Bianchi is the oldest manufacturer producing bicycles these days, having been started by company namesake Edoardo Bianchi in 1885. That’s nearly 130 years of bicycle production. Though the Bianchi name is often associated with road racing, the company got its start producing bikes for the evolving transportation market in the late nineteenth century. How fitting then we have this opportunity to review Bianchi’s transportation-focused Metropoli Uno.
Bianchi’s mission for the Metropoli line is to support sustainable transportation by making these bikes stylish, practical, and, above all, comfortable. The $600 Uno model is available in both traditional and step-through frames, while the $800 disc brake equipped Due mode is available as a traditional frame only. All three models utilize an aluminum frame and fork to keep weight down, which has the fringe benefit of offering great corrosion resistance. I’m thrilled that Bianchi choose a to spec a rigid fork rather than a cheap suspension fork. At this price point, you’re generally better off without suspension, both in terms of ride quality and longevity.
The subtle grey color of my Uno test bike looks great, particularly with the paint-matched fenders and the Celeste-colored highlights. From a practicality standpoint, the included rear rack is certainly a winner, including a removable plastic insert with built-in bungee cord. Clip it on when you need it, remove it when you don’t.
As the mission suggests, the Metropoli delivers an efficiently comfortable riding position. This bike’s long head tube and adjustable stem allow ample handlebar height. The ergo grips, with their mini-bar ends, are a nice place to perch your paws, and the sporty saddle has served me well.
The Shimano 7-speed Acera-based drivetrain functions well, and shows all signs of remaining reliable and serviceable for years to come. From my experience, these 7-speed groups are pretty bombproof. The 28, 38, 48-tooth triple chainring offers an excellent range of gearing for this bike’s intended use: plenty of low range to climb and ample high range for speed while descending.
The Uno’s linear pull brakes offer good stopping power in dry conditions, and decent performance in wet weather. However, if you commute year-round in adverse weather, the disc brake Due model is worth strong consideration for consistent all-weather braking performance.
My one criticism is aimed at the longer than necessary brake levers as they don’t integrate very ergonomically with the grip’s integrated mini-bar ends. If you slide the controls inboard for proper braking position, the shifters are too far away. If you optimize placement for shifting, the brake levers forced my pinky and ring fingers to wrap over the end grip’s extension.
Handling is relaxed, intuitive and predicable. In the best way possible, it’s a ride you don’t have to think about. Simply hop on, pedal, and let your mind run: the Metropoli will take care of the rest. While this bike is perfect for commuting it’s also light and efficient enough for recreational riding too as it does a pretty decent impression of a flat-bar road bike.
Overall, the Metropoli Uno has been a willing and eager partner thought my months commuting to and from work and navigating around town. As an experienced rider who’s spoiled by all of the latest and greatest technological advancements, it’s easy to underestimate how well a bike like the Metropoli will perform. This bike has far exceeded my expectations across the board. Kudos to Bianchi for producing such a functional, capable and aesthetically pleasing package at the $600 price point. The Metropoli is a winner.
- Price: $600
- Weight: 31.7 lbs (with rack and fenders)
- Sizes Available: 43, 47 (tested), 51, 55
- Country of Origin: Taiwan