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  1. #1
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    Bianchi Volpe touring/cross

    I was in my LBS today, getting my mtb looked at. Bottom bracket is loose, but they are fixing, for free ofcourse. I was looking at cyclocross bikes and asking about touring bikes, and the guy showed me the volpe. He stated that it was a cross bike, but also a touring model. Im wondering if this bike does both aspects well, or am I just ending up with a bike that does both jobs but not very well. I assume I could switch the gearing depending on what I want to do, but I would rather not have to.

    I would like to do some touring for my vacations. My mother came to live with me, and taking days off and using the house as my center of operations isnt much of a vacation any more. My guess is I would try light touring first, where I would get to areas that had more amenities, but have tent just incase I need it. Later I would move on to actually touring and camping, but making sure I had things planned out.

    The guy at the shop also showed me a surly that was built up for another customer. It cost more, but only about $500-$600 total assembled. My concern with a dedicated touring bike was that it wouldnt be as fun flying down a dirt path, or on the road when not touring.

    Any advice for someone heading in this direction?

  2. #2
    On Two Wheels sam83's Avatar
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    Not done any real touring on my Volpe, but enjoy the long rides. Did Cycle North Carolina last year. Don't see why it would not be a great loaded touring bike. It's also my fendered commuter in the fall and winter. Works just fine off road with wider tires. Never crossed, but would not want to lift her several time per lap. Call me a wuss.

  3. #3
    tgbikes
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    I have both volpe and LHT. I was making peace with the volpe for touring, and low and behold my wife told me to get something I liked and gave me money to boot. 60 th birthbay. I built the LHT with parts I had and a fiew mew ones , The diference is the LHT is a real touring bike very strong and stable, I would compair the LHT to a moter home or Herse. The volpe feels like a sports car after the LHT. I've found that vopes are built in tiwan and over the years there has been variations in the equipment. Mine is a 97 model with 435 mm chain stays amd 127 rear spacing this is good for me and my big feet to clear csts. The volpe has worked well for a couple week tourers w2ith camping gear, and I go about 230 lb. If you cant do an a volpe what you want to do practice more!
    A child learns what the village teaches!

  4. #4
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    Im thinking more and more like the volpe wouldnt be so bad after all. I have never toured before, and I may end up really liking it, or not at all. If I do, I can get a dedicated bike down the road, and the volpe wouldnt have cost me too much. Plus, I could afford decent panniers and such, if I spend less on the bike for now. Also, I love to ride in general and commute to work three days a week. The volpe would probably be a more all purpose bicycle, and definitely an upgrade from my fairly inexpensive mountain bike.

  5. #5
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    I've never done any cross riding on my volpe, but I have taken it out on fairly easy off road trails. I have toured extensively on it, and it has performed admirably.
    Bikes belong in the motor city

  6. #6
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    tell me where

    a built-up surly for 5 or 600 hundred?send me the shop's address quick.

  7. #7
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    Although I wouldn't pick a Volpe for a world tour, it will ride shorter tours just fine.

    And the bike is really sweet in urban riding, trail riding, commuting... you know, the kind of riding we all do the 40-50 weeks a year we don't get to tour.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aphatrider
    a built-up surly for 5 or 600 hundred?send me the shop's address quick.
    It cost more, but only about $500-$600 total assembled. meaning the following. $500-$600 more than the volpe, not $500-$600.

    so easy to let your communication skills drop when using the internet.

  9. #9
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    How will a volpe differ from my current Trek 1000? (2005) How much slower will it be? How much more comfortable? Will the ride be better or worse?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    How will a volpe differ from my current Trek 1000? (2005) How much slower will it be? How much more comfortable? Will the ride be better or worse?
    I have no idea, as I have never been on the trek 1000 or the volpe. Someone else may know the answer to that though. I do have another concern though. I have heard that certain shifters are more reliable while touring. the volpe has them right under the brakes while the surly and the trek 520 has them at the end of the bars. Whats the deal there?

    I also find that, due to your avatar, I get the feeling that your yelling all the time. you could be saying hello or quoting poetry, but that avatar would still make me think you were on the other end with your keyboard screaming while typing.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adiankur
    I have no idea, as I have never been on the trek 1000 or the volpe. Someone else may know the answer to that though. I do have another concern though. I have heard that certain shifters are more reliable while touring. the volpe has them right under the brakes while the surly and the trek 520 has them at the end of the bars. Whats the deal there?

    I also find that, due to your avatar, I get the feeling that your yelling all the time. you could be saying hello or quoting poetry, but that avatar would still make me think you were on the other end with your keyboard screaming while typing.
    http://www.tomcruiseisnuts.com/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    Yeah, I know the tom cruise connection as I read a post were someone asked you about it, but it still sticks in my head whenever I read your posts. Its nothing personal, its the visual that sticks in my brain and manipulates my thought process. Oh Crap, the church of scientology has me!!!

  13. #13
    On Two Wheels sam83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    How will a volpe differ from my current Trek 1000? (2005) How much slower will it be? How much more comfortable? Will the ride be better or worse?
    Compared to my Litespeed Solano, it is a cushy ride. There is a complaint flex on big bumps.
    Compared to my old Lemond Tourmalet (steel), it feels more stiff in the bb.

    GF claims I'm faster on the Volpe. It is slower up hills cause it has to be 25 lbs+.

    Compared to the Trek 1000, it's slower steering and also won't jump out from under you when you stomp on the pedals. Is it slow? Not really that you would notice, but it's not quick. Would not make a good crit bike. But on the other hand, it's not twitchy, so it takes less focus to hold the line. That's nice, especailly when you are just out enjoying the day.

    Clearance for wide tires and fenders give it versatility as a general road bike over the Trek 1000. Plus you can mount racks an panniers on it. All depends on what you like or want.

  14. #14
    On Two Wheels sam83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adiankur
    I have no idea, as I have never been on the trek 1000 or the volpe. Someone else may know the answer to that though. I do have another concern though. I have heard that certain shifters are more reliable while touring. the volpe has them right under the brakes while the surly and the trek 520 has them at the end of the bars. Whats the deal there?
    STI brifters are more complicated and I suppose they fail more often or earlier than bar end shifters. They also perfom two functions (break and shift). I suppose that if something extremely severe happened (tremendous impact?), you could theoretically loose both functions. I would think this would be rare. Even rarer would be for this to happen any you want to (or can) get right back on the bike!

    If I was going to be in a position where I would not have reasonable access to a bike shop or phone or did not have or want to spend the money to replace them, I'd go with the bar end kind. Of course those bar end shifter folks will likely be hauling a portable welder with them just in case they break their frame!

    I think brifters are reasonably reliable. I mean, road racers use them and cross racers use them too. Our household has put 23,000 miles on brifters in the last 5 years and a couple took a lot of abuse without failure. I did replace one 10-spd brifter because it was not shifting well. One set of Ultegra 9-spd has about 9,000 miles and work like new. Personally, I think it's more a matter of style or preference, but I'm sure some bar end devotees might disagree.

  15. #15
    Velocipedic Practitioner
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    I usesd to tour on a Volpe and found it to be comfortable, reliable, easy to ship and carried all the load I ever needed. (Bear in mind my longest tours seldom exceed 10 days.)
    Other forms of transportation grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. - Iris Murdoch

  16. #16
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    Sam83 thanks, that helps a bit there.

    PurpleK I doubt I would go beyond 10 days to start anyway, maybe max at 14days but probably not right away. I would likely start out with a long weekend. Take a train somewhere, and take off from there, take train back. I dont have a lot of interest starting out where I live at this point, as I would feel that it would take me a couple of days to get to somewhere interesting.

  17. #17
    This user is a pipebomb brotherdan's Avatar
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    I was on the road for three months with my volpe in '03. It can carry as much gear as you need it to.

    Bikes belong in the motor city

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