I've read lots of great things about the CrossCheck...want to know if anyone has a thought about the CrossCheck compared to the Bianchi Volpe. The Volpe is avaliable at LBS...the CrossCheck can be obtained through special ordered if I pay for it upfront. The bike would mostly be used for commuting, some touring, and wimpy trails. I've also thought about the Kona Jake, but am not wild about the bike shop that has this bike available. Thanks in advance for your feedback.
I had a Volpe earlier this year, but sold it because it was too closely related to the Trek 520 I had. It was a good bike though. I would say that I would lean towards the Volpe as you have the opportunity to actually ride it. If you ride it and like it, then that's the bike you should use. The 2006 version I had, had mounts for racks both front and rear. Not sure if the one you are looking at does, but that would be important to me if I was going to tour and commute on it. I think the price is lower on the Volpe also.
The Volpe is probably beter for touring (lower gearing). On and off different models have lowrider eyelets. During 2007 some did and some didn't, which I noticed about amonth ago in a bike shop. I asked an owner about it and he agreed that it was weird, but had no idea why Bianchi did that. Anyways, the Volpe is as much a touring bike as it is a cyclocross bike.
The cross-check is a better trail bike, due to it's ability to accept pretty much mountain-bike sized tires.
Pick your poison.
Both will probably be very comfortable for long distances unloaded.