When you think Italian, you think of finesse, design, style and maybe pasta if you are a foodie. Well we’ve got the extremely good-looking Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (105) (2017) edition to test ride and review today. Before I start, I must share a piece of trivia on the name of this bicycle. ‘Via Nirone’ as a name has a lot of relevance and history, as it was the address of the first workshop of the company’s founder, Edoardo Bianchi. Now back to business. The Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (105) (2017) falls under the C2C (Coast to Coast) segment of endurance road bicycles from the brand. Here’s what we thought of it after testing it a good deal.
The frame geometry and design is what catches your attention once you start riding this bicycle. The ergonomics, design and engineering are specifically designed for mid to long distance riders, who want the ideal blend of performance with comfort. Without sounding too clichéd, the Via Nirone 7 fits like a glove, and was extremely compact, rigid and responsive on the ride.
The bicycle is made from the triple butted 6000 (6061) series of aluminum with hydroforming technology. The fork is a Bianchi Alu/Carbon unit with Kevlar, and a 1.1/8” head. The frame and fork have three integrated, unique features that highlight the advanced technological capabilities of Bianchi. First up is BAT (Bianchi Active technology), followed by the K-VID Tech (Kevlar vibration isolating device). This technology ensures that the frame remains stiff while also absorbing a good amount of the feedback from the road, without transferring it to the rider. It also helps in optimal power transfer and directional focus. The third technology is the use of Kevlar (Yes, the material used for bullet proofing), on the fork and the specially designed seat stay, to absorb vibrations during the ride. This technology can also be found on high-end bicycles such as the Bianchi Infinito CV, Intenso and Impulso.
Design is clearly one of Bianchi’s strongest areas as a brand. The Via Nirone 7 105 (2017) is no exception to this pursuit of design perfection. One look at this bicycle and you can tell that it oozes Italian craftsmanship that is right up there with the best. The tube profiling is tapered and has Bianchi’s design philosophy of the gently tapered top tube that adds a nice touch. The Matt black colour is used well, without making the bicycle look too bland. Bianchi’s famous celeste colour is used sparingly through decals across the bike. This element adds a whole new paradigm to the Via Nirone. The welds on the frame were smooth, which accentuated the top-notch paint finish and decals. This bicycle would certainly rank up there in terms of looks for a roadie. Classic Bianchi! Classic Italian!
The Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (105) (2017) comes with a very efficient and well-proven drivetrain in the form of the Shimano 105 groupset. The 22 gears on offer are ideal for road endurance rider. The front derailleur is the Shimano 105, FD-5800-L, 2-Speed along with the Shimano 105, RD-5800-L, 11-Speed. This coupled with the Shimano FC-RS500-L Crankset that has a 50/34T combination, gave me enough options across terrains and inclinations. You can expect only the best from a groupset like the Shimano 105, and this aided the well-engineered and designed Bianchi frame.
The brakes would be one of the few areas that the Via NIrone 7 could do with a few tweaks. The Shimano BR-R561 brakes used were efficient and good, but there were times when I was doing some good speed and felt the need for a little more stopping power. However this is just me being overly critical. The agility of the Via Nirone 7 105 will put a gazelle or Cheetah to shame. The frame geometry ensured that the bicycle was responsive to any directional changes, and was very stable and aggressive into corners. Being a road endurance bicycle, the steering was not too twitchy like some of the race road performance cycles in the market. This ensured that the Via Nirone 7 gave me precise and real world feedback while changing directions.
While testing it on upward inclines, I got off the saddle to power through and was supported with a responsive frame and gearing. The bicycle reacted very well to off the saddle riding which is something one would do while climbing hills or hillocks.
I always start with the frame and cockpit while deciding ride quality, and with the Bianchi Via Nirone 7 you get a well-engineered frame that has a huge role in optimizing ride quality. The BAT, K-VID tech and the Kevlar on key parts, do a whole lot in reducing stress to the riders. The geometry of the bicycles was spot on, which will ensure that endurance riders are always in the ideal position all through their long rides. The cockpit was compact with the right size of stem and handlebar. The ride experience was aided with a Selle San Marco Era Startup Power saddle that was beautifully designed (again Italian at heart), and comfortable too. The tires that have been used on the Via Nirone 7 are Vittoria Zaffiro Slick, 700x25c which ensure the added width (even though marginal) aids you on long arduous rides, compared to the 700 *23c found on race road bicycles. These are fitted on to Shimano WH-RS010 rims, which are well-priced, reliable and good riding rims. Some professional performance riders looking to shed little extra weight from their wheel set will look at upgrading to lighter high performance rims. Overall the ride quality on this bicycle is good, and it ensures road endurance riders a plush cockpit with some snazzy tech in its frame that gives you that extra comfort.
So now for the verdict, which I am sure a lot of you’ll, are reading without looking at the rest of the review. The Bianchi Via Nirone 7 105 – 2017 has proven itself to come out as a well designed and engineered road endurance bicycle. What impressed us was the right combination of performance and comfort with out tilting the scales too much to either corner. This means that you as a rider, have a bicycle that you can decide to use for spirited performance riding, or the long weekend rides outside the city. This uncompromising nature of the Via Nirone 7 105, has made us give this bicycle a big thumbs up in this segment. Priced at Rs.98,600, the Bianchi Via Nirone 7 105 – 2017 is certainly priced around it’s competition, but Bianchi’s 100+ year heritage combined with it’s pro tour experience at the Tour de France and other races, ensure that you get as close to the pro bikes with the Via Nirone 7. There you have it. Now go out and Keep Cycling.