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Calling All Bianchi Experts...or the Curse of Celeste(7 posts)

Calling All Bianchi Experts...or the Curse of Celestedeemer
May 28, 2002 9:05 PM
I am hoping to get a new Bianchi. I am new to the sport, and hoping some of the folks on this board can help me decide what bike to get. I am choosing between:

-Bianchi Veloce $1350 (celeste)--Campy Veloce
-Bianchi Veloce $1080 (blue/yellow) on sale--Campy Veloce
-Bianchi Vigorelli $1280 (celeste)-on sale.--Ultegra
-Bianchi Giro ('01)AL $999 (yellow)-on sale--105

Rationally, I should go for Vigorelli, since I'm getting Ultegra at bargain prices. But for some reason, the Veloce feels better, even though they are prob very similar frame. Also, I find myself leaning towards the full-priced Veloce because I like the color.

Someone please beat some sense into me.

Also--these are all at different LBSs...how much weight should I put on which one seemed better? (does it have to be very close to where I live/go riding?)

Thanks for your help
re: Calling All Bianchi Experts...or the Curse of Celestegs6769
May 29, 2002 3:39 AM
Seems you should buy one of the Veloces. There's no substitute for 'it feels better'. IMO these are all fine bikes which would give you years of enjoyment. The component groups are of similar quality and would perform very well with routine maintenance. Colorwise, my 2000 Eros is celeste and I wouldn't have it any other way. Still, almost 300.00 is a bit to spend on a color, given of course that all else is equal between the bikes.
As regards which shop, the question I always ask myself is 'do these people give a **** that I'm in here?'. I don't need my butt kissed but I don't want to be treated snottily either. Otherwise, is the place well organized? Clean? Were they interested in fitting you or just selling to you? Do people like to hang out there or do they just stop in to buy some new bar tape and leave? This is the stuff that helped me pull out my wallet at a small shop a little farther from home, not too far though, and I've been glad ever since.
Post when you buy eh? I'd be interested to know what choice you made.
re: Calling All Bianchi Experts...or the Curse of Celestetarwheel
May 29, 2002 3:57 AM
First of all, make sure you are properly fit for the frames. That might be why one of them feels much better than the others. Nothing is more important than proper fit.

If all that checks out, tell the bike shop with the Celeste Veloce that you can get the same bike at another shop for $270 less and see if they'll come down on the price any. Personally, I love the Celeste green and have owned two Bianchis that color. Some people hate it, but to me it's a bit of classic cycling. When I'm riding my Celeste Bianchi -- which is nearly 20 years old -- people really notice. I've had a number of people say things to me while stopped at traffic lights, like "Nice bike" or "What kind of bike is that, how much does it weigh, etc." I've never gotten comments like that riding my other bikes, however nice. I get similar comments at bike shops, which is kind of funny because my Bianchi was not the top-of-the-line model when I got it, but it sure is pretty and the paint has held up great over the years.
re: Calling All Bianchi Experts...or the Curse of CelesteMcAndrus
May 29, 2002 3:58 AM
gs6769's comment on $300 for a color is something to consider. Of the groups, I prefer the Campagnolo but again, Ultegra is a very good group with a long history of performance.

A few months ago I cracked the BB shell on my 7-year-old Eros. Under warranty, Bianchi replaced it with a Veloce. My main ride is a Giant and I was considering selling the new Bianchi frame when it arrived and buying another Giant instead. Then I saw the Celeste frame and it just-looked-so-pretty....

The Veloce frame is a little heavy to be a competition bike but if you're riding more casually then I think you've made a good choice.
re: Calling All Bianchi Experts...or the Curse of Celesteshutterbiker
May 29, 2002 5:40 AM
had a veloce for 2 1/2 years. really like it. smooth ride, handled well, and good looking bike. i had the celeste color. i recently traded it in toward boron xl in celeste. very familiar bianchi ride, but a little lighter. i think you would be very happy with the veloce and campy components. it was a very hard choice to trade mine in.
Try again.djg
May 29, 2002 5:59 AM
Make sure the bikes are set up similarly, if not identically. Go ahead and bring your own tape measure and do a quick check to see that your A/B comparison is done with the same saddle height and, ideally, the same reach to the bars. If they'll give you the same position relative to the pedals, that's a plus too. Also, make absolutely sure that you're running the same tire pressure (same tires would help, but it's unlikely that the shop will switch these for a test ride).

Now, the Vigorelli is a nicer bike than the Veloce, and although there's nothing wrong with Veloce components, the current generation of Ultegra is probably a step up. Campy fans, do your worst (fwiw, I ride Record 10 on my nice bike and a mix of Record/Chorus 9 on my commuter). Take as long a test ride as the shop will allow. Really. My guess is that, properly adjusted, you'll prefer the Vigorelli. But if you don't, go with your gut. There is no substitute for feeling comfortable on the bike, and if something about the Veloce just feels right I wouldn't discount that.

Is it rational to spend another 300 bucks for a color you prefer? Sure, I guess, if you really prefer the color a lot. Say, 300 bucks worth. It's your money, after all. At that price level, I'd save the money on the color to put it into something else (maybe a savings fund for a nice set of wheels). But it's your call.
nobody's addressed the Giro...JS Haiku Shop
May 29, 2002 6:17 AM
I paid $1000, including shipping (no tax) more than a year ago for a new bianchi giro. full 105, triple chainring, cxp33 rims. it now has around 4k miles on it, and serves as my "rain bike" and bike for hilly rides, with the triple and a 12-27 cassette. i replaced the stock handlebar and stem, saddle, pedals, and rims (cxp21--this was upgraded before purchase, at my request), and it's a very comfy ride; i've done as much as 125 semi-hilly miles on it. i'm a 200# rider.

that said, it's not a competition bike--don't expect to race it. the frame material is low-quality AL and heavy, and also very overly flexy around the bb area. complaints aside, i don't regret the purchase, and would do it all over again, if in the same circumstance.

i'm not familiar with the other frames, but have recently purchased a new steel bike with chorus, and think campy/shimano difference is striking. though i now prefer the overall campy feel, this won't limit me to campy-only purchases i the future.

consider the giro--just b/c nobody else has chimed-in on it. spend the rest of your budget on accessories (computer, bottles, cages, seatpack, frame pump, floor pump, basic tools, shoes, shorts and jerseys, helmet, glasses, gloves, tubes, patch kit,...).

good luck.