Moving toward a ‘new vision’ is a bold statement for any brand, let alone the oldest bicycle manufacturer in the world.
Now 133 years old, Bianchi was around even before pneumatic tires. The brand also produced motorcycles for decades — even cars under the Autobianchi marque, which was a joint venture between Bianchi, Pirelli, and Fiat.
When you consider the brand’s history with motorized vehicles in addition to bicycles, maybe Bianchi’s new vision isn’t so radical after all. While Bianchi’s new CEO, Pat Hus, asserted the brand will never abandon road racing, the company now will embrace a fundamental philosophy shift, focused on e-bikes.
Bianchi e-Omnia Bikes
Specifically, Bianchi is concentrating efforts on what it calls Bianchi lif-e (pronounced ‘lifey’). Currently, the Bianchi product line is about 90% road and 10% e-bike. But in the future, it expects those numbers to swing to 60% e-bike and 40% road.
And while bikes like the futuristic, $13,200 e-SUV provided inspiration for the new line, Hus says that’s not where Bianchi is going.
Instead, the focus is on sustainable mobility. Bianchi wants to build e-bikes that get people moving, with more approachable price tags, with smart designs and features that make life on a bike more enjoyable and practical.
That’s what the new e-Omnia line is all about.
Bianchi e-Omnia Design: Frame
Those design goals are apparent in the e-Omnia frames. Starting with a Gravity Cast alloy frame, Bianchi points out that this manufacturing technique isn’t the best for creating ultralight frames. But it is great for creating full-featured e-bike frames where grams aren’t as much of a concern.
The cast frames allow Bianchi to build complex frame parts, like the head tube that includes an integrated headlight, while also creating an intriguing design. The individual frame pieces are still welded together, but the individually cast pieces give the bike a distinct, uniform appearance without resorting to carbon.
Many of the e-Omnia models also include integrated rear racks that are welded as part of the frame. That makes them lighter, stronger, and impervious to rattling or coming loose.
Accessories and Battery Life
Bianchi states that it also partnered with Atran Velo to create a line of accessories for the e-Omnia line. It includes bags and child seats. Additionally, the bikes have locking batteries with Abus lock cores and keys, plus additional Abus aftermarket locks that can be added (and keyed alike) for accessories.
And those integrated lights? Those aren’t just for looks. Not only do they provide 360 degrees of visibility, but the rear light is said to be visible up to 500 m (1,640 feet) and the front to 100 m (328 feet).
What if the e-bike battery dies? Bianchi thought of that too — the lights will continue to function for 2 hours after the pedal-assist stops working due to a depleted battery.
When it comes to powering these e-bikes, Bianchi gets an assist from Bosch. All models feature a stout 85Nm of torque from the 250w Line CX motors, and a hidden 599w or 625w Powertube battery (plus select models with a double battery option).
What’s Coming to the US?
Bianchi first unveiled the e-Omnia line in Europe since, well, e-bikes are still more accepted over there. Because of that, the U.S. will see a smaller selection of the e-Omnia range.
Those models will include the C-Type ($5,700), T-Type ($6,000), and FX-Type ($7,500). Also, while European models will have the optional Blubrake electronic ABS system, the U.S. models will not. Don’t feel too bad, though — we get faster Class 3 e-bikes with an assisted top speed of 28 mph (on-road models).
Even though e-Omnia is just a small portion of the current Bianchi e-bike lineup, we’re told that a ton more will be coming down the road: “This is the beginning of a shift for Bianchi.” Just don’t expect Celeste to go anywhere.
Get all the nitty-gritty details of Bianchi’s e-Omnia line over at Bikerumor.