Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2012 Bianchi Carvaria with SRAM Force.

You can pretty much connect the dots on Google Maps, or at least place your push pins, and see that cyclocross racing is blowing up in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states; from Philly to the Carolinas.

Every year events seem to be drawing more and more racers in the men and women A/B groups, single speed, worse drag queen category; none the less, people want to dip their toe into the CX Pool of Goodness. With this growth, dealers have been getting on board with our Zurigo Apex bike which launched at Interbike last year. It's big brother, the Carvaria Ultegra rolled in with it's super clean Ultegra 6700 kit, Fulcrum wheels, carbon frame and $2700 price tag; proving itself as a bike well suited for the dirt, as well as the 220 lbs cyclist who needs something 'sturdier' for the

Cyclists this side of the Mississippi are very loyal to what they put on their CX bikes and while attending any race, it obvious that racers want SRAM components. I started my campaign with the office in California last year, for an update to the Cavaria with an obvious change in mind in to the bike spec.

Even though I've been riding SRAM Red all year and really like the weight and performance of the build kit, I've become a closet fan of SRAM's Force groupo as well. There isn't much of a weight difference between the two kits...I'm recall somewhere around a 1/4 lbs difference but don't quote me on that. Eitherway, Force has the mid range bike kit market locked down so it seemed natural to have it on the next generation Cavaria.

Photo courtesy of Bianchi USA Inc.
Enter, the 2012 Carvaria Force. (Pricing on this bike will be released in August.) I am super stoked on this bike. It's nice to see it go from something scratched on paper in a bar at last year's Interbike to popping out of production for this years CX season.

The other update aside from the SRAM kit is the introduction of the Tubeless Ready wheel set on this bike. Wheels are a very sensitive topic for many racers and bike fans. You can only please some of the people some of the time... so in this case we're offering the cyclist a chance to ride Road Tubeless on their cyclocross bike with the A-Class ALX-730 hoops. The bike will be coming though set up with tubes in the tires so if you want to convert the 34c Hutchinson Bull Dog tires, I suggest you visit your local bike shop and get two cans of Hutchinson Fast Air to start the conversion process. I'll soon know if the tubeless air valve is included with the bike build as spare parts; a vital piece for running tubeless wheels.

I rode on this exact wheel set earlier in the season and really like them. Yes they were set up for road, not dirt. From a riding perspective, I was impressed by their 1560gr weight for the pair and the level of grip Road Tubeless tires exhibit when riding. I was getting away with 90lbs of pressure in the tires and I weigh 180lbs at 6'5" tall. They're hand build wheels using DT-Swiss Aero spokes so if you pop a spoke, they're not some crazy proprietary spoke that a shop won't be able to get hold of for you. I've also been holding onto a pair of the Bulldog CX tires for my ALX-730 which I plan on using for my pit wheels for the upcoming CX season.

Avid Shorty 6 brakes and an FSA Energy Cross crank handle the stop and go portions of the Cavaria Force. Continuing with the cockpit bits are the Bianchi Reparto Corse branded seatpost, stem and handle bar that shops have become familiar with on our bikes this year.

When a sample hits my stand, I'll be sure to get up some photos quickly.
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