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About Bianchi

Italian bike brand Bianchi was founded in 1885 by Edouardo Bianchi, taking its home at number 7 Via Nirone.

Nirone became the name given to one of the best selling bikes produced by Bianchi. It wasn’t until 2009 that the first female specific bikes in the range were created, and they’ve seen various iterations over the years.

Bianchi’s approach to women’s bikes focuses on fit changes, not an entirely new geometry. The bikes have always been available in a wide range of sizes, usually starting at a 47 cm frame, but in the women’s varieties they take this down to a 44 cm, swapping in appropriately sized handlebars, stem, and a female specific saddle.

This is an approach that some will nod at, whilst others are less convinced by – but it does become a little more sensible when considered in tandem with the fact that Italian frames such as Bianchi’s are known for featuring slightly shorter top tubes than most American brands. A shortened top tube is an adjustment most make when offering a female specific bike, and perhaps explains the popularity of Bianchi among the female audience.

The first women’s bikes appeared in the range in 2009 – aluminium versions were introduced with the precursory title ‘She’ whilst the carbon versions used the name ‘Lei’, which is Italian for she. In 2013, the brand upped their game with a wider offering of bikes modified to fit women – the Dama Bianca range.

Now three years into the range, it includes a selection of options – with women choosing between the bestseller Nirone, the endurance focused Intenso, the classics ready smoothness of the Infinito, the aluminium endurance ride the Impulso, and entry level carbon Intrepida.

Bianchi tell us that they’re slowly seeing an increase in the number of high end women’s bikes being sold – such as the Ultegra Infinito CV (around £3,400). One of the key drivers for this is encouraging bike shops stocking the bikes to carry a range of the higher end women’s bikes, something that owners have often resisted, but Bianchi are working hard to resolve with training and evidence of the growing market.

UK brand manager Andrew Griffin told us: “Some dealers are concerned they won’t sell many high end women’s bikes, but when we tell them to try it, they stock them – and they’re often surprised to see a good deal of interest from women looking to buy. Though you can order a bike in, customers often like to see the model on shop floor, and it makes a big difference. We’re working on providing that education.”

Sponsored rider Helen Croydon with her Bianchi, image: Geoff Waugh

The women’s ready Bianchi’s have been well received, with sales value and volume creeping up in the years they’ve been available. However, it’s worth noting that with shared frames, Bianchi are just as happy to see a woman on one of their unisex frames with fit adjustments made as they are to see her on a Dama bike. Regardless which option shoppers opt for, various initiatives such as their ‘Dama Days’ and a boost in women featured in their advertising certainly culminate to increase the number of women choosing Bianchi.

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