Strengths: I have the "Electric Red" color, and the bike looks great with black lettering/silver highlights. Steel frame does an excellent job of absorbing the road vibration making this a bike one can ride all day. Ultegra groupo shifts incredibly well and is virtually silent. I don't know if it is the "newness" of my bike, but when riding next to others I can often hear their drivetrain while mine is silent. Cosmos wheels are solid and have needed no truing. Bike is very comfortable for all day riding, fairly light while feeling more than adequate to support my my 200 lb frame.
Weaknesses: At a $1650 retail price tag, one would expect this bike to come with better saddle, seatpost, bars, stem, and tires. These five items are all lowest end items on an otherwise higher end bike. I replaced the Vetta Cosmos saddle, Bianchi generic seatpost, Deda Piega bars, Linx stem, and Vittoria Zaffiro tires with better quality components (thanks to ebay/internet) which made the bike much more comfortable to ride. Nice that the bike came with pedals, but I prefer Bebop pedals with all the float to go easy on my middle-aged knees.
I have had this bike for 14 months and ridden 3400 miles, which includes 2 centuries and about a half dozen 80 mile rides. In Nov. '06 I wanted to get back into cycling and wanted a high quality road bike for long distance riding without the price tag. After weeks of searching, I found this "new old stock" 03 Vigorelli on eBay and bought it. With the great frame, Cosmos wheels, and Ultegra groupo, this Vigorelli looked perfect for my needs, all at the price of an entry level AL road bike at my local shop. It has proven to be an excellent bike, and I feel I couldn't have made a better choice. If you are looking for an excellent bike for daily fitness rides to long-distance group rides (centuries, MS150's, etc), don't hesitate to pick up one of these up second-hand.
Strengths: Ride Quality is the key factor here. The thing rides great and comfortably. Minimal vibration, feels well connected to the road and offers that great steel feel. This is the reason to buy the frame. The Cosmos wheelset has proved remarkably dependant in the face of some major potholes. The Ultegra components thus far have provided clean quick shifts but that is what one would expect of the group.
Weaknesses: Not the lightest, stiffest or quickest turning bike out there, but that's not what your buying it for right? When standing up and hammering away I can notice the frame flexing. There are moments a sharper turning radius would be welcome as well. The stock tires are prone to punctures. If you are riding on city streets they will not last long. Replaced the stock pedals pretty quickly, but hey, at least the bike came with pedals...
Now that I have had this bike for for eight months I feel qualified to write its review. This bike was purchased as first road bike. I bought the bike immediatly after the first test ride simply because it was far more comfortable that the other frames I had demoed. This still holds true. The bike is comfortable for three to four hour rides out of the box. While not the stiffest, lightest or fastest bike on the street it provides a great ride qualtiy and is quick enough to allow one to keep up with a fast group. While I would hesitate to do any serious racing (weight, stiffness, and turning sharpness being why) on this bike it is ideal for long group rides. The level of service provided by Outback Bikes has been key to my enjoyment of this product. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Similar Products Used: Only the five other frames I demoed.
Bike Setup: Bontrager Race Lite Tires
Shimano PD-R600 Pedals
All else as stock.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 14, 2003
Strengths: Paint job rocks! No cheap decals. Traditional Bianchi celeste green. 631 Reynolds tube set choice is technical and the welds are nice. Ultegra needs to be tuned a bit for the mashers but it runs smooth at high cadence and any higher upgrade drivetrain wise would be futile if not riding for a sponsor. Solid ride overall. No noticable flex, not whippy or lateral give when hammering. No vibration on good roads.
Weaknesses: Compact geometry means go one size higher on Bianchi. Frame made in Taiwan and has a decal for a head badge unlike the Bianchi made in Italy which is steel. Garden variety production frame from Asia produced at a fraction of the cost of true Italian made artwork. DeRosa, Pinerello and Pegoretti still manufacture in Italy and refuse to export the labor when building frames to save money unlike Bianchi.
After 900+miles: Attracted by the Reynolds steel and the Bianchi name, sharp paint job. The handling of steel is solid and deliberate with no shimmy on downhill 40 mph descents. The Ultegra components carry the machine, Mavic Cosmos are a bomb proof wheel set. The stock Deda stem is welded and not their best. Seat post with "Bianchi" name is too short for the compact frame (61cm) and is past the insertion line. Staying in the aero position on this frame is uncomfortable and works best upright. Maybe compacts are not best in larger frame sizes, 60cm+.
Similar Products Used: Trek 2000, Trek 2300, Univega, and the DeRosa Merak
Bike Setup: 631 Reynolds front end w/carbon forks and a 531 rear end, Mavic Cosmos w/SRAM 9.0 cassette 11/23. The rest is full Ultegra monitored by HAC4 Computer and WTB pedals. Deda generic style handle bars and stem. Bianchi seat and post.
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First of all I don't live in the US, I'm from Mexico.
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