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Bianchi is an Italian manufacturer with a rich heritage of 125 years in the bicycling industry. It holds the distinction of being the oldest bicycle manufacturer still in existence. It's designs and capabilities as a company, have evolved with time while still managing to retain its classical Italian legacy and design. We got our hands on the Bianchi Spillo Rubino 2016, which is a true blue city cruiser which is the company's entry-level offering. Read on to see what we thought of this classic hybrid.
The overall frame design and build of the Bianchi Spillo Rubino is focused on comfort and leisure riding. The tubing was mostly circular in nature, and the weld quality at the joints was not as smooth and aesthetic as we would have liked. The Spillo has a tapering top tube that allows both men and women to get on and off the bicycle with ease. The semi-tapered rigid front fork ensures that the ride position is more laid back, keeping the rider's posture upright and back position straight up. The frame allows you to fit a basket upfront, as well as a pannier rack at the back for added luggage carrying options. The 700c Spillo Rigid frame was really impressive as it had minimum lateral movement, which meant that every pedal and momentum was transferred forward with greater efficiency.
Bianchi have gone completely classic with the Spillo Rubino (2016). The bicycle we road was in a Plain Jane black and silver avatar, with minimalistic graphics and decals. It is a design that stays true to Bianchi being a legacy brand with a rich and illustrious history. Italian design using simple lines and styling is what you get with the Spillo Rubino. It transports you to a time when bicycle design was simple and elegant. The two things that stood out for us was the regal 'Bianchi' logo/motif in the front, and the Italian flag on the seat post which were neatly done to retain it's identity and roots.
The Spillo Rubino comes with the Shimano Tourney TX-51 in the front and Shimano Tourney RD-TX55 in the rear. This 21-speed gear system worked well on the ride, and is clearly out together for a hassle free and relaxed city commute. The Shimano Tourney ST-EF51 trigger shifters were responsive and easy to access from the grip position. The gear system certainly has it's limitations if you try and push the bicycle for speed, so it's best ridden at a nice cruising speed within city limits.
In the braking section, Bianchi have equipped the Spillo Rubino with entry level Alloy 'V-Brakes'. The braking power on offer was average, which actually is enough for the purpose and terrain that the Spillo is built for. The Shimano brake levers are medium in length and are of a good build quality. They are positioned and designed for 2 to 3 finger braking.
The Spillo comes with a nice matte black ZOOM steel Riser handlebar. This type of handlebar is designed for more control and comfort, compared to a flat handlebar. It is also easier on your wrists due to it's design. To add to this, the wider handlebar give the rider a good upright posture and distributes the weight to the back, thereby giving the rider more control on the ride. The Spillo comes with an adjustable stem that allows riders of varying heights to tilt the handlebar upwards or downwards, based on their height and reach.
We really loved the tires on the Bianchi Spillo Rubino. The DSI 700 * 35c hybrid tires combines the easy roll characteristics of a road bicycle tire, while having the necessary treads and grip of a MTB. The Semi-knobby nature of the tires is ideal for Indian city conditions. The tires looked like they will be able to give you a considerable amount of mileage, while ensuring that the chances of punctures are minimal. We must make a special mention of the smooth and easy roll of the wheelset, which was light and well balanced. The Rims on the Spillo Rubino are 700c double walled alloy rims (32 hole).
The overall ride quality of the Spillo Rubino was very comfortable. The comfort focused frame, handlebar, and componentry translates to a rather enjoyable city commuter/cruiser. The saddle on the Spillo is a Velo Custom unit, that is wide enough to accommodate most riders. It offered the necessary basic cushioning and will serve the purpose on city roads. We unanimously felt that the key USP and standout feature of the Spillo was the fact that it is a really comfortable bike.
The market has a slew of hybrid and city terrain bicycles that claim to be unisex and purpose built for city commuting. With the Bianchi Spillo Rubino (2016), you can be guaranteed that it stays true to i's philosophy of being a classic designed, unisex city commuter that stands out for being one of the most comfortable and easy to control bicycles in the market. Priced at Rs.27,250, it is well within the affordable price range for cyclists looking for a hybrid city cruiser from a legacy brand such as Bianchi.