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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for my next road bike. It will be either a carbon (one of the Trek Madone) or steel. Will be test riding some of the Bianchi carbon/steel bikes - Pinella, Virata and the Veloce as well as the Lemond Zurich, Sarthe, and possibly the ti/carbon Victoire. I am looking for feedback from owners of any of these bikes. I am most interested in your opinion on how the bike feels on long rides - over 50 miles. The rides I train for are typically centuries or longer and want a frame that is somewhat resilient on the road. I don't want mushy, my friends and I like to hammer at times and it must be a decent climber. Thanks for any input.

Steve
 

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not a great answer but i have a bianchi boron steel

and it is a great ride--so much so that i sold my pinarello opera last year--figured sell the one i can get more for as they rode very similarly. i think the virata is now carbon rear and eom 16.5 so that is like my 2002 opera (my boron is a steel rear end)
never rode a lemond, but have known guys with the older 853 zurich and one guy with a ti-carbon spine (forget the model name) and they all liked them

if you have parts to transfer then maybe buy a more unique steel frame from kelly, waterford, landshark etc

good luck
jim
 

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supercal29 said:
I am looking for my next road bike. It will be either a carbon (one of the Trek Madone) or steel. Will be test riding some of the Bianchi carbon/steel bikes - Pinella, Virata and the Veloce as well as the Lemond Zurich, Sarthe, and possibly the ti/carbon Victoire. I am looking for feedback from owners of any of these bikes. I am most interested in your opinion on how the bike feels on long rides - over 50 miles. The rides I train for are typically centuries or longer and want a frame that is somewhat resilient on the road. I don't want mushy, my friends and I like to hammer at times and it must be a decent climber. Thanks for any input.

Steve
I've been riding an '05 Virata for the past 2k miles and have no complaints whatsoever! I've done some upgrades such as the saddle, wheelset, stem and the such. More because I suffer from upgradeitis than anything else. I see the '06 model comes with the Elites rather than the Equipes, which is what I replaced with a DT wheelset. At any rate, the ride is very comfortable. I regulary go on 60 mile rides on the weekends and am as comfortable getting off the bike as when I got on it. I also regularly commute 30 miles to work and back a couple times a week. The Ultegra groupo operates flawlessly. Shifting is crisp and clean. And the Celeste color is a classic! I recommend it.
 

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I have worked for a few Bianchi dealers and...

they are nice rides. That said your criteria of comfortable yet stiff and responsive fits Kelly's design to a T. He builds all steel of course and uses oversize seat and chainstays so the bike is very reaponsive. 3.5 lbs for a 55 cm frame is competetive too.
 

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have to agree on kelly

i was answering about my bianchi experience, but i have a kelly luscious and it is great. i need a shorter stem but since you have to remove tape and brakes i have just been a little stretched out--it is in fact a great ride. hard to compare the 2 as my kelly has a steel fork, and the boron the carbon. hopefully this summer i will upgrade the 105 on the kelly to campy and then can do a same components and wheels comparison.

if i had to buy a kelly or bainchi i'd likely get the kelly

jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great replies - Thanks!!

Wow, thanks to all for the input. I originally wanted to go with a custom build by IF. But with 3 kids in college and a couple more right on their heels.....well..........you get the idea. I will check out the Kelly, I have admired the work because many on the 29er discussion board (mtbreview - the other place I hang out). I may end up with a production build because I can get a great price from my LBS - used to work there and they take good care of me!

Thanks again - any other Bianchi owners have feedback?

Steve
 

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I rode a Veloce for about 6000 miles. It was an '02 made in Italy. Now that they are made in Taiwan they may be different. I found the bike a little on the heavy side (24 lbs. road ready) but it was incredibly comfortable, resilient to rough roads and, of course "as stiff as steel."

I replaced it with the Basso Gap you see below which is noticeably lighter and has a slightly longer wheelbase. The Basso has the same characteristics but handles more smoothly.

It think it would be pretty tough to beat a good steel framed bike for centuries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fred, your Basso Gap is a beautiful bike. I have also considered something older, a classic that I could upgrade, although if you go too old you have the potential issue of the 126 mm rear end and deciding whether or not to stretch it to 130 mm.

For now, as far a Bianchi is concerned, it is between the Pinella and the Virata. I need to do some more research and compare the two frames, Campagnolo Centaur vs Shimano Ultegra, Scirocco and Ksyrium wheelsets, and then decide what I think about the Truvativ Rouleur Carbon Team Compact crankset. I would also want to swap out the Centaur triple on the Pinella for a Chorus double along with the Centaur long cage deraileur for a Chorus short. Plus the obvious, take each bike out on the road!

Thanks again,

Steve
 

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That's an easy one to answer. If the frame says Bianchi, then the wheels and gruppo should say Campagnolo. Thanks for the comments about the Basso. They've been making this frame since the 1970's up until 2003. Mine is a 1998 so it fits all the newest equipment just fine. Notice the Campagnolo gruppo and wheels. ;)
 

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Now have about 4K miles on my 04 Virata and I love the bike. Got it as a frameset only and hung Chorus on it with Protons. Comfortable, stable and stiff enough for me. No complaints whatsoever. Maybe the welds are not the prettiest and Bianchis are not exactly exclusive but those are non-issues for me. I have yet to see another Virata on the road and have received many compliments about the bike.

I say go for it and enjoy the bike.

Pags
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Campy was my first true love

and the love affair is not over yet! I have to agree with you Fred, if the frame says Bianchi, then the wheels and gruppo should say Campagnolo. My first road bike was a Raleigh Grand Prix given to my by my parents as a reward for making honor roll in high school. Next thing you know, I was swapping out the Simplex derailleurs for Nuovo Record, and built my first set of wheels with Record hubs laced to Fiamme Red label tubular rims! Pags, I like the Chorus gruppo you have on your Virata. All things being equal, I think I would like the carbon seat and rear stays on the Virata, but would like it better built with Campy. Guess I buy the Virata, strip off the Ultegra and sell it off to fund a Chorus gruppo.

Thanks again.

Steve
 

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supercal29 said:
and the love affair is not over yet! I have to agree with you Fred, if the frame says Bianchi, then the wheels and gruppo should say Campagnolo. My first road bike was a Raleigh Grand Prix given to my by my parents as a reward for making honor roll in high school. Next thing you know, I was swapping out the Simplex derailleurs for Nuovo Record, and built my first set of wheels with Record hubs laced to Fiamme Red label tubular rims! Pags, I like the Chorus gruppo you have on your Virata. All things being equal, I think I would like the carbon seat and rear stays on the Virata, but would like it better built with Campy. Guess I buy the Virata, strip off the Ultegra and sell it off to fund a Chorus gruppo.

Thanks again.


Steve
Wow...there's someone else that remembers Nuovo Record (we could only dream of Super Record).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Koop said:
Wow...there's someone else that remembers Nuovo Record (we could only dream of Super Record).
I was 18 when a couple of my best friends had a builder in our home town of Niles, Michigan, a guy named Doug Fattic, build them the sweetest custom rides. Reynolds 531 double-butted tubing and Campy Super Record..........man was I jealous! Ah, if only all the kids were officially out the door..........

Steve
 

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ride a '98 Veloce Steel frame with Campy Chorus

I bought a used '98 Veloce Dedacciai Zero Uno steel frame/fork off ebay and rebuilt with threadless all carbon fork, Campy Carbon Chorus drivetrain, and Topolino wheels -- reducing both my static and rotational weight and creating a GREAT ride! It is a sub-18, I too ride long rides and centuries, not a racer, and enjoy the comfort of Italian steel. My Bianchi is Celeste -- the color that rocks!
 

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Bianchiguy said:
I've been riding an '05 Virata for the past 2k miles and have no complaints whatsoever! I've done some upgrades such as the saddle, wheelset, stem and the such. More because I suffer from upgradeitis than anything else. I see the '06 model comes with the Elites rather than the Equipes, which is what I replaced with a DT wheelset. At any rate, the ride is very comfortable. I regulary go on 60 mile rides on the weekends and am as comfortable getting off the bike as when I got on it. I also regularly commute 30 miles to work and back a couple times a week. The Ultegra groupo operates flawlessly. Shifting is crisp and clean. And the Celeste color is a classic! I recommend it.
I've been eyeing the Virata '06 as well, but to be honest, the CARBON BOX scares me a bit, Bianchi had to cut off the BB to accomodate that "box", actually the "box" is half carbon & half steel, that scares me, a DEBONDING could be an issue later in the life of the frame?

Corsaire
 

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supercal29, I'll be interested in your impressions after test riding each of the Bianchis. I've only been able to ride a Veloce and my impressions are the same as those already mentioned--a bit heavy but very comfortable, good construction (I road a Taiwanese model), and solid gruppo. It would make a good century, fitness, or even commuter bike. I've not found a dealer in my area who stocks a Pinella or Virata. When you ride these, please post your impressions of them.
 

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Corsaire said:
I've been eyeing the Virata '06 as well, but to be honest, the CARBON BOX scares me a bit, Bianchi had to cut off the BB to accomodate that "box", actually the "box" is half carbon & half steel, that scares me, a DEBONDING could be an issue later in the life of the frame?

Corsaire
Actually, I don't think Bianchi does the cutting and bonding. I think Deda sells the whole rear triangle as a unit including the dropouts and the pieces of steel at the bottom bracket and monostay. I think Bianchi then welds the whole rear triangle to the bottom bracket and seat tube. I came to this conclusion by looking at other bikes with the same rear triangle. A good online example would be the Steelman frames. The steel parts of the rear triangle look identical to my Virata's. The derailleur hanger also is a Deda unit.

Of course there could still be issues with debonding but so far my '04 still looks great and is solid after about 5000 miles.
 

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The carbon box debonding could not be an issue after all, I just wonder how did they accomplish the "welding" of the carbon box to the steel BB ? I guess only time will tell...

How about responsiveness, have you hammer and accelerated in a paceline with it ?

Does it go at the touch of the pedal or flexes ?

Corsaire
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Robbie59 said:
supercal29, I'll be interested in your impressions after test riding each of the Bianchis. I've only been able to ride a Veloce and my impressions are the same as those already mentioned--a bit heavy but very comfortable, good construction (I road a Taiwanese model), and solid gruppo. It would make a good century, fitness, or even commuter bike. I've not found a dealer in my area who stocks a Pinella or Virata. When you ride these, please post your impressions of them.
As it turns out I may not be buying that new road bike this year.......wife started me remodeling the kitchen.......but I will post a review should I get over to the LBS and ride. Steve
 
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