I recently snuck into Bianchi USA’s headquarters and talked to company president Rod Jewett about their new 2009 line-up and trends in the industry. One standout in the new line-up is a limited edition, lugged steel bike to be known as the Dolomite (though this pre-production example was labelled “Stelvio”). The pre-production example that I saw had chromed lugs and 1950s/60s style logos. Strangely, the bike had a carbon fork, but Jewett hinted that they might be able to offer US buyers a chromed steel fork. Of course, the bike is painted in Bianchi’s glorious sea-foam green hue, better known as celeste.
If any big bike company could mount a full-on retro attack, it would be the company with 124 years of tradition.
Old style downtube decal.
Left:Chromed seat lug. Production bikes will have seat stays mounted higher on the seat tube. Made in Taiwan.
Middle:Chromed head lugs? Check.
Bottom:Nice eyelet on the drop outs.
Bianchi USA managed to get me a sneak jpg from the 2009 catalog. Apparently, it is “Dolomiti” instead of “Dolomite”. Strangely enough, Bianchi’s Japanese division did have a model called the “Dolomite” a few years ago, but it was a hybrid city bike.
Notice how the seat stays hit the seat tube right below the seat lug in a more traditional position, unlike the pre-production example.
The 2009 Dolomiti will have Campagnolo Veloce 10sp, featuring the newly reshaped Ergopower hoods. I get the feeling that a lot of people are on the fence about the levers’ new aesthetics, but I can say that I really like the feel of the levers.