The Bianchi Aria E-Road is the second E-road bike to be released by the world’s oldest bike manufacturer. Has the Italian brand built on the experience it gained from the Model One while designing the Aria? Read on to find out.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best E-road bike of 2019! – 13 of the most exciting models on test

Bianchi Aria e-Road | 12.13 kg | € 4,999 | MAHLE ebikemotion X35

The celeste beauty from Italy is resplendent in its unmistakable and timeless Bianchi look. True to the brand’s approach, the high-quality carbon frame is full of design features – fans will undoubtedly rejoice! The battery and controls of the MAHLE ebikemotion motor are integrated into the Aria’s aerodynamically shaped tubes, which unfortunately also act as a large amplifier when it comes to the noise of the motor. The MAHLE ebikemotion hub motor isn’t initially visible behind the 11-32 T cassette when you look at the bike from the side, deceiving you into the possibility that this is a conventional road bike. However, if you prefer staying incognito, you probably won’t like the telltale “E-Road” sticker on the top tube. A Shimano ULTEGRA derailleur, part of the full R8000 groupset is attached to the beautifully sculpted direct-mount derailleur hanger. The Vision Trimax aluminium wheels are fitted with 700x28C Vittoria Rubino Pro IV tires. At 29 mm, the tires are only minimally wider than indicated, but they’re almost at the limit of the frame’s 30 mm maximum tire clearance. With a seat tube angle of 73.5°, a reach of 395 mm and a 110 mm long stem, the riding position on the Bianchi is classically stretched. Weighing 12.13 kg for a 57 cm frame, the Aria is the heaviest bike featuring the MAHLE ebikemotion system. However, that is still very light compared to the rest of the test field. Available for € 4,999 the E-road bike from Italy is offered in seven sizes from 47 to 61 cm.

Helmet Oakley ARO3 | Glasses 100 % S3 | Jersey Isadore x GRAN FONDO Custom | Bibs Isadore Climbers | Socks The Wonderful Socks Giro 1 | Shoes Dromarti Leather

The Bianchi Aria e-Road in detail

Motor/Battery MAHLE ebikemotion X35 250 Wh
Drivetrain Shimano Ultegra R8000 2×11
Gearing 52/36 and 11–32 T
Brakes Shimano ULTEGRA BR-R8070 160/160 mm
Stem Bianchi Reparto Corse AL6061 110 mm
Handlebar Bianchi Reparto Corse AL6061 420 mm
Seatpost Bianchi Aria Full Carbon Aero
Wheels Vision Trimax Alloy Disc
Tires Vittoria Rubino IV 28C

Burn rubber!
The grip of the Vittoria Rubino Pro IV tires motivates you to get on the pedals.
Busted
From the side, the Aria could be a conventional road bike – except for this sticker.
Real Amore
Real Italian craftsmanship: one of the few bikes in the test field that isn’t made in the Far East.
Pit stop marathon
The cover of the MAHLE ebikemotion power cable on the chainstay has to be taken off completely to remove the rear wheel.
Size 47 50 53 55 57 59 61
Seat tube 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm 520 mm 540 mm 560 mm 580 mm
Top tube 515 mm 525 mm 535 mm 550 mm 560 mm 575 mm 585 mm
Head tube 105 mm 110 mm 125 mm 140 mm 155 mm 175 mm 195 mm
Head angle 70.5 71.5° 72.0° 72.5° 73.0° 73.0° 73.0°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.5° 74.0° 73.5° 73.5° 73.0° 72.5°
Chainstays 410 mm 410 mm 410 mm 410 mm 410 mm 412 mm 414 mm
Wheelbase 983 mm 984 mm 984 mm 988 mm 993 mm 1,005 mm 1,011 mm
Reach 379 mm 385 mm 385 mm 390 mm 395 mm 398 mm 398 mm
Stack 491 mm 499 mm 524 mm 540 mm 556 mm 575 mm 594 mm

The Bianchi Aria e-Road in review

Thanks to the stiff bottom bracket, the Bianchi willingly marches forward. The stretched riding position puts a lot of weight on the front wheel leaving you feeling more perched “on top of” rather than an “integral part” of the bike. This impacts predictability of the bike during fast direction changes when you’re on the limit. The front tends to feel nervous on the descents and you have to correct your steering from time to time. As soon as you put the Aria firmly back on course, it cuts through the corners willingly. Going uphill, the long stem of the Bianchi makes it feel a little skittish when riding out of the saddle. If you stay seated, this E-road bike is an efficient and capable climber.

Tuning tip
tan wall tires for a perfect Italo-disco look

Basically, the Aria looks like any other Bianchi – that’s cool!

On straight sections, the bike feels right at home and is very stable beyond the 25 km/h assistance threshold, allowing you to race for the finish line at full speed. In terms of comfort, the Aria reminds us of the sporty character of the Oltre XR4 from our road bike group test. Although high-frequency vibrations are nicely damped, the rider always gets plenty of feedback from the ground. In particular, heavy impacts are passed on to the rider almost unfiltered due to the minimal compliance of the frameset.

Conclusion

The Aria E-Road doesn’t just look like a true Bianchi, it is one. It is particularly suited to flat, high-speed passages where the bike reveals a character of its own in quick direction changes. If you like going fast on flat roads and you appreciate the additional “tailwind” up moderately steep climbs, this is a classic Italian bike with modern features at a fair price.

Tops

  • fast on flat terrain
  • slim silhouette
  • lots of a more for relatively few euros

Flops

  • unstable front end when climbing out of the saddle
  • unbalanced handling on the limit

Riding Characteristics

11

Agility

1
  1. cumbersome
  2. playful

Stability

2
  1. nervous
  2. confident

Handling

3
  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Fun factor

4
  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

5
  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

6
  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

7
  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data

Bianchi
Aria e-Road

Size: 47 50 53 55 57 59 61
Weight: 12,13 kg
Motor: MAHLE ebikemotion X35
Motor torque: 40 Nm
Battery Capacity: 205 Wh
Price: € 4,999

Indended Use

Smooth tarmac 8
Allroad/Gravel 9
Everyday/Commuting 10

For more info head to: bianchi.com

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best E-road bike of 2019! – 13 of the most exciting models on test

All bikes in test: BMC Alpenchallenge AMP ROAD ONE | Cannondale Synapse Neo SE | CENTURION Overdrive Carbon Road Z4000 | Coboc TEN Torino | FOCUS Paralane² 9.9 | LOOK E-765 Optimum Disc | Moustache Dimanche 28.7 | ORBEA GAIN M10 | Pinarello Nytro | Specialized S-Works Turbo Creo SL | Thömus Sliker E1 | Wilier Triestina Cento1 Hybrid Custom


This article is from GRAN FONDO issue #012

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Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Valentin Rühl, Benjamin Topf, Robin Schmitt