Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Mpls, MN
Bikes: 19?? Peugeot Monaco | 199? Trek Antelope 830 | 2005 Bianchi Castro Valley
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That "2006" model pic posted by Phantoj is probably really the 2005 held over. I might be wrong, but I wasn't aware of a 2006 model in production, just 2005.
I bought the 2005 Castro Valley in June and have been loving it. I gotta say that I like the drops better than the 2007 version ('course I haven't ridden than one, though), and there's a certain simplicity that comes with the front single chainring. On the other hand, I HAVE
been thinking about swapping out that ring to maybe get a little different gearing. I can't help but feel that the 9-speed cassette is a little on the high end when matched with the current ring (11-26x42). I hardly ever seem to use the highest gear or two, and I wish for a lower option every once in a while.
With the dark rides after classes this fall, I've really, really liked the generator hub, and even wish it could power a rear light as well. As is, I ride in residential city streets that are lit, but with shade trees creating plenty of darker areas. I put a bunch of reflective tape on my ride, then have a three-LED red blinkie on my saddle bag. My panniers, saddlebag, and jacket (not to mention my reflective vest that I ususally
remember to wear
) add to that reflectiveness, but an extra rear light would always help.
Up front I never add my quick-strap Cateye anymore. I find that the generator light (angled a bit lower than horizontal) works just fine for me. The Shimano LP-R600 light is actually two bulbs (a LED and a regular bulb). The LED is always on when the wheel is spinning (daytime running lights!), and the regular bulb can be switched on easily to light up the road in front of me. Its just enough to help out in the tree-lined streets or light up the darker MUPs in the ambient light of the urban area.
As far as that funky fender spacing in the photo, I agree that its more an issue with the photo than in reality. Mine looks fine and I added a rack that I managed to get pretty level as well.
Compared to my Peugeot Monaco (year?) and my Trek Antelope 830 hardtail, the Castro Valley is lively enough for me, thanks. I suppose a more road-specific bike could be more spry than this ride, but I've never felt like the Castro Valley has limited my experience at all.
If we outlaw evolution, only outlaws will evolve.
Cars don't kill people, drivers with cellphones do!