's Forum Archives - Fixed Gear

Archive Home >> Fixed Gear

Bianchi Pista or Steamroller?(19 posts)

Bianchi Pista or Steamroller?Mariowannabe
Mar 30, 2003 10:42 AM
I'm giving up on my LBS. They've been trying to get me a Bianchi Pista since last Sept., but nothing. Looks like I'll have to go the mail-order route, which opens up other options. My question is - do I try to find the Pista elsewhere, or should I look at alternatives, like the Steamroller? I'm primarily a roadbike rider, but want a spring training FG alternative to ride occaisionally. I don't want to wait any longer! I'll ride 100% of the time on the road. Like to keep the budget under $700 when done. I have pedals, seat&post, tires, and even a front wheel I could use. I'm 5'10, 170 lbs, average build. Currently ride a Colnago 56cm (54 ctc). Suggestions?
re: Bianchi Pista or Steamroller?CherrryBomb
Mar 30, 2003 2:57 PM
Yeah, find a different LBS. Mine ordered a Pista the first of Feb and I got it before the month was over.
consider SOMADASS
Mar 30, 2003 6:19 PM
I had the same dilemma. I test rode a Bianchi and a Surly. I liked them both but had minor complaints about each. In the end I ordered a Soma Rush. Very smooth bike. You can get them from

I got mine from a shop in SF. American Cyclery.

have fun.
Still haven't taken it off the stand DAS?EMR
Apr 2, 2003 9:26 AM
Still haven't taken it off the stand DAS? hehe

I remember seeing that pic a long, long time ago.

Anyways, while there are a lot of new fixie frames out there, you should ask your buddies if they have an old steel frame stashed in their garage or something. I bought an old Colnago off a friend a couple of years ago and built it up fixed. Just another option you might want to consider.
yep, guilty of posting old picDASS
Apr 2, 2003 6:54 PM
Yeah, that pic is from the first build day. guilty.

I agree with your comment about using an old steel frame. I looked for one with no luck and eventually decided to get a new dedicated track frame. But yeah, old frames with forward facing horizontal dropouts are a good ida.
re: Bianchi Pista or Steamroller?trout_bum
Mar 30, 2003 8:20 PM
I love my Pista-waited 3 months for it, and its an awesome ride for the money. However, if the Steamroller fit me a little better, I may have gone that route.
The Steamroller has road geometry, waterbottle braze-on and clearance for fenders and larger tires-but fewer size options and will probably cost you slightly more to build up than the cost of the ready-made Pista.
The Pista has more agressive track geometry, no braze-ons but does have a hole in fork for brake, and there is no clearance for fenders or (or tires much larger than 23s) and is cheap $499-$549 depending on LBS. The stock parts are definitely rideable-nice cranks, wheels and even the seat is comfy. I swapped stems, put on a front brake, 42T chainring, and a Zefal gizmo+Ciussi cage for about another $100. Also don't let the more aggressive geometry scare you off, it doesn't feel too much different than my road bike. Took a rainy and cold mellow recovery ride around NY city today, and thought the Pista was perfect for days like this. (although a rear fender would be cool.) My 2 cents. Good Luck
I love my new Pista....smooth, fast, and responsiveSS_MB-7
Mar 31, 2003 5:39 AM
BTW, these bikes are a very "hot" item, so cut your LBS some slack because Bianchi has been back-ordered on most common sizes for a while. In fact, according to the shop I bought my bike from, mine was the last 51cm in the US. I'm located in Canada and these bikes are US-only so I had no choice but to check out shops on the web. Your best bet would be

I love my new Pista. I just got it last Tuesday and have already logged over 10 hrs and 200+ miles, including several ~3 hr rides.

My previous fixed-gear was a '02 Fuji Track which I recently sold because it was a tad too long for me. The Pista fits me like a glove. The Pista's geometry is much steeper than typical road bikes, and, therefore, the bike is quick to react to body english and acceleration. But, at the same time, it is not twitchy.

I did a 2.5 hr group road ride with a couple "gearies" and I'm really impressed with the Pista. A couple words immediately came to mind during the ride.....smooth, fast, and responsive.

I'm not sure if it is the Reynolds 520 tubing or the WTB Rocket V saddle or a combination of both, but I was impressed with the smoothness of the bike over some very bumpy road sections. The was a definite muting of road vibration, bumps, potholes, etc. through the frame and saddle....nice.

It is quick and response due to the steeper track geometry and shortly raked fork, but without being too skittish. I immediately felt "at home" on the Pista with the first pedal stroke.

The "gearies" tried to crack-me on a local hill when they "dropped-the-hammer" at the base, but I quickly rose out of the saddle, dropped my hands to the drops, and accelerated to match their pace. They were impressed that I managed to "hang" with them during the sprint climb despite my 48x16. I attribute this to the stiffness of the frame under power and sprints. It's nice how a frame can have dual-personalities when it comes to stiffness: stiff laterally yet compliant vertically.

Once the bike is up-n-rolling from a dead-stop, it almost seems to pedal for you. I can't say I've felt the same *feeling* on my other fixed-gears...weird, but I like it.

Overall, I'm really impressed with the Pista. It has a very dull and subdued look to it....just the way I like it. The component spec seems to be a notch above the Fuji Track and KHS Flite 100.

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
I love my new Pista....smooth, fast, and responsivetoonces
Apr 4, 2003 3:53 PM
I totally agree with your observations. My 03 Pista is my first road bike and I thought I would be in for a harsh ride but not so. It's smooth and fast jsut like you described. Get one if you can heh heh.
re: Bianchi Pista or Steamroller?JS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 7:45 AM
I have and enjoy a steamroller, purchased in november of 2001 from excel sports in boulder, co. i think it was $834 delivered. no regrets, would do it again the same way. great riding frame and kit, great training tool. fixed will change your outlook. i'm 6'2" ~200#, large build, rough on gear. currently ride 56cm steamroller, 56 cm cross-check, 57 cm (c-c) merckx, 19.5" mtb.

good luck.
Thank you everyone - just found a Pista!!!Mariowannabe
Mar 31, 2003 11:06 AM
I really appreciate everyone's advice. I called around and found a Bianchi 55. Ordered it. I'm adding a brake and upgrading the axle nuts, and I'll be off into the SS sunset.

Next stop, Trexlertown ;-)
Pistas have a higher standover height than claimed....SS_MB-7
Mar 31, 2003 11:31 AM
Just a FYI....Pistas have a higher standover height than claimed by Bianchi USA. My 51cm is claimed to be 30", but it's actually 30.5". I almost bought a 53cm with a claimed standover of 30.5", but fortunately, found out from a 53cm owner, that the actual standover is 31.2".

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
I like the PistaDougSloan
Mar 31, 2003 4:20 PM
I really enjoy my Pista; did 50 miles on it Sunday.

Here's what it looks like repainted:

I added Rivnuts for bottle mounts, a front brake and lever, and different pedals.

I'm 5'9" and ride a 55.

like green bianchi's do ya?Steve_0
Apr 1, 2003 6:36 AM
nice size stable. Gotta say, though, you need to put those M323's on the pista for a 'proper' urban assault vehicle.

Didnt show enough of your shop layout, either.
Apr 1, 2003 8:00 AM
I have the M323's on the Milano. For the Pista, I think I want to stay with Look pedals, as I ride it a lot, and with the hills around here (and 25 rpm slogs up them), I need the large platform for comfort.

I'll do some shop photos soon. It's a mess now.
pedal questionBudhaSlug
Apr 1, 2003 1:31 PM
I noticed you use a couple pair of the Bianchi-Look PP206 pedals... How do you like them compared to some of the more standard mid range looks? (357's, etc) I just ordered myself a pair for my IF fixed cross bike (pink IF frame with a bunch of green and celeste components) because I killed an OLD pair of look pedals I had been using on them (and because they match so well).

Apr 1, 2003 1:45 PM
I like the 206. I have about 5 or 6 sets. The Bianchi/Celeste ones are the same as the others.

I have had 296 and CX7s, too, and like the 206 the best. Wide, squeek free platform, simple, cheap, flawless operation for me. As light as CX7's, too (lightest Looks). No reason to spend more.

Pista arrived today!!!Mariowannabe
Apr 7, 2003 12:04 PM
Big box arrived today at work!! The Pista is uncrated and sitting in my cubicle. I've got an old Shimano 105 front brake to put on. I'm upgrading to Campy pedals and adding a Selle Italia saddle to be compatable with my road bike.

Can't wait to get it on the road. Unfortunately, 4-6 inches of snow are forecast for upstate NY tonight:-( But, as I got the Pista to take out whatever the weather, I think she'll be on the road within 48 hours....

Thanks, everyone, for your advice..... It was over thirty years ago when I last rode a fixed gear (full chrome Legnano - I remember it like it was yesterday) and I'm really looking forward to doing it again.
Keep the saddle....SS_MB-7
Apr 8, 2003 5:42 AM
The WTB saddle is nice. I've always used Flites but this is one nice saddle....definitely helps soften road vibes.

Enjoy your new ride...I love mine!

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
Keep the saddle....Mariowannabe
Apr 16, 2003 4:08 PM
I did take my first couple of rides with this saddle and, yes, it is OK. Its just a ride 150+ miles/wk on the road bike and don't want my butt to get mixed up.

I'm building up the bike with the red Selle Italia, Red Storm tires, and Cinelli red cork bar tape. Adding a black Shimano 105 front brake. Should be sweet.

The first couple rides were great (without front brake, but I was cautious).