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New to Cyclocross - Bianch Axis 2001 vs. 2002(5 posts)

New to Cyclocross - Bianch Axis 2001 vs. 2002Briano
Apr 27, 2002 6:16 PM
I am new to the concept of a cyclocross bike - I'm planning to use one bike for comuting to work in the city, weekend rides on paved and crushed limestone paths (usually less than 30 miles), occasional off-road riding, and riding in the triathlon (recreationally, not super-competitively). I haved honed in on the Bianchi Axis as a bike that seems that it would be well suited for these uses. My question is: Do I get the 2001 model for $1,000 or the 2002 model for $1,250. I kind of like the idea of having the latest and greatest(?) model, and if I'm going to keep it for a long time, I don't want to later regret not getting the newer one. One of the reviewers of the bike in the review section of this site commented that the new wheels are designed for light people - are they going cave in under my 210 pounds? I should also mention that I don't have the budget to modify the bike - I want something that's going to work well with stock components. Any thoughts or advice would help. Thanks!
Go for the '01...The Walrus
Apr 28, 2002 4:25 PM
Save the $250, and get a stronger wheelset (plus a more burly fork...) The drivetrain spec is identical, except that the '01 has the Race Face crankset (another plus, IMHO). The '02 does look a bit more trick, but, alas, it's probably not meant for us Clydesdales.
A couple of addenda...The Walrus
Apr 29, 2002 11:26 AM
If you're still wavering about those wheels, check the "Mavics for Mohawks" thread of Apr. 20. Also, there's a 55cm '01 Axis on eBay now, that was still under $700 last time I looked. If that's your size, you might want to consider this.
re: New to Cyclocross - Bianch Axis 2001 vs. 2002TWD
Apr 29, 2002 2:34 PM
For the price difference it's a tough call, but for the type of riding that you mention you would probably be happy with either.

I've put about 1500 miles on my '02 Axis in the last couple months, and it's performed very well over a pretty good mixture of commuting, fire road climbs and descents, rough technical signletrack, and road rides on rolling terrain.

I am a pretty aggressive rider and am fairly hard on wheels (MTB and BMX background), so I had the same concerns as you about the shimano wheels. I weigh in at about 210 with all my riding gear. I have had no problems with the durability of the wheels so far. I haven't noticed any more flex in the wheels than my extra road wheelset (Ultegra hubs w/Velocity Deep V rims and 14/15 DB spokes).

The wheels do have a few other drawbacks though. I have noticed that they perform really poorly in crosswinds on the road. The bladed spokes seem to catch the wind and really push the bike around.

Also, I don't think that replacement parts are readily available for the shimano wheels. I build my own wheels, so I'm a fan of more conventional wheels that I can rebuild whenever I need to.

The fact that the '02 has a carbon fork vs the aluminum fork on the '01 model is also something to consider if you may end up doing rougher stuff off road. I haven't ridden the '01 but the owner of the LBS where I bought mine had the '01 model, and upgraded the aluminum fork to a carbon model to soften up the ride.

Good luck
Thanks for the help - I'm going with the '01Briano
Apr 30, 2002 3:54 AM
Thank you to the Walrus and TWD! I just had a local bike shop order a left over 2001 from his distributor. The way I see it (based on your suggestions)is that I gave up the sexier looks and the carbon fork. In exchange, I saved $250, and got traditional wheels and Race Face cranks. For the $250 I saved, I can later upgrade to the carbon fork if I feel the need. Thanks again for the help - I'll pick it up (and ride it of course) this Saturday.