Finally, nearly a month (possibly longer) since my new bike was built up and ready to roll, I got to ride it ... outside. I've been suffering with lower back problems for several weeks, and just started soft pedaling on the trainer a few days ago. So, my plan for today was simply to get my bike, and my body, out of doors for short, easy ride to make sure both (bike and body) are working properly. The news is good on both fronts.
After a half-hour circuit down Old 37 and up Old Meyers Hill, I rode back to the house to adjust saddle height and setback. Then, I went back out for just another 15 minutes down to Griffy Lake and back up again. It'll take at least one longer ride to determined whether my bike setup is completely dialed in (I may need to adjust handlebar height a smidge), but I'm in no hurry. In the meantime, my back seems to have responded well to the climbs (we'll see how it feels in the morning).
So, how does the Bianchi Oltre ride? Initial impressions are favorable (which is a damn good thing given the bike's $6K+ price-tag). Because it's quite light (right around 16 lbs with pedals) and stiff it climbs better than any other bike I've ridden. At the same time, it seems stronger and more stable than I had anticipated such a light bike could be. Winds around B-town today were gusting to over 30 mph and the bike felt completely solid under me. It's also reasonably comfortable (especially after I got the saddle in the right position). It's not as cushy as my beloved Merlin Cyrene, but then what bike is?