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BIANCHI - 2000's aluminium frames

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BIANCHI - 2000's aluminium frames

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Old 02-09-15, 09:37 AM
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uuu ri
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BIANCHI - 2000's aluminium frames

Hello there,

I'm trying to figure out the quality of the aluminium Bianchi frames made in the early and mid 2000's.
I find out different tubing names but I can't find the quality relationship between them, which one is the top, the lowest etc.

Some examples:
Bianchi XL Ev2
Bianchi XL Boron
Bianchi Alloy Pro
Bianchi Lite Alloy
Bianchi Mega Pro aluminium Dedacciai 7005

Any information and data would be very welcome.
Thanks!
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Old 02-09-15, 09:24 PM
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rando_couche
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The XL Boron was steel (with structural foam reinforcement in the seat tube, IIRC), not aluminum. The XL Ev2's had a reputation for breaking. (If it breaks it's too light. If it doesn't break, it's too heavy.) The others I'll leave for others to comment on.

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Old 02-09-15, 11:22 PM
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SkyDog75
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You could probably get a good idea about the different Bianchi tubing grades by just checking out Bikepedia for a given year. More expensive MSRP and/or higher-end groupsets probably mean higher-end tubing. For example, here's a sampling from 2005 in descending order:
BIKE: Bianchi FG Lite
GROUPSET: Campagnolo Record
TUBING: FG Lite Aluminum Hyperalloy

BIKE: Bianchi FC Alu/Carbon Chorus
MSRP/GROUPSET: $4200 MSRP/Campagnolo Chorus
TUBING: Freccia Celeste XL EV3 Aluminum/Carbon

BIKE: Bianchi San Mateo
MSRP/GROUPSET: $1600 MSRP/Campagnolo Veloce
TUBING: SL3 Alu/Carbon (frame decal reads "Lite Alloy" double-butted)
If Google is translating this Italian forum thread to English accurately, and if the author's correct, SL Lite Alloy was replaced by SL3 in 2003 or so.

Dedacciai XL Mega Pro 7005 was used on Marco Pantani's bikes in the late '90s, so it's probably safe to assume it was top of the line at the time.
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Old 02-10-15, 04:48 AM
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uuu ri
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Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
The XL Boron was steel (with structural foam reinforcement in the seat tube, IIRC), not aluminum. The XL Ev2's had a reputation for breaking. (If it breaks it's too light. If it doesn't break, it's too heavy.) The others I'll leave for others to comment on.

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I've heard as well the EV4 frames used to break very easily as well.

My question now is, are Bianchi's aluminium frames worth it? Specially the ones produced in 2000's?
Maybe the best choice would be a Dedacciai XL 7005 alu frame or a Columbus Genius than other options like the EV's series?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-10-15, 12:00 PM
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I don't know that you should write off all of Bianchi's aluminum offerings over an entire decade because of the EV2's reputation for fragility. My go-to road bike is a 2006 Bianchi San Mateo and I really like its SL3 Alu/Carbon frame.

I think rando's "too light" comment above was spot on. If you're concerned about durability, or if you're not a featherweight, maybe the ultralight EV frames aren't the best choice.
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Old 02-10-15, 12:45 PM
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uuu ri
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I'm looking for a Bianchi and I'm more concerned about durability more than anything else. I commute every day, bike rides weekend and long trip in summer so I don't really want an ultralight bike for racing so I'm thinking if I should take a good steel frame with Genius tubing for example or if I could try any aluminium model because they are more easy to find. Any recommendation?
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Old 02-10-15, 01:45 PM
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When you get up into the ultra-lightweight race bikes, regardless of frame material, you'll probably be sacrificing some durability since lighter weight = thinner tubes. Stay away from the exotics, though, and you'll find lots of safe bets in steel, aluminum, and even carbon fiber. And since you mention commuting and long trips, which typically means carrying some items with you, you'll probably want to stay away from the lightweights anyway. They generally don't have rack eyelets and will typically have lower spoke count wheelsets that prioritize speed over strength and durability.

For the type of riding you're describing, something like a Bianchi Volpe might be a practical option. It wouldn't be the first choice of a weight weenie looking to win a race, but it is a road bike and can be ridden like one. It has eyelets for racks and fenders, which are handy for long trips or commuting. It has a triple crankset in case you encounter hills while carrying a load for your commute or long rides. It has cantilever brakes and ample wheel clearance, which are well adapted for touring or even cyclocross use.

If you want something a bit sportier, Bianchi sold a bunch of different road bike models that should be safe bets. Bianchi's model lineup changed A LOT over the course of the decade and frame materials changed for some models, so I can't give you a complete list of possibilities. But in general: Steel models included the Eros, Imola, Veloce, Virata, and Vigorelli. Aluminum and SL3 Alu/Carbon models included the Alfana (flat bar), Giro, and San Mateo. The San Lorenzo was a Dura Ace equipped scandium (aluminum) bike. There are a whole bunch of possibilities at various price/performance points. Just glance at Bikepedia.com for Bianchi's different models each year and you'll see what I mean.

Since you're shopping for a used bike, I'd suggest trying not to zero in on a specific model. Or even brand, for that matter -- and this is coming from someone who likes his Bianchi. You never know when *that* bike might turn up, and while trying to find it, you might miss a bargain on another great bike that suits your needs.
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Old 02-10-15, 02:26 PM
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Up until a few weeks I had a Lite Alloy, bought new in 2001. Loved that bike and rode it quite a lot during 7 or 8 years, for oversized aluminium it did not feel harsh at all. Alas:



This is no coincidence; a Dutch framebuilder posted an exact lookalike of this pic a few years ago, crack and all, as an illustration of shortsighted design ó a built in flaw. Don't know exactly how long Bianchi held on to this particular headtube design but it's definitely something you should avoid.
Here's the bike in better days:

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Old 02-10-15, 03:44 PM
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Ouch! Bummer about that crack! Thankfully, I think 2001 may have been the last year for that head tube design as Bianchi moved away from 1" headsets. The 2002 and later bikes with 1 1/8" headsets have tapered ends on their head tube, which seems like it would be a lot less prone to cracking.

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Old 02-11-15, 06:40 AM
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Thanks for your answer. When commuting usually I carry a small backpack and it's more than enough. For the moment I haven't had to use racks on any of my trips but obviously that could change in the future. The last one we had some sponsorship and a car to carry all the bags...

Right now I have a Wilier made of Columbus Altec aluminium with carbon fork and rear triangle, nice and smooth ride; quite sportive to be honest but I have the name Bianchi stuck in my head since some time ago.

I'm trying to figure out if I should try to find a good aluminium frame such as XL EV2 or 7005 or if I should try to find a Columbus Genius frame because with steel you never go wrong... specially if we are talking about second hand bikes. Also some of the choices you name such as Eros, Imola etc could be a good option. I also have the chance to buy an EV4 NOS frame but I have find too much information about them cracking on headset or BB...
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Old 02-12-19, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by CMAW View Post
Up until a few weeks I had a Lite Alloy, bought new in 2001. Loved that bike and rode it quite a lot during 7 or 8 years, for oversized aluminium it did not feel harsh at all. Alas:



This is no coincidence; a Dutch framebuilder posted an exact lookalike of this pic a few years ago, crack and all, as an illustration of shortsighted design ó a built in flaw. Don't know exactly how long Bianchi held on to this particular headtube design but it's definitely something you should avoid.
Here's the bike in better days:
Would it be possible this is a US-made frame design issue? I can't see why they'd make different headtubes for different regions, but mine doesn't have this, and I think it's from 2000 (it looks exactly like the 2000 catalog) - unless they changed it in 2001, to a bad design? That seems odd too. Could it be earlier, like '98 or '99?

I just won another similar bike on ebay, that also exactly resembles a 2000 model, which also doesn't have this headtube design (and looks like what I've got, which doesn't have that flange/lip that's ripe for cracking). Can't wait to get my hands on it, I've had great experiences with this frame and think they're super under-valued.
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Old 02-12-19, 07:13 AM
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I know very little about these bikes. It is possible that flange was only used for one year for some sort of integrated HS system. I wonder if there is a corresponding crack on the other side? I wonder if this is the result of fatigue or damage like a collision or perhaps a garage door?
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Old 02-12-19, 10:06 AM
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My 2002 Bianchi Axis is a smooth riding frame capable of many different type s of riding. Itís listed as a CX model, made of Eastern Ultralite aluminium tubing. A good candidate for what you are searching for, IMO.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post

My 2002 Bianchi Axis is a smooth riding frame capable of many different type s of riding. It’s listed as a CX model, made of Eastern Ultralite aluminium tubing. A good candidate for what you are searching for, IMO.
+1 Fine looking bike. I recently picked up a '01 Bianchi Grizzly Dedacciai steel mtn bike in prime condition..similar look..nice.

OP.. In addition to an Axis, a Volpe would be a good candidate. It was steel and I assume still is. They've been making it since 1986..lots of them around. Very comfortable ride and a great do it all bike from roads to trails to touring. Would make a good commuter.
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