingly, this year’s model comes with far more significant upgrades than expected. For starters, the design of this year’s frame features a downward sloping top tube that seems to have more of a slope than last year’s model. Secondly, there has been a significant upgrade in terms of components used in the gearing department. Namely, the front derailleur has been upgraded from a Shimano Tourney to an Altus, the rear derailleur from a Shimano Acera to a Shimano Alivio and finally, the shifters from Shimano EasyFire shifters to Shimano Altus shifters. However, the bicycle did feel slightly heavier than last year’s model. Though this did not affect the performance. Overall, to conclude, there have been significant upgrades in the componentry even though the price point of the bicycle has decreased by a fair amount. This bicycle is ideal for avid MTB enthusiasts looking for a reasonably priced, performance oriented MTB to conquer intermediate to technical trails.
Prices are subject to change by the brand, without due notice.