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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    2007 Bianchi Castro Valley ....

    ... now has a flat bar and a double in front.

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_castro_valley.html



    The double is a good thing, but why change it to a flat bar? I'm thinking of hitting the local Bianchi dealers and trying to use this as a bargaining tool if they have any 2006 models left. I could go without the double and if I can get them to about $600 or so for the 06 I think I might have a good deal on my hands.

  2. #2
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    that's too bad about the flat bar! i love the new color though. orange is way better than that rotten-limb green.

  3. #3
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    I love the green! Of course, I'm a little "color deficient" so what do I know

    I like the idea of the Castro Valley, but I'm not sure the generator light is enough. My dealer said it is akin to the little battery powered lights, those are like trying to ride with a candle on the pitch-black MUP I ride.
    My bicycle commuting blog: lop

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Well that takes this bike off of the list off bikes I might recommend as a commuter. I really like the previous iteration but the 07 version loses much.
    Craig

  5. #5
    Certifiable Bike "Expert"
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    Here's the 2006.

    What's the deal with the uneven fender gap? Uneven fender gap = UG-LEE.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducati
    I like the idea of the Castro Valley, but I'm not sure the generator light is enough. My dealer said it is akin to the little battery powered lights, those are like trying to ride with a candle on the pitch-black MUP I ride.
    The generator lights have similar wattage to the little battery-powered halogen lights, but they tend to be higher quality with much better optics. They aren't super-bright, but the beam is well-focused and it's enough to see the road.

    And if one light isn't enough, you can run two of them off the same generator.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj
    What's the deal with the uneven fender gap? Uneven fender gap = UG-LEE.
    I've noticed that with Bianchi's press photos they tend to have some strange imperfections. I've seen the same thing with the fenders and have also seen bikes with racks that aren't level, like this one.


  8. #8
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    I tried the Castro Valley -- with drops -- a few months back and wasn't crazy about it. Not lively enough and I already had my own light that was going to get moved anyway. Also, I didn't like the gearing, though it looks like they've added a FD for '07.

  9. #9
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    newbojeff: could you explain "not lively enough" a bit more? Do you mean the ride, the steering, the speed? Just trying to work out what you mean; I haven't ridden the leftover '06 yet. I did ride the San Jose, which I think uses a similar frame, and I would characterize the ride as "not lively" myself.

    Elbows: running two off one generator is OK for the generator? My LBS didn't mention that. Ideally I'd like to see one of those running at night on my MUP to make a decision. If I wait until "Fall Back" I might have a dark opportunity right before my LBS closes.
    My bicycle commuting blog: lop

  10. #10
    Sneetch Glottus's Avatar
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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!

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