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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-11-04, 06:44 AM   #1
SAB
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Bianchi Axis '04

I am in the process of buying an '04 Bianchi Axis. I will use it more for winter/wet riding and light touring than actual cyclocross - I think it is just about perfect for this... In any case I normally ride a 52cm Trek 5200 with a 10cm stem, I've always felt this frame is just a tad too small- though it does just fine for me as far as I know. I am about 5' 6.5" tall and by the usual C-G formula I should be on a 53cm frame (31.2inch inseam by the book-in-the-groin-while-wearing-bike-shorts method). I am deciding between 49cm and 52cm sizes. I went ahead an had my LBS order up a 52cm, thinking that this would be the most likely size to fit, as I am afraid the 49cm would be too small. I also looked up some other 'cross bikes to the check their geometries and the Axis seems to run a little shorter standover height. The LeMond Propard for example has over 31" of standover in their 52cm size, compared to the Bianchi's 30.5". Advice? Thanks.

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Old 08-11-04, 11:08 AM   #2
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I fit a 52 cm on a Trek and Klein. I'm about the same height, ~28.5" inseam (short legs). I got an Independent Fab Planet X in a 48. Fits perfectly for me, even though I was worried it might be too small. YMMV.

Your best bet is to actually find a frame that's the size you want and try it. I never would've thought I could comfortably fit a 48.
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Old 08-12-04, 08:56 PM   #3
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Why the Axis as opposed to a Cannondale Cross or Trek XO1?
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Old 08-12-04, 09:27 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure that LeMond measure center-to-center on their seat tubes for frame sizing, rather than center-to-top. The LeMond also has classic geometry with a horizontal top tube, so that might help to explain the slightly higher standover. If you can't ride the bike before buying, I'd at least be trying to find a bike with similar geometry that you can take for a spin before laying down your hard earned.

If you want to use the bike for wet riding, commuting, and light touring, you might want to make sure it has enough fender and rack mounts. I've never looked at an Axis frame up close, so not sure what it has in this respect.
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Old 08-13-04, 06:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. Either way I'll probably just have to try it before I take it home. I'm also trying to judge which size to get based on effective top tube length. The 49cm Axis has an eff. length way shorter than my road bike and the 52cm is about the same. Probably the best size for me would be a 51, which of course they don't have! The axis has a few things that make it a good cyclocross bike to use for some light touring including fender mounts front and rear, a third water bottle mount on the underside of the downtube, and rack mounts in the rear. These are the same reasons I picked the Axis over some other cross bikes, such as the XO and Cannondale.
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Old 08-15-04, 12:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SAB
Thanks for the replies. Either way I'll probably just have to try it before I take it home. I'm also trying to judge which size to get based on effective top tube length. The 49cm Axis has an eff. length way shorter than my road bike and the 52cm is about the same. Probably the best size for me would be a 51, which of course they don't have! The axis has a few things that make it a good cyclocross bike to use for some light touring including fender mounts front and rear, a third water bottle mount on the underside of the downtube, and rack mounts in the rear. These are the same reasons I picked the Axis over some other cross bikes, such as the XO and Cannondale.
You are right, you are probably in between sizes. I'm 5'8" tall and purchased the 52cm. My girlfriend who is also 5'8" rides the 49cm. Obviously one is a little too big for you and the other a tad too small. The 49cm has a sloping top tube so that might be a consideration for you for cross racing (it's harder to get your shoulder under the top tube for run-ups). Otherwise the smaller size would probably be the better choice.

BTW, the Axis is an awesome riding bike. But one thing I didn't like on the 49cm (at least on the '03 model) was the routing of the rear brake cable. It's very klugey as Bianchi didn't weld on a cable stop, but instead used a cable guide that attaches to the seat tube. The rear cantilevers just don't work properly (they pull to one side, etc). Perhaps this was remedied on the '04 models. Again, this only applies to the 49cm model. Good luck!
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Old 08-16-04, 05:10 AM   #7
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Hmm... I test rode the 44cm and didn't notice a cable guide on the seat post (like the Lemond Propad, correct?). Perhaps they did fix it for '04. In any case, when I pick up my 49cm I'll have to take a look.

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