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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is the right place to post, but here goes...

I am having trouble deciding which bike to get; it’s a flip between the Bianchi Axis and Lemond Poprad.

The Axis is a good bike for light off-road and largely road use, which is good for fast commuting and light touring. It has an aluminum frame, which makes it a bit lighter, although the stock components are nothing to write about with Shimano Tiagra front and STI shifters and an XT rear. However it does have a carbon fork which is a good thing to have on rough terrain. It has eyelets for fenders or racks, for both the back and front. Its color scheme is not bad with a blue and Bianchi green design. http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_axis.html


The Poprad is also a cyclo-cross bike but also a good road bike for commuting on those rougher roads. Its frame is steel which I believe can be heavy but very sturdy when you need that extra strength and stability. The components are quite nice with 105 front, rear, shifter and brakes. It has an alloy fork, which matches the color scheme of the bike, a metallic orange with light cream decals. Not crazy about the color although it is attention grabbing (is that good?) and fun. I don’t know if it has eyelets for a back rack, which is another thing that worries me.http://www.lemondbikes.com/2006_bikes/poprad.shtml#


They are almost identical in price $1250 with the Axis being $50-100 more. Another thing is that the Axis will have to be ordered and shipped from outside my province, which is an additional cost. The Poprad can be ordered through my LBS, since they are the authorized dealers. I have not ridden either bike; nevertheless I did a lot of research to choose the best that would suit my needs. The problem now is that I can’t decide which of these two great bikes to get.

Any feedback or advice to help in with my decision is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Chad
 

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What are you planning on using the bike for?

Do you want to do loaded touring?
Will you add fenders?
Will you require rear rack?
Will you require front rack?
Will you use it for competitive riding?

As you answer these questions certain factors become more important while others become trivial.
 

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This might not make much of a difference in your decision-making, but I think you're working with a couple of shaky assumptions:

However it does have a carbon fork which is a good thing to have on rough terrain.
Not necessarily true.

Its frame is steel which I believe can be heavy but very sturdy when you need that extra strength and stability.
Heavy? Not necessarily. Stability? No - that has nothing to do with the frame material.

bigrider's post is dead-on. When you think about how to answer his questions, you'll see it all in a different light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you want to do loaded touring?
Will you add fenders?
Will you require rear rack?
Will you require front rack?
Will you use it for competitive riding?
I dont want to do loaded touring, but light touring 50km one way, ~30lb bag.

Yes, I will need a rear rack.

No, front rack.

No, not for competitive riding.


I dont know if this helps in my choice, they both can be good for the above reasons.:confused:

This might not make much of a difference in your decision-making, but I think you're working with a couple of shaky assumptions:
They are shaky, you are right. I have little experience with carbon (rode a trek 5000) so I assumed that it would help. And never rode full steel before, but I have a hybrid Aluminium bike and its not the best for long rides, and thats another story.

Thanks guys for your response, and if you have more advice or questions please go ahead.


regards,
Chad
 

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If you are going to carry 30 lbs, then one pound more on the frame is really not important.

Both of those frames (looking at the 59cms) have similar specs including wheelbase, ht angles, st angles, chainstay length with one exception.

The virtual TT length of the Bianchi is shorter than the Lemond.

The Bianchi has a much wider range of gearing than the Lemond due to the triple and the 11/32. The Lemond has a little better choice of components in my opinion.

I haven't ridden an aluminum Bianchi, but own a Lemond Zurich and have ridden my friend's Lemond Alpe de Huez older steel frame/steel fork bike. They both have a sweet ride.

I wouldn't pay that much for either unless I could swing my leg over it and make sure the size they got me was the right one and it rode ok. If I was picking I would take the Lemond and swap out the rear der for a deore or xt and put a larger cogset on if I was going to do hills. If you are not climbing anything steep it would be fine as it is specd. I would see if it had rack eyelets. You can mount a rack without eyelets but I think it is better with them. My Zurich has rear eyelets.
 

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Since you're looking at Bianchis...

consider the Volpe as well. Quite a bit cheaper and a very nice ride for your purposes. I agree that you should test ride before buying, but it looks like you have limited options there. Maybe a Specialized Sequoia if you have a Spec dealer nearby.
 

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Neither my Poprad or my Axises (Axes?) are current models ('01 Poprad, '00/'01 Axises), but there doesn't seem to be much difference in the frames looking at the current incarnations. I agree the spec on the current Axis is not great, but they had to cut corners somewhere to meet the price point and still offer the carbon fork and a triple. I'm glad to have gotten the ones with 105/LX/XT and a RaceFace double and a very good knock-off of the Kinesis 'cross fork. I'd quibble with your characterization of the Axis as good for "light off-road"; I have no problems with bombing fire roads or doing singletrack. In fact, I prefer the Axis off-road to the Poprad because the bottom bracket on the LeMond is unusually low.

I can't say what the current fork on the Poprad is like, but mine has the straight-bladed steel one, and while it's not the cushiest, it does make for great handling in tight confines. The Axis is more mellow, which is not to say that it's any kind of slug. It's also the most comfortable aluminum frame I've ridden--I don't feel beat up at the end of a day of riding the way I might if I've been on a Jake the Snake.

If I had to choose, I guess I'd pull the trigger on the LeMond, given the current parts spec (which is ironic, since the '01 Poprad had Sora, compared with the goodies on the Axis). ...unless you have a parts stash that would allow swapping out the lowball parts on the Axis with 105 or Ultegra, without spending more money. If I were you, and I didn't absolutely positively have to have the bike right this instant, I'd look for a good used one on eBay or the RBR classifieds.
 

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If your shop (like most) deals with QBP (quality bike products), consider a surly cross check. They have a 'bike builder' through QBP where you spec parts and watch the price change. when you are done you order the bike. this saves the expense of swapping out parts. try 105 components, a triple cranks, and some tektro canti brakes.

I love my crosscheck. steel is more forgiving a ride. durable, too.

if you dont have big hills, check out the bianchi castro valley. it's cheaper and includes some extras like fenders and lights. but it has a single front ring which is great but limits your gears.
 

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I have had two poprads

I really like Poprads, I had a 2003 and then 2006. I discovered that while I really liked them I personally did not need the cross bike. Almost every ride I went on would have been better suited to either an MTB or road bike and I have a couple of each. The exception was dirt roads, the cross bike was great for dirt roads. I had the disc version of the 2006 Poprad, it is well worth the extra $ for the cool switchblade carbon fork and the disc brakes. I decided I needed a new Madone though so I sold the Poprad. I work in a shop and got it for cost though so I did not lose any money. I also had a 2003 Wayzata which is a flat barred road bike version of the same basic bike, great except I did not care for the limited hand placement options with the flat bars.

Bianchis are cool, some of the cross bikes I've seen are super nice. The material of the frame would turn me off though. Some guys love aluminum for cross bikes they never rust.
I stay away from aluminum bikes these days, I just don't like the ride quality and I worry they could fatigue and fail faster than steel. I'm a big guy so, I have to consider that.

All that said, get what you like and really important, what fits you well. The most comfortable bike in the world won't be comfortable if it's not the right size and fit for you.
 

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Kona: Jake the Snake

Just this fall I was looking at thoes bike for a commuter rig, I ended up going with Kona's Jake the Snake. I felt it had better ride that the axis, and was like $500 less then the Lemond, well at it was at my LBS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to you

Thanks to everyone who posted feedback, your advice was very helpful in making my final choice.

Ok, I went with the ...(drum roll)... Lemond. Although its orange, it is a unique and cheerful color. Now I need to find orange shoes and helmet.:)

The reason behind my choice was based on a number of factors, the great reviews here and elsewhere, the price which is about $200 cheaper than the Axis, and bike has some decent components(105). I'm only upgrading the saddle, cassette, chain, and headset(for now). In addition my LBS is doing the order, so I have some backup.

I will post pics and more info as soon as I get my hands on the thing. All I need to do is sell my current bike and be patient.

Thank you very much for your help and advice guys.:)

Cheers.
 

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Orange - classic!

Judging from your first post and the most current one, you seem to have some reservations about the color orange. Don't. Orange is THE classic color for a bicycle - especially if the frame is made of steel. Eddy Merckx rode ORANGE bikes and wore an ORANGE jersey when he was on top of his game and completely dominated racing for years. To those in the know, your ORANGE bike looks like a class act. Enjoy it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks

wim said:
Judging from your first post and the most current one, you seem to have some reservations about the color orange. Don't. Orange is THE classic color for a bicycle - especially if the frame is made of steel. Eddy Merckx rode ORANGE bikes and wore an ORANGE jersey when he was on top of his game and completely dominated racing for years. To those in the know, your ORANGE bike looks like a class act. Enjoy it!

You made me feel much better about my choice, thank you.:)
 

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Also,

You don't have to match your jersey with your bike. Pick a color that compliments and go for it.

Like Wim said, if you took a poll most would tell you the Lemond has a cool orange paintjob, at least I would.



Good luck.
 
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