Strengths: Well built, high quality components, and very comfortable ride and handling.
Weaknesses: Hard seat. Steel frame's a little heavy. Ultegra labels rub off too easily.
After an 18 year love affair with my Celeste '84 Campione, I decided it was time, and went looking for another Bianchi. I demo'd a couple of their Italian-built, Campy equipped models, but the Ultegra setup on the Vigorelli was like buttah! I left the "Made in Taiwan" sticker on the head tube. Who was I fooling anyway? Truly, I shopped and shopped and came away feeling like I got a great deal. The bike was screwed together well, the components are top-notch for a "consumer" bike, and it's been a joy to ride ever since. Still get compliments on the paint, which has a nice pearlescence.
Favorite Ride: TOMRV - Tour of the Missippi River Valley
Purchased At: Cycle Smithy - Chica
Similar Products Used: '84 Bianchi Campione d'Italia with gum brake hoods, sew-up tires, and matching Celeste green frame-fit tire pump!
Bike Setup: No additions or changes from stock. I'm looking for a softer saddle.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 4, 2003
Strengths: Nice overall package. First thing my wife said when I brought the bike home was, "It's a pretty bike!"
Weaknesses: I'm really struggling here... Uh, the little chrome doo-dads on the handlebar are too loose, and now I only have one.
I bought this bike on sale back in January at 20% off, and have no regrets after 1500 miles (and 3 centuries).
I was about to get the 2003 Giro (10% off), but they didn't have my size during the sale. Although I preferred the looks of the Blue Giro (except for the Wal-mart look of the black 105 shifters), I am happy with my Celeste Vig.
I was a mountain biker training for my first century with on my hardtail w/slicks. As the training distances moved into the 40+ mile range, it was becoming a challenge to keep up with my teammates when speeds exceeded 20+ MPH.
On my first ride on the Vig, I left my teammates in the dust during a 4+ mile 5-8% climb. It didn't take long for me to appreciate the benefits of losing 16 pounds (8 on the bike and 8 on the 100oz Camelbak) and riding on skinny tires, and I've been spending much less time on the MTB trails since.
The steel frame and carbon fork provide a very comfortable ride. The vig is solid in all aspects of bay area cycling: climbing, descending, cruising, and looking good on a bike rack.
The Ultegra gruppo is wonderful, except that my cassette is a SRAM R9 12-26. According to the specs, it should have been an Ultegra 12-27. Could have used the 27 cog on Old La Honda...
I'm still on the originial Vittoria HSD celeste sidewalls, and they are probably good for another few months. Tough choice ahead: what color sidewalls goes best with Celeste?
The Mavic Cosmos wheelset really show their stuff on descents. The front wheel is a little out of true, mostly likely due to my MTB habit of bunny hopping speed bumps.
On several occasions, the seat was uncomfy but so is every bike seat that I've owned.
Thanks to the added float of the Time Aliums, my right shoe managed to rubbed off some of the lettering on the crank, which now is an "egra".
Other tidbits: I'm 5-11, 167 lbs riding on a size 57. I had to swap to a shorter stem even though my arms are 33. Legs are also 33. First time I realized that I'm symmetric...
Similar Products Used: Demo'ed 02 LeMond BA, 03 Trek 2100 & 2200, 03 Giro, 03 Giant TCR1. My previous road bike was a $200 circa late 80's model that became a piece of decoration back in my Chicago loft.
Bike Setup: Stock triple except I replaced the pedals with Time Aliums off my mountain bike when I upgraded to Time Z's. I'm carrying too much stuff in the saddle bag, including a Topeak multi-tool. Those darn MTB habits are hard to break.
a Recreational Rider
from Portland, OR
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2003
Strengths: Great on the descents. Solid components and wheel set. I'm 6'4" and over 200, but this thing hugs the road wondrously.
Weaknesses: I'm not a big fan of the paint, but hesitations in this regard took a back seat to the bike's impressive functionality.
Sooo comfy. Difficult decision between this and the 2003 Giro, but the steel frame and better components won the day.
Weaknesses: should offer this with campy parts,and a double though the triple will be nice for the assault on Mt.Mitchell! No true weakness but do put a better chain on it will help shifting a bunch
This is a good buy, a comfortable ride (esp. after you find a saddle that fits) this bike handles nicely you can throw it into a turn with confidence!It climbs well and I look forward to my next ride,this will be my primary bike and will set it up to race.
Similar Products Used: Bianchi Campione,Schwinn fastback comp.(alu)YUK
Bike Setup: Performance team saddle,sigma computer,Look 357's and ciussi cages
Dr Free Energy
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2002
Strengths: Great components, excellent ride that combines the excitement of steel with comfort.
Weaknesses: stock pedals
The Vigorelli is my third Bianchi roadbike purchased over 15 years (I still have all of them, and keep one on the west coast and keep two at home to insure having a functional bike at all times). The Vigorelli ride is very comfortable and exciting at the same time. Overall, the frame is fairly stiff, but not brutally stiff like an aluminum frame. In spite of the frame stiffness, I like the slightly springy flex of the steel frame when I stand up on the pedals. The carbon fork takes away a great deal of upper body jarring of a rough road. The components are a terrific value and I like the wheels. After years of riding Campy, I adapted to the Shimano Ultegra shifting system without any notable difficulty. The Shimano components also confer the advantage of familiarity for most bike store mechanics encountered on the road for emergency repairs. I'm now encountering difficulty replacing Campy parts on my 6 year old Bianchi CDI, so while I love Campy components, I won't buy Campy stocked bikes any longer if it can't be serviced. The only stock component on the Vigorelli that I don't like are the pedals, which I plan to replace. The stock pedals lack the same precise ease of getting in and out off as compared to my other bikes with Shimano SPDs, and they are not as stable. I've accidently popped out once or twice on the stock pedal on the Vigorelli. The stock pedals are SPD knockoffs, and out of fairness, perhaps they would perform better if I converted my shoes to their cleat - I've kept my Shimano cleats on my shoes. I'm a big rider, 6'4', and the Vigorelli handles very well and feels stable even at 50 mph. I've taken test rides on a dozen-plus comparably priced bikes and unequivocally, the Vigorelli delivers the best bang for the buck. If you are a recreational century rider, this is the bike for you.
Similar Products Used: Bianchi CDI, Bianchi Storza roadbikes and a Trek mountain bike (also many test rides on comparably priced Bianchis, Lemonds, Cannondales, Treks, Schwinns with steel and aluminum frames).
Bike Setup: stock, plus Cateye computer and additional water bottle cage