Strengths: Pretty much everything above. Stiff nimble frame, high quality components, reliable functioning, confident climbing and descending.
Weaknesses: tricky to fit perfectly (but once you get it it's excellent), cheap and painful selle somthing OEM gel saddle (with thick stitching all over the tender areas), stock campy chain.
Found this bike at deep discount, with some better than OEM parts, to clear stock.
Excellent recreational and training bike. Not recommended for racing -- if you're racing, cough up the cash for a race spec bike. However, this is an excellent bike for long century rides, and spending days off work in the saddle, or just tooling around the mountains, foothills, country roads.
This bike climbs easily (the eastern Sierra is all about climbing and descending, climbing high, frequently, and without mercy in wind, snow, rain and blazing sun). It tracks rapid, narrow, winding descents with ease and finesse. Stiff frame, excellent energy transfer, tough wheels can take a hit into a pothole without snapping spokes or going wonky, and while heavier than carbon or some aluminum, it's responsive and nimble. Well worth the additional grams of weight. The geometry is also exceptional both in the saddle and while up and climbing.
Finally, the parts are excellent quality, Italian Campy everything (including hubs, crank, BB, brakes, levers, derailleurs, headset, cassette, chainrings). Frame is hand made Italian and welds are smooth and solid. Beautiful blue and yellow colour combo (couldn't go for that Bianchi celeste colour, no offense). Stock campy chain is okay, but wore quickly and lost smooth shifting early (about 1500km). Replaced with wipperman and all is well. Smooth, confident shifting, though that triple front takes a bit of focused concentration to master, especially while climbing.
As a serious mountain biker getting in to the roadie world i was not terribly familiar with road bikes. i went to the LBS to check out road bikes road a few bikes and finally ended up on this bianchi veloce. The bike is great it is verry nimble but will take you in a straight line. The stock Veloce components are good. The only ones I dont like are the shifters, they are verry high quality product, but they look cheap. However it is verry deceiver because they give a verry smooth ride and clean shifting. Im a big fan of the half adjustments that can be made on the chainrings.
Strengths: Affordable quality. This is basicly the same bike as the higher end 2003 reparto line like the Campione but with lower end campy. Engineering is great, very fast going down hill, delivers great acceleration on the flats and allows you to climb with dignity. Celeste Green tribal- love it or hate it, it is unique! Entry level Campagnolo components. You can upgrade as you feel the need.
High resale value.
This bike sets a standard that I aspire to be worthy of...
Weaknesses: Hard to get comfortable.
Some stock parts are throw-aways. Dump the saddle, get wider bars. Pick out a stem that allows you to ride in something other than '1/2 aero' position. Start saving for some campy hubs to replace the "Bianchi" brand hubs.
Hard to get touch up paint.
Difficult to mount fenders.
Aprehensive at first, I have come to love this bike. Handles beautifully and goes wonderfully fast when you need it. Very well made and quality components. It was not comfortable at first so I made a few customizations as listed below. Basicly Shorter-higher stem, wider Shorter reach bars, SPD pedals, bars, Brooks saddle larger tires & 13/28 cassette.
I think this is an excellent first bike for a person who wants to get serious about cycling with out spending money on stuff they may never need. This would not be a good bike for heavy duty touring as it does not have brazon eyelets for racks and fenders. Nor is it good for serious racers because it does not have enough carbon/titianium parts. It can be fitted with adequete bags for light touring if you look into the Carradice line of products that attach to a Brooks saddle. It will get you to places you never saw before, quickly and in style. I always get compliments on it.
Bike Setup: 13/28 Veloce 9spd cassette
Salsa 44 Poco bars
Brooks B17 narrow
Shimano SPD pedals
Ritchie comp stem (can't remember the specs)
Conti Gatorskins 28
Carradice Nelson LSLF bag
a Recreational Rider
from Grass Valley, CA USA
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2003
Strengths: Campy Veloce groupo (27 spd), Columbus steel frame, color scheme, comfortable saddle, Mavic wheelset, 21 lbs total, great fit.
Weaknesses: None for me at this time.
This is my first good bike. My stepson gave me his old Centurion Accordio 10 speed 4 years ago, which was good enough to get me really interested in road riding. I bought the Veloce the first weekend in April on sale, and I love it! This bike is a night/day difference from what I've been using. I'm in the 200 lb range, so the lite weight Columbus steel frame serves me well and the Campy groupo has turned out to be really nice for it's versatility also (ring finger down-shifts from the stem position.) So far, it's a great climber and I'm sure it will only get better as I do. (Grass Valley is a California Gold Country town southwest of Lake Tahoe.) Plus, the pearl white, gray and black color scheme is aesthetically pleasing to me. Overall, a GREAT bike for a great price.