Who says you’re not supposed to have a favorite? With three road bikes to choose from, I do try to rotate them (weather permitting) for several reasons: to remind myself why I keep that bike; to remind myself how good (or bad) it is, especially compared to the others; to ensure everything is still working.
But it’s also quite convenient when you grab one and, say, the front tire is flat and you just want to get out and ride. That’s exactly what happened the other day when I had just enough time to get in an hour on the bike before it started getting dark, and I needed to get out on the road. The Colnago hadn’t been out of the shed for too long, but obviously didn’t want to go out that day as the (aforementioned) front tire was flat, and I didn’t feel like (nor did I have the time) to change it.
Happily it was dry, and I could grab the “good Bianchi”, and I was reminded how much I love this bike.
It just feels quick. It should, as it’s 2kgs lighter than the Bianchi Sprint 76. Now that the road I typically ride for my quick “training run” has been repaved, this makes it all the better, as the rough roads are really what expose the 7000-series aluminium frame’s drawback compared to the steel Bianchi or Colnago. The Chorus 10-speed shifting is very crisp and precise, making it a joy to ride. Plus it’s just so damn pretty…
Are these late 90’s – early 00’s bikes undervalued and underappreciated at the moment? I think so, as I can’t imagine the onslaught of new Chinese carbon bikes will have the longevity, and I’d find it hard to believe they’re dramatically technically superior to these frames. I suppose I’ll have to do a quick bikeswap for a couple miles with one of my biker friends to see, and it’d be interesting to hear what differences they feel going in the other direction.
UPDATE 08-FEB-2017: Part of collecting & building bikes is letting them go, especially if I want to get another! To that end, I’ve swapped all the Chorus 10-speed onto the Colnago, and replaced it with the mixed Campy 9-speed, along with the Ksyrium wheelset, in preparation to sell this one (and possibly keep the Colnago as a long-term). In reality, it won’t change this Bianchi’s feel too much, it’s still a great rider. But after an initial test ride of the new Litespeed Catalyst I just put together… wow… and I can’t keep them all.