Bianchi Intenso Disc Ultegra Mix
Bianchi’s goal with the Intenso is long-haul comfort, with wide tires and disc brakes.
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The Oltre and Specialissima both marked a triumphant return to form for Bianchi, each one a winning combo of technology and remarkable ride qualities. That’s why the Intenso Disc left us scratching our heads. Though it’s a competent addition to Bianchi’s line-up, it needs refinement and doesn’t approach the smash-hit status of its higher-end brethren.
Bianchi’s goal with the Intenso appears to be long-haul comfort, given its somewhat slack geometry and long wheelbase. That plays out on long, sweeping curves at high speeds. A 72-degree head tube angle should make for stable but responsive steering, yet the handling can be resistant and wishy-washy, especially out of the saddle. We had to muscle it more than we would have liked, especially at slower speeds.
Still, it hits some of the right endurance notes with clearance for 28c tires and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes for all-conditions riding. Pull this bike down from the hook if you’re going to be on dirt or rough pavement roads, and you’re more concerned with stability than responsiveness.
To improve vibration damping and comfort, Bianchi adds K-Vid technology. K-Vid stands for Kevlar vibration isolating device, and this lives in both the fork and seat stays. Bianchi’s website doesn’t offer a lot of insight as to how this works, so it’s hard to say if it’s actually working as intended. We can say for certain that it doesn’t work as well as Bianchi’s Countervail vibration damping technology, which is present in Oltre and Specialissima models. We have sung its praises in the past, and while it’s no surprise Countervail isn’t present on the more budget-focused Intenso, we found ourselves missing it just the same.
DT Swiss wheels are an inexpensive and reliable addition to the build, and if you’ll be riding primarily on rough roads, they’re a tough wheelset for the task. The ungainly 105 brake hoods are a curious inclusion, especially at this price point. We would have liked a complete Ultegra kit to make this bike a good value.