BIANCHI E-OMNIA T TYPE

Italy’s version of the e-bike for everything

It’s highly unlikely that over 135 years ago when Edoardo Bianchi first conceived the idea of starting his namesake bike brand that anything remotely similar to the new E-Omnia could’ve been in mind. 

However, the business of bicycle design and technology has kept a quick clip since those days in Milan, Italy, back in 1885. 

GETTING ELECTRIFIED

Bianchi showed off their new e-bikes in Europe a couple of years ago, but none were bound for American shores—until now. We were invited recently to a launch party where we got to see the E-Omnia lineup, including the T Type that we are reviewing here, but they also had several other models, including a full-suspension electric mountain bike and a full-suspension touring bike.

“When you first swing a leg over, you really get the feeling that there’s over a century of bike-design intelligence that went into this bike.”

E-Omnia is Bianchi’s start in the e-bike world. The “E” is obviously for electric, but “Omnia” is from the Latin word for “everything,” meaning they’d like the bikes to be used for everything.

THE BIKE

Bianchi seemingly threw out the Omnia’s playbook for frame design. Most of the gravity-cast “tubing” isn’t round; it has lines and edges to it. To put in a big PowerTube battery in the downtube, they left it with edges and continued those up to the front of the frame, incorporating a fender into the built-in headlamp assembly. That headlamp isn’t some round piece that faces forward. It has facets that direct the light to the sides for better visibility.

The aluminum, diamond-shaped frame is very beefy with an integrated rear rack built into the frame for added sturdiness. The Suntour XCM air fork has 120mm of travel and is coupled with a suspension seatpost to help smooth the bumps in the road.

We love all the information you can see on the Bosch Kiox display.

 

THE PARTS

One of the features we really like on this bike is the integrated lighting. It’s mounted in a way that it’s visible from all angles, which is great for safety. It’s wired into the main battery system, so there’s no need to charge it separately, and they’re LED lights, so there’s very little power drawn to keep them lighted and doing their job.

The big 29-inch wheels and Schwalbe Supermoto tires let the bike roll over virtually anything, and the handlebar has a slight rise and a really nice, subtle sweep. The grips are comfortable, and all controls—from the brakes to the shifter to the mode selector—are all easily within reach. There’s an included bell on the bars, which blends in because it is black like everything else.

THE MOTOR 

Bianchi chose a Bosch Performance Line CX motor, which provides pedal assist at up to 28 mph. It’s a fourth-generation CX motor putting out 85 N/m of torque to get you going, even if you’ve fully loaded your bike.

There’s a 625 Wh PowerTube battery, formerly the largest capacity they made (They just announced a 750Wh battery), for plenty of power and long range.

Bianchi went with a Bosch Performance Line CX motor setup for Class 3 speeds.

 

The Kiox display is one of our favorites. It’s tiny, yet it has a bright, full-color display. It can show mode, speed, distance, range, average speed, cadence, your own power output, heart rate (with a compatible monitor connected), many more options, and maps to offer navigation as well. It’s removable, and taking the display with you renders the motor system useless until that specific display is reattached. It won’t keep someone from stealing your bike, but it will keep a thief from being able to use the motor.

The seatstay-mounted rear LEDs are mounted on an angle for increased side visibility as well.

 

WHO IT’S MADE FOR

The T Type is a great commuter bike that you can easily load up the back rack with panniers to carry all your stuff to work. It’s also a good choice for a touring bike; again, you can load up the back with everything you need for a long ride, and the 625 Wh battery will let you go really far. The battery is removable, so if you were going on a bike-packing trip, you can carry extra batteries and chargers to keep you going.

THE RIDE

The bike is just beautiful to look at. When you first swing a leg over, you really get the feeling that there’s over a century of bike-design intelligence that went into building the bike.

The power kicks in naturally and smoothly, which lets you feel like Superman when you take off. The Supermoto tires are perfect for this bike; it corners like it’s on rails. Try as we might, we never got past the point of no return on the grip. It easily gets you going up to 25–26 mph, but requires more effort to get it to 28 mph. 

Note the side panels on the headlight that offer increased visibility on the sides.

 

It’s very comfortable on long rides, thanks to the suspension and overall geometry of the bike. The stem is adjustable using tools, but we found that the stock setup was very comfortable and left us in an upright position. 

The Shimano dual-piston brakes work really well for stopping, and although the brake levers do not have cutoff switches, the Bosch system is measuring 1000 bits of information every second, so when you stop pedaling, the power cuts immediately. Also notable is that the power cuts for an imperceptibly short time when you shift to take force off the chain and derailleur. Overall, the power is applied very naturally. 

The Schwalbe Supermoto tires offer outstanding performance and grip, and you can vary the tire pressure to increase ride quality depending on your roads.

 

The trigger shifter for the 1×12 gearing goes up one gear per click, but can drop down three gears per downshift with a full press of the lever, making it easier to grab more gears when coming to a stop.

A reasonably slack front head angle and 120mm of suspension offer a confident and comfortable ride. Does the front end look like it was inspired by a bird’s head?

 

There are two versions of the T Type—the one we’ve tested and one with a lower step-through design that’s available with all the same features and specs. It may be a little easier for those who need a lower top tube to step over, though it’s a mere 4–5 inches lower at the seat tube.

The rear rack is welded to the frame. No need to worry about bolts coming loose.

 

THE VERDICT

We liked this bike from the moment we first rode it. As a commuter, it works really well and inspires confidence in riding. It’s a capable touring bike as well, with good range, ample power to flatten hills, and suspension that makes it very comfortable. In short, it’s just a great bike to ride. It’s expensive, but we think it’s worth the price. It is definitely a viable car replacement, which is the best value an e-bike can have.

SPECS

BIANCHI E-OMNIA T-TYPE

Price: $6200

Frame: Bianchi, aluminum

Fork: Suntour XCM34-Boost, 29”, 120mm travel

Motor: Bosch Performance Line CX

Battery: Bosch PowerTube, 625 Wh

Controls: Bosch

Charge time: 4–5 hours

Top speed: 28 mph (Class 3)

Range: 25–65 miles (claimed)

Rear derailleur: Shimano XT RD-M8100-SGS, 12-speed

Chain: Flaer Revo Via

Brakes: Shimano, hydraulic, 180mm

Saddle: Velomann

Seatpost: Velomann suspension post

Rims: Velomann Ebike Maxx 29”

Hubs: Shimano HB-MT400-B

Tires: Schwalbe Supermoto, 29×2.4”

Weight: 63.4 pounds

Color choice: Black

Sizes: Small (43), medium (48), large (53)

www.bianchi.com

edit