Bianchi -v- BH Ultralight -v- Trek Emonda SL6 Advice needed.
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Bianchi -v- BH Ultralight -v- Trek Emonda SL6 Advice needed.

    HI everyone,

    Just after some of your thoughts. I currently have a 4 year old TCR Composite, but have the wife's permission to upgrade in the new year. I'm allowed (yes, we know who's the real boss..) to spend up to $5k Australian. I've looked a lot of bikes lately and I've come down to the Bianchi Infinito CV (for $4999.00), the BH Ultralight RC ($3500.00) or an Emonda SL6 ($3500.00).

    Now the issue here is this: If I buy the Bianchi I get a superb, comfortable and gorgeous bike, but with heavy training wheels. For the same money I could buy either the Trek or the BH and kit them out with some light Mavic R-SYS wheels for about the same outlay. This appeals to me as I'm tossing around the thought of doing an "Everest" next year. Besides this, blacked out Mavic's do look very cool if I buy the BH or Trek sans colour stickers etc. I like the stealth look.

    I have friends with the BH's who love them for their lightness, but at 50 years old I'm concerned about their ability to absorb crap roads. The TCR is awesome, but stiff and pretty harsh on some of the roads around my place. The Bianchi on the other hand should eat these for breakfast ( as we say in Australia..). I ride a lot of hills too, so of course lightness plays into the decision.

    My TCR has a set of Cosmic carbones on it already (not bad, but not suited to the hills so much), but I'm after a lighter bike specifically for the mountains (and crap roads). I've heard mixed reports of the Emonda and BH re: harshness and as I can't get a loaner for the weekend, then I don't really want to buy anything without some forethought and consideration (and advice/thoughts from you guys who do far more mileage than me!).

    So that's the dilemma for me at present. Gorgeous bike -v- very lightweight. Comfortable -v-potentially harsh.


  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Having not ridden any of them, I'd go for the Emonda since I put a premium on weight and I believe it's the lightest of the 3 & add the swank wheels. I personally think "harshness" among top-tier carbon frames is over-rated. I log 10k+ miles a year and can definitely feel a difference between my carbon & aluminum frames, but the difference between carbon frame harshness is so marginal imho I think you'd be comparbaly comfortable on any of the three you're looking at.
    2016 Cannondale Supersix EVO HiMod, Ti Seven CX, Ti Seven Singlespeed, 2012 Cannondale Supersix EVO HiMod,

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Ride them, see which bike fits you best. How much climbing do you do? I ask because I have found that small differences in weight don't really matter too much unless your climbing a lot. As for comfort, tire, seat and wheel selection can make a big difference.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    The Infinito and the Emonda have similar geometry:
    Emonda size 54 stack: 555 reach: 381
    Infinito size 55 stack: 567 reach: 381
    Emonda size 56 stack: 577 reach: 387

    The Infinito frame has room for some pretty large tires. 25c tires fit with lots of room to spare. I think it's frame vibration canceling is mostly on the high frequency road buzz. Larger, supple tires run at a lower pressure will soak up the very rough roads.

    A really lightweight bike is nice, but weight isn't everything. A full water bottle is about 600 grams. Can you tell the difference on climbs when your bottle is full or empty?

    I didn't know they still made Mavic R-Sys wheels. It just seems like a bad design. I guess they fixed the shattering carbon spokes? But it's still not aero at all.

  5. #5
    Reputation: mimason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Get the frame you really want and save your coins for a wheel upgrade next year or down the road. It's always nice to have a 2nd set of wheels anyway.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    A few grams here or there will not matter much. If you want comfort, you may consider a Domane in lieu of the Emonda. You will always notice the comfort.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Get the Bianchi, ask for permission to get a set of carbon clinchers next year, the year after that ask for permission to go to France for a two week bike trip up the mountains, the year after that ask for permission to get a new bike then repeat.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    I have been testing riding a number of bikes to determine my next purchase. They have include Specialized Tarmac & Roubaix, Trek Domane and the Bianchi Infinito CV. The Bianchi is the only one I said, WOW!

    I have an extended ride scheduled for this Saturday on the Bianchi to finalize my decision to go with the Bianchi. A nicer set of wheels for it are 6 months down the road.

    I believe you get the frame you want and add bling as you go.

  9. #9
    I love to climb!
    Reputation: Jwiffle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    It sounds like, other than the wheels, the Bianchi is what you want and like. I'd say get the bianchi. The bike is still going to be pretty light, regardless of the stock wheels. Replace the wheels at a future date. Get the bike now, then bargain hunt over the next 6-8 months for a wheel set.
    Stop in at Element Sports.
    Get Out! Have Fun!

  10. #10
    PMC is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Both the BH ultralight RC and Emonde SL are a decent step down from their top end frames (EVO and SLR)

    Not sure that is true for the Bianchi which while not the high end aero frameset is the high end non-aero setup.

    I'd do the Bianchi but that's me. I really like all three but it'd be my choice as I think it's a better starting point.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Tschai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

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