Strengths: When the sun hits the subtly-metal-flecked frame, the frame does sparkle like the eyes of the Queen of Italy. I have never had such a fun ride.
I found another Eros on sale on Ebay and what did I do? I bought it for my sweetie. I guess that is a positive recommendation.
Weaknesses: The conventional headset failed in 500 miles. Factory saddle is a brick--I bought a Sella/Bianchi celeste Octavia. I have always had trouble adjusting the low limit on the front derailleur--it either jumps off onto the bottom bracket or won't shift, leaving me mashing and cussing on a steep climb, which gets me to my other beef with Bianchi. Considering that this bike is a triple, it is NOT setup for the steep hills of the Portage Escarpment (my hometown). With a low gear of 30 front to 26 back, you are only as low as ~32 gear inches which is *not* low enough for a 300 foot climb in 2000 feet. Put a book bag on the rack for a commute and I am really straining. Riding is supposed to be fun. How Bianchi promotes this as light-touring is beyond me. I bought a 13-28 cassette for $35 and I am debating on buying $150 of TA chainrings to get lower gearing yet. I think the real problem is that Campy only wants to sell to athletes. I picked Campy because the Shimano brake-shifters were less comfortable.
I depended upon the bike shop staff to select an appropriate bike. I am glad I selected steel, which was my hunch. A pox on those other shops who only wanted to sell me only those brands they had good margins on.
This bike is a world of fun for a grand. Sure beats a yuppie vacation cruise for twice that price.
I can tell that this bike accelerates quicker than my old bike that I bought on price, because I did not know that lightweight components, especially wheels, make a difference. That Bianchi frame design is something impressive, too, with the "zero-flex" claim for the rear triangle. Those Italian designers know their art.
Similar Products Used: What else? Yeah, the paint nicks easily, especially when new. I recommend putting it in a hot place like by the window every time you store it so the paint bakes for a few months.
My previous road bike was a 1989 Nashbar with similar geometry and heavier components. I can really tell the difference when I switch from one bike to another. I keep the old beast around for sloppy days and rail trails.
Bike Setup: Yeah, changed the saddle and the cassette. I use a Delta mirror that mounts to the top tube so you look back between your legs. Got a Specialized "computer" that really does not compute anything. I already spent $250 on repairs and replacements (see "weaknesses" above). Good thing I'm rich, ha ha ha. (Note: I am not rich)
a Recreational Rider
from Perrysville, OH
Date Reviewed: December 29, 2002
Strengths: Cost. Steel. Ride.
Weaknesses: Not many for a first bike. I am pleased with this bike. I would probably prefer a bike with the front indexed.
This is my first real road bike. It has very little flex in the frame, and has given me very little trouble. Shifting has been smooth and easy. Ride is much smoother than some other bikes that I have ridden.
Bike Setup: Stock with Topeak Pump, Sigma BC-1400 and Shimano Pedals.
from dallas tx usa
Date Reviewed: September 9, 2002
Strengths: soulful steel ride, frame has eyelets for touring, prestige for having a total italian spec'ced bike
Weaknesses: front non-indexed changer, no lugs, oem saddle, pedals (i ride in teva sandals)
could be a total veloce gruppo of they wanted it to be.
let me say from th outset im a strict traditionalist when it comes to bicycles and touring.
steel is real! all this hi-zoot carbon fiber, aluminium yuppie crap is for folks with fat wallets but weak souls.
i purchased this eros over the 2002 summer and have been riding it for around 3 months now and its faboulous!
ive toured extensivly on lower spec'ed
steel bikes and the eros is tops in build quality and component selection.
coming from the shimano side, i was pleased by the finish and graceful design of the crankset, hubs, and shifters. shimano gears have a rough industrial look at this price point.
the mavic tires have really held up and stayed true. here in dallas we dont have bike racks for the bus, so we take the bike inside(!) so the machine has had a little bumps and bangs entering and alighting from the bus, but not one thing has fallen off, been damaged or died on the ride home.
with the exception of the front derailleur the shifts are clean quick, though a little noisy. the front changer, unlike shimano, is not indexed and simply doesnt shift as well. when you are honking up a hill "trimming" the changer is a big hassle.
my bike is outfitted with the topline topeak pump, cateye computer, lights front and rear, kryptonite lock, and a brooks champion flyer saddle. and the eros still weighs under 23lbs!
a quality steel ride hasnt changed in 100yrs, the eros has very little flex in the rear and is extremely comfortable for long touring excursions.
Bike Setup: absolute commuter: pump, water bottle, computer,lock carrradice seat bags all on frame and it takes
a Recreational Rider
from St. Louis, MO USA
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2002
Strengths: Frame, both material and geometry. Design and equipment target the fast recreational rider perfectly.
Weaknesses: Vittoria Roma tires are squirmy.
The Bianchi Eros is an exceptional choice for cyclists who enjoy recreational riding, fast group rides, multi-day supported tours, weekend charity rides, fast centuries, etc. If you're into criterium racing, triathlons or serious road racing, you're better off looking at something more performance-oriented than the Eros.
The Eros' steel frame features neutral geometry (73 degree seat tube on my 59 cm. frame, for example) so it's not twitchy and lightning fast in the handling department. On the other hand, it's darned good for a day-long ride, or a week-long tour. Not that it's a touring bike; while it does have rack eyelets, it doesn't have the extra-wide tires and cantilever brakes most touring bikes use.
The shifting is good. My bike came set up correctly, with everything properly adjusted and it hasn't missed a shift yet. I thought the low end Campagnolo shifters might need regular adjusting to keep them shifting precisely, but after 700 miles that's not the case. Shifts have been precise and crisp. I did ride a Campy Daytona (now Centaur) equipped Bianchi, and its shifters had a slightly different feel and seemed a bit quicker. That may well have been subjective, but looking at the spec sheets, the Daytona components (and in turn, Chorus and obviously, Record) are definitely lighter and a much better choice for racing. The Veloce group brakes work very well.
The Mavic CXP-21 wheels are not the world's lightest, but again, Eros buyers probably aren't going to be competitive racers. These wheels are very strong; I weigh 210 pounds and have yet to need to take them to the LBS for truing.
The frame is perhaps this bike's best feature. It's steel, so it's not feathery light. But the heavily manipulated (shaped) downtube seems to produce a very stiff bottom bracket (I can stand and hammer and I get little or no flex, a real surprise given my weight), and the curved seat stays seem to enhance the steel frame's smooth ride. On the whole, the frame seems to soak up bumps as well as my old carbon fiber bike did, while still giving me a good feel for the road and what's going on where the tires meet the pavement.
From my point of view, the bike handles well, has a very good ride, and just plain works perfectly. Is it a full-out racing bike? No. But it's still an excellent road bike.
Similar Products Used: Bianchi Veloce, Giant OCR, Giant CFR-2, GT Force
Bike Setup: Cateye computer, Continental Ultra 2000 folding tires. Everything else is stock.
a Recreational Rider
from New Haven CT, USA
Date Reviewed: August 5, 2001
Strengths: The campy components work well, but the reason why I bought the bike was because of the rock solid steel frame. It transmits a little bit of road buzz, but is much smoother over rough pavement than any aluminum bike I tried.
Weaknesses: The Bike rode great accept a for few problems with the Ritchey pedals and the lousy saddle. However, coming back from GRABAAWR in Wisconsin (500 miles) the rear durailer got smashed and the hanger got seriously bent. They straightened the hanger, and I put a Veloce rear durailer on, but the shifts are not the same. MORAL OF THE STORY: use a hard shell bike case!!!.
If you are looking for a quality bike at a somewhat reasonable price that will last you a long time, this is the bike to get. If you are looking for the best components, latest frame materials, and newest technology, don't waste your time on this bike. Because this is a steel bike, its best suited for centuries, charity rides, and mile hogs (like me), and not racers. One last thing, NEVER, EVER ship your bike in a cardboard box!!!!!