a Cross Country Rider
from NY, NY
Date Reviewed: June 27, 2011
Strengths: Specifically the frame is exceptional. Light, Stiff, and cheap. Three things that seldom come together when describing a bike. The fork is heavy and generic but that is because it has to balance out how great the frame is I would guess.
Weaknesses: Product did not come with a disclaimer stating it was 'too good'.
The bottom line is this bike was a game changer for me. I left full suspension cross country all together after one ride on this. I kept it fully rigid and changed parts out as they got worn or no longer met my satisfaction. As a stock bike I thought it was spec'd perfectly and rode very well for its price.
I bought this new in 02 at the shop I was working at and it had remained in great shape until the day it was stolen (6/1/11). I've never owned a bike that had such complacency. It took easy riding, abusive riding and everything in between. It even took me to a podium in my class for one of the few races I did on her. After 9 years of riding I can say this is one exceptional bike. If you have the opportunity to own one of these presented to you, take it! You will not regret it. I am currently looking for another one [DiSS].
I love this bike, as in "emotional attachment". It's reminds what biking was like when I was a kid. Given this, when I think of which bike to take for a certain trail it's the first one I think of...unless the trail has long flats or uphills. It's really perfect for tight, rolling hill trails. Every time you crank it, you feel the back tire gripping the dirt through your legs, I guess it's the bike equivalent of road feel. Anyway, I think all of Bianchi's SSs of the time had about the same geometry. If you can find one, get one.
Bike Setup: Stock except for SID forks and Thomson seatpost (Original bent).
Date Reviewed: January 13, 2005
Strengths: Quick response, 19.5" frame feels great and I'm 5'8", nimble, looks sweet when it's clean
Weaknesses: Stock avid pads wear out too fast; terrible stock headset - wore out after 6 months of use; 24+ lbs stock; Noisy rear brake cable slaps against frame unless you tie it down; poor bottom bracket; chainline is out - fix was to move chainring to outside and insert washers to space properly; Bashgard is useless unless you're DHing which you wouldn't be doing in this bike anyways
This is my first and only singlespeed. It's a nice frame geometry and I can ride almost anything with it. The chainline leaves a little room for improvement. But then again this is an older bike now and there is a lot of newer stuff out there.
The componentry on this bike is not the plushest on the market, but you get what you pay for. And for the $800 or so that this bike retails for (now SASS steel frame) you can't go wrong. It's simple, responsive, and an E.O.Y. (extension of yourself), as singlespeeding always is. If you haven't single-sped before, this is the bike to start with.
Bike Setup: Stock except front wheel (taco'd the stock one in a race)
a Cross Country Rider
from outer space
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2003
Strengths: Cheap, light frame, cool looking, single speed specific (horizonnal dropouts), great product spec (for the money), great avid disc brakes, frame comes with lifetime warranty
Weaknesses: WTB 2.4 Mutanoraptor tires are wire beaded (there is a kevlar beaded version thats a little lighter and they are easily confused with these), front WTB tire was slightly out of round, the spot rear hub had bound bearings due to improper setup (forcing me to replace the bearings), the bike overall is pretty heavy (~25 lbs for a SS is high), bottom bracket feels loose already (after only a few months of riding), headset is junk (but is hanging in there so far), stock pedals are worthless/slippery plastic (throw them away immediately), chain line was out significantly - I needed to remove the bashguard and move the chainring outside (with spacers) to correct the chainline, stock Avid pads wear very rapidly in muddy conditions and cost $25 a set to replace (now using EBC golds which are holding up much better), very harsh ride with stock rigid fork (I put a Duke SL 100mm on and I'm MUCH happier now).
This bike is good and I'm pleased with it overall. I REALLY love the singlspeeding experience thats for sure. But I did have several teething problems that irritated the hell out of me. Especially the bound bearings on the Spot rear hub and the skewed chainline...these are things that should have been caught/corrected at the factory and at my LBS...but instead I had to deal with it.
The bike feels sturdy as hell. I've heard of several people breaking Bianchi SS frames, both their steel and Al versions (usually by the chainstay). It's hard for me to believe I'm going to break this frame though. The bike feels tough, but I'm not a hardcore jumper or huckster...just a Joe Blow XC guy (190 lbs, 6'1" and a 21 XL fits me well). But this frame is not intended for that kind of use anyway. I guess durability will reveal itself in due time. I'll use the lifetime warranty if I need to.
All in all this is a good bike. I mention a lot of weaknesess above. But for the price it is very hard to beat. Plus, if you know about the shortcomings ahead of time (which you do now!), you can use this information to get your LBS to straighten the flaws out BEFORE you take delivery. Afterwhich, you'll be a happy singlespeeding camper. This bike is nice once you get it dialed in, don't underestimate it.
Similar Products Used: 1971 Columbia single speed with banana seat and steerhorn handlebars (when I was 7)
Bike Setup: Stock 02 DISS frame with '03 SISS component set, except replaced freewheel with 15 tooth ACS, Time carbon pedals, Rockshox susp seat post (26.8), WTB Ti laser saddle, water bottle cages (2), WTB 2.5 Mutanoraptor Kevlar up front, EBC gold pads on the Avids.
a Cross Country Rider
from San Francisco, California
Date Reviewed: March 20, 2003
Strengths: Responsive, light, quick, strong, and comfortable on paved roads and fire trails. This bike is great on non-technical ascents. On my first single-speed ride ever I rode from San Francisco to the top of Mt. Tam and never had to get off the bike once, and I am only in average shape. This is simply a great looking bike, no bright colors or silly stripes of any kind; just plain flat black.
Weaknesses: The pedals are not acceptable, no grip whatsoever. This is not the bike for you if you want to hit the rocks hard or do any jumping, the aluminum frame will rattle your bones to the core, the 2003 steel-frame SISS would be a better choice for this type of riding. The sizing is odd, get at least one size larger than normal as they run quite small. This bike does not like quick sharp turns, take it slow until you get used to how it handles.
I got this bike because it fits the riding I like to do, city streets & dirt fire trails with an occasional foray onto the actual rocks. I also love the fact that you can realy concentrate on your actual ride without concerning yourself with when you should shift gears. You will get a great workout with every ride as you really use your upper-body! If you live in a hilly area do not be afraid of this bike, it loves the hills. This is a really fun bike, I am no-spring chicken but I feel like a kid when I am on this thing.
Purchased At: A Bicycle Odyssey/Sausalito CA. A great shop check it out.
Similar Products Used: This is my first single-speed.
Bike Setup: Stock, I plan to replace the pedals ASAP as they lack grip.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2003
Strengths: Avid discs Truvativ Stylo (ISIS) Light
Weaknesses: 26.8 seatpost - 27.2 would be nice, so I could run a Moots post! (nit pick)
Titec X-wing post is crap
This is a nice bike. I really think that for cross country it's a great deal for what you get. I didn't like my Gunnar because it seemed to noodly. My Chameleon is great I love that bike! It is more versitile than the DISS although it is more expensive. The Chameleon gets thrashed urban, cross, jumping, etc. The DISS will be used for XC riding only!! The bike just doesn't fell like it can take a bunch of abuse. It feels stiffer than the Gunnar but not near the Chameleon. The DISS climbs very well and decends just as good, it's a little slow in the tight stuff. I bought a large which measures about 23.5in C-C TT. The Chameleon in a large measures 22in C-C. I'm 5' 11" and I tend to like the shorter top tube although both bikes have their own pros/cons. Bottom line, this is a great bike and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys SSs and wants one at a good price!
Weaknesses: Heavy for a SS. Short steer tube(no adjustment). Frame prep from factory,Crummy headset,freewheel,pedals and cable routing.
Got this machine as an 02' closeout. Frame is very compliant despite the oversized Al frame. Easton Ultralight with some really wild manipulations to the tubeset. Typical "factory" welds and a somewhat fragile paint job. Well I think it's paint? Plenty O' stickers including one that states "Your bike sucks" Chromo disc specific fork with a short steerer.(no spacers from the factory).The components are all good to very good except the junk headset, Shimano freewheel and plastic pedals. Tru-vativ stylo splined SS cranks and BB, flexy but not to the point of distraction. Can lean the bike to the side and press the crankarm against the chainstay. Wheels are WTB disc specific with the Spot rear hub (HEAVY). WTB Mutano-raptors 2.24, really good tires, although they add to an already heavy wheelset. The freewheel has been gritty and very "sticky" to the point it produces ghost pedaling on the repair stand, even after 100 miles of break in. Chain was reversed because master link rubbed on chaingaurd. Avids, excellent 6" discs, cables and SD 5 levers. Cool rear Disc brake tab has slots milled in it so you can loosen the bolts and slide the caliper out of the way to remove the rear wheel. Not the fastest set-up but with practice not to bad. Titec seatpost 26.8 has a very comfortable flex that smooths the ride out even more. Had to change out the stock Easton stem for a super burly Titec Big Al 135 +-0. WTB seat is a chromo version of their Ti laser series. So comfy I am puting one on my 29" Sycip. Also changed out the crap Aheadset for a Chris king NoThreadset, enough said. 24 lbs with the changes mentioned above plus egg beaters and an Al water bottle cage. All in all a very nice package for someone who might be looking to getting into SS. $750-850 may seem a little steep but price a SS frameset with the same components and you cant touch the DISS. Three flaming poo's cause I cant stand junk headsets, cable routing is a creatively poor(zip ties).And headtube and bb shell was in a very desperate need of a facing job.
Similar Products Used: Converted Specialized HardRock. Trek 850, Raliegh Team Peak, Sycip Unleaded 29"
Bike Setup: Stock except Chris King NoThreadset, Crank Bros eggbeaters and Titec Big Al stem.
from Cambridge, MA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 11, 2003
Strengths: Responsive, powerful feel. Beautiful cosmetics. Good brakes, wheels. Excellent value for the supplied components.
Weaknesses: Attractive, but weak paint job. It looks nice, but rubs off, scratches and nicks easily. The brake cable hitting against the headtube caused the paint underneath to rub off within 2 months. Personally, I would prefer shorter chainstays. The stock pedals were awful, but that's understandable.
Bottom line, this is a great bike simply because it's fun to ride. It feels sturdy, almost like a tank. If you want a durable, reliable, stylish bike, this is for you.
I purchased a shorter stem for a more responsive feel, a more comfortable cockpit and to move my center of gravity slightly rearward. The pedals needed replacing because they would not keep my feet in place even when it was dry out. The saddle, of course, is a matter of personal preference.
I ride mostly around the city on this bike for which it is well suited. It's great on icy, snowy roads. My apologies to those who want information about this bike on the trail. I'll start on that this spring. :)
Bike Setup: Stock, except Sun-Ringle Zuzu pedals, shorter stem (no name), Spot/SDG saddle, Oury grips
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 20, 2002
Strengths: Amazing components and frame for the $$. As the mfg. says, the tires DO have a lot of suspension in them. Brakes are fling-you-over-the-handlebars powerful. I like the feel of the WTB saddle (your butt may vary).
Weaknesses: As others have noted, the pedals are usable, but not fancy. Rear brake cable slaps a lot. Chain master link hangs on front sprocket (reverse it to fix).
The fun of biking is back. Maintenance hassles are few and infrequent. The ultimate commuter bike -- and more. My road bike and other MTB sit in the garage gathering dust. I'm trying to see if I can get my endurance up to the point where I could do a 60- or 70-mile ride with this beast (maybe not fast, maybe not pretty, but definitely fun -- especially on the downhills where the massive brakes come in handy).
Similar Products Used: Hand-welded, mild steel frame, with solid-rubber tires and training wheels (circa 1962).
Bike Setup: Stock, for now.
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2002
Strengths: Great Frame, Amazing BB and cranks, Great Disks, Great Seat Post, Stiff Ride, Who can argue Giant builds a great frame. Yes another rebadged Giant bike. This is my second post, and I love the bike more then before.
Weaknesses: Crummy pedals. and a Shimano Freewheel, Bad front Chain Ring, mine is out of round. (I am searching for a good wide replacement)
Amazing freaking bike. I only change parts for product testing, it was fine as it came, the only thing you have to change are the pedals and the grips. Out of the box it is a great bike. Maybe some day it will get a suspension fork, but there are so few that do this bike justice. Buy it as a built single speed, especially if it is your first. there is no cheaper way to get these parts one at a time.
Bike Setup: These are recomendations based on a guy with nothing else to spend money on. Oury Grips, Chris King Single speed hub this means no more freewheel(15 tooth cog), King front hub, Mavic 618 Rims, built by Pinky, Egg Beater pedals, Easton Monkey Lite Hi Rise, Original Stem and Seat Post, BMX Bushingless Chain,
a Cross Country Rider
from Portland, Oregon
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2002
Strengths: Value for money, Stock spec- Avid Mechanicals, WTB disc specific rims, Trivaviv crank, Easton
Weaknesses: Paint does chip easily
I bought this bike for use as my commuter (mainly off road up and through Forest park) since single speeding seemed like a low maintenance, inexpensive and fun way to get some fitness back into this beaten up and misused body of mine. My full suspension bike now no longer gets a look in and is hanging in the garage getting its share of care and attention from the spiders. The D.I.S.S is a great all round bike for the money. The avids are the best brakes I have had on any bike. I have the modulation set for maximum feel with the levers positioned for single digit braking. I tried riding the bike with the rigid fork for a while when I first bought it but had to give in, put my hand back in my pocket and get the Marzocchi with the Chris King to finish the package. The Bianchi frame feels very responsive and the stiffness that was all too present with the rigid fork has been dampened nicely with the addition of the MXC. The Chain link was catching the ring guard when I first got the bike. I liked having the ring guard so, rather than removing it, I solved the problem by rotating the chain so the offending chain link is facing the rear wheel. The mutanoraptors that came with the bike have served me well over the summer but have been retired for the cyclocross season and replaced with the skinnier Continentals. They will be back on the bike in the spring. I had to add some cable ties to stop the continuous cable slapping and put on some paint saving clear stickers at the advice of some earlier reviewers. Bottom bottom line is this bike has given me twice the fun of my full suspension at a third of the price, with a great workout included for free! If I had known I would ride this bike as much as I do, I would have paid a lttle more and got a Gunnar or Jerhicho. Buy this bike unless you want to pay for/can afford a custom steel build. 1 chilli off for the 'Italian' but made in Taiwan along with the easily chipped paint job.
Similar Products Used: Tried a Gunnar S.S, Rode a BMX whan I was younger, have a Cannondale Jekyll.
Bike Setup: Stock plus the following: Marzocchi MXC, Egg Beaters, Continental XC, ODI grips, Titec Bar ends, Chris King no thread set
a Weekend Warrior
from Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2002
Strengths: Components and Ultra Light frame! The Avid mechanical disc brake system is a sweet addition to the Bianchi SS line this year.
Weaknesses: Pedals... replaced with Kona Jacksh#t pedals before getting out of the store. Brake cables had to be grommeted before riding as well because of the warnings of others about paint scrappage.
The components alone were worth the price of this bike. I'm totally in love with it and can't wait to put more miles on it. Being able to pick this bike up and over my head with one hand is a totally wicked... reminds me of my old rigid Cannondale. :)
Any looking into getting into single speeding... this is a good entry level bike if you don't want to convert your main squeeze. I have sold my ex-main squeeze and now ride this and my old hardtail SS conversion only. I don't know that I'll ever switch back to a geared bike again. And, thanks to makers the likes of Bianchi, maybe this will start catching on again. :)
Similar Products Used: Home built single-speed conversion.
Bike Setup: Stock with the exception of the pedals.
from D.C. USA
Date Reviewed: July 22, 2002
Strengths: Light frame, great bar, post, and saddle. Isis cranks/bb and slick chain tensioner. The geometry is great for me at 6'1" to use the 19.5" frame I love single track, and my local city streets. The ride is firm but not to rough.
Weaknesses: Those plastic thingies on the cranks had to go. and the grips had to be switched out for some Oury grips first thing. The paint is a bit easy to scratch off, but it is a MTB, not a prissy little road bike.
Do not buy this bike if you want to race single speed!!!! Everything works great except changing a flat in the rear takes some practice. BUY this bike if you love single speed bikes, or want to love them. If you want to have pure simple fun and re-learn what MTB skills are, then buy this bike. You will know that you only need one gear. The bike comes with some sweet stuff on it, and the set up is sexy as hell. I will miss the quiet hubs (great for sneaking up on friends) when the Chris King hubs show up. I will give a review of them, and the other parts of my new wheels. I think that I will also replace the bar with a Monkey light. I work in a shop so it is easy to get parts and stuff. Keep riding rigid single speed bikes, forget the travel and the hype.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 1, 2002
Strengths: It's a cool color. Its a singlespeed. Super light.
Weaknesses: Aluminum is good for beer cans, not mountain bike frames. I am a large guy who cranks hard and rides aggressively. I've broken the BaSS and the BuSS in the past years and I'm getting the DiSS as a warrantee replacement. If you work this frame it will break. It took me a year for each of the others, but it will break.
Where are you (by you I mean a sub 200lb. rider) going to get quality components like Avid discs, Truvative splined cranks, and a really great ride for less than this bike? Not through legal means. It's really a great bike, fun to ride, climbs as well as you can, descends like crazy due to its long wheelbase. I loved the bikes I had (BaSS & BuSS) but I can't be waiting for a month every year for my frame replacement to show up! I'm buying a Surly 1x1 and I'll review the difference between steel and AL.
As the title says, here's my current setup. Yakima bars and clips. The Q-towers were actually given to me by my brother in-law as they didn't need 2 cars anymore. The mount is a Yakima Frontloader (20mm thru axle on the front so it was pretty much my only choice)
... Read More »
Well, the biking bug has bitten me again HARD. Went from having no bikes two weeks ago to two bikes now (one in my possession, one with build parts on the way).
Anyway, ordered a Motobecane Fantom 29Pro, was fairly happy with it but found it a wee bit small, so that one is getting passed down to ... Read More »
Join the the D.I.L.D.O. Post your helmet canera pictures here. Also accepted: Your respective helmet camera videos. (Bike rides only please!) And every hint on how to make great helmet camera videos.
[Photo: Joe. Rider: Undisclosed]Read More »