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Volpe, Sequoia or Fuji touring

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Volpe, Sequoia or Fuji touring

Old 04-07-03, 10:30 PM
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gcos
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Volpe, Sequoia or Fuji touring

I have been riding a road bike for the past 14 years and would like to start to do some commuting/light touring. Have narrowed my search to the following bikes:

Fuji tourning

Bianchi Volpe

Specialized Sequoia (probably Expert)

Any pros or cons about these bikes (besides steel vs. alum.)??

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 04-08-03, 08:10 AM
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Rich Clark
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The Bianchi and the Fuji are more similar to each other than to the Specialized. The Specialized is a little more of a road bike -- narrower tires, low spoke-count wheels, road gruppo, road brakes, carbon fork -- although it's set up with more relaxed geometry and higher bars for comfort.

The other two bikes are more like traditional touring bikes: wider tires, heavier-duty wheels, cantilever brakes (which makes fender-mounting easier).

You wouldn't be able to put front lowrider mounts on the Specialized, but you could on the other two, I believe.

Personally, I think the Volpe is one of the most attractive and versatile bikes on the US market, and if it's a good fit, it's a bike that will serve you well for decades. The Fuji is also a fine bike, a little less expensive, a little lower-spec'd.

Personally, I'd lean towards the Bianchi if I had an urban commute (bad pavement, glass, railroad tracks, etc.) with secure storage at work. And maybe towards the Sequoia if I had a rural commute on good roads.

But in the end, I'd make my choice based on fit and feel, as determined through test rides.

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Old 04-08-03, 11:55 AM
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Rich - Thanks for the response. My commute will be about 25 miles each way and I'll be able to take my bike into my office, so storage isn't an issue. Since I'm happy with my Bianchi road bike I'm also leaning towards the Volpe.

They claim Spring is returning to Minnesota this week so maybe I'll be able to get out and test ride some bikes.
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Old 04-08-03, 01:36 PM
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Already having a road bike would be another argument in favor of getting something closer to a traditional tourer for commuting. If not the Volpe, then a Trek 520 or a Bruce Gordon. But the Volpe is really nice; good gearing, plenty of braze-ons, and doesn't it even still have a quill stem?

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Old 04-08-03, 01:42 PM
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No, it's new and improved with a threadless headset.
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Old 04-08-03, 01:45 PM
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before buying my new touring bike (trek 520), i test rode the sequoia and the volpe. all were great bikes. i didn't ride the fuji- heard it was good, but probably not as good as the other 2. i REALLY liked the way the sequoia rode, and wanted to buy it, but i went with the 520 because i'll eventually want to put a front lowrider rack on it for tours, and that's impossible with the sequoia. you definately can get a rear rack and fenders on the sequoia, though, since it's got the long reach brakes. the volpe was a great bike, too. nothing flashy, just good, solid bike. it would be excellent for commuting and touring. i went with the 520, though, because i just liked the ride a little better for some reason. just fit me better.
richclark made a good point that since you already have a road bike, you should go for a tourer-- like the volpe, 520, or a bruce gordon. they are all very utilitarian bikes, and will be a little more versatile.
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Old 04-09-03, 06:33 AM
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As a Bianchi fan I would lean toward to Volpe, also. Sheldon Brown has a favorable article on the Volpe somewhere on his site.
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Old 04-09-03, 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by gcos
No, it's new and improved with a threadless headset.
Oh well. Around here, Volpes usually need to be special-ordered anyway, so I guess it's not such a big deal to tell the shop not to cut the steerer until your ready for the fitting.

I think I'm going to officially stop caring about this issue.

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Old 04-09-03, 11:28 AM
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For light touring, and commuting ... the Sequoia. I got the expert myself. I like the second set of brake levers, the fender options, and the smooth & comfortable ride. I believe the Sequoia was built as a sport tourer. Total weight about 20lbs. Good luck!
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Old 04-09-03, 02:10 PM
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gonesh9 - I'm in almost the same situation as you. I rode the Volpe, Fuji and Sequoia yesterday and the 520 today (the saddle is brutal). Really liked the ride of the Sequoia but I'm thinking I may also want to put front racks on some day and am leaning towards the 520. The LBS also couldn't tell me if I could put panniers on the Sequoia without my heel hitting them. Of course nothing I rode was the right size. They may have a 520 built in my size tomorrow.

Thanks for the responses. This is a great forum. I've posted similar messages on two others and have gotten one response.
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Old 04-09-03, 02:13 PM
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I have an old Sequoia circa 1990 it has been a great commuter and is still eating up the miles to this day. It has been pretty much maintenance free. The biggest repair bill I got was last fall when I had it over hauled. The only down fall I see now is the carbon fork, which surprises my since the Sequoia was originally a touring bike. I don't have any experience with Volpe, but I do own a Bianchi San Remo that is twenty years old. It has been a most excellent ride the only problem I had when commuting with it is that I went through a couple of axles in a year.
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Old 04-09-03, 02:51 PM
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I think I'm going to officially stop caring about this issue.
Rich, say it ain't so! Continue to fight the good fight!
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Old 04-10-03, 07:09 PM
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Well, I finally made up my mind and bought the Trek 520. Went for a short ride tonight (first ride of the season). Really like the bike. I took it places I wouldn't even have considered on my road bike.

Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 04-16-03, 12:50 PM
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I can highly recommend the Volpe. I have a 2002 model and have logged just over 1000 commuting miles. I put conti top tourers on it, a blackburn rack, otherwise it is stock, including the vetta bianchi cosmos saddle, which I love.

I've ridden in all weather conditions and have done nothing more than oil the chain during my 1-plus years of ownership. Yes, it needs a tune-up, brake cables have stretched quite a bit, but it's just rolling along as if brand new.

I briefly owned a Fuju Roubaix Pro (2002) and have commuted on a Nishiki Backwoods MTB and can safely say that the Volpe outclasses each bike with ease. The Volpe is surprisingly nimble for its weight and just like a dream. Some have commented on the lower tier nature of the deore real derailleur and the tiagri group, but I've got no complaints, nice durability considering the abuse the bike has taken thusfar.

I bought it for $750 last year and haven't looked back. Highly recommend swapping the all terrainasaurus tires for conti tourers to get a nice smooth commuting feel on the road, less resistance and all that, but I guess it all depends on your commuting route.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 04-16-03, 01:09 PM
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gcos, congratulations on the purchase! i'm sure you'll love the 520. seems like a hard bike to beat when searching for a good tourer/commuter. did you get fenders? panniers? more comfortable saddle?
i've been just dealing with the saddle, and actually getting used to it. but considering how much i'm on the bike, i should spring for a more comfortable one.
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Old 04-17-03, 10:23 AM
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gonesh9, so far I really like the 520. I was undecided between the 21" and 23" size. The 21 felt okay, but when I rode the 23 it really felt good, although it's probably at about the upper limit of what will fit me. When I got it home I stood it next to my road bike. Top tube is almost exactly the same height, bars are the same, I moved the seat to the same position and the world is great.

So far I'm dealing with the seat as is. I haven't had any more problems with it than I would normally have on the first rides of the season, but I haven't ridden farther than 20 miles at a time yet.
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