Having some issues with my new Bianchi
I just bought a new Bianchi Infinito about 4 - 5 months ago and have been having some issues. I'm a larger rider, at 6'3 and about 255. I'm under 15% bodyfat, in decent shape and come from a strongman and throwing background - you'll understand why I'm telling you this in a minute.
Since I'm new to cycling and large, I wanted a strong carbon frame with a compact crankset, which the infinito has - the relaxed geo frame is just a bonus. I test rode the bike a ton and it fits me like a glove. I was having a hard time spinning up hills so I replaced the cassette with an 11/28 Ultegra (had a 12/25 105). This helped some.
First issue was a bent a rear rim in less than 250 miles - Fulcrum 7 wheels - I understand that happens, but with a 3 year warranty, I expected more out of the wheel. The shop trued it for free and attributed it to "new wheel break-in". We'll see how long it lasts. Not a huge issue and I will have a good set built in time. In addition, the rear tire, a Continental Ultra Sport, had to be replaced after only a little over 200 miles - crap.
Second issue is when I got the bike back from the wheel true, I rode it on some very steep hills which required standing over the bars and really cranking the bike side to side in what I thought was the 34/28 rings (the bike ended up having a 53/39 crankset on it). I noticed a rubbing sound - like the derailleur was rubbing after a few hills. Not so noticable on the flats. Took the bike in and the front derailleur needed a slight adjustment.
Took the bike out again for some steep hills in the 39/28 gear and now the chain immediately pops off to the inside of the inner ring within 10-15 feet on the hill. Put the chain back on and put it in 39/26 or 25??? (not sure what the second down from the 28 is) and the same thing happens. No problems riding on the flats or moderate seated hills.
I ride the bike to the shop and explain the problem and the mechanic attributes the problem to me flexing the frame so much the chain pops off. I find this hard to believe. I was able to ride the bike before on a some very steep hills before, why not now? This is also when the mechanic discovers there is a 53/39 crankset instead of the 50/34 that supposed to be on it. Kind of irritating as I spent $80 bucks on a new cassette trying to fix a problem that really wasn't there (if the compact set would have been on there that is).
I'm sure the shop will replace the crankset for free, but what about the "frame flexing" issue. I really like standing and hammering big hills on the bike and I dont want the F'n thing if I cant do that. I'd put money on if I took another bike out of the shop of similar specs that I could ride right up the steep hills and have no issues. I spent a lot of time test riding bikes and talking to the employees about "big guy issues" like wheels and such and this was the bike they put me on.
I'm just in the starting process of Bianchi and the shop solving this issue and I'm pretty sure they'll figure something out. I just want some feedback from you guys on whats a professional way to approach this with the shop (mainly the flexing, chain dropping issue). Thanks for any feedback.
Can't speak to the other stuff, but the derailleur/chain problem sounds like the tech just adjusted the low limit screw to eliminate the rubbing noise you reported and went too far, allowing the chain to jump off on the inside. Take a small screwdriver on your next ride and make tiny adjustments to the low limit screw so that the cage isn't rubbing and the chain isn't jumping off.
Frames flex as a matter of course, If you don't want as much flex get a mid 80's Cannondale (They don't flex but it isn't for everyone). There are some materials that don't flex as much and Carbon designs that don't flex as much as others.
It all depends on your area and how much leg power you have but spinning up the hills is better usually than mashing up them. A compact crank like you originally wanted should resolve that. A tweak on the front derailleur should resolve the chain drop problem also, It sounds like the rub was due to frame flex and or trim issue but it is real hard to tell.
It sounds like the frame is a good frame from the the reviews and everything, so get the cranks replaced to what you wanted, that will necessitate a FD adjustment and maybe a tweak to the way you ride and you should be good to go.
One thing to learn is that a bikes like more finesse than they do brute force (unless your riding BMX).
Last edited by canopus; 09-02-10 at 02:46 PM.
Thanks for the replies. I am a large guy in cycling terms, and I really like riding hard, but I dont ride my road bike like my full suspension mtn bike. I dont jump curbs, hit pot holes, or cyclocross with it, I just pedal as hard as I can for as long as I can. To me, there's no point in riding a bike to be fit if you're not going to ride it hard. Sometimes, I like to take hills that I cant sit down and pedal and I dont think its unreasonable for me to be able to stand up and mash the pedals to get up short, steep hills without the chain coming off everytime. You're correct I chose this bike, but at the direction of the bike shop employees and after many weeks of riding different bikes at different shops. The clydesdale issue came up everytime I spoke to a bike shop employee and part of the reason I chose this bike was the quality carbon, 3 year warranty wheels, etc. I hope the fix is a simple thing like 02pilot mentioned, we'll see what the bike shop says. Thanks again for the help....much appreciated.
That's cool man, personally i tried to make you look the situation from another point of view. This is what i would do ok? look for somebody in your area that could teach u the technical aspects of riding, and go out with the guy to ride a few miles, just follow him and learn from him, how he moves, why he does stuff, ask why. Looks like you are too full of your other sport and your other sport has nothing to do with cycling. One smash stuff the other one is like dancing ballet.
Regarding the frame and the problems you got, well... in my opinion the store doesnt know how to justify the problems, there is no brake in period in good stuff, period. I give them that the excuse sounds convincing tho, but it was a lame excuse, at least in the bike you have there is not brake in period, or works or do not works.
The issue you got with the chain was a problem with the fd alignment, they should have picked that up when they sold you the bike the 1st time. I have seen frames to flex but never at that limit. W/o seeing you actually riding there is no way to know for sure.
Regarding the wheels, if you can just go custom 36 spokes with velocity rims, that combination is bullet proof, in my opinion oversize hubs is mandatory also. And sell those wheels or trade them in the store for some other stuff.
I bet that somebody here can help you with your problems, the issue is who is willing to do it or who can recommend you another mechanic? maybe you need to start learning some bike mechanic also. In that way if the guy says something silly like the brake in period you can stop the BS right away.
Where are u located anyways?
Frames do indeed flex, especially when being mashed up a hill (the most stressful thing a bike will have to undergo). The forces are pretty large. Initially, you had front derailleur rub because the chain was probably rubbing the inside plate under extreme stress, since you did say it happened more uphill than on flats. The shop adjusted the derailleur limits to bring it closer to the bike in order to alleviate the inside rub, but I am guessing the amount of force you can put on that frame exceeds the buffer zone you can reasonably get within your front derailleurs caging while still maintaining acceptable shifting performance. The inside chain drop is evidence of that, assuming the mechanic did all that he could.
I would say, aside from better technique (mashing is inefficient, spinning at a high cadence is more efficient and less stressful on the bike), you could look into a chain watcher to prevent the inside drop, and keep your front derailleur adjusted to prevent inside rub.
ultraman6970 - I'm in the Portland, Oregon area. And you are correct about me being new to the sport and in need of learning how to ride my bike alone and in groups. I have a buddy that is a more experienced rider and I've joined the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association and the Portland Velo Club, just due to my work schedule and the fact that cycling is just one of many activities I do (wrestling, boxing, trail running, swimming, throwing, etc). I haven't ridden with the club yet. Since I've turned 40, fitness is my main goal in life and since I started cycling, I've dropped down to the 255-260 range from 300lbs.
I posted a "see me now thread" here (towards the bottom of the page) - http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-here!/page21
Velocity rims and HD hubs - somebody else mentioned that combo to me too, I'll check it out, thanks.
cbfight - Thanks for the suggestion on the chain watcher too, the shop said they'd throw one on for free once the new crankset comes.
See you my friend, i'm 41 but way out of fit hehehe Good luck with your stuff, learn as much as possible but do not get crazy, easy to get backwards for over doing the cycling, so take it easy you have a lot more years ahead ok?.
Yes the chain watcher is a pretty good idea also
Thanks for the advice, its always welcome.
Follow-up. Got the new compact crankset put on and the bike is rolling fine now. Come to find out the when the mechanic swapped the crankset he found the inner chain ring was missing two bolts, hence the flex and the chain popping off when standing. Working great now and I can actually get up hills spinning vs. stomping. Thanks again for the help.
What a strange oversight. Glad you're out riding with no problems. Enjoy the ride.
Originally Posted by maidenfan