Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Bay Area, CA
Bikes: Well, there's 9 of them
My girl friend's 49cm 2003 Axis came with two dificiencies which I can share info about:
o Rear brake cable routing (2003/2004 frameset)
The rear brake routing is horrible for the smaller sizes (49cm and smaller, 44cm?). I believe the same is true for 2004 frames. Bianchi opted to use a nylon sleeved cable guide which attaches to the side of the seat tube (just below the seat post binder); instead of the usual cables stop on the seat stays and top tube. Note: the third top tube cable stop at the seat post is also missing. Most likely Bianchi chose this option due to the limited space for straddle wire clearance on the smaller frames. Anyways, since the cable guide is offset to one side, the brake calipers have uneven pull. You can offset the caliper tension to compensate for this somewhat, but the package in it's entirety is still klugey.
What we've done is installed a seat binder cable stop, and ran the external housing all the way through to the brake levers. The housing is held down to the top tube with disk brake cable hold downs (self adhesive style). For a long term solution we plan to rivet a cable stop to the top tube. Yes, this means drilling the frame, etc. Then we can route the brake cable as originally intended (something Bianchi should have done). Note: Bianchi should at least have included the third cable stop, regardless of whether they used it or not. Shallow thinking. On the other hand we don't understand why they chose the option they did, as we've not found any issue with straddle wire clearance. It's a little tighter than with the larger frames, but mostly adequate.
o Front derailleur cable routing (2003 frameset only)
The 2003 frame used a mountain bike front derailleur with a double crankset. Even though a mountain triple front derailleur requires more cable pull than a road, the Shimano 105 shifters had no problems moving the stock Shimano LX (mountain triple derailleur) to span two chainrings. However the LX derailleur would not span triple rings when used with the 105 levers (mountain derailleurs get more cable pull via flat bar shifters).
So when we wanted to convert to a triple crankset we needed to use a triple road derailleur to match the cable pull of the 105 levers. Since road derailleurs are usually bottom pull, and the front derailleur cable routing was top pull, we needed to add a conversion pulley. This unit mounts at the bottom of the seat tube and wraps the cable back up to the front derailleur. The unit costs about $20 - $25. Bianchi Axis 2004's are configured with triple cranks, therefore already come with a road derailleur (Shimano 105) and a conversion pulley mounted to the frame.
Last edited by dessert1st; 09-27-04 at 02:34 PM.