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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting closer to pulling the trigger on a road bike, and right now the two main finalists seem to be the Specialized Sequoia Elite and the Bianchi Volpe. I want something that will be capable (eventually) of medium-duty touring, but I don't think I want to get a full-on heavy touring bike because most of my riding will be local fitness/recreational riding. I'm not interesting in racing, and being married with children I really need to find a one-bike solution. Advice along the lines of, "Buy a dedicated touring bike AND a performance road bike" doesn't help me ;)

I test rode the Sequoia Elite and loved it. Very comfy, it felt fast, and I think the silver with C-F seat-stays and fork is dead sexy. It had rack mounts front and rear, 430mm chain stays, and good gearing for my purposes. Based on what I read, the Shimano 105 component group shouldn't let me down any time soon.

OTOH, I was looking at a Bianchi Volpe this weekend and I sort of think it would be more useful for me. It also has rack mounts front and rear, good gearing, and a long chainstay. It doesn't have the sexy C-F, but it's steel so it should still be reasonably comfy. The component level isn't quite up to the Sequoia Elite, but probably still good enough for me. It's $300 cheaper than the Specialized, which is good. But the main reason I think the Volpe might suit me better is that it's a cyclocross-style bike, so it should be a bit more durable on gravel roads, unpaved shoulders, and smooth trails. I perceive that the Sequoia Elite would be a bit more fragile in such conditions.

Or am I wrong? Would the Sequoia be okay on gravel roads and light trails, maybe with some wider tires fitted? I am concerned that the Volpe would feel too much like my mountain bike on the road, with more weight and increased rolling resistance. Unfortunately I haven't been able to test ride the Volpe because my LBS didn't have anything close to my size in stock. (I am 6' 3" with a 33" inseam, 230lbs.) I would surely want a test ride on a Volpe before I bought it.

Anyone with experience on these or similar bikes? Does anyone have a cyclocross bike as their only road bike, and if so how do you feel about it?
 

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I Just bought the sequoia expert last years model. I use it all around the city.
I Love the bike. I plan to do only one upgrade the seat and post on it I do not like.
You might want to try the specialized tricross bike. It's a cyclcross bike
I liked that alot would have bought it, but received the expert model for $450 . I couldn't pass that up. I am 6'-2" with 34 inseam, 220 lbs. I ride the XL model .
I also would have bought a touring model . But decided I try this model with a rack
and paniers and see how it works out.
If you don't plan on doing longer rides say 20 to 30 miles you want to look into something like a sirruis model by specialized . I like that model also but I want to get away from straight bars for a while. I wanted to be able to try out spd pedals and other stuff.

I think if you take the sequoia you will have no regrets.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I definitely want something with drop bars and I do plan to do rides longer than 20-30 miles. In fact as a short-term goal I want to work up to a century. I know I won't want a straight bar for this because even after 10 miles of road riding on my MTB I am wishing I had some hand position options.
 

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That's a tough call. I used to own a steel framed Schwinn super sport with a carbon fork and carbon seat post. I now own a Specialized Roubaix with carbon frame, fork, and seat post. There is really no comparison the Roubaix is way more comfortable. The Volpe has a steel frame and fork (not so comfortable). It sounds like you already have a mountain bike for light trails. If most of your riding will be on the road I think would be happier on the Sequoia with the carbon seat stays, fork, and seat post. It will also be a great touring bike. Mike
 

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One major difference that I have found between these two models is (as you've mentioned) how it handles through some gravel. I took 2 similar Specialized and Bianchi bikes through some touring paces, including some short sections of gravel. The test was along the lines of comparing how they would do as touring and as a Cross bike. The only thing that I did not like was the way the Specialized handles through gravel. It's a bit squirly in the front end. Way too soft, and I did not feel totally in control. The Bianchi handled very tight in the same terrain and responded quickly to what I wanted the bike to do.

Does this really matter to most... probably not. But if you think you might use it for cross races, this is a HUGE difference in my book.
 

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This is my question exactly! I'd love to have the light, quick comfort of the Sequoia for my rides (usually 30 to 40 miles on hilly back roads). But most of my roads are paved with no shoulders and some are dirt--I don't know how a road bike will do on roads like these. I don't ride on trails. I would like to commute to work (6 miles, well paved, BIG hills, often wet roads) and have the option of light touring. I like the Volpe a lot, but am concerned about the weight. I'm wondering if I should come up with $400 more for the Axis to get the aluminum frame and better components--but will it be a better ride? I think the Sequoia may be a better bike for the money. I just don't know how it will stand up to more ragged roads. Advice?
 
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