This is a add on to my last review. Bianchi originally said 3 weeks, which turned into 2 months before I got a bike back. They kept trying to pawn off a pink frame. I finally get the bike back and I am presented with a $30 bill for shipping. They also sent a fork with a short steerer tube so I am unable to put in any spacers. Well Bianchi it's been nice up to this point but you really effed this all up. Sorry to say that I will not be buying another Bianchi.
a Cross Country Rider
from Kemblesville, PA
Date Reviewed: December 7, 2006
Strengths: Fun bike, smooth
Weaknesses: It breaks! Same as the other guys on here, same crack, same place.
I'm guessing if you ride alot you may have the same frame crack problem. I'm not exactly "Mr. Extreme" but I do spend a fair amount of time on this bike. 8-20 hours a week maybe. Up to this point I've been happy with the bike, a bit portly but smooth. I should wait to see how Bianchi handles the situation before the review. However this isnt a review on their customer service but their bike. I've liked this bike alot overall, no complaints till this. Check out my 2002 Specialize Stumpjumper review to see a bike that I really hate though.
Weaknesses: Headset is poor quality; chain stretches like a rubberband
I've been riding this bike for 6 months now, and it is such a blast to ride. The frame rides so buttery smooth, yet when the trail heads uphill, it climbs like a goat. Over rough, rocky trails we have in NorCal, you just point this thing and go. The frame will soak it up. Acceleration is very good, too. I didn't care for the huge 2.4 tires and a suspension fork was a must. I haven't experienced any of the frame or chain line issues other posters have mentioned. I did have the "tick-tick" sound from the chain connector hitting the chainring guard. Swap out the crap stock chain and put on a SRAM PC-69 and shred. The stock headset is crap, but I will ride it until it blows up and press in something decent. Stock, this bike isn't the lightest pre-built singlespeed out there, but you would be hard pressed to find one better spec'd out of the box and as much fun to ride! SS's make a great winter bike, but after slinging my leg back over it after a few months went by, I forgot just how much fun this bike is. I have friends who ride SS's with a lot of bling bling on them, but I'm right on their tail or in front of them with this steed. If you can find a left over one, grab it. You WILL NOT be disappointed!! Charles at Hammerhead bikes was great to buy from.
Strengths: It's a build kit you can ride. Steel. Fat tires. One gear. Discs.
Weaknesses: Grips are silly hard. Welded in China/Tawain. Chain link thing. A tad chubby.
I've raced this chunky muther three times. It's a dammed blast! I don't win or even get near the front, but every Sport rider I pick off is a small victory. (I raced Beginner for two seasons--now it's SS or nothing).
This is the first bike out of the rack. My high-falutin' FS rig hasn't been out much lately. When I do take it out I rarely change gears. The shifters are shot and I don't care.
This is a great way to try SS'ing. If you don't like it, there are plenty of folks who'll buy your Bianchi ??SS bike. IF you do like it. You've got good parts to build a much nicer bike with.
I'm putting a King (Dave Thomas) wheelset on next with kevlar 2.4's. THOSE TIRES ROCK!!!. MOTO!
Then I'm going to swap the frame for a custom EBB Columbus-tubed deal.
Then I'll swap out some of the other heavy stuff--but by then there ain't much SiSS left--But I'll have two SS bikes.
I've had absolutely no problems with rubs, cracks, hubs, brakes, etc. Good ride for the buck.
Similar Products Used: Demo'd a Spot--parking lot only. Rode my gear bikes in 32x16 for a while before buying a SS.
Bike Setup: Z2-80mm, Bebop (the ultimate) Pedals, Oury grips, black tape where a cable guide would be nice.
a Cross Country Rider
from Grand Rapids
Date Reviewed: April 6, 2004
Strengths: tires, saddle, brakes and cranks have all worked pretty well.
Weaknesses: spot hub blows, frame cracked, original brake pads were bad, chain line is off.
This is a follow up to my original review back when I bought the bike. Since then I've had just about every single issue that people tend to have with this bike. Here is the list:
First I had the chain clicking problem, moved the master link to the other side to fix that.
The next thing I noticed was that my brakes were constantly in need of adjustment. Then the pads wore out after only about 400 miles or so. Avid said they had a bad batch and sent me replacements for free. I haven't used the replacements, I went with some Kool Stops which worked fine.
I also noticed when honking up a steep hill, the tires do rub the frame in the rear as the stays flex side to side.
Next my rear hub bearings failed so I had a new set pressed in at the bike shop. When I look at the design, it seems strange to me that there is no lock nut. One time the wheel did slip on me while riding and I suspect that is when the bearing got damaged.
I've used several different chain rings up front and through the process, I noticed the chain line was off from the factory and that the chain rings work best on the outside of the spider. Seems kinda cheesy to not have the right chain line from the beginning though.
The last thing that happened to my SISS is the familiar frame crack, at the drive side chain stay. Based on the location of the crack, I don't think it was the result of an impact from say a jump or just downward stress on the bike. From what I can gather, at least the way mine cracked, it's not a rider weight issue or an abusive rider issue. I think it's a stress crack from lateral forces on the chain stay. The crack in my frame was vertical along the side of the stay. It seems to me that if it cracked from a downward load from say a jump or a heavy rider, the crack would be on the bottom of the chain stay. I think all that flex in the rear that happens when you hammer up steep hills in a big gear is what causes the crack.
In either case, I asked Bianchi for a DISS frame in exchange for my cracked SISS and they actually were able to accomodate me. Time will tell how that frame holds up.
I gotta go low on the flamin' chili count now, after everything I've been through with this bike.
a Cross Country Rider
from Albuquerque, NM, USA
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2004
Strengths: Great components for price.
Weaknesses: Frame broke at chainstay after 5 months use.
Singlespeeds are great. Super fun to ride. Great workout. My frame cracked at the drive side chainstay after 5 months use (I weigh 180, ride singletrack trails, and I do not jump or freeride). Judging by other reviews, this is not an isolated defect. Although this bike has some minor problems mentioned by other reviewers , if the frame was reliable, this would be an outstanding bike for the money. Untill there is evidence that Bianchi has fixed this defect, buyers beware. It will break if you ride it off road. Also note: I found it a real struggle to get a replacement frame from Bianchi (took 4 months and I am not happy with what I got (scratched, weird paint job, uneven seatstays and a used fork which I'm not sure is mine).
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2003
Strengths: Steel frame, great tubeset. Parts spec is impeccable for the money--a great intro to sngle speeding, and worthy of upgrades
Weaknesses: initial set up is problematic--issues of chainline, rear hub and headset have been issues. These are easily fixable; see below for suggestions.
This is my 6 month review of the bike (see below--I really raved about this rig). In response to the problems other people have had: 1. the headset is crap. This is common on most bikes. Press in a King if you're going to keep the bike for a while. 2. The rear hub is subject to binding. Don't blame spot. When I got mine, the cones were stupid tight, partly because the washer spacing was terrible (they're too thin, and consequently the stays are flexed inward). Buy a set of the Paul's word brass washers--they barely fit into the dropout, and you may even need to file them, but do this and loosen up the cones and this hub rocks. 3. Chainline--once you fixed the above problem, throw the KMC chain in the trash--this isn't a bmx bike. Put an 8 speed, shram pc 68 on it--not rubbing will occur, and assuming the bb is installed right and your cranks are on tight (mine weren't) you should have no further problems. 4. The pedals--yeah, they're junk. But given that this is a second bike for almost everyone, and the fact that some of us ride egg beaters, times, or frogs, it really doesn't make sense to stock a "second bike" with clipless pedals because of compatability--buy a duplicate pair of what you usually run with the money you save buying this rig. 5. Seatpost slippage--grease the inside of the binder bolt itself, and clean and regrease the post. Torque to speck. Problem solved. 6. Avid mechanicas need adjusting--find a new LBS; they installed them. Also, if you can't adjust the avid mechanicals, consider enrolling in a college with the words "beauty", "clown", or "cartooning" in the name.
All in all, this bike rocks. It sees more miles than my new Blur, I get a better workout on it, it's more fun to race, and (after the above corrections) has been maintenance free. If I had to give up every bike I own but one, I'd keep the SISS. With the above changes, mine weighs 23 lbs, climbs like crazy, tracks well, and keeps my @ss humble. You truly can not find a more fun bike, especially for the price range. I'm even thinking about having a local frame builder throw an S & S coupling into it, so I can travel with this rig. Read my earlier review, and I still stand behind everything.
Similar Products Used: IF custom steel, IF custom ti, Surly 1x1 (a lighter and better riding frame could be built from steel plumbing), and a Willits custom ss. The Bianchi measures up to all but the ti IF.
Bike Setup: CK headset, 959 pedals, stan's no-tubes conversion (pythons for racing), paul's word brass washers, ODI lock-on grips. Otherwise stock.
a Cross Country Rider
from Brandon, MS, USA
Date Reviewed: December 2, 2003
Strengths: The combination of big tires, disc brakes, comfortable frame and good components give the bike some merit.
Weaknesses: Frame is steel, but mine cracked at the chainring clearance indent on the right chainstay after 4 months of cross-country riding. I weight 185lbs. and just ride cross-country with both wheels on the ground 99.9% of the time. Juan, the warranty guy at Bianchi, said that they had a known production problem causing the cracking in these frames that has been fixed and the new warranty replacement frame would not have the problem. Bianchi did warranty it, but I have waited almost six weeks for it to arrive.
Spot hub binding, see other reviews down below and or the Spot hubs review.
Chainline is off from the factory. Easy to fix, just swap the chainring and guard around. This is due to the Spot hub placing the freewheel more outboard than other SS hubs. They decided to place it right up next to the dropout. This just means that you have to run your chainring in the outer position. You would think that Bianchi would spec the crank/hub combo to be compatible out of the box. It is so obviously off when it comes out of the box that it is ridiculous.
You will go through chains monthly and may need a new chainring after a couple of months. I did, until I put on a White Industries F/W and a SRAM PC58 and a new chainring, and then my frame cracked. So I don't know if this will fix it or not yet. In the rides prior to the crack, it did not need to be tightened as much with this new set-up. It makes me wonder if the Shimano 16T was causing the excess stretch??
There is no way the bottom seal will fit the lower cup/crown race on the headset. It is too large in diameter. It will rest on the lower race, but will not fit up in the lower cup. It fell down on me a couple of times onto the top of the fork. I will be putting a new headset in the warranty frame.
The frame has clearance issues with the 2.4 MutanoRaptor back tire. There is only about 1/8" on each side of the tire. It rubbed on every climb until I tightened all of the spokes on the rear wheel about 1/2 turn each. Then it only rubbed on tough climbs. Hearing your tire rubbing the frame while you are in an all out effort to make a climb can drain you mentally.
Just a guess here, but by looking at the specs on the Bianchi site, the new 2004 SASS will probably have the same problems as this years SISS.
I would recommend looking into getting a Surly 1x1 instead of this bike. If I had to do it over again, I would do that instead. The Surly 1x1 can be built up for about the same price from some of the online retailers. I have over $1000 in this bike now that I have upgraded everything, plus I have lost out on 6 weeks of riding waiting on Bianchi warranty. This cost is not measurable, but has been high for me. I have missed some of the best riding weather we get here in Mississippi and I was riding this bike 5 or 6 times per week.
If you do buy this bike, and enjoy riding daily, make sure you have a spare bike for the times that this one is down with a mechanical failure.
I rate the value so low, because of the problems I have had, and it appears that so many others have had the same problems. Bianchi needs to address these issues before their bikes go out to consumers.
Similar Products Used: No SingleSpeeds. 15+ years on other upper end harttails with none of the problems this bike has had.
Bike Setup: Stock with sealed bearing platform pedals, White Ind. 16T, PC58 chain, Ritchey headset, Profile stiffy stem.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 23, 2003
Strengths: Fun to ride. Affordable singlespeed from a reputable company. Bianchi was on board with a singlespeed for a long time. Steel Frame. Decent parts spec - Avid Mechanicals
Weaknesses: 1. Rear Hub Bearings - Toasted Rear Hub bearings within 1 month. From what I have read this is an assembly issue. LBS covered the replacement part. I paid labor. I took it home and it still wasn't put together right. See another post below for the proper setup. I set it up per these instructions and the wheel never spun so smooth. I don't think it is Spot Brand on this one - Assembly is key with this hub. Incidently the bad bearing was on the non-drive side so it wasn't a chain tension issue. I practiced taking my wheel off and on so I could do it on the trail and the axle was tough to turn after my first ride. I didn't do anything but fix the headset seal and put pedal on before the first ride.
2. Frame Flex/Rear Tire - I am heavy ~200lbs and ride pretty hard. The frame flexed from the get-go and the tire rubbed. I put an old Maxxis 2.1 on there (circa 1995) from my 1993 Bridgestone and no more rubbing. I think the tire is just too big for the frame/flex/me.
3. Chainline - The chainline was way off. I had to keep the chain very tight to prevent hitting the chain guard. When keeping it from hitting the guard, the tight spot in the chainring was pretty tight but not overboard. I moved the chainring outside, used triple chainring bolts which came with ~4mm spacers and mounted the guard outboard of the ring. I used 2mm spacers to keep the chainring bolts form bottoming out. It works nicely. The chain hasn't stretched anywhere near as much since. The chainline is now within 1mm. I can run the chain a lot looser now without clanking the guard. You should have seen the wear on the ring/guard from the chainline being off by ~4mm. I only ran it like that for 1 month and the guard had wear marks all the way around and the inside of the teeth of the ring were filed smooth and were silver.
4. Chain - wearing pretty fast.
5. Headset - The bike was delivered with the bottom seal off. It was down around the fork. Took it back to the shop to have it fixed. It was brand new and the wrench said it was just a cheap headset and if I wanted a better seal I would need a better headset. I asked him why it wasn't sitting on the race and he said it was probably deformed. I said it's brand new and he just pushed it up a little and it still hung down. I fixed this also. I did put a lizard skin on there for insurance. I will upgrade to CK when it is NG.
6. Pedals - I think these are just place keepers until you put your's on. I even think the Bianchi website says it doesn't come with pedals. I don't think this is a real weakness but worth mentioning since they came on the bike.
7. Seatpost slips a little. I don't want to break the bolt. I sent an E-mail to Bianchi for the proper torque and they said 60 in/lbs. I have gone higher and it still slips. I have to check to see if there is too much grease on the post.
8. Disc Brakes - not set up properly at delivery. Check out your instructions that came with the brakes for proper caliper positioning. I reset the brakes properly and they worked a lot better. Mine disc wasn't offset 1/3 - 2/3 to the outboard side and really bent the caliper really bent the disc over when applied. I set them up per the instructions and now the work great. I did ride 1x before readjusting. The change was drastic when I did it. The avid instructions are good and it is easy.
Fun/Fast bike with a good component spec. There are problems with the bike but I feel it is easily fixed. Should I have to fix it? I paid $900 after tax. I think the problems I stated should be eliminated before delivery. I don't run a bike shop so I don't know how much time they can spend fixing these problems. Maybe Bianchi is at fault. I do think that the LBS should do more than slap a wheel on and deliver the bike.
I really enjoy riding the bike but have not enjoyed getting rid of the problems. This bike is worth a look if you want a singlespeed. If you work on your own bike you should be able to turn this bike into a winner. My LBS wasn't so receptive to things. I hope your's is better.
I have to give a lower rating for the problems encountered.
Similar Products Used: Homemade Marin Muirwoods Singlespeed. Cost me $100 to assemble and ride it until the freehub started skipping. It got me started. It didn't have as many problems as this $900 bike. I built it up myself with old/new parts. I made sure it was right the first time.
Bike Setup: Stock SISS except: Time ATAC pedals, 2.1 Rear Tire, RaceFace Riser Bar
a Weekend Warrior
from leesburg VA, USA
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2003
Strengths: the brakes were amazing, i've never used discs before and i was not let down, the large 26x2.4 tires were extremely grippy, they help to stick to anything concrete, mud, or gravel. the frame feels pretty strong, coming from bmx primarily it flexed a bit more but then again i am coming from bmx so everything flexes after that. a comfortable seat made the ride all the more enjoyable, you have to protect your fanny before anything else.
Weaknesses: the fork also felt a little iffy, maybe its psychologial but i felt alot of flex in it, i was also putting it through some extreme abuse on the streets so maybe urban wasn't in mind when the for was designed, the grips weren't to my liking but that is hardley a problem, and the worry that i may destroy the wheels, what do i do when i need a disc single speed replacement/upgrade? petals....resin? i suppose they were thinking you would clip in and upgrade, personally i use wellgo platfors with blue cages, they stick to my shoe as if i was clipped in, and i have the elbow scrapes to prove it, because i fell over a few times when i my foot didn't come off my petal as easy
a unique bike, and i was a huge fan of the paint scheme as well as the chick desinged emblem hidden on the seat tube. can't beat a good old steel bike, and this one has attitude also, you will for sure be the one who stands out at a local trail session. i'm still riding it with no real problems, there was one hang up and that was when i finially got a thorn in my back tire. they say to undo the caliper to get the wheel off, but you can pry the dropouts apart to pass the wheel, its steel right? it flexes. but you might as well undo the cailper because you will have to realline it when it comes to tensioning the chain. email me if you read this review and compare your results if you tested the same bike or similar ones. firstname.lastname@example.org
Similar Products Used: none...maybe my own bmx (fly, spanish fly 20')
Bike Setup: stock, minus the wellgo petals, primo chad degroot sig. grips and the primo barends, plus a salsa skewer for the front that matched my petals)
a Cross Country Rider
from livermore falls, me
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2003
Strengths: Single Speed, Avid disc brakes, simple, a deal for the stock parts. The steel is nice, you can really take off pedaling if you need to.
Weaknesses: Plastic pedals, grips, not as pretty as the older Bianchi SS's, seems a bit heavy for what it is.
Being mainly a casual road biker, I wanted something fun to trash around town as well as ride around school and to work that wouldn't require much TLC. There exist no real hills around these parts, I haven't tried to climb much. I had to switch the masterlink after I got a nice set of shiny grooves from it rubbing. It's super fun and I covered it in wood-colored contact paper. It's an ideal SS for he who doesn't have the parts to build up a Surly 1x1.
Similar Products Used: My big brother's Huffy White Heat that didn't shift cause he left it in the rain too much.
Bike Setup: Stock with azonic magnes. platform pedals and new grips. Debating a suspension fork, but that's anti-SS imo.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 3, 2003
Strengths: Stiff frame, relatively light with switched out parts but great stock bike setup
Weaknesses: Because no suspension very stiff front end.
This is an incredibly stiff bike. This is both good and bad. While climbing out of the saddle this is great, absolutely no flex while your pumping away. But when the road gets rough it almost feels dangerous, hard to keep your hands on the bars on those nasty bumps. On the positive side this bike handles great. It’s very responsive and corners great. And as many people have mentioned riding a single speed bike is a lot of fun. It takes you back to the days when you just got on your bike and took off for the whole day never once worrying about the bike beneath you. Even if you don’t get this bike I suggest trying a single speed.
This is a great, fun bike. I ride it more than my full supention bike. It's stiff as hell which is great, but that's why I'm adding a shock fork. I weigh 225 and ride hard cross country and haven't had a real problem yet.
Similar Products Used: 20" BMX bikes as a kid, Specialize Stumper Jumper FSR Comp.
Bike Setup: Stock, With Time Z-Control Pedals. Adding new ODI grips and a Shock.
a Cross Country Rider
from outer space
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2003
Strengths: Cheap, light frame, cool looking, single speed specific (horizontal 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 after a good greasing)
- 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).
- frame has a long wheelbase which makes it a better (more stable) climber (which is a strength obviously). But this slows the handling some, and makes lofting the front end (wheelying) difficult. (I tend to prefer a bike that is light on the front end...a nitpick really)
This review is for the '02 DISS which is identical to the '03 SISS except it has an Al frame. The components on my bike were swapped from an '03 SISS and built up on a warranty DISS frame.
This bike is good and I'm pleased with it overall. I REALLY love the singlespeeding 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 weaknesses 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 Friendsville, Tennessee
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2003
Strengths: Good bargain and a great introduction into SS
Weaknesses: Frame is poor quality (it broke) BB is poor quality HS is poor quality Rear hub is poor quality I didn't care for the cranks
I rode this bike for 6 months and it was my first single speed. After about a month I knew I loved SS but not the SISS so I ordered a boutique frame and it’s a good thing I did. In the 6 months I rode the bike the rear hub bearings had to be replaced twice, the bottom bracket went out, and drive side chainstay broke just behind the bridge. Bianchi did send me a warrantee frame pretty quickly. The frame (19.5”) was very flexible under my 185 lbs. the tires always rubbed the inside of the chainstays on steep climbs. The chain line was a little off and I had to ditch the bash guard and move the chainring to the outside of the crank to get it to line up. The wheels stayed true and held up well, the tires and brakes where excellent. I did ride the bike allot and on some hard trails in poor conditions but the failures I thought where unacceptable. But for the price you cant get a better introduction into Single Speeding.
[I]EDIT for details being decided:[/I]
[B]Where:[/B] Ironworks Brewpub (12354 W Alameda Pkwy, Lakewood, CO 80228)
[B]When:[/B] Thursday August 1, meet up between 5 and 5:30. Wheels a'rollin' as close to 6 as we can manage.
[B]Why:[/B] You know why, don't be silly. Wait, be silly. Just... well... ... Read More »
Yes, nerdier readers will notice this IS a recursive ride call!!! The rest of y'all can google that!
So here's the Situation. We've moored our RV in Evergreen this week, and since 3-Sisters is a mere mile or so away from me and since nobody else has called "TITS!" yet, I figured I'd just do it ... Read More »
I abuse my bike, ride it hard whenever I want to and lock it up so I can watch it all the time. I'm not a monster.
I need help, but I've been given life plus 1000 years of trail work and trail politics. Poor me:nono:Read More »
I just ordered one of these for my GF (she's a lucky lady). First off, has the Special Blend been discontinued? I didn't see it on the Ibis site.
Second off, the build I got was a bit different from what was described on the Competitive Cyclist website. The good: Deore brakes (instead of Eli ... Read More »