Bianchi Oltre XR2 or BMC SLR01

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 2:54 pm


Time for a new frame, and I have narrowed it down to the above.

Stack and reach for each are pretty much the same (Oltre has 4mm lower stack, 1mm more reach), and the frame prices are within $500. I will build it up myself with a mix of Dura Ace and Ultegra Di2.

I don't race anymore but still have good power, and I'm more of a rouleur than anything.

My biggest uncertainty with the Bianchi is the BB386 BB, just because I have no experience with it, especially with a Shimano crank. BMC uses BB86, and I have 2 bikes with this BB and no issues.

Anyone have any relevant experience with these frames that would be helpful?

Many thanks!

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by g32ecs

I've ridden 3 BMC frames from the flexiest - stiff, one of them being the SLR.

I loved that bike. Power transfer is amazing and it's an all-rounder. My "problem" with it is that I found it very stiff (was coming from a RoadRacer and RaceMachine). I just wanted something more forgiving. Plus, I had a frame a size bigger than what my usual size should be. In the end, I sold it to someone (I actually saw the guy podium on my frame).

I have no experiences with the Bianchi but a teamate of mine uses it and he demands a stiff frame. He's a sprinter and has podium'd and won on the bike all year. I'm sure he can recommend it to everyone.

If I were in your place, I'd take the SLR since it's within $500 and you said your 2 other bikes already have BB86.

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by ardennes777

The Oltre XR2 is by no means a more "compliant" or "comfortable" bike than an SLR01.

The Oltre XR2 seeks to play the role of an "aero-bike" that can still "climb".

Having test ridden one I would say that it is a sensational feeling bike that feels really put together and that provides excellent power transfer. Depending on where you are from, high-end Bianchi's can be quite "rare" and the XR2 in the "matt-black" colourscheme is a real looker and will definately get heads turning!

The bike does have a proprietary "aero" shaped seatpost, which coupled with a "tight" rear end can leave you feeling a bit ordinary on roads which are not necessary "silky smooth". This of-course is up to how much tolerance you personally prefer and how much "compliance" feels right for your body! As you have mentioned you were an ex-racer and not knowing what level you raced at, I would say that if you have ridden other high end aero bikes (eg Foil, S5, Venge) it feels a tad more compliant (slightly thinner stays) yet you still get quite a bit of feedback through the post and seat!

The Oltre XR2 further felt like it rode "on-top" of the road rather than "in" the road. The bike feels slightly "skitish" when accelerating out of mid corner and the bike being a bit tipped over. It feels as if the back end didn't want to grip with the road. This most likely is due to its stiff and sharp rear end. Do not get me wrong however, its not like you are going to break traction and go skidding out, rather it has slight "nervousness".

If I had the money to spend on the Oltre XR2 frame I would definately go for it though as it did feel very "efficient" and the issue of feedback/compliance didn't really bother me as it is alot more compliant than other aero bikes.

The SLR01 Team Machine is a really nice machine and I would say it feels again in a bit of a different league than the Oltre. The SLR01 doesn't have the gittery feel of the Oltre and therefore its nimbleness, lightness and reactiveness feels more planted and more at "one" with the road, regardless of all conditions.

For the money the SLR01 is a great machine (a more comfortable climber) as well!

If you are primarily doing flat/rolling type riding and you can handle a slightly more bumpy and non-compliant ride, go the Oltre XR2. If you are doing more climbing and want something a bit more "all round" that offers better compliance go the SLR01!

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That's very helpful, thanks!

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by jellybone69

well I have ridden/own a lot of different bikes, and mostly collect BMC's as well as literally just finished building my newest bike (Bianchi Oltre/MadFiber/EPS) so I'll chime in..

Go with the Bianchi, you won't be disappointed... SLR01 is awesome, but the Bianchi just has that Italian flare, I fall in love with it each time I look at the thing (Censsport custom rubberized celeste/black paint job sure help that) and although I only have 50km of riding on it, well it's rock stable and climbs like a champ.. Compared to my Look 695 which also has madfibers on them, well it transfers power way better, I find out of the saddle I climb much better, and there is a section near home that is downhill, fast and curves right, LOOK was great through that, but the Bianchi was even more composed...

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by tannerbob

Bumping this thread to hear from others

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by djconnel

My take: I don't buy into any "Italian flare" for bikes manufactured in Taiwan: the Bianchi is no more panache than, for example, Leopards which are sold out of Half Moon Bay near San Francisco, less even if you live near San Francisco. But they seem to have done a good job with their recent bikes, as BMC has done with theirs, so it becomes, not counting geometry differences which you can't discount, a weight-versus-aerodynamics trade-off. That's a personal decision.

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by kgt

Although "Italian flare" does not always mean actually made in Italy it may translate to a more balanced geometry, better handling, nicer design etc. etc. So IME italian flare still exists for many 'italian' bikes manufactured in the far east like Bianchi, Pinarello, Wilier etc. The overall design of the frame is equally important.
There is no doubt both SLR01 and OltreXR2 are at the top, among the very best road racing bikes available. It is a matter of taste at the end.

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by sharkman

Driven both frames and both are desireable framesets (the 2014 SLR feels better than the previous version).
Wouldn't buy the Oltre because of the seatpost collar which is not a very good design (spend too much time making these reliable) and the seatclamps that limit your saddlechoise too much (no Smp and several other saddles with oval carbon seatrails).

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I ended up buying the SLR01 and I am very happy with my choice. Most importantly the bike fits me well. The fit and finish of the frame is very high, well beyond what I have seen and owned from other brands, and it even comes with two different height headset dust caps to allow more stack height options, which is something all manufacturers should do.

It's an easy bike to ride fast, which is the highest praise I can give to any bike. It is very stable at high speed yet also responsive. Stiffness and ride quality is excellent, I really can't think of a negative thing to say about it at this point.

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by deegee

also one to consider is re sale value,,the bianchi oltre will hold a lot more of its price compared to the bmc which you will practicaly have to give away when your finished with them,which is no disrespect to the bmc as I have bianchi and bmc

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