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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i would like to get a new steel bike and narrowed down my choice between a bianchi veloce and lemond sarthe. the problem is lbs in the area do not have these bikes in stock. any experieces with these steel bikes? i notice that they have different geometry, seat tube angle for bianchi is 75 degrees and the sarthe has a 73.75, any thoughts on these?
 

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Bianchi Veloce

I rode a 2001 Bianchi Veloce for a while, and it was really comfy (as are most steel bikes), but finding steel bikes anymore is difficult, especially with Campy! I think either one of the bikes you mentioned would be very nice, but good luck finding one to test ride, especially the Bianchi. Also, I have been told that LeMond's tend to stretch you out a little more, so if you have a short torso this may be uncomfortable for you, and you may have to play with the stem length. Have you considered an aluminum bike with carbon seatstays? Some of these bikes ride really nice now. I'm throwing this out there because not only are new steel bikes hard to find in general, they tend to be pricey too. You would probably have better luck finding a good steel bike on the used market, where you might come across something by Bianchi, Lemond, Fuji, Schwinn or Jamis, but if you want Campy that really limits your options.
 

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Mondonico or Torelli or Tommasini

All have nice steel frames, who said anything about Campy? I have a '99 Lemond that is 853 steel, really a smooth riding frame. I'm always impressed if i have not ridden it in a while how smooth it rides.
 

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You can't go wrong with either. The best bike i ever had was a stock Zurich 853 steel. It was smooth riding and it fit me like a glove. I cringe everytime i think about selling it to buy an aluminum cinelli. "Bad move" on my part.

That was an old Lemond but i would stand by any steel lemond based simply on my positive experience with the zurich. I also have had two Bianchi road bikes, a Vigorelli and my current ride is an Imola. Both steel and good to go. So I'll say it again, can't go wrong with either.

Good Luck, J
 

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actually the lemonds tend to have shallow seat tube angles so that when you place the saddle at your normal realtionship to the bottom bracket your reach to the bars will be less or the top tube starts further behind the saddle than the the steeper Bianchi so you won't notice the longer top tube. Currently i ride a lemond zurich, 853 main triangle chrome moly rear, super comfy ride. if you love steel consider a colnago Master x-light same seat tube angle as your bianchi and its stiff and light, my fastest bike. or consider a Cinelli super corsa. another great steel frame i use it for daily afternoon rides. if your on a budget look for a Raleigh international or professional frame 2003, Zona steel tig welded. the seat tube is slightlty less than your bianchi. they appear on eBay from time to time. i agrree with lone gunman those are great framebuilders. i had a torelli about 10yrs ago, cool ride. if your locked in your choices get the lemond. i don't thing the sarthe is a sloping tube frame.
 

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I haven't owned either of these, but they are both available at local bike shops, and I've spent a fair amount of time drooling up close. I originally wanted a Bianchi, but the Lemond really caught me. It is a very pretty bike. On paper, they are pretty similar, and as others have said, you can't go wrong, but after touching them, I'd get the Lemond. (they are both still equipped with Campy Veloce, right?)
 

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imetis said:
(they are both still equipped with Campy Veloce, right?)
Alas, for 2006 the Sarthe is an Ultegra bike (with a fair amount of Bontrager bits too, of course).

I looked long and hard at a 2005 Sarthe before buying my 2005 Buenos Aires. Both had Veloce (and Bontrager); both had very similar geometry and fit me just fine. In the end I went with the steel/carbon BA because I decided the all-steel Sarthe would be essentially the same thing as my Allez, except with no lugs. (If the Sarthe used a lugged frame, I'm not sure I'd have been able to resist it, even though the lugs would have made it even MORE like my Allez.)

And yes the Sarthe does have a horizontal top tube, if that matters to you. It would to me; I'm not a fan of the compact look but the mildly sloping top tube of my BA doesn't bother me, but with a retro-ish frame like the Sarthe's, I'd want a horizontal tube. And a frame pump.
 

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i thought you could buy a sarthe frame from your local LBS. bought my 2001 zurich frame as NOS on eBay and put campy centaur on it. It has shimano ultegra brakes, a cheap ebay option. gvhbikes has the best deals on Cinelli. the complete bike deal is best way to go if you can't transfer partts.
 

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Another thing to consider is that the Veloce uses lower grade steel than the Sarthe (Reynolds 631 vs TT OX Platinum on the '06 Sarthe, which I understand is more comparable to 853) I don't, however, know if this translates to any noticeable difference in weight or ride characteristics.

I agree the Sarthe is a pretty bike. I wish I had known about them when I was shopping around last year (ended up with an '05 Veloce, which is also a great bike). I have yet to see one in stock in any of the shops around here so I doubt I could have taken a test ride anyway. The Veloce is really hard to find around here too. I had to order one after test riding/fitting an Eros.
 

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Lone Gunman said:
All have nice steel frames, who said anything about Campy? I have a '99 Lemond that is 853 steel, really a smooth riding frame. I'm always impressed if i have not ridden it in a while how smooth it rides.
The two bikes the original poster was considering are both equipped with Campy, so I made the assumption that this guy was looking for a steel bike with Campy.
 

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Are you sure about the bianchi seat tube angle? 75 sounds pretty steep.

Both Bianchi and LeMond make some good value steel road bikes. Personally, I think that last year's LeMond Sarthe looked very attractive at the price. While I didn't have a Sarthe, I did ride a Fillmore for about 14 months, and I thought that it was a very nice riding frame for the money--I like what LeMond has done with the design of the OX Platinum bikes in their line and they seem nicely put together too. Loved the orange paint and panels. You may be able to find a 2005 if you look around.

If one geometry or size seems to suit you better, that could be a very serious, if not deciding, factor. Other than that, I'd get what you like. Personally, if the fit is there, I'd lean towards the LeMond.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
my size in the bianchi is a 53, and according to the website it has a seat tube angle of 75.
i seldom see bikes with that steep seat tube angle and i don't know how it will feel like. if the lemond lbs will not have a problem changing the crank to compact i'll probably order it...and the lemond is $200.00 cheaper.
 

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Hi all, new member here.

About 10 1/2 years ago, I was lucky to find and smart enough to buy a 2 yr-old Bianchi Reparto Corse bike made of Columbus EL Nivachrom steel from the owner of a bike shop near my office. Over the last 10 years, this bike has been the most incredibly dependable, supremely comfortable, and thoroughly enjoyable bike I could have ever hoped for.

Enjoy your search.

- rick
 

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Bianchi steel

I ride a Bianchi Veloce steel frame, equipped with Campy Chorus. It is the most comfortable bike I have EVER ridden. Maybe it is a pound or pound and a half heavier than other materials, but it still is one awesome ride and I would be hard-pressed to give it up! My seat angle is 74, with a head angle of 73, on a 53cm frame.

Have a friend who rides a Lemond steel/ti bike and loves it! Don't know much more about it.
 

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I would buy the frame that fits you best. Bianchis tend to have steeper seat tube angles, longer top tubes, and shorter head tubes than LeMonds. That translates into a more aggressive riding position suiting riders who like to stretch out with handlebars much lower than the saddle.

Personally I would pick the LeMond because their geometries fit my riding style better. I prefer a more upright position than most, and comfort is more important to me than absolute speed. I have owned several Bianchis, and old steel model with traditional Italian geometry that I bought back in 1985, and a newer aluminum/carbon fork model with much more aggressive geometry. The old Bianchi fit me well and was very comfortable, but I sold the newer one after 6 months because it was so uncomfortable.

I have never owned a LeMond, but that would be one of the first brands I would consider if buying a new bike right now. Their geometries are much better suited for my type of riding, and they have an excellent network of dealers across the country. From tracking sales of used bikes and frames on eBay over the past few years, I can also tell you that LeMonds have much better resale value in general than Bianchis. Most eBay auctions for decent LeMonds attract many bidders and sell for higher prices than other common brands. That should tell you something.

Finally, people who say LeMonds are more "stretched out" than other bikes just do not understand frame geometry. LeMonds tend to have more relaxed seat tube angles than many other frames, which effectively shortens their top tubes. Bianchis in general would fit much longer across the top tube than comparable LeMonds. Bianchis also tend to have shorter head tubes, which is fine if you can handle large drops from seats to handlebars, but bad if you don't have the flexibility of a yoga instructor.
 

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Wait a minute!

There are some serious errors in that last post, as a quick study of the LeMond and Bianchi websites will tell. While the LeMond does have a more shallow seat tube angle (by 1degree) than the Bianchi, it DOES NOT have a shorter top tube. A 55 cm Sarthe has a 56.5 cm top tube, while a 55 cm (compact) Veloce has a 55.2 cm effective top tube. For those frame sizes, a 1/2 degree change in seat tube angle will translate into about a 5mm change in top tube length, a shallower angle making for a shorter length. So when all is said and done the LeMond will have a 55.5cm top tube, vs. 55 cm for the Bianchi. The LeMond also has a steeper head tube angle (by 1/2 degree) which will result in slightly less stem setback and slightly longer reach for a given stem length. The LeMond geometry was origionally developed by Greg LeMond himself. He had a compact physique with strong lower body, and good flexibility in his lower back. He liked a lot of saddle setback, because it allowed him to take full advantage of his strong legs, and long reach to the bars for a horizontal back and unimpeded breathing. LeMond frames are really designed for people like Greg (medium height, longish torsos and arms, muscular physiques). If you're built like that the LeMond might be just what you need. If you're tall, have long legs, shorter arms and torso, the Bianchi might work better. At any rate, test ride both.

I'm a huge fan of the leMond geometry both because I have the physique for it and because of it's stable and predictable handling. It tracks dead-strait and is a very stable sprint platform, there is no handlebar squirm whatsoever. It begs you to ride hard. I've never ridden a Bianchi.

One definite advantage to the Bianchi is the Campy parts. Every time I ride a Campy bike, I'm amazed at how much better the stuff works than Shimano (I've been using Dura-Ace for the past 8 years), espescially the feel and modulation of the brakes and the shifting under power. Even Veloce, their fourth-level group, works great and has a finish quality only matched by Dura-Ace in the Shimano lineup. If Campy took the American market seriously they could take over in five years.

LeMond and Bianchi are both great names and you should be proud to ride either.

I khow where you can get an '05 Sarthe, 57cm, with Veloce triple group if you're interested.
 
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