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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-29-07, 07:16 PM   #1
ddmann
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I went in to buy a cycloputer this morning and........

This little girl followed me home. http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_volpe.html

I have read many threads with posters saying good things about this bike. I had looked at the webpage and devoured the specs, and although I have spent the last couple of weeks touring the local bikesops testriding several makes and models I just never saw any Bianchi's other than the ritzy road bikes. This morning while at the LBS I innocently asked why they don't have the Volpe. The kid looks at me like and comments "Oh I guess you haven't been in before" walks me over to the bikes hanging in the front window and asks me what size I am interested in.

To make a very long story short. On my way home from work today I picked her up. I had them change the saddle, put on some wider drops and install a longer stem for me. My credit card took a pretty heavy whack but I'm okay with that.

Currently it is raining cats and dogs so hopefully tomorrow morning I will be able to give my first riding review and also time my first TT for the Jumbo Challenge.
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Old 06-29-07, 07:19 PM   #2
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Schweet!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddmann
This little girl followed me home. http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_volpe.html

I have read many threads with posters saying good things about this bike. I had looked at the webpage and devoured the specs, and although I have spent the last couple of weeks touring the local bikesops testriding several makes and models I just never saw any Bianchi's other than the ritzy road bikes. This morning while at the LBS I innocently asked why they don't have the Volpe. The kid looks at me like and comments "Oh I guess you haven't been in before" walks me over to the bikes hanging in the front window and asks me what size I am interested in.

To make a very long story short. On my way home from work today I picked her up. I had them change the saddle, put on some wider drops and install a longer stem for me. My credit card took a pretty heavy whack but I'm okay with that.

Currently it is raining cats and dogs so hopefully tomorrow morning I will be able to give my first riding review and also time my first TT for the Jumbo Challenge.
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Old 06-29-07, 07:20 PM   #3
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Hehe, sounds like one of my wifes shopping trips.
"I went to get the baby some clothes and ended up with a mortgage on a new house." lol

The volpe is a nice bike. It's on my list of bikes to testride soon for a new commuter, along with the Kona Jake (which I love so much).
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Old 06-29-07, 07:36 PM   #4
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Bianchi!..........Anytime a little girl follows you home, it's gonna cost you money!
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Old 06-29-07, 07:38 PM   #5
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Damn. That's the bike i want. Was going to buy one this spring but upgraded the mountain bike instead. I think i am going to ditch my Trek 1000 and get one.
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Old 06-30-07, 07:09 AM   #6
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Ha, that happened to me once, I went to get some brake pads and the only pads they had in stock came with the car.
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Old 06-30-07, 07:44 AM   #7
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Nice looking bike. I love the color name "Gang Green"
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Old 06-30-07, 09:36 AM   #8
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Very nice! I think if I was to get something other than a MTB, that would be very high on the list.
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Old 06-30-07, 09:48 AM   #9
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Nice looking bike. I love the color name "Gang Green"


Bianchi needs to be named CELESTE!
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Old 06-30-07, 09:51 AM   #10
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Awesome!

I looked at those but couldn't live with the color. Congrats!
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Old 06-30-07, 09:56 AM   #11
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The Volpe is a very nice bike. It makes a very good commute and light touring bike. Does it have the Tiagra with those little gear indicators?
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Old 06-30-07, 10:01 AM   #12
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That is a super nice looking bike, congrats ddmann!

-dave
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Old 06-30-07, 11:23 AM   #13
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Update: First Ride Impressions

Well folks I just completed my first morning ride with my new ride. Here are my first impressions along with a couple of questions.

Drops vs Flatbar
Okay this dropbar thing is waaaay different than flat bars. This is the first bike I have ever owned with drops and I have been riding off and on for nearly forty years. I did have a wider, (44 mm) set installed which does seem to help but folks it sure is a different ride. As a kid I acquired an old 20 inch schwinn with "normal" handlebars. Then in my mid twenties a room mate got me into the then relatively new Mountain Bike craze. That bike has probably had four or five sets of bars on it culminating with the perfectly flat and straight bars I have on it now. So while I have owned and ridden bikes for nearly forty years this is my first bike with drops.

Shifting with Brifters
The good news is I managed to get used to that weird brifter shifter thing, (and yes they have window indicators in them - very strange indeed) but it was definately a learning experience, a couple times I hit the wrong lever. After reaching the top of a hill and heading back down I meant to upshift and did the reverse. Which brings up a question I have for all of you drop bar riders. Is it normal for the downshift from either the large or middle ring to the smaller ring to take a couple of pedal revolutions before it actually shifts? Overall the whole shifting thing seems to take a little longer than with a flat bar setup.

Gearing
The gearing offered on this bike was one of the prime reasons it interested me so much. The "ancient one", (so named by a current riding buddy, he just could not believe I was trying to ride an 18 year old MTB that is both heavily battle scarred and two frame sizes too small) had typical MTB gearing that was offered at the time. The Volpe seemed to offer a much higher top speed potential with a wider range of of usable middle gears. This morning's ride seemed to bear that out. The granny while a little taller than the granny on the "ancient one" worked just fine for me. And in wide full out downhill, (wearing a silly smile I might add) I was able to top out at 31.24 mph vs. only 23.58 mph on the same slope before.


Brakes
The brakes are appear to be a little more effective than on the "ancient one" the front brake especially. BTW I had them install a second set of brake levers on the bars like the setup on the specialized Tricross. I saw them as a safety issue and I really like them. I will have to learn how to adjust them as the front pads are slightly rubbing the rim. The rear brake also seems a bit more effective. As I was riding the thought occured to me that they may seem more effective due to difference in wheel sizes - any physics majors out there who can explain that to me?

Pedals
The bike comes stock with some Wellgo double sided clipless pedals. They were set so tight that I had too take my feet out of my shoes and twist my shoes out of the clips, (after falling down of course - is this my first "dent"). I removed them and put on the pedals from the "ancient one". They are also Wellgo brand but are the Forte` Campus knockoffs. One side clipless the other side platform. They suit my riding habits much better. Hmm guess I have some trading material now eh?

Seat
I had the stock seat with the nifty leopard print replaced with a WTB model that is more anatomically correct. So far it seems far superior to old battered seat on the "ancient one". I moved it rearward on its rails to allow me a little more "stretch". I am one of those folks with short legs and long bodies and arms. I don't think I have ever owned a bike which truly fit me well.

Overall Fit
At this point after only one ride it is a little too early to tell. However, I still think an even longer stem may be in order. The stock stem on this bike is 110 mm and I had a 120 mm stem installed. After this mornings ride I am inclined to think another 10 mm may be in order. But like I already said it is probably a bit too early to tell. Once again only time will tell.

Well that about wraps it up. The only drawback to the ride this morning was that I failed to keep track of my time during any 3 mile portion for my TT for the Jumbo Challenge, I guess this means I will have to ride again tonight, (damn the luck).
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Old 06-30-07, 11:37 AM   #14
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The brakes are more effective because of the combination of better braking surface on the wheel as well as better composition of the pads. Also, because of better quality components in general in the brake pathway, from the levers to the braking hardware.
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Old 06-30-07, 02:28 PM   #15
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The Volpe was one of the bikes on my short list. I think she is sexier than the Trek 520. What did you name her? Dang expensive bike computer.
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Old 06-30-07, 03:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxgtr
Ha, that happened to me once, I went to get some brake pads and the only pads they had in stock came with the car.

LOL...same thing happened to my dad. He went to the store for a jug o' liquor and came home with a brand new '73 Ford pick-up truck.

Congrats on your new bike. I love Bianchis.
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Old 06-30-07, 03:06 PM   #17
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Bianchi needs to be named CELESTE!
Hey, I didn't name it! That's what it said on the website. I'm just the messenger.
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Old 06-30-07, 04:35 PM   #18
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Ugly color for cycloputer
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