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Opinions on Bianchi Axis frameset?(33 posts)

Opinions on Bianchi Axis frameset?853
Apr 2, 2002 9:02 AM
I am new to Cross, I race road and MTB. And would love to race and stay in shape thru the winter.So I'm thinking of purchasing this frameset. I have a full ultegra 9 speed kit ready to go(left over from when I up-graded to Dura-Ace on my Roadbike, I also have a set of Rolf Vector Comps, will these hold up to the abuse?) Anyways, I'm 5'10" and ride a 54cm road bike and a 17" MTB. What size Cross frame should I use, the Bianchi only comes in a 55cm and a 52cm. Which would be more appropriate? And what do you guys think of this frameset?
Thanks in advance!
re: Opinions on Bianchi Axis frameset?atpjunkie
Apr 2, 2002 9:55 AM
I think the 52 would suit you fine. It's typical to size down 1 to 2 cm from a road frame then fit to stretch via stem. A x bike's higher bb will make it feel bigger and you will want more of a MTB style standover for mounting, dismounting
and the occasional bail out (protect the "goods"). I've heard of no complaints about the frame, look it up in the x reviews for more info. The ultegra stuff will work fine. You'll want to size own the chainrings a bit as a standard 53/39 ring set up is a little steep for x riding.Try something in the 50/36 zone or 48/36 depending on pedaling style. I ride Rolfs on the road and am Clydesale size cyclist. I think the Vector Comps would work fine (I have a pair set up for back up but have not tested them yet.)as they are a stiff an sturdy wheel set. Go with a wider bar and shorter higher stem to help in off road control. Have Fun!
Go for it!The Walrus
Apr 2, 2002 11:27 AM
The "one-size-down" rule might not apply here--Bianchi's are nominally sized c-t, not c-c. My 55cm frame is actually 52cm c-c, but the top tube is about 55.5; standover at the center of the top tube is about 31.5 inches. I ride 54-55cm road bikes, and the 55cm Axis fits me beautifully. The ride is surprisingly supple, for an aluminum frame, and the handling is pretty "mellow"--not slow or sluggish, but not "edgy" either, just well-balanced. It's a great bike for all-day riding. I've had it a bit over a year now, and it's one of the best bikes I've ridden.
Go for it!atpjunkie
Apr 2, 2002 6:56 PM
Sounds like the Walrus knows. Only "downsize" when frames are measured equally. If Bianchi sizes their Road Bikes c-c but their cross bikes c-t it could be misleading. It's extremely rare that a rider uses a larger cross than road frame if measured the same. I ride a 59 cm road bike and my 58 cm cross bike's standover is very close due to the higher BB height. I'd be perfect on a long 57 but will be fine with my present set up.

Just make sure your inseam length is greater than 31.5" by a couple inches or you may be singing soprano.
Go for it! PSatpjunkie
Apr 2, 2002 6:59 PM
He mentions standover at the center of the TT, is the axis based on compact geometry? If so Strange for a cross bike as compact geometry decreases portage space.
Ya, but Bianchi sloping TT is so little you can hardly tell...853
Apr 3, 2002 8:10 AM
Anyways, They have no more Axis and they stopped making it(I spoke to soon) All they are carring is the SL steel frame.

What other cheap frames should I be looking at?
I realy don't have much money to spend.
Ya, but Bianchi sloping TT is so little you can hardly tell...atpjunkie
Apr 3, 2002 12:10 PM
Don't give up on steel just yet. You may be surprised. Many prefer steel's softer ride for cross as aluminum bikes, albeit fast can rattle your fillings loose. Anyhow in the classifieds in this site (roabikereview) there are some great deals (Strong 853Steel 53.5 cm Ultegra equipped $750)
There is a 55 axis for $850 (both of these are complete bikes, peruse the site you never know I'm sure there are some frames as well. Also check ebay, you can find great prices there as well. Usually the best deals are right as the season ends as many sponsored racers sell off this years gear.
Otherwise sells empella frames for about $575 (World Champ and Belgian Team Bike)an they'd be happy to fit you. This is a full race frame so there are no bottle mounts, rack braze ons etc..
What is your price range?
Ya, but Bianchi sloping TT is so little you can hardly tell...mackgoo
Apr 3, 2002 2:56 PM
check E bay they appear regularly.
Whoa, waitaminnit!The Walrus
Apr 3, 2002 4:33 PM
Where'd you hear the Axis is discontinued? I just e-mailed Bianchi the other day to ask about 2001/2002 frameset availability, and they didn't mention that; said they'd be getting '02 frames in one of these days.
Whoa, waitaminnit!853
Apr 4, 2002 7:58 AM
I went to my local bike shop that sells Bianchi.
They told me they are not making them for 2002.
If they are, please let me know, I realy like this frame.
Easton tubing and a carbon fork, all for $550.00, very sweet.
Good news...The Walrus
Apr 4, 2002 2:29 PM
Bianchi told me that '02 framesets (that is, the ones introduced in late '01) will be available in June. After reading your post yesterday, I e-mailed Bianchi again and they tell me that there will definitely be a 2003 model Axis, coming out this summer; the frameset will be "different from the bike". I don't know what that means (different paint? different tubeset?), but I'll find out this weekend at the bike expo. If you're interested, I'll pass along whatever I learn from the Bianchi people there.

I agree, the 2002 is sweet--actually ran into a guy last week who had one (bit of a shock to see anyone with a 'cross bike in SoCal, but especially a Bianchi), and I was definitely lusting after it.
Thanks, keep me informed..By the way I'm from SoCali853
Apr 4, 2002 3:05 PM
Where is there going to be a bike expo in SoCal?
Thanks, keep me informed..By the way I'm from SoCaliatpjunkie
Apr 4, 2002 3:47 PM
There is a bike swap at the San Diego Velodrome
(Morley Field-near Balboa Park) this Sunday. You can usually find good deals there. As far as expo's not sure.
Bike Expo...The Walrus
Apr 4, 2002 3:56 PM
It's at the L.A. Convention Center April 5-7; sort of an "Interbike Lite", a sop to the consumers in this area who actually buy the bikes. (
Compact crossVelocipedio
Apr 3, 2002 11:07 AM
There seem to be a fair number of compact cross bikes these day. I just picked up a 2001 Major Jake, and frankly I'm glad it's compact because I have rather shortish legs. The smaller size wasWAY too short in the TT for me.
Compact crossatpjunkie
Apr 3, 2002 12:12 PM
It's good you found a fit. How's the shoulder room? I am nearly 6'5" with a 35" inseam (long torso'd) and I don't have enough room to carry a compact x frame quickly and comfortably.
Compact crossVelocipedio
Apr 3, 2002 12:45 PM
It's not bad. I've actually been practicing runups on a set of stairs [about 150 stairs, actually] at our local park. I have quite a bit of room. The think I like about the Jake frame [] is that, while it is compact enough to give me standover AND top tube, the TT isn't RADICALLY sloping, so there's anough room to sling it over my shoulder. It's a compromise, but it's a good one, and I find that I really, REALLY like the frame [though the fork and the saddle are going to have to go].

BTW, I like your description. I no longer have "shortish legs," I have a "long torso." :-)

I'm 5'8 1/2 and I find that the 52 cm Jake fits quite well.
Compact cross BTWatpjunkie
Apr 3, 2002 2:31 PM
or should we say Teutonic dimensions? Viking Build? I'm just hoping for more Clydesdale sanctions. 150 stairs? You are a sick man. It's obvious you possess the masochistic tendencies of the breed, my girlfriend looks at me and says " you are going out in the rain, riding and running and carrying your bike up stairs and dirt hills for fun?"
She's a roadie and doesn't quite get it (yet).
Re: Fork Are you going to go Carbon?
Teutonic masochismVelocipedio
Apr 3, 2002 3:43 PM
Well... I AM a roadie, make no mistake... but I am drawn to mud and dirt in ways that I can't quite explain. :)

I like a challenge, and there's a thoroughly wonderful, muddy, 150 metre 15-20% grade goat path that I simply REFUSE to treat as a runup... and at this time of year it's really eroded. In 38/25, I can JUST grind my way up. I think of it as weightlifting and try to do it twice when I'm on that ride. As for the stairs... well, I don't do that every DAY! But it's good practice, and I like seeing my HR redline. :)

Yeah... some of my more thoroughly roadie friends think I'm nuts. Others are a bit envious. In any case, I'll be fitter than them in May!

I like the Viking build description, too. I'm going to have to remember these things. Makes me feel a little less down about not looking like a gagngly time trialist...
Teutonic masochismatpjunkie
Apr 3, 2002 7:59 PM
Am a roadie as well...actaully just consider myself a bike nut. Ride Road, Mountain and Cross. The sick part is I live in San Diego and can road ride year round, I only cross because I like it. Actually as a 'big' person
(I look like rower...oh yeah actually was one once) I use cross to help build burst power. Have a hell of an engine room and can grind for hours but need that HR top end ( my resting BPM is 48-52) to blast up the steeps you speak of (hard when you are 235). I know that REFUSE feeling, have a few of those hills myself.
Don't let the skinny geeks get ya down. Yea we'll never make Cat 1, it's a conspiracy of little people. Look at competitive sports, when it is advantageous to be big, they break it down into weight classes (Wrestling, Judo, Power Lifting, Boxing, Rowing etc....). When it is advantageous to be small, no such luck, or unsanctioned "Clydesdale" divisions. So next time one of those 130 lb leg and lung junior T-Rex's (arm reference) gives you that "look" when he's passing you
remind him what a forearm shiver is.
So grind hard and kill those bastards come May!
Compact crossfredly
Apr 4, 2002 10:10 AM
This is a really good point;
"compact design reduces shoulder room" is by no means an absolute... it depends on how you look at the frame. Take for example a Major Jake; this is essentially a "square geometry" frame, with a slight slope. If however you look at it from the perspective of TT length vs. ST length, it becomes a slightly longer than square bike, with increased HT height... the TT slopes, but from this perspective IT SLOPES UP; more HT= more shoulder room.
I happen to design bikes a bit, and I happen to have really short legs... I can't fit on a standard geometry 'cross bike. If it is long enough, I literally can't stand over it. But I can fit on a Jake, or similar design... and still have the extra shoulder room at the front.
Compact crossVelocipedio
Apr 4, 2002 10:37 AM
No, no... as atpjunkie pointed out, we don't have short legs, we have teutonic builds. :)

My dilemma was that the 49 cm Jake would have required a far-too-long stem to get me comfortable on it. The 52 cm, onthe other hand, gives me enough standover, and I don't have to stick an impossibly long stem on it to get the TT length.

It's a compromise, and I guess my running mounts are a little tricker than they would be on a smaller frame. On the other hand, I feel extremely comfortable in the saddle... [I swapped out the saddle for a SI Trans Am].
you guys are way off topic! That's cool tho, I'm learning...853
Apr 4, 2002 3:02 PM
Anyways, What other alternatives do you guys suggest.
I have $500.00 burning a hole in my pocket!
Plus all the parts to put it together(except for canty's, tires,chainrings,and pedals) Any suggestion on these parts?
Anybody want to trade X2's for Time Atac pedals?
you guys are way off topic! That's cool tho, I'm learning...atpjunkie
Apr 4, 2002 4:00 PM
parts first. Get the Avid Shorty's for brakes, you are on a budget and they are great brakes w/ great customer service. Tires, look on ebay. You can buy specialized or IRC x tires NEW for about $20 A PAIR! pedals ebay again, buy ATAC's composite or Aluminum, the weight savings of the Carbon and Carbon Ti does not warrant the hefty pricetag. Chainrings TA's 48 and 46 or 44 (Race set-up) they are the best otherwise go 48 and 38 shimano Ultegra or whatever you can afford.
Check the classifieds here, there are whole bikes your size for $500 and you could swap your parts an have backups. There's also a khs team ST on ebay for $250
If ya wanna go swank, buy the Empella $575 from cyclocrossworld. Sorry about the digressions but you opened a whole can of worms.
PS as per my other e, if you live near San Diego, Bike Swap at the SD velodrome DEALS DEALS DEALS
Still thinking of steel?The Walrus
Apr 4, 2002 4:14 PM
The KHS Cyclocross ST is surprisingly good; I think it lists for around $450. It's True Temper OX, weighs about 4.5 lbs and has about 1" of travel on the rear. Check out
ive gotta bianchi framesetJJhelm4321
Apr 4, 2002 10:35 PM
ive got a 58 cm bianchi axis framset,, 2001, its seen no use whatsoever, i got it too big,, are you still thinking about getting the bianchi?? i'll sell it to you for a good price,, email me at JJHelm,, with questions on my set or how the framset rides in general

ive gotta bianchi frameset853
Apr 5, 2002 7:27 AM
Thats a little big. I'm looking for a 52cm.
which has a 54cm TT. Which is exactly what I ride on the road. Thanks anyway.
ive gotta bianchi frameset853
Apr 5, 2002 7:34 AM
Oh yea, let me know how it rides anyway.
Is it the Aluminum frame w/ carbon fork?
ive gotta bianchi frameset: Justin did you find a new frame?atpjunkie
Apr 5, 2002 9:05 AM
I take it you found a new frame, what did you finally go with? Are you set up yet? Hoping you are all rigged and rolling. Let me know how the new "fit" is.

you want Atac's? I have some Aliums if you want them.climbo
Apr 5, 2002 6:01 AM
let me know, I'm open to a trade.
you want Atac's? I have some Aliums if you want them.853
Apr 9, 2002 9:02 AM
Email me @ if your still interested in trading Speedplay X2's for Time pedals. These are the stainless steel axle version that retail for about $165.
I know Atac carbons go for about $120.00
Anybody interested let me know.
2000 Axis on Ebay starting at $500 (nm)TFerguson
Apr 10, 2002 4:56 AM
Hey 853, there's also a 53 Empella on ebay! (nm)atpjunkie
Apr 10, 2002 8:36 AM