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kerkyra 06-07-07 02:07 PM

inexpensive bike with gears similar to san jose?
Okay, so my girlfriend has been searching for the perfect bike for weeks now, but has a limited budget and has been having trouble. She hasn't liked the feel of most of the bikes she's tried, until she rode the Bianchi San Jose. That one felt perfect. However she really wants gears, not a single-speed. So any suggestions? Her price limit is $500-$600, especially since she'll need to add on fenders and perhaps a rack. Thanks in advance for any tips!

rollotheclown 06-07-07 02:25 PM

I'd go online and check out the frame geometry measurements for the San Jose and see what other Bianchi frames fit, sometimes they'll use the same frame for single speed or their geared bikes, if not then take the measurements and start comparing...
good luck

caloso 06-07-07 02:27 PM

I'm pretty sure that the Volpe and the San Jose are the same frame. The Volpe's a bit out of that price range, though.

rollotheclown 06-07-07 02:28 PM

yeah I just hopped over to that site as well and the Volpe is the same geometry as the San Jose but as stated by caloso above, the price is above your range :-(

kerkyra 06-07-07 05:02 PM

Yeah, that would be perfect if it was only a few hundred dollars less! There aren't any grant programs for low-income bicyclists are there? :p

caloso 06-07-07 05:03 PM

Time to start scouring eBay and Craigslist!

kafkaesque 06-07-07 06:04 PM

Harris Cyclery had a similar idea, so they equipped a San Jose with an 8 speed hub; the San Jos8.

I did not see a price for that though.

There was also a thread a while back about a 7 speed San Jose conversion.

c_m_shooter 06-07-07 06:09 PM

Gears are highly over-rated. Just gear down around 42/16 or 42/17 and it will be great for riding around town.

kerkyra 06-07-07 06:22 PM

The problem is that if she gets comfortable enough biking to and from work, we'd like to try short trips as well, and gears help a lot on the hills around here.

M_S 06-07-07 07:57 PM

The Castro valley is also the same frame as the Volpe and San Jose (they're really getting a lot of mileage out of that thing) but it's a different sort of bike. Flat bars, for one thing. It is cheaper than the Volpe, though.

CB HI 06-07-07 09:02 PM

If she starts commuting on the Volpe, realize that she will make up the extra $300 fairly fast in gas savings.

Although the Castro Valley does come with fenders and light but no front shifting at a total of $800.

edp773 06-07-07 09:06 PM

The Volpe is a combination cyclo-cross and touring bike. You probably will not find anything close in your price range. I would suggest having her ride a comfort rode bike like the Giant OCR. An entry level is around $600 on sale to $650 regular price.

CB HI 06-07-07 09:09 PM


Originally Posted by kafkaesque
Harris Cyclery had a similar idea, so they equipped a San Jose with an 8 speed hub; the San Jos8.

I did not see a price for that though.


CB HI 06-07-07 09:16 PM

The Giant OCR is a more compact frame, the San Jose geometry is more relaxed, which is probably why she likes it over other frames.
That is the reason I picked the San Jose over other frames when I was looking for a single speed.

kerkyra 06-07-07 11:24 PM

That's exactly why she picked it over other frames, it seems to be the only frame that fits right, everything else is too compact. I looked at the Volpe and Castro Valley online, and they both seem like great options if we could find one used, or last years' model pretty discounted.
I'll be checking craigslist and ebay a bunch, and we're planning on driving up to a couple bike shops in the next big city over to see what they have available (we've exhausted the options locally).

CB HI 06-08-07 09:21 PM

If you can not find a Volpe and Castro Valley on craigslist and ebay, then check in with the classic and vintage forum. Many of the 1980's bikes had the same type of relaxed frames. They may be able to point you towards one in good condition that she would also like.

kerkyra 06-10-07 09:30 PM

So we went shopping again today and she got to ride a bunch of stuff, and has decided she loves the Bianchi Castro Valley (which makes sense). Now she just has to figure out how to pay for it!

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