Strengths: This bike rides beautifully. Both on the road and on trails. Easy to lean into corners. It's versatile, I use it as a commuter/beater, but also ride it off-road and race it. Flattened top tube for shouldering, braze-ons for fenders, this bike is ready for modification. With a few parts upgrades, you're ready to roll.
Also, trouble-free. Hello non-serious cyclists, trouble free bike.
Weaknesses: Heavy. I'm not a weight weenie, but in cyclocross, as well as commuting, you're going to be shouldering the bike. For a singlespeed, it's a heavy bike.
First, a brief explanation of the purchase price. I got a team discount. I think retail price was about $700.
So, there's been times when I looked at a crappy department store bike, the ones with "full suspension" that never see dirt, and are used as commuters. I've often thought about the kind of bike I'd design for mass consumption, and this is it. This bike is the proverbial cockroach that will survive the apocalypse. Why did Bianchi stop making this bike?
Similar Products Used: I also have a Kona Major-Major. This bike is very light but doesn't handle as well.
Bike Setup: I replace a few things with what I had in the parts box. The crankset was alright, but eventually replaced with an outboard bearing set up. Stock bars replaced with Ritchey "Bell Lap."
At one point I replaced the straight-blade steel fork with a Ritchey Comp carbon fork, but the handling suffered, I put the steel fork back on.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2009
Strengths: Bombproof, comfortable, and fairly fast for a bike with 1 gear.
Weaknesses: Braking performance
I bought this bike to spin around New York, and for commuting after I crashed in central park and totaled my road bike. It's completely bulletproof, and rides like a dream. The San Jose eats potholes and cobblestones and keeps on trucking.
Long story short, this bike is a winner, and is a perfect beater/ commuter. I swapped the fixie for a 16, because sometimes I like to stop peddling.
The only weakness I've noticed is that the braking surface on the stock wheels are weak, and don't like the rain.
Strengths: Crashed it....a lot...but it has held up. I have had all 200 lbs of me SMASH into a pothole at night that I didn't see coming while going fairly fast and flatted the tube but the wheel was fine. The hubs turn smooth, the rims rarely require truing and I ride this bike at least 4-5 times a week and hard (for a commuter) over potholes and all. Steel!
Weaknesses: Front brake shudder. I'm suprised more people haven't mentioned this. I am one of three that I have spoken to that have this problem. But I ride it fixed + clipped in so it's very rare that I even use the brake, which is good because I had to toe the pads so far in to quiet them that they have lost quite a bit of power. It's been over a year....I wonder if it's too late to try to get a new fork from Bianchi... Oh yeah also I broke the bars clean in half at the stem....but I think I had over-tightened them. Shoulda come with a deeper drop front cable hanger too.
Strengths: Nice steel frame is stiff yet compliant. Overall setup is light for what is essentially being used as a steel beater-commuter. It is simply a joy to ride and is holding up to daily abuse.
Weaknesses: This is a $600 bike, so there are obvious weaknesses off the rack, such as the throw-away seat. The wheels are holding up OK but they are clearly heavy and the rear likes to fall slightly out of true.
I've been using the San Jose as my commuter for the past year (I typically commute 16 miles rt 4 days a week year-round). I enjoy riding this bike as much as any other bike in the stable. The frame dampens the many bumps I face on the DC commute and gives me a stable yet fast ride. The single-speed setup - I ride 42x16 freewheel - is hassle free. I've also come to really enjoy riding single-speed, which works well for a varied-pace commute. Moreover, it gives me strength training that has noticably increased my climbing pace.
Not much has been changed from the original specs. The faux fur seat is $20 junk, so it had to go, and I also switched to 28 touring slicks since I didn't really need the knobbly cyclocross tires for my all-pavement commute. And I installed some fenders. Initially I thought I'd put a carbon cyclocross fork on it, but I've come to love the solid compliance of the steel fork. Just changed out the rear brake pads but no other maintenance other than 1 flat.
More info. below:
Was out on the new section last weekend and it is looking very nice. Really like the signage. Gives distance to/from trail ends and also what street crossing and the streets have signs for the bike trail. T ... Read More »
The San Tomas Aquino Creek trail is flooded and all the gates are locked, this next to the new 49er's stadium:
Lots of mud on some of the under crossings that were just above the waterline. Probably will take the city crews a day or two ... Read More »
[B]Cycling in Baja California[/B]
O.K. so I read about all the people who cycled from California all the way down south to Cabo San Lucas, most of them on mountain bikes. I’ve seen lots of their pictures taken during these rides. Still, I haven’t heard about someone’s experience riding a road bike ... Read More »
The ~6 miles of unpaved trail from Alviso down to Hedding St. past the airport started earlier this summer, probably running until next summer in stages.
This is a shot ... Read More »