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Bianchi ladies road bike-what to look for?

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Bianchi ladies road bike-what to look for?

Old 03-29-11, 01:58 AM
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Bianchi ladies road bike-what to look for?

I've caught the bianchi bug-or at least a wish for an italian road bike. My husband has a mysterious old bottechia and he's gone just flat out gone down the highway while I huff and puff on any of my bikes. Being short, I've learned that the small diamond frames are too small for me despite standover height. My two diamond frame bikes look like children's bikes! So, I would like to find a bianchi woman's step through or mixte road bike. Women's bikes tend to get the short end of the stick and not get the same high end treatment like nice tubing and components. I have enough entry-mid level bikes so would like something deluxe that will have the bianchi ride people gush about. What lady bianchi road/touring models should I be looking for?

Last edited by Heatherbikes; 03-29-11 at 02:01 AM. Reason: brain fart
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Old 03-29-11, 02:37 AM
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I'm far from an expert in Bianchi's but I would think that finding a high end mixte bike made by that company would be fairly hard to find. If you would like an Italian mixte, I would broaden my search.
This is one gorgeous example: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-info-on-it...

Also, if you wouldn't mind going beyond Italian there are 531 mixte frames from other makers (I've seen a Raleigh and a French frame I can't recall). There are also Terry bicycles that are built specifically for women. If none suit your fancy, you can always order custom. A stunning example can be found here https://lovelybike.blogspot.com/search/label/mixte.
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Old 03-29-11, 06:04 AM
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unfortunatley I agree. most bike companies seem to keep their Mixte and ladies bikes in the lowerend models. I have seen, as melonbar points out, some nice Reynolds 531 Mixtes but alas they are too small for me. Bianchi did make a nice 'terry style' bike or two in the late '80s but they are few and far between. the '87 and '88 Sport SX were pretty nice.

can you ride a 56 Mixte? someone offered me a nice looking Bottechia but I am not sure of the frame materiel, I am assuming it is some sort of ChroMo. if you like I'll have them contact you before I seal the deal. it is a bit small for me, so I would rather see it go to someone who can really use it.

they area pricy but Soma make a nice ChroMO Mixte. https://www.somafab.com/bvista.html
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Old 03-29-11, 06:13 AM
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You might get lucky and find one in a reasonable time frame, but there aren't many out there.

Another option is to just buy a classic in a small frame size. For example, this swanky Italian 48cm is on Ebay right now: https://cgi.ebay.com/Biemmezeta-Hand-...item3a647d23ea.

Those chromed, thin-tubed beauties always look svelte no matter what size they are.

My wife's mid-80's classic (unchromed) Bianchi.

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Old 03-29-11, 12:20 PM
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thanks, I was thinking vintage-something affordable. I look at lovely bicycle DAILY, so know of her lovely bikes. I have a gitane mixte and a raleigh ladies sprite that are more city bikes. The gitane is about 54cm and the raleigh is almost 50cm...which fit me much better than my surly 46cm and small trek 420. But wouldn't say no if a tiny beauty came along!
Bianchigirll, 56cm might be a bit too big, any more info? I'm 5"2 so...might not work. Thanks.
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Old 03-29-11, 12:31 PM
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That mondial is beautiful, so not it doesn't need to be a bianchi. Just italian, whatever it is that makes people gush over their italian rides.
The geometry of the soma looks weird as if it was meant for men and on their web photos it is indeed a guy riding it so never pursued it when I was buying a new bike a few years ago. Would love love love a rivendell betty foy or something like that.
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Old 03-29-11, 01:45 PM
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Well there is this this mixte... But as others have said, it is not a roadbike model.

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Old 03-29-11, 07:55 PM
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Maybe as a guy I shouldn't presume to be giving a woman advice, but....
At 5'2" you might consider getting a standard diamond-frame bike sized to take 26" wheels. Then you will have safe standover height without the compromises that have to be shoehorned into a small frame that can still take a 700C wheel. Mixte and other "ladies" frames were really intended to allow women to ride in skirts and dresses. But Amelia Bloomer eliminated that rationale in the 1890s when she popularized the pantaloons that came to bear her name. Using a mixte frame that is too big for you still requires you to scooch forward off the saddle and drop your crotch below the saddle nose to put your toe on the pavement. If you don't have time to do that in an emergency you will tip over and come down hard on your ankle, trapped on the saddle just as if you were on a too-big "men's" frame.

My wife is 5'3" and rides a diamond-frame 26"-er custom-made for her as a birthday present -- she named it "Uxoria" after me. It fits her, she has toe-down clearance with an aesthetically appealing "fistfull" of seat post and stem showing. The smaller wheel gives her a somewhat lower effective gear ratio for a given chainwheel-cog combination and makes the triple crankset that much more versatile.

P.S. The actual word is "uxorious" which describes "a man excessively devoted to his wife." S. and her friends had a good laugh over that one. They say that "uxoriousness" would be a state to be constantly strived for but impossible ever to fully attain.

Last edited by conspiratemus1; 03-29-11 at 08:26 PM. Reason: got A. Bloomer's name wrong and incorrectly credited her with inventing them
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Old 03-29-11, 08:17 PM
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When I was in Turin this past October, I saw this lovely Leri mixte outside the Olympic Stadium. All campag (veloce?) and a super light frame. She let me pick it up and I'm thinking sub 24 lbs including all that gear.

The point is there maybe a lot more choice out there but you'll have to dig for it. Maybe in Italy.

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Old 03-29-11, 08:49 PM
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I have had several mixtes through the family collection and concur that they are usually lower end bikes. Not bad, certainly, but not something to catch your husband on...though you might well catch an admiring eye, gliding by on your sleek Gitane. But I digress.

The 1986-87 Miyata 215 mixte is a touring bike but might fit the bill, triple-butted CrMo frame, etc. . They don't turn up often though.

As suggested above the Terry or Terry-style bikes with a smaller front wheel could work. I met a young lady last fall who loves the Terry she bought used in high school, and she's now in her mid 20s. A lot of makers did 'Terry style' bikes: a Chicago C&Ver has a drop-dead Lotus that he's fixing up. That one might be for sale, too.

OR...there is an early 90s Miyata 'Pavea 55' on eBay right now, over in N Indiana. The Paveas were a road-style bike with 26" wheels and a female-specific saddle, obviously aimed just at women who wanted to go fast. The seller of this bike has 0 feedback, which could mean he's a shyster, or could mean that someone is going to get a great deal on the bike. If that one was closer to me I'd offer to facilitate or at least try to check it out for you. Heck, I'd be interested just to see it. Same seller has a very small Miyata 710, somewhat older. If you do go for this bike and win it, be very specific with the guy about shipping! Check around here on how it should be done.

Here's the eBay auction:

https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

And here's the Miyata catalog showing it:

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/_whtVpXkKwl...0-h/img344.jpg

Let us know how it goes!
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Old 03-29-11, 08:57 PM
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oh Veloria I would gladly take that bianchi as one can never have too many bikes.

Conspiratemus1-Thanks, but not my experience at all. 26inch wheels never again! I have a touring bike with 26 inch wheels and I hate them. I was told that the smaller wheels would be better for my size and fix the toe overlap issue, but I have no toe overlap issues on any of my other bikes. I am perfectly fine on my gitane with it's french size 27 inch wheels. Overall it's the perfect size for me, still only a fistfull of seatpost and no trouble stopping and getting on my feet. My husband says it fits perfectly. But to get on a 52cm(or whatever size it is) diamond frame would be impossible. I would gladly get a 650B bike or conversion which could help me get onto a frame that is just a tad to hard to stand over. But this whole tiny person=26 inch wheels is a myth. I have been biking for a very long time, had many bikes and endured the long hellish mountain bike years so I can say 26inch wheels do not work for me.
I do bike in dresses even on diamond frame bikes and rode a century in a dress! Why? It was hot outside and no chaffing! This isn't about being unable to lift my leg above the saddle as I am well aware you can't step through mixtes. Short of having a custom frame built to my proportions riding lady frame sizes slightly larger than what I can standover as a diamond frame seems to be the best fit.
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Old 03-29-11, 08:58 PM
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It also depends on what type of riding you want to do. You asked for a road/touring but road I would think is more speed-centric while touring is comfortable riding. Mixtes for the most part seem to fall in the comfortable riding category while diamond frames can be made to go very fast. A small Italian or Terry/Centurion bicycle (as a cheaper alternative) would probably fill your desire to go fast. Keep in mind that smaller frames tend to cost more than larger ones due to demand so if you see one you like act quick.

Being 5' 2" you may need a <49cm frame depending on your exact dimensions. That might be kinda tough to find. However, the one posted by sced looks stunning. Small, fast, Italian but diamond. Plus it's red so you gain +1 speed points.
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Old 03-29-11, 08:58 PM
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The Soma Buena Vista mixte is the best frame-set going right now that matches what you want. It comes in more sizes than almost all production mixtes and even most classic ones. The geometry is sporty, but has braze-ons for everything and can accommodate many builds. I'm building one right now for my girlfriend as a lightweight modern road bike. They are built very well and I highly recommend them. If you look around online, you can find them for under $400.
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Old 03-29-11, 09:05 PM
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Wow, people post fast.

I am curious about you saying "riding lady frame sizes slightly larger than what I can standover as a diamond frame seems to be the best fit." Do you mean that riding a larger diamond frame that you can't standover is more comfortable for you when riding? If so, I would think you can pick a small frame that you could standover then fiddle with different cranks, seatposts, and stems to get that comfortable, larger bike feeling.
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Old 03-29-11, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Heatherbikes
My husband has a mysterious old bottechia and he's gone just flat out gone down the highway while I huff and puff on any of my bikes.
Two words for you: carbon and fiber. Stiff, light, responsive. You'll accelerate like a batouttahell.

Or if that doesn't do it for you:



Read here: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...inelli-Cinelli
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Old 03-29-11, 10:17 PM
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Sounds like you would benefit from a compact geometry road bike. Many newer bikes are made this way. It is superior to a mixte in terms of fit, performance, and flexibility.
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Old 04-02-11, 08:48 PM
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Yep size 49 cm or smaller depending on the bike, or even 50 cm if the wheels are smaller. The reason I am looking for a 'lady' frame road bike is because the geometry is a bit different than the diamond frame version-at least that has been my experience. Maybe a bit more relaxed than the diamond frames which is better for me too. I find a slightly larger frame FITS better overall. I do not like the slightly sloping top tube of modern bikes either so no I am not going to go for that. It's a proper ladies frame or a straight top tube please.
And from what I understand small itty bitty frames are usually less expensive because only little people can fit onto them and are often in good shape because they may have been kids bikes that they outgrew. Unless it's on ebay and coveted then it will go to Japan for $$$.
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Old 04-02-11, 08:52 PM
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ooooh, I wonder what the cinelli rides like? I wonder if it was just a one off for mrs cinelli or were more produced?
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Old 04-03-11, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Heatherbikes
...
Conspiratemus1-Thanks, but not my experience at all. ... I do bike in dresses even on diamond frame bikes and rode a century in a dress! Why? It was hot outside and no chaffing! This isn't about being unable to lift my leg above the saddle as I am well aware you can't step through mixtes. Short of having a custom frame built to my proportions riding lady frame sizes slightly larger than what I can standover as a diamond frame seems to be the best fit.
Very interesting feedback, Heatherbikes. I'm going to refer that on to Uxoria's owner. Can you elaborate what exactly you didn't like about 26" wheels?

L.
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Old 04-03-11, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Heatherbikes
ooooh, I wonder what the cinelli rides like? I wonder if it was just a one off for mrs cinelli or were more produced?
In the thread, the owner indicates it was a custom frame. It's possible other were produced, but high end step through and mixte frames are on the rare side. And when you find one, you'll probably pay dearly.
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Old 04-03-11, 07:37 PM
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I have seen the occasional italian step through road bicycle frame made of fancy tubing like columbus on ebay, and they have always gone for insane amounts of money.
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Old 04-03-11, 07:54 PM
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My friend is 5'1 and I found her a 46cm Cannondale that takes 700c wheels. I also just sold a 47 cm Trek 1000 frameset to a shorty friend too. I wouldn't give up on diamond frames yet!
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Old 04-03-11, 08:50 PM
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Yes, small frames are out there, but I know what the OP is talking about regarding smaller diamond frame road bikes. I went through this same problem myself- took me years to find the right bike! I'm only an inch taller at 5'3. What I found was that, yes, smaller diamond frame road bikes are kind of rare (good quality ones even more so) and people often want more money for anything smaller than a 52cm. They also have huge differences in geometry depending on brand, intended use, popular trends at the time it was made, etc, so there's lots of variables to consider. A lot of the ones I tried would fit in terms of saddle height, but had a really long reach, because they were built more with men's proportions in mind, and men tend to have longer torsos.
What I eventually ended up with was a 50cm pre-Trek '93 Lemond. It was Italian built and has some features that apparently are common on Italian bikes- namely, the geometry is more "square" (top tube and seat tube C-T-C measurements are close to the same, in this case, 52 X 50). It's a better proportion for most women. For comparison, I have another road bike, a '93 46cm Specialized Allez... with a 52cm top tube. In combination with the long 110mm stem and the too-short setback seatpost that it came with, it's pretty much the worst fitting bike I've ever owned; it manages to be both too small and too big at the same time.
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Old 04-03-11, 09:00 PM
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I am supposed to go look at this tomorrow https://denver.craigslist.org/bik/2303599389.html I only put in an Email because I recalled this thread.... if you are interested just send me a pm, otherwise I will probably pass on it.
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Old 04-03-11, 09:08 PM
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I was looking at a catalog from small Italian shop Scapin and found a 'ladies' model, which is a really cool looking mixte, but has a chainguard, straight ish bars, more of a city bike as usual.

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