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to everyone who's been helping me . . . .(6 posts)

to everyone who's been helping me . . . .funhoggin-gal
May 19, 2003 8:52 PM
Y'all are really turning me on with all this Bianchi debate! But seriously, I am like atpjunkie in that I love to see people with passion. I am learning much from all of you who clearly love your bicycles and sport/pasttime. These cross bikes really have a soul of their own. I have been dreaming of a bike like the CX bikes for so long you just wouldn't believe it. I can't wait to hit the trails and the road on mine . . . if only I could choose one!

So, here are my final questions (until I get to components) :-) .. . . .

Regarding this Bianchi debate - Bianchi was on my list for two reasons: 1) I fell in love with their road bikes in the early eighties when I was riding about 40+ miles/day. 2) when I saw they made a cyclocross bike (about a year ago), I had a friend (makes frames in NC) check the Axis out. He thought it was a really sweet bike, so it stayed in my mind. But that was all I knew. It sounds like the long and short of it is that I may be really happy with it or I may not, but for aluminum, and if it fits me right, it's probably a fine way to go (the Axis, not the Cross Concept) . . . Would you guys agree?

Now, regarding steel or titanium - the makers of most of these frames are not high-output commercialized outfits. So, I have to just talk to someone in the shop and hope that I convey my needs well enough that the product really fits and has everything I need. And most purchases would be sight unseen. Can I trust these makers (e.g., SoulCraft and others) to have the experience necessary to listen to me and consider my measurements, needs, and desires and come up with a frame/fork/component combo that will really fit the way I wanted it to? I can test ride a Bianchi at a local bike shop, but that is the only one I'm considering that I could even look at without buying it. That's a little disconcerting. Any thoughts on that?

Finally, the only other aluminum bike I was thinking of was the Fuji Cross (aluminum frame, carbon fork, and only $1100 completely fixed up), but I haven't heard a peep out of anyone about it . . . does anyone know anything about it?

Thanks again . . . . .
re: to everyone who's been helping me . . . .kiwisimon
May 20, 2003 5:53 AM
The Bianchi you fell in love with was probably steel and even though my present bike is aluminium if I was starting from scratch and building custom I would go steel. In the final breakdown follow your heart as buying a bike is an emotional process. Personally I used to ride Colnago and think Bianchis suck, in fact Colnagos have short top tubes a lot of soul and you'd be the envy of all those Bianchi riders ;-).
Ride the Bianchi and go with your gut reaction, I think if your cool with the Axis it will do the trick. But ask yourself one more time, What your original priorities were, especially the touring/sizing thing.
good luck
re: to everyone who's been helping me . . . .The Walrus
May 20, 2003 12:14 PM
I think we've pretty well established where I stand on the Axis question, but I still recommend the test ride. I did say in a previous thread that I wasn't sure the geometry would be right for you, but there's just one way to know for sure.

If you can afford it, and are comfortable with the expense, I'd say go custom. I know people who had Curtlos built for them back when Curtlo was still located in SoCal, and they never had anything but praise for both the bikes and the way they were treated.
re: to everyone who's been helping me . . . .atpjunkie
May 20, 2003 2:03 PM
go to Soulcrafts site. They have a nice custom fitting sheet. Check the title 9 section which is female based geometry. A friend has one and it is tre sweet. Go custom if you can afford it, otherwise peruse the net for good used. By all means try a Bianchi if it suits your needs.
It's all in the fit!Sean008
May 20, 2003 1:55 PM
I have been through what you are going through right now. Interestingly, after spending all of last year researching ‘cross bikes, I finally bought an Axis last week (IMHO, one of the best deals out there).

What I learned after investigating steel, titanium, scandium, aluminum, and even carbon is that the most important factor in choosing a bike is fit. It's interesting that I have ended up with a Bianchi as I remember my first bike in the 80s (I'm not aging myself too badly, I was a mere teen back then) being a steel Bianchi. I rode it with the "fast boys" and always stayed up front. After a succession of aero-ed, sub-18 pound aluminum and titanium bikes, I always missed my blue Bianchi and I now know fit me perfectly. Sure it was heavy, but I remember enjoying every pedal stroke on that bike. It was only when I started envying the steeds around me that I fell into the trap of more money equaling a better bike.

I've ridden just about every material out there and yes, 90s aluminum was extremely stiff (things have changed dramatically in the past decade to the point where one can safely call aluminum comfortable, not to mention the improvement carbon forks have added). Yes, titanium is light (and expensive), and yes "steel is real." But will you notice the difference? I say unless you are racing and need a sub-18 pound bike, the similarities between the materials is not as noticeable as the builders would have you believe. But you will notice the difference in a top tube being just 1 mm shorter.

My advice would be to get online and read as much as you can on fit (Sheldon Brown's site has a great section on fit with links to other sites discussing fit). Take the suggestions these sites offer, couple that with your past bike experiences, and go from there. Find the bike that fits and you'll find the best bike out there.

I also have some opinions on components but I'll save that for the next discussion. : -)
Visit the builder...peter in NVA
May 20, 2003 2:16 PM
if the price of the bike justifies it. I have owned many high end bikes and none of them fits me well (short legs and long arms). My Ritchey Swiss Cross has come close, but the 50 frame gives me zero standover!

If you are going to "stratospheric" price levels like Richard Sachs or Spectrum, I would spend whatever it takes to fly there for a day and have them fit you.