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  1. #1
    Ride ride ride
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    Back on 2 wheels; Bianchi Axis or something else?

    Hey all! My name is John, I'm from the south hills of Pittsburgh. I'm 34, 5'9", 180 lbs and a runner (20-25 miles per week, ever since my doc said my cholesterol was high), looking to add cycling to my cardio again so I don't get burned out on running.

    I haven't had a touring/road bike since college, but I've had mountain bikes (some seeing many miles, some seeing far fewer)

    I'm considering a cyclocross bike (Bianchi Axis, '03 or '04) so I can do the rails-to-trails, 25 and 50+ mile road tours (using a spare set of smoother tires?), occassional road rides, and commuting to work 10 miles on good & bad roads. Is that the right bike for me?
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 5 Compact

  2. #2
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    that mght do the job. Cyclocross bikes usually have fewer gears. Middle aged guys should have 3 rings up front; saves a lot of wear and tear on the knees. There is a relatively new category called light touring. Often these bikes are listed as touring/cyclocross. I have one of those.
    But I prefer a light tourer. The real thing will use either cantilever brakes, or standard reach brakes. Either will allow you to mount big tires. If all you are doing in the dirt is Rails to Trails, you can use a touring tire easily. Such tires will be faster on the road. I like about a 28c tire with a kevlar belt. The Rivendell Rufy Tufy is an example. The Trek 520 is not a light tourer.
    But it's pretty cheap, and it would out of the box get the job done (might need lower gears, the dealer can handle that). It costs about a grand. If you can go higher, there are some amazing bikes to look at.

  3. #3
    Ride ride ride
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    I'd like to stay below $1,300 on the cost of the bike.

    Light tourer, huh? I'll have to check that out. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Get an '03 Axis, and a set of Performance Fuego wheels and skinny tires. The Fuego wheels are the exact same wheel as the Alex-320 wheels OEM on the Axis.
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=14862

  5. #5
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    I'm 34,5'8" and 133 pounds.I have a VooDoo Limba 'cross bike and a Rocky Mountain Blizzard mtn.bike.My 'cross bike has a scandium frame and Ultegra components.This bike kicks ass!Too bad they don't make them anymore.
    A 'cross bike would be great for what you're doing or a nice mtn.bike with a rigid fork and Conti.Grand Prix 1.0 tires.One thing to remember about 'cross bikes is the brakes suck compared to a mtn.bike's v-brakes.Even when you set them up perfect you won't have the same stopping power.

  6. #6
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    If you want to stay below $1300, I'd consider the used market too. The '04 Bianchi Volpe is pretty nice too and with the money saved over the Axis you could get all the necessary accessories.

  7. #7
    Ride ride ride
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    Forgot about the Volpe...much nicer color than last year's.

  8. #8
    Ride ride ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlastRadius
    If you want to stay below $1300, I'd consider the used market too. The '04 Bianchi Volpe is pretty nice too and with the money saved over the Axis you could get all the necessary accessories.
    Speaking of that, what are all the necessary accessories? Helmet, shoes, Camelbak, ....? How much coin beyond the bike do I need?

  9. #9
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    I second the Volpe
    Joe

  10. #10
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    Check out the Fuji Cross, sweet bike, less than the Axis. I would go with a cross bike if I could have just one bike, especially good for commuting.

  11. #11
    Ride ride ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by temp1
    Check out the Fuji Cross, sweet bike, less than the Axis. I would go with a cross bike if I could have just one bike, especially good for commuting.
    Got a website? I don't know of any Fuji dealers near here, but I'm sure their site has the dealers listed.

  12. #12
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    http://www.fujibikes.com/road/bike.a...yID=16&yr=2004

    Its not as cheap as I remember it being at Performance, but still a great ride. I believe it was around $1100.00. Great paint, in real life it looks like a candy cane.

  13. #13
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    I saw 56cm Fuji Cross at Performance in San Rafael, CA for (I think so don't quote me) $999. It's very nicely spec'd and very light too.

    In addition to the bike, you'll want a helmet, gloves, shoes, jersey, shorts, cycle computer with cadence, lights if you plan to commute in the dark, fenders if you plan to commute during rain, and a UCI license because you'll want to race CycloCross in the fall .

  14. #14
    Ride ride ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlastRadius
    I saw 56cm Fuji Cross at Performance in San Rafael, CA for (I think so don't quote me) $999. It's very nicely spec'd and very light too.

    In addition to the bike, you'll want a helmet, gloves, shoes, jersey, shorts, cycle computer with cadence, lights if you plan to commute in the dark, fenders if you plan to commute during rain, and a UCI license because you'll want to race CycloCross in the fall .
    That's about 3000 miles to the left of where I am! Hopefully I can find a similar deal here on a $1,299 bike.

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    If the bike fits you well I would spend the extra cash now because getting the right bike the first time is a lot cheaper than getting something cheaper now and what you really want later.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Stubacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Pgh
    That's about 3000 miles to the left of where I am! Hopefully I can find a similar deal here on a $1,299 bike.
    Where are you?

    Performance in Denver had two Fuji Cross bikes the last time I looked (about 2 weeks ago), both '04 models at $1099. Not sure on the sizes, but I'm guessing that's their standard price on it. I think they had an '03 at $999 or $899 at the store, too, but in a small size.

    Fuji seem to overstate their MSRPs more than most manufacturers I've seen, so I doubt you'd ever get charged $1299 for it.

  17. #17
    Ride ride ride
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    I'm in Pittsburgh, PA.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by temp1
    If the bike fits you well I would spend the extra cash now because getting the right bike the first time is a lot cheaper than getting something cheaper now and what you really want later.
    That's a darn good point, thanks.

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    The Axis makes a fine general purpose bike for roads and trails, unladen or with moderate luggage.
    Most CX racing bikes have low-ratio double chainsets, which are great on the road, but the Axis has a triple. It also has room for rack, fenders and 3 bottles. Its clearly designed for practical non-racing use.
    The Bianchi San Remo used to be a nice light-tourer, using caliper brakes which gave good fender clearance, but its evolved to a heavier style of bike in recent years.

  20. #20
    Ride ride ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    Most CX racing bikes have low-ratio double chainsets, which are great on the road, but the Axis has a triple.
    Is a double ok for relatively steep climbs, such as the ones we have in Western PA, or do I need the triple with a granny? The 03 Axis has a double, and I think I can get a very good price on it right now.

    Thanks everyone for the great advice and direction!

  21. #21
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Pgh
    Is a double ok for relatively steep climbs, such as the ones we have in Western PA, or do I need the triple with a granny? The 03 Axis has a double, and I think I can get a very good price on it right now.

    Thanks everyone for the great advice and direction!
    Depends on how strong a rider you are. If you get the '03 with the double, since it comes with an XT rear derailer, you could replace the stock 12-32 with a 12-34 or bigger cassette.

  22. #22
    Ride ride ride
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    Is "average" a decent answer? I'm not particularly strong or weak...always been in the middle of the pack in distance sports.

  23. #23
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Pgh
    Is "average" a decent answer? I'm not particularly strong or weak...always been in the middle of the pack in distance sports.
    I'd consider myself average as well. One thing you can do to get more range out of the gears is replace the 48/38 chainrings with 50/36 and the cassette with 12-34. Hmm come to think of it I think I may do that too.

  24. #24
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    My 03 Vlope has triple chain rings and 12-34 cassette. Resulting in a very wide ratio. It has mountings foor fenders, wate bottles and racks. It was ~$800. Why spend more?

    Joe

  25. #25
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    Its hard to judge gear ratios until you use them. A 36/48 should suffice for most hilly riding. I use the 28 granny on very steep hills.

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