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Bianchi Milano: Okay for 12 mile commute?(11 posts)

Bianchi Milano: Okay for 12 mile commute?bike_junkie
Apr 3, 2001 11:06 AM
Looking for a good commuter, may occasionally hit a smooth dirt road, and am considering a 'cross bike like the LeMond Poprad, or for several hundred less, the Bianchi Milano looks really cool. The folks in the review section seem to like them, too.

The thing is, my commute is 12 miles one way, and I'm wondering if the 26" wheels and upright position of the Milano are just too slow. How tall are the gears in the internal 7spd hub? Thanks!
Doug's gonna love this!Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2001 11:41 AM
You bet!

Gears, shmears. 7 is plenty (too many, IMHO). Upright is good -- you can enjoy the scenery. The configuration is not very different from my cruiser, which has completed 2 centuries so far this year, and may do another this weekend.

Consider fenders and panniers, a rack, a backpack, a basket or SOME means of carrying a modest amount of stuff so you can do some shopping on the way home. And have lights available for it. Configure a commuter for minimum excuses.

The rear wheel is messy to pull due to the Nexus hub. Consider a thorn-resistant tube in that one, perhaps with some Slime for added insurance.
Apr 3, 2001 12:10 PM
I love my Milano 7 speed. Cruising at 15 mph is no problem. The gears work great, very low maintenance. It looks cool -- maybe too cool if you have to leave it locked up somewhere where it could be stolen, though.

If you want to ride 18-20 mph, you probably don't want the Milano. But, if 13-15 mph is ok, it fits the bill. I think the gears work out to something like 80 gear inches tops.

As HH said, the rear wheel is a pain to remove and replace. I replaced the stock tube with a Slime tube (presta valve) and liner right away. No flats, yet.

If I were commuting by bike, this is what I would use.

Incidentally, I did ride mine once on an 80 mile training ride up the mountains with a couple of buddies on racing bikes. It got me up a 2,500 foot climb ok.

Apr 3, 2001 12:56 PM
Thanks Doug. 80 miles on a Milano! You ARE the man!
So you'd choose the Milano over a (faster) cyclocross bike for a commuter? Mine is a 12 mile commute and I think of 26" wheels and upright seating as slow, but maybe the Milano is different. My Supergo has one for like $525, and any 'crossbike I'd consider is another $300, however.
Is that all the fast you go on that thing?Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2001 1:24 PM
Man, I've really GOTTA try a roadbike with a cyclocomputer out one of these days, on one of my standard routes. I averaged 12.5 and 13.9 mph saddle time on my last two centuries, and did a 16 mph 20-mile "TT" recently. On a truly level course with few turns or other obstacles and little wind it will probably hold 18 at least.

I'd have guessed you could cruise at 22 mph on the Milano.
leisurely commuteDog
Apr 3, 2001 2:10 PM
I was thinking in terms of a leisurely commute to the office, where you don't want to get there all sweating and panting. 22mph on any bike would be pretty hard work, and even more so on the Milano. Remember that wind resistance is geometric... and with this one, you sit fairly up right. 15 mph is quite a ways from 18 mph, even.

not so leisurely commuteCliff Oates
Apr 3, 2001 2:25 PM
FWIW, on a cyclo-cross bike with 32mm tires pumped to 100 psi, and carrying a load in back (computer, clothing, towels, etc.) I average 17 mph on a 16 mile commute. It has been unusual for anyone to pass me, and the ones that do are riding unloaded road bikes. That's about as good as it gets for a commute unless you start ignoring traffic laws.
not so leisurely commutebike_junkie
Apr 3, 2001 2:35 PM
I think on a 'crossbike, 17-18mph is reasonable without working too hard, whereas it sounds like that speed on the Milano (with smaller wheels, gears, and greater wind resistance) would be a killer.
Leaning toward the 'crossbike.
Your're stuck with many excellent choices ...Humma Hah
Apr 3, 2001 3:50 PM
... the neat thing about a commuter is that you can do it on almost anything you like. The only thing to really want to avoid is a really high-dollar race bike (due to the theft and damage exposure).

I've been looking for a good frame to build into a cross bike, too, and the price range you quoted would be perfect (I could buy it without my wife griping about it).

If you race, there's something to say for riding something with a similar geometry to the race bike, so you remain comfortable on either. But an upright bike like the Milano, a MTB, or my cruiser are all perfectly good options, too. They're stable, give excellent visibility and riding comfort, and are probably just a little safer than a roadbike, although at the cost of a couple of mph at a given level of exertion.

Any bike can give you a good workout on a commute. The most important thing is to make it an enjoyable ride, with a minimum of possible excuses, so you do it as often as possible.
CX BikeCliff Oates
Apr 3, 2001 4:53 PM
I'm in my mid 40's and riding with 20 pounds of gear on the back of my bike, so I call it a really effective 2-a-day workout. Your circumstances might be different.

I definitely recommend the CX bike. Focus on reliability, particularly wheels and tires. Fixing a flat or dealing with a broken spoke really sucks when you have to be somewhere at a certain time. Some of the CX bikes, such as the Lemond, don't have attachments for fenders or racks either, which may be a factor for you.
Tested the Milano today...bike_junkie
Apr 4, 2001 4:48 PM
Man, what a neat bike. The shifting is so crisp, and the ride is smooth and faster than I thought. The bike really is cool and comfy from what I can tell. Haven't ruled it out by any means.

Also rode a Specialized Sirrus. Pretty neat; 700c wheels, mtb drivetrain, suspension post. Probably a perfect commuter and faster than the Milano, but I don't need the triple crank, and I don't really like the rapidfire shimano stuff, and the Milano is just plain cooler!

Thanks for the feedback, guys.