Italian company Bianchi have launched a new 29er, the Methanol 29er, at its press launch in Italy this week.
Bianchi has actually been offering a 29er mountain biking for several years, but they were more affordable aluminium models. With the rising acceptance for the bigger wheels (the “latest novelty” they charmingly describe it ) and in particular the popularity of carbon hardtail 29ers, Bianchi has taken its Methanol SL cross-country race hardtail and given it the 29er treatment.
The end product is a great looking bike. There’s plenty of engineering to produce a frame as light as possible too, as well as making it as stiff as possible. This is an out-and-out race bike after all. There’s stiffening carbon ribs inside the top and down tubes, reinforcing ridges around the tapered head tube, and carbon dropouts help drop some weight.
A standout feature is the T-Net titanium insert embedded into the lower part of the downtube to afford extra protection to the carbon fibres.
Bianchi also launched, with understandably a little less fanfare, the Jab 29 which gets a hydroformed aluminium frame.