Bianchi SEMPRE Ultegra (2012)
A great all-rounder
Comfort and looks
Wheels are a bit heavy
Bianchi is the world oldest bicycle making company in existence, and with the release of the Sempre they continue to produce excellent bikes for the world market.
The Sempre fits in a new edition in the line up for Bianchi. Sempre is Italian for ÔalwaysÕ and the name suggests the bike is at home in a race, or out on the open road on your regular weekend gallop.
The frame lies within the race-ready B4P range Ð ÔBorn for PerformanceÕ Ð below the pro level HOC and all-new HOC Oltre race bikes, and above the alu/carbon 1885. The concept for the Sempre is to have a more racing geometry as opposed to the Infinito with its relaxed geometry.
The Ultegra model is the top level in the Sempre series and is aimed at the mid range buyer looking for that next upgrade.
The Sempre has a definite Italian feel and look to it. The curves of the frame rival that of Sophia Loren. It comes in two colour choices Celeste, and white / red.
The Bianchi's frame feels good when pushing through the pedals. ItÕs no rocket ship but itÕs also no slouch. It has excellent compliance which is where you lose a bit of zip within the responsiveness of the frame. The out-of-the-saddle sprints and quick direction changes performed well without drama or any untoward movements.
The most surprising aspect of the Sempre was its remarkable compliance over rough unbroken roads. It truly is one of the most comfortable bikes I have ridden over the past 15 years.
But itÕs still remains responsive enough to race. In fact, on my weekend Criterium it placed me into 2nd place in the bunch sprint. A feat few and far between and I am putting it all down to the bike!
The test back came with a 130mm stem which I needed to shorten due to my long leg short torso geometry. Replacing with a 110mm stem and it all just felt so right.
The Sempre does live up to its claims that it is a bike for all times, as the frameset has such compliance that you can easily find yourself losing a few hours in a ride without realising it. The Ultegra groupset, which is primarily Dura-ace without the price tag and weight saving which is in grams performs beautifully with its smooth precise shifting it was a pleasure to use and questions my constant need to ride the top version.
The Fulcrum Racing 7 is again a good all-round wheel designed for every day riding. I did swap them out for the Criterium with a set of Mavic Cosmic CarboneÕs and it gave the bike another lift.
So all up an impressive ride with excellent balance of performance and comfort.
This Ultegra-equipped model has remarkable qualities. Utilizing revolutionary technologies, the Sempre Ultegra is another innovative model produced by Bianchi. What more can you ask for if you already have a responsive front triangle, a rear triangle that smooths out rough surface, well-performing and proven drivetrain, and a monocoque frameset made of a unique nanotech high modulus carbon fibre? Victory is just a few strokes away.
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