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Old 01-21-06, 09:26 AM   #1
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Adjusting Ultegra Brakes, Bianchi Vigorelli 2003

Hello All. I just got a great deal on a 2003 Bianchi Vigorelli(new), and am trying to get everything adjusted. Any help would be appreciated.

1. Ultegra brakes. It seems like the brake pads are not very parellel to the rims. When I hit the brakes, you can see where the front or back of the pad hits first and tweaks the rim a little, which I don't want. Most pad holders I've ever seen have a ball and socket thingee where you can adjust this, but these brakes don't seem to have anything like that. You just tighten down the holder screw and that's it. Is there something I'm missing? This is my first set of Ultegra brakes. (the wheels/rims are very true, so it's not that)

2. The seatpost is horrible. When I try to tighten the bolt for the tilt/fore/aft/saddle rail holder, it doesn't want to stay where I put it. It keeps trying to go back where it was originally, as you tighten it. It's a Bianchi housebrand seatpost. I'm thinking of just replacing it with something better. Anyone with a Bianchi had this problem? What seatpost would you recommend? (the current seatpost is a Bianchi Alloy, 27.2mm)

3. The stock stem is a Deda Elementi Linx, 120mm. I need a shorter stem. The stock steerer tube is 1", chromoly. Almost all stems nowadays seem to be for 1 1/8" steerer tubes, but come with a shim for the 1" tubes. I'm wondering if the shim might make it difficult to get the stem tight on the steerer. Almost seems like it might slip around on it. Anyone with experience with this?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-21-06, 10:39 AM   #2
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1. If you don't think that your brake pads are parallel to your rim, the right thing to do is to figure out what's really wrong. Better-than-average bike shops will have a gauge for checking the alignment of your fork. More than likely that's where the problem lies.

If you are sure that the fork's straight, you can bend the arms of your brake caliper with a small crescent wrench.

2. The seatpost solution is easy. After you loosen up the clamping bolt, take a hammer or something and make sure that the bottom element of the clamp is loose. Tighten it back up and this time it'll stay where you put it.

3. The stem clamp shim should work fine. Some stems, like Thompson, require you to use their propritary shim. I've been using a Thompson stem with the correct shim for four or five years andd have had no problems.

Last edited by Retro Grouch; 01-21-06 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 01-21-06, 10:52 AM   #3
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I had a '01 Vig. Celeste, steel welded in Taiwan, Ultegra triple, ahead-type stem. Very nice bike.

Don't know about the angle of the pads but Ultegra brakes and etc. are quality, precision equipment.

Some seatposts are difficult to work with. I switched the one that came with the Vig for a FSA post with some setback anyway. Even if you don't need some additional setback, it might be a good excuse to get a CF post.

I also changed out the stem for a shorter stem. I think that Bianchi was one of the first road bikes to leave quill stems. The spacer on a new stem does not present any slip issues.

I'm not a mechanic but those were my Vig experiences.
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Old 01-21-06, 11:32 AM   #4
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1) The brakes just need to be tuned. The front of the pad should touch first and the two pads should touch at the same time. First center the caliper so both pads will make contact together. Then if you can adjust the pad so the front touches slightly before the rear of the pad. I use a small paper clip as my "feeler" gauge to make the proper angle. I actually made a small "tool" by bending the clip so I can mount it on the pad and free up both hands to make the adjustments (make 2).

2) Go beyond where you want the saddle then try tightening the bolt. The saddle might end up where you want it. I have both the single and double bolt type and that is what I do. May take a few adjustments to be perfect, but don't get frustrated because once you find the sweet spot that is one adjustment you may not ever do again unless you disassemble the seat and seat post.

3) I also have a 1 1/8" stem that I use on a 1" steerer tube. Just don't grease it especially on a carbon steerer tube, And use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts. You shouldn't have any problems.

Good luck the Vigorelli is a nice bike.
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