Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bianchi Regret

I want to run over my wife's Bianchi Eros with my Subaru. It was a bad purchase.

First off, let us all never forget that seat tube length is almost certainly of secondary importance to top tube length. My wife has adequate stand over on the Bianchi, the saddle is at a good height, and she can reach the pedals, but, since the bike was built for a man, the top tube is at least two inches too long.

I tried some adjustments- move the saddle closer, buy a $100 Italian-made 80mm 3TTT stem with the word Casati stenciled on it (because she's a style-hound, it has to be italian). Hell, I even rotated the bars up to the point where the Campognolo brifters are comically elevated in the air.

It works...and she's comfortable...for about 5 miles and then she just hates being on the bike. She's getting better about it, but obviously the bike was too big for her.

Speaking of Campognolo- I have to admit it's confusing as shit to shift with these brifters. The left brifter, controlling the front derailleur, has a real attitude problem. Sometimes the paddle will shift flawlessly- other times, it makes the motion but nothing will move on the derailleur. In fact, you don't even feel the brifter 'engage' the cable...nothing happens. I almost thought this was a safety feature. I can't reproduce the problem, I just know it happens now and then, and thus, my wife pedals on a downhill in the smallest chain ring.

Finally, I'd like to toss some monkey poo at all the component manufacturers. I never realized how hard it was for some people to grasp shifting. To us, it's second nature, but to someone like my wife, shifting involves interacting with a confusing mix of levers and buttons, the timing of which is very important.

How do you explain road-STI style shifting to someone? They just have to learn it. I can tell her to "Move the right paddle inward" to make pedaling "easier" but she just isn't grasping it.

Funny that none of the big three component manufacturers have grasped onto this- it takes some no-name Taiwan company to produce an STI road lever for use with an Alfine hub. That's something my wife could figure out and learn.

No comments:

Post a Comment