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XL Boron (con't):will it live long enough to be my last bike(6 posts)

XL Boron (con't):will it live long enough to be my last bikesprockets2
May 23, 2002 7:15 AM
Previously I have posted on the Dedacciai tubing (EOM), and whether the XL in fact has this or some variant and so on... I compared the tubes to the Pegoretti GGM, which has much more massive tubes, and I was confused about the identity of the tubeset on the XL.

I checked out the XL frame at a local shop-and then rode one at another-and I must say that steel is fer-certain real. I was amazed at how light the XL frame was in comparison to an Ultra foco frame that the shop had on hand.

To be fair, I couldn't ride the the UF frame to compare performance-it was just the frame. Also, the UF frame was a bit bigger, and the UF tubes were larger all the way around, but I mean, the UF bike felt like a good light steel frame, while the XL felt like one of those trick frames that your local shop entices you with: see how amazing the new technology is...don't you want one!!?

The XL was nicely finished, with some nice touches: brazed on seat clamp, brazed on dropout on the rear, nice work all of the way around, it seemed on casual inspection. But the bottom line is that the XL is amazingly light-no, shockingly light-which leads to my question: is the XL and its foamy seat tube going to be around in 15 years? The UF bike I was looking at really felt as though it would be, nice, solid, light, but the XL was like, well, something I haven't experienced before: featherweight steel. I don't want to have to buy a new steel frame anytime soon. I have heard of some cracks in the BB junction for the XL series, mainly in Al, and that was also entirely before they got Foamy-Tech. Any thoughts or experiences? Thanks as always.
nogtx
May 23, 2002 7:57 AM
Saw lots of these break the last time I worked in shop that sold Bianchi. Recently was in a LBS that carried Bianchi, asked the owner if they still break. Answer: yes. Basically, there is no free lunch--this is a very light frame.
I cracked two in two yearsAaronL
May 23, 2002 8:52 AM
That being said, the Boron XL is a nice bike. I don't like the paint on the 2002 model though, it's too plain.

If you weigh less than 180 lbs you will like the bike as it is stiff in the BB. But, if you are a big rider I don't think it's the bike for you. It's just too gossamer for a heavy rider.

After my second one cracked (first cracked at the seat tube/BB, second cracked at the seatstay/seat tube) I traded up for a 2002 EV2. Scary light but hey, it's got a warranty.

While waiting for the EV2 I had no bike to ride so I bought a Fort Zona. I wanted a good training/all around bike made from steel. Check them out, www.fortframes.com For the money they are very hard to beat. My frame came in at 200 gm more than the Bianchi did but I think I'll get more than a year out of it. If you want steel, this is a very nice riding bike.

Good luck.

On last thing, Bianchi's warranty dept is top notch. In both cases I had a new frame back within a week.
Did you deal with them directly?McAndrus
May 23, 2002 10:43 AM
I had a six-year-old Eros crack in the BB shell. It took them five months to replace it with a Veloce frame. But then, I was working through an LBS.
Did you deal with them directly?AaronL
May 23, 2002 11:00 AM
I went throught the LBS, it's the only way you can get warranties done. Bianchi USA will do nothing for you on your own. Hell, I work 10 miles from their Hayward office and I begged them to let me drop off the cracked frame and they absolutely would not let me do it. Silly, but it's just the way they are.

You probably had to wait because they didn't have the bike in your size available. It's common. My Specialized cracked at the BB and I waited for nearly 3 months to get a replacement. It was literally on a slow boat from Taiwan.
the answer would be no.grandemamou
May 23, 2002 9:08 AM
But, that does not make it a bad bike. I test rode this bike and liked it alot but ended up with the EV2 which I love. FWIW I'm 145 and ride a 51 cm frame.

This frame, as well as the ultra foco frame are lightweight steel racing frames. IMO lightweight frames of any material will have a LTD lifespan. How long will it last is anybodys guess. Mileage,size of rider,size of frame,riding conditions can all increase or decrease the lifespan of the frame. For the price I was very satisfied. Mine came witha 5 yr warranty and Bianchi has a good history of honoring warranties.

My 2 cents is that if you are a heavy rider or need a large frame this would not be the frame for you. If longevity is very important to you and you like Bianchi they do make sturdier versions in steel and AL. They also offer a Ti frame. Hope this helps.