By Scott Packard
on 5.18.12
Photo by Bianchi

Bring some sprezzatura (that’s essentially Italian for inner-swagger) to the peloton in the next Gran Fondo astride Bianchi’s Impulso Ultegra road bike. This cool Italian entry-level racer matches less expensive Shimano 105 and Tiagra components with Shimano’s second-tier Ultegra where it really counts — the shifters and a 10-speed rear derailleur. Its elegant aluminum frame owes those fine lines to a new process called hydroforming, which uses hydraulic pressure to dial in the tube shape and wall thickness in a way the traditional extrusion method cannot. Think carbon fiber customization and stiffness at a chromoly price point. This allows Bianchi to customize each part of the frame to maximize rigidity and strength while minimizing weight. The result: a near-race ready velo under 21 pounds. The Ultegra-equipped version of the Impulso comes in an understated black — the lower priced 105 comes in Bianchi’s signature color, Celeste. Swap out the bullet-proof wheelset for your lightweight racing treads and you’ll be ready to take on your fellow Cat 4/5 competitors. Just remember to say “ciao” as you lead out the breakaway.

Buy Now: $1,700

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