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Please welcome my new mistress(24 posts)

Please welcome my new mistressTNSquared
Oct 20, 2003 7:06 PM
That's how my wife refers to my bikes, as my mistresses - LOL!

Actually, though, my sweetie (wife, not bike) has been extremely understanding about this latest addtion to my harem. For two weeks she parked in the drive way and walked around bike parts scattered all over the floor while I commandeered the garage as a work space.

I bought this bike on ebay. It was in pretty good shape, but it had some small rust problems starting and it was very dirty. So I stripped it to the bare naked frame, down to the very last bolt, cleaned it and applied framesaver, and then rebuilt it.

That's what makes this bike special to me. It's certainly not high tech and trick, and nowhere near old enough to be a classic. But when I ride it and feel the gears shift so smoothly, the responsive brakes and the great ride quality, just knowing that I installed and adjusted every cable, bolt, and part on that bike makes me feel like I truly am riding *my* bike. My creature is alive, alive!! :)
Now Thatsa Italian!!TNSquared
Oct 20, 2003 7:11 PM
I don't know why, but this head tube badge is just about my favorite part of the bike. Sorry for the poor quality of the pic, but I wanted to post it because somehow the Eduardo Bianchi emblem just adds an element of class to the bike - IMO.
Set-up for CXTNSquared
Oct 20, 2003 7:17 PM
The top mount levers presented a bit of a challenge to my rookie bar wrapping skills, but I think it looks ok. Because the levers interrupt the brake cable and pull it out from the bar much earlier than where it would normally exit the bar tape, I "pre-taped" the bar underneath the cables and then wrapped the cork over the cables. If there is a better way to do it, please chime in.
J wuz hereTNSquared
Oct 20, 2003 7:23 PM
or more accurately J's butt wuz here. J's contribution to my pursuit, a selle italia xo saddle - officially confirmed to be the smallest saddle ever made. hmmmm.. and J didn't want to keep it? :)
Everything is relative, I guessTNSquared
Oct 20, 2003 7:31 PM
the top tube reads "chromolite" just near the seat tube. the chromo part I do not question, but the lite part? well, ok, sure - if I ever find myself in a pack sprint with a bunch of Sherman tanks, I will have a weight advantage, albeit a slight one.

Notice, too, the almost bluish hue the celeste paint takes on here. It's more noticeable on the downtube, although I couldn't get a pic that really does justice to the irridescent quality of this paint. I realize I'm much too much a novice to make such sweeping comments - but they should not allow any color other than celeste to ever be painted on a bike frame. Right Doug?
One of these things is not like the othersTNSquared
Oct 20, 2003 7:41 PM
OK, I guess certain folks on this board have started to rub off on me. After purchasing two current year model, all aluminum "Lance" bikes at full retail price, I go out and find a used steel bike made by some Italian company on ebay. Wonder how long until I start playing favorites? :)

I've done enough road miles on the Bianchi to say with certainty that the ride quality is different, but I suspect that has as much to do with geometry, wheel choiece, etc, as frame material. Notice I said different, not better. I like each for different reasons.

The Trek 2300 is nimble, quick turning, and it accelerates with a mere hard breath, but it decelerates just as quickly. The Bianchi is solid, smooth and comfortable, and while it takes awhile to get going it holds speed like there is no gravity. The 2300 is like a sports car, where the Bianchi is more like a steamroller. Oh, and that gold bike in the middle? It just crashes alot - don't know what's wrong with it. :)
Parts is parts - last picTNSquared
Oct 20, 2003 7:46 PM
once cross season is over, these goodies are going on and my Beloved Bianchi becomes winter road bike. Longer, (and better looking) stem, 53/39 and 12-25 gearing, fenders, and celeste (yes more celeste!!) bottle cages.

I could go on and on.......oh, guess I already have. :)

Thanks for your indulgence.
yes butt, what kind of shorts was he wearing? :) nmrwbadley
Oct 21, 2003 6:24 AM
Oct 21, 2003 6:59 AM
in keeping with the theme, new socksTNSquared
Oct 21, 2003 7:31 AM
a bit over the top, but I've never been one to do things less than 110%.

give a newbie a real bike and watch his attitude go apesh!ite wild. :)
Dude, that's a lot of Celeste!KG 361
Oct 20, 2003 7:27 PM
Nice bike =) You done good from the looks of it.
Set-up for CXscopestuff2
Oct 20, 2003 9:49 PM
Very PRETTY bike.

Wondered if you could explain something to a nubie. How do you have both standard brake levers and brake levers on the top of the bars ? Can you actuate the brakes from both positions ? There are some descents I've done recently where I would have loved such an arrangement.

Thank you in advance !
Fairly standard for cross and easy to installTNSquared
Oct 21, 2003 4:29 AM
Running both standard/STI levers and top mount levers is a pretty typical cx set-up, at least that's what they tell me. :)

The top mounts like these are very easy to install. These have a hinged clamp, and the brake cable just runs through the top mount lever and barrel adjuster uninterrputed. If you're brake cables are already installed, you'd just need to detach the cable from the caliper so that you can pull it back and cut the cable housing where the cable enters the top mount lever.

You can easily brake from both positions, which is nice when you want to ride on top of the bar in a more mtb position. These are Radius pro levers and I got them at for about $30. and have a few different models by Radius, Salsa, and Empella. I believe some are designed to mount on the bar bulge, while others mount further out on the bar. Mine have a shim to allow either placement, and I have them just outside the bulge because I have big hands and wanted the levers a little further apart.

One note, I'm running canti brakes and would never take them on a steep road descent as they just don't have enough stopping power. However, I don't see any reason these top mounts wouldn't work just as well with standard road brakes.
Fairly standard for cross and easy to installscopestuff2
Oct 22, 2003 7:30 AM
The learning curve on this stuff is steep. I'd love to have brake levers at the top when doing long, fast decents. Just seems like it would be more comfortable than on the hoods, or in the drops on my road bike. However, it would also be quite and odd set-up to ride with at other times. Maybe I just need new bars to help my reach when in the drops.

On another note ... I had never heard of "Canti" brakes, so i did a bit of web search. Looks like those brakes would have great stopping power. But you feel they don't. Why is that ?

Thank you in advance !

top mounts, canti's, please just let me stop :)TNSquared
Oct 22, 2003 8:38 AM
actually, i learned about the top mounts from a friend of mine who uses them on his road bike. he rides on top of the bar alot and felt that the second braking position gives him extra safety in group rides or other situations where he may need to brake quickly. I have the top mount levers for cyclocross because my offroad skills stink and I anticipate being on top of the bars alot. I do not plan to put top mount brake levers on my road bike because I spend 80-90% of my time on the road either on the hoods or in the drops, and I already have a computer and two light mounts so my bar is pretty crowded.

What I have learned about road descsents from just a couple of mountain rides is that you actually get the most leverage and braking power and overall control from the drops. I thought riding on the hoods and/or top of the bar would provide more control and balance, but a very experienced rider in my group corrected me. I couldn't believe how much stronger the braking and cornering became when I moved to the drops. Not only do you have more leverage on the brake levers, being lower and more stretched out will let you put your weight a little further back and create a better center of gravity. Clamping your knees on the top tube also seems to help. Try staying in the drops next time and you should see a big difference from the hoods. If you are just a little uncomfortable in that position, give it time. As you get stronger and more flexible you'll find the drops are the most comfortable place to be. Once you've given it some time, if the overall reach is too much, that can easily be corrected with a shorter stem. If the overall reach is ok and you are just having trouble reaching the brake levers from the drops, then I would work on adjusting the brake lever height on the bars and/or new bars.

As far as the canti's, I still haven't mastered all the adjustments, so that's probably the issue! I think most cyclocrossers would tell you that canti's don't offer the highest absolute stopping power, but they do provide the best speed modulation, and modulation is more important in cross. The biggest advantage to cantis is that they have huge clearance for mud and fenders - otherwise most crossers would probably run V-brakes or disc (and some do.)

Don't get me wrong, the canti's stop fine and I'd use them almost anywhere. They just don't have quite as quick and snappy a stop as the Ultegra brakes that I have on my road bike. The first time I took the cross bike out on the road, I almost overshot my first couple of stops. Once I learned the feel of the canti's I had no problems, but I still don't want to test the canti's at 50+ mph. If you want more specific (and knowledgeable) feedback on cant's, try the cross and component boards - those guys will make your head spin with information. :)

Would work well with fendersChainstay
Oct 20, 2003 7:35 PM
I like it. If I had it I would be inclined to take advantage of the clearances and put a pair of black (enough celeste already) fenders. Nice bike
Black fenders - Check (see last pic)....enough celeste - CheckTNSquared
Oct 20, 2003 7:54 PM
the celeste bar tape seemd like a good idea, but ya never know until you try. Probably won't use celeste again, and my road tires will definitely be all black.
nice job, TN; It looks so good I almost will feel badrcarp
Oct 21, 2003 4:13 AM
as I pass you in the races!!

Well, I can dream can't I.

That is one sweet bike. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Rick Carpenter
small problem with your statementTNSquared
Oct 21, 2003 4:35 AM
the ony way you could pass me is if you were behind me to begin with, and that seems unlikely to happen. good race in AR- wish I could have been there!
SWEET! nmJS Haiku Shop
Oct 21, 2003 5:52 AM
Celeste is like an addictive substance...Akirasho
Oct 21, 2003 7:35 AM
... the first time you see it, you might not like it... but then... it grows on ya...


Be the bike.
purty crosser! have fun this fall riding it! (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 21, 2003 7:43 AM
re: Please welcome my new mistressmapei boy
Oct 21, 2003 11:47 AM
I test rode one of those a couple months back. It was a used bike, mostly decked out in Shimano XTR. A truly excellent bike. Perfect balance. Pillow soft ride. It didn't accelerate too well, but when it was up to speed it pedaled effortlessly. It climbed with surprising alacrity. I would have bought it on the spot, but it was one size too large.
Very nice - good work!! (nm)jtferraro
Oct 21, 2003 12:08 PM