Look fast, feel fast, go fast! All this appears possible with the Bianchi Specialissima RC. The new road bike from Italy makes waves with its unique looks and abundance of high-end components. But is it as fast and graceful as it looks?

Bianchi Specialissima RC I 6.6 kg in size 55 I € 12,749 I Manufacturer’s website

More than almost any other brand, Bianchi embody extravagant Italian design, solid performance and of course the distinctive bright blue colour “Celeste”. A legacy that dates back to 1885, with numerous victories in the Grand Tours in the hands of some of the most iconic riders, including national heroes Fausto Coppi and Marco Pantani. Bianchi’s enduring commitment to racing, even after almost 140 years, is evident in their portfolio. Virtually every bike is designed for performance. Following the introduction of the new Oltre, a specially designed aero race bike, Bianchi are now going in a very different direction with the Specialissima. The Bianchi Specialissima RC is crafted to be the ultimate all-round racer. Weighing in at an impressive 6.6 kg, the real question is: is there more to this road bike than just being light?

Truly unique and innovative, or just a rehash? The equipment and special features of the Bianchi Specialissima RC

Visually, it is immediately clear that something has changed on the Bianchi Specialissima. The previous model was much less distinctive, while the new design, with its swooping top tube and low seat stays, is unusual and somewhat bulky. Its lines and angles don’t form a harmonious overall picture, but rather a distinct, bold aesthetic. As an all-rounder, the Bianchi Specialissima RC needs a bit of aero, which is achieved with its flat, almost rectangular tube shapes. In general, it’s quite obvious that the bike is pretty sporty. And surprisingly for a Bianchi, it is predominantly black, although the iconic “Celeste” colour is present on the lower parts of the frame and forks before fading seamlessly into black and reappearing on the decals. Overall, this top-of-the-range model has a fairly subdued colour palette, by Bianchi standards. No alternative colour schemes are available for this high-end version.

Special in name and frame: the Bianchi Specialissima.
Blue on the bottom and black on the top: This colour gradient is only available on the top model.

Another new feature of the Bianchi Specialissima RC is that almost all the parts are from their in-house Reparto Corse engineering department. Apart from the gears, brakes and tires, there is hardly a part that doesn’t come from Bianchi themselves. An outstanding feature are the Reparto Corse RC carbon wheels, which are not only aesthetically pleasing but also equipped with ceramic bearings. The wheels have a rim height of 33 mm and an inner rim width of 21 mm, and are fitted with 26 mm wide ultra-sporty Pirelli P ZERO Race TT tires.

Another remarkable feature of the new Bianchi Specialissima RC is of course its low weight of just 6.6 kg for a 55 cm frame height. This is largely due to the use of extremely light components and thin paint. Despite the aerodynamic optimisation, the frame itself has not increased in weight. Bianchi have moved with the times in terms of maximum tire width: you can now fit tires up to 32 mm wide. Priced at € 12,749, our Bianchi Specialissima RC is equipped with the Shimano DURA-ACE groupset, with integrated power meter. The STI levers are mounted on Reparto Corse’s one-piece carbon cockpit, which in our case has a handlebar width of 400 mm. There’s more carbon to be found in the saddle carcass and D-shaped seatpost, too. A standout detail are the bottle cage mounts, which are not only a lovely Celeste colour, but also have a subtle texture. All in all, it’s an impressive package in terms of features, craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Almost all parts come from the in-house racing department Reparto Corse.
The top model features a fancy RC one-piece cockpit and lightweight wheelset.

Models and geometry of the Bianchi Specialissima RC

The Bianchi Specialissima is available in two different carbon versions. The Bianchi Specialissima RC and Pro models have high-modulus carbon frames, while the entry-level model uses a more economical carbon fibre, sacrificing weight to keep the price down. All of the latest generation Bianchi Specialissima models are equipped with SRAM or Shimano electric drivetrains – notably, no Campagnolo. Is this a departure from their own Italian racing heritage?

For racers on a budget, the Bianchi Specialissima COMP models start at € 4,999 and come with a Shimano 105 Di2 drivetrain. There are two other COMP versions with either a SRAM Rival eTap AXS or Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain. In the middle of the range is the Bianchi Specialissima PRO, which uses higher quality carbon fibre. The PRO model also comes in two different versions, one with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and the other with a SRAM Force eTap AXS drivetrain.

“Fake it till you race it” should be the motto for a road bike with this geometry. Even if you’re not racing, it’s no gentle cruiser.

The top-of-the-range Bianchi Specialissima RC is available with Shimano’s DURA-ACE Di2 or SRAM’s Red eTap AXS groupset. It features the Reparto Corse RC carbon wheelset and Reparto Corse carbon cockpit. The intended use and target group of each model are also reflected in the gear ratios. Our Bianchi Specialissima RC with DURA-ACE Di2 has a 52/36 crankset and an 11-30 cassette. On the other hand, the Specialissima COMP with Shimano 105 Di2 drivetrain offers a more relaxed setup with a 50/34 crankset and 11-34 cassette. This gear ratio ensures that even less fit riders will find it much easier to climb a mountain pass.

Simply the best! The Shimano DURA-ACE on the Bianchi Specialissima RC performs at the highest level.
It goes without saying that a bike in this class should have a power meter.

As you might expect, the geometry of the Bianchi Specialissima RC is very sporty, but not to the extreme. In the 55 cm frame size, the top tube is relatively long at 55 cm, but not overly so. The reach of 391 mm maintains a moderately racy feel. A short-ish wheelbase of 988 mm makes the Bianchi Specialissima RC more agile than many other road bikes, and the short head tube length of 135 mm encourages the rider to adopt a low and aerodynamic position. The stack-to-reach ratio of 1.37 is particularly sporty compared to the rest of the geometry. All in all, the geometry is racy, but nothing extreme

Size 470 500 530 550 570 590
Top tube 514 mm 524 mm 535 mm 550 mm 560 mm 597 mm mm
Seat tube 420 mm 450 mm 480 mm 500 mm 520 mm 540 mm mm
Head tube 100 mm 105 mm 120 mm 135 mm 150 mm 170 mm mm
Head angle 70.5° 71.5° 72° 72.5° 73° 73° °
Seat angle 74.5° 74.5° 74° 73.5° 73.5° 73° °
Chainstay 410 mm 410 mm 410 mm 410 mm 412 mm 412 mm mm
BB Drop 58 mm 58 mm 58 mm 58 mm 58 mm 58 mm mm
Wheelbase 982 mm 983 mm 984 mm 988mm 996 mm 1,005 mm mm
Reach 379 mm 387 mm 386 mm 391 mm 497 mm 400 mm mm
Stack 486 mm 494 mm 520 mm 536 mm 552 mm 571 mm mm

Feel the speed! The Bianchi Specialissima RC on the test track

It’s hard to take your eyes off the Bianchi Specialissima RC. Not necessarily because you like it so much, but simply because it looks so different. But as soon as you get on, you are in attack mode. The riding position is quite aggressive, without being uncomfortable or awkward. However, it’s a matter of personal preference and physical ability. If you can’t touch your toes with your fingertips, it’s best to stay away from such a sporty position to avoid discomfort. The lack of headset spacers on our test bike resulted in a very low riding position, especially in the drops, so it’s advisable not to have a big meal before riding. Fortunately, the Bianchi Specialissima RC normally comes with a small stack of spacers, which makes the experience much more pleasant for us amateur racers.

Going fast downhill is the best feeling! The Bianchi Specialissima RC is light and fun to ride.

The handling is direct and dynamic. It offers an exhilarating ride, especially on descents with tight corners, yet you always feel in control. Fast direction changes are immediately transmitted and executed. This dynamic responsiveness is particularly noticeable at high speeds, especially in combination with the Pirelli P ZERO Race TT tires, which provide ample grip. The result is a kind of dynamic smoothness that inspires plenty of confidence. With the Bianchi Specialissima RC, the tendency is to want to push the limits – slow crawling doesn’t feel natural, but sprinting and putting the pedal to the metal just feels right.

There’s really nothing more to say about the Shimano DURA-ACE groupset. It is currently the best on the market. Every gear change is a pleasure thanks to its direct and precise nature. On the other hand, the 26 mm wide tires seem a bit old-fashioned – many current race bikes are fitted with 28 mm tires. However, the narrow tires only really affect the already firm compliance, which makes the Bianchi Specialissima RC a little uncomfortable on uneven surfaces. Nevertheless, it’s great for the lively and light ride feel. Speaking of lightness: Whipping uphill on such a light bike really is great fun. Every turn of the pedals makes you feel like you have wings. Of course, at some point you might run out of power and have to struggle uphill, but the lightness of the bike is palpable with every pedal stroke, aided by the excellent power transmission. With the lowest possible, but still quite sporty, gear ratio of 36 x 30, climbing hills isn’t exactly effortless. However, the Bianchi Specialissima RC isn’t a bike for long, relaxed rides. It’s far too firm, aggressive and race-oriented for such endeavours.

With the hero gear range of 36 x 30 in the lowest gear, you need to push hard uphill.

Mountain goat, aero sprinter or an all-rounder? Who is the Bianchi Specialissima RC for?

Bianchi describe the Bianchi Specialissima RC as an all-round road bike. The key question is what this description really means and whether the term “all-rounder” might be a little misleading. With its low weight, the bike excels at being fast on mountain stages and agile on climbs. Its aerodynamic optimisation also makes it a good choice for flat routes. In any case, it is well suited for all types of high-performance use, whether in amateur races, fast Fondos or for brisk training sessions. It is, however, less enjoyable for less intense activities such as relaxed group rides or extended four-hour zone 2 rides.

The Bianchi Specialissima RC is definitely a good all-rounder, but with one special purpose. If you want to go fast, this is the bike for you, if you can handle it.

Conclusion on the Bianchi Specialissima RC

With the Specialissima RC, Bianchi have done justice to their racing heritage. It is a truly sporty bike, quick to get up to speed and fun to ride. The equipment and workmanship are also of the highest standard. The mix of aero accents and weight saving is a total success and results in an extremely high fun factor as well as a speed rush. However, the low compliance and narrow tires mean that the surface you ride on needs to be chosen carefully. But if the conditions are right, it’s time to hit the road, Jack.


  • dynamic and very fast ride feel
  • prestigious and high quality componentslooks that stand out from the crowd
  • very low weight despite aero optimisation


  • low compliance
  • The top spec is only available in one colour

For more information visit bianchi.com

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Words: Martin Staffa Photos: Jan Richter, Peter Walker