Experimental music, photography, and adventures

New bicycle!

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

So, after a little teaser, it’s time to reveal the new ride. Barturtle guessed correctly — it’s a Bianchi Imola.

My dad had a Bianchi when I was a kid, and they have always held a certain mystique to me.  This bicycle, while still steel, is a much more modern build.

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Highlights include full Shimano Tiagra drivetrain and brakes, and a Reynolds 631 steel frame. The ride is incredibly smooth, but also very responsive. Exactly what I was hoping for.

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Based on a shakedown ride today, there are some things I don’t like. First of all, the “compact” handlebars, which are narrow and have shallow drops, are just awful. I don’t really mind the shallow drops, but I need a wide handlebar. I tried adjusting the angle, and that helped a little, but these bars will have to go.

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The stock saddle could have been worse, but I didn’t care for it.

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My wife snapped this shot of me riding the bike.

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A few nitpicks aside, I love it so far, but I’m still getting everything dialed in. I made a few adjustments on my ride today, but I will have to make some more later. I already swapped out the saddle for the Selle Italia that was on my mountain bike. We’ll see how this saddle works on the road. I’ll probably eventually get a leather saddle for it.

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More details to follow. We”ll be hitting the road again tomorrow.

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11 Responses to “New bicycle!”

  1. Chris Says:

    This week brifters, next week carbon frame, skinny tires, aero spokes, $1000 wheels, and titanium screws. It’s a slippery slope, my friend. You’re probably going to replace those bars with carbon, right?

    Just kidding, of course, enjoy the new ride! It looks like loads of fun.

  2. Bill Lambert Says:

    That is a great looking bike. That blue makes it look retro, but with new components I’ll bet it’s a really sweet ride. Is that a carbon fork?

  3. furiousball Says:

    beautiful bike. enjoy it!

  4. Doug Says:

    Excellent choice for a “go-fast” bike that fits into your tastes. The road bike I had prior to my current one was a Italian-made (not made in Taiwan) steel Bianchi Veloce. It’s price in 2003 was just slightly higher than your Imola. It had a wonderful steel ride. If I still had it today, I think I would swap out the carbon fork with a Rivendell steel Carbonomas fork. There are days I still miss that bike. It was a fun ride.

    I’m still in awe of you riding all those Pennsylvania hills on the LHT. Don’t get me wrong. I love my LHT. But it is better suited to loaded touring and commuting. I used mine as a “road bike” for one season, between when I sold the Bianchi and when my new frame was finished. There were many rides, mostly the hilly ones, that I was wishing I had a better climbing bike.

    Love the color…enjoy the new ride. It’s always fun to get a new bike.

  5. Steve A Says:

    Shallow drops seem to be the “new thing.” I kind of like them, but I agree that they need to fit your shoulder width. What is the specific problem with the saddle? I think I’m fortunate that my posterior doesn’t seem to be very choosy in that regard.

  6. Bike Noob Says:

    Not surprised you’ve gotten rid of the Ponza saddle. Are you going to trick this out as a randonneuring bike? Start racking up hundreds of kilometers at a time? Handlebar bag, big saddle bag, lots of head and tail lights?

  7. Tim S Says:

    looks great!

  8. Barturtle Says:

    great looking bike. I love the retro look with the modern gear.

  9. Apertome Says:

    Chris: no worries, if anything the bike should move in more of a retro direction, not more advanced.

    Bill: yes, it does have a carbon fork. Haven’t decided how I feel about it yet other than the ride is amazingly smooth and I am not sure it the carbon fork contributes to that or not, but whatever is going on, it’s magically smooth.

    Doug: thanks! The sluggish climbing of the LHT was the primary impetus for moving in this direction. Lugging it up the hills in PA was definitely a big challenge, but it also allowed me to explore a lot of great mixed terrain.

    Steve: the stock saddle was just very hard. It had very little padding and was awfully unforgiving. The biggest problem is, I’m spoiled by the leather saddle on my LHT. It doesn’t have padding, but it has enough give to it to soak up a lot of the bumps.

    Noob: The plan, for now anyway, is to keep this bike relatively unencumbered and light. The LHT already has a lot of the things you mentioned. We’ll just have to see about the hundreds of kilometers at a time 😉

    Everyone else: thanks! I think it’s a beautiful bicycle, too.

  10. Redbikes Says:

    Very nice!

    I seem to have found myself being drawn towards steel framed bikes too.

  11. Errin Says:

    Nice! Now I know why you were interested in the Casseroll. They look like they are spec’d pretty close actually, except for the carbon fork of course.

    Congrats on the new ride!

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