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Just in: Bianchi Zurigo cyclocross bike

Versatile cyclocross bike with disc brakes from the iconic Italian company arrives in the office

What’s this, a cyclocross bike in the middle of June? Yes we know, the cyclocross race season hasn’t started yet, but here’s the thing, a lot of bicycle brands sell cyclocross bikes outside of the traditional ‘cross race season to cyclists who like the ruggedness and versatility of a cyclocross bike, but have no intention of going anywhere near a race.

The Zurigo is a lot more versatile than a proper racy cyclocross bike, like Bianchi’s own race-ready Zolder. You might even say the Zurigo falls into the trendy gravel and adventure bike category, which if you try and ignore the hype, is a better name for the sort of riding that many people buy a cyclocross bike for. Not to batter around a school playing field for an hour, but to cycle to work, do a sportives on, winter training, mixed terrain touring and the occasional cyclocross race. A bit of everything really, with a bit of rough thrown into the predominantly smooth mix.

Buyer’s guide to gravel and adventure bikes plus 11 of the Best

The Zurigo has a frame made from hydroformed triple butted aluminium, all TIG welded together, and using a geometry that is very similar to what you’ll find on the Infinito CV endurance road bike. The key differences are the slightly longer chainstays, a slacker head angle and higher bottom bracket, changes which should provide a bit more of the required stability when barreling down a gravel and rock strewn track or slithering along a muddy bridleway.

The frame is furnished with mudguard mounts and is paired with a carbon fibre fork with a tapered steerer tube. Most of the cables are routed externally, passing along the top tube, while the rear brake cable is routed inside the down tube. It's all very tidily put together and is unmistakably a Bianchi. The Zurigo Disc is available in five sizes from 49 to 61cm.

The Zurigo is offered in three builds, but we’ve got our hands on the cheapest model, which retails for £1,100. It’s kitted out with 10-speed Shimano Tiagra parts with a compact chainset and 12-30t cassette.

Bianchi has then specced Hayes mechanical disc brakes with Reparto Corse (Bianchi’s own parts label) wheels and aluminium bars, stem and seatpost. The saddle is a San Marco Era Start Power and tyres are 32mm wide Kenda Kwicker - the frame and fork will take up to 38mm tyres. The bike weighs in at 10.42 (22.97lb) for the size 55cm we have in for test. 

The Bianchi is up against some stiff competition though. There’s the slightly more expensive On-One Pickenflick which offers a titanium frame, good parts and lightweight. For not much more there’s the appealing Canyon Inflite AL 8.0 I tested not so long ago.  And offering hydraulic brakes with a simple drivetrain is the Pinnacle Arkose 2  

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David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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