The biggest race in the world may reside in France, the biggest cycling companies may be in the US and Japan, but the true heart of cycling beats in Italy. Through its incredible racing, its fanatic fans and its aggressive competitors, Italy is the home of cycling.
Riding a bike with an Italian name and Italian components can help a rider connect with that history even if you happen to ride in the San Fernando Valley or the Catskill Mountains. Of course going purely Italian can lead to an, “Oh, Mio Dio!” as you see the price tag. Italian carbon combined with Campagnolo components can easily push the $10,000 barrier.
For the rider craving that Italian vibe, but without the big budget, Bianchi has a solution, the Sempre Veloce. Translation: Always Fast. The bike retails for $2999.99 and is Italian from shifters to derailleur, from frame to fork.
The Sempre is a race frame, a refreshing difference from many entry level bikes that assume the budget rider wants a de-tuned, plushride. A steep and low head tube combine with a tight wheelbase to create this race inspired machine. The frame gets a BB30, Bianchi’s UTSS (ultra thin seat stays), and of course a big helping of celeste green.
Bianchi spec’s the bike with Campy’s entry-level 10 speed group, Veloce. Without the bling of Super Record or even the 11 speeds ofAthena, it’s their entry-level group. Despite this it still has that Campy feel of positive yet buttery shifts.
The components are certainly cost conscious and labeled with Bianchi’s in house brand Reparto Corse, or “Race Department”. The white of the components, along with white tires, accents the celeste green in a way that gets a lot of attention. Shimano builds are available in blue and red, but really, why would you? When Italian flavor is available for the same price why not let the personality and history behind the brand shine through.
peloton magazine has begun putting a 59cm Sempre Veloce through long term test and will be reporting back soon on how this budget Italian racer performs.