I was searching around for some new touring bike models, looking for upgraded 2009 bicycles, and generally anything else I could get my hands on, and I stumbled across the Bianchi Valle. Bianchi also offers their ‘specialized’ touring bike the Volpe, a pretty nice touring bike with good features and a mid-range price tag. But when I looked through the specs for the two bikes, I found the Valle to be a decent option for shorter-range tours. It offers the same frame as the Volpe, CroMo steel frame and fork, and also has braze-ons to mount fenders and racks. Actually, the Valle comes with front and rear fenders. Another interesting difference between the two bikes is the Valle’s power-generating front dynamo hub. Both bikes have 32 spoke rims which aren’t going to be too reliable with extremely heavy loads, which is why this bike is a decent possibility for shorter tours or commuters.
I don’t like the flat handlebars on the Valle, the drop bars on the Volpe are much more my style. I prefer the drop bars with the bar-end shifters. The short chainstay length of 425mm might cause a bit of a problem when loading racks and panniers on the rear of the bike, if you’ve had any experience with doing that on this bike let us know. I know the Surly Nice Rack offers enough clearance for this frame size with a properly adjusted rear Ortlieb pannier, I checked the pannier/rack combo on a lot of different bikes before I bought my racks.
I think this bike is worth checking out if you are in the market for a commuter or a short haul bike. It’s another bike to add to your comparison list before making the big purchase.
Don’t forget to visit http://www.theultimatetrek.com to learn more about the upcoming Long Haul for Hunger Bicycling Trek. Over 8,500 miles across 2 continents. We’re recruiting riders and would love to have you join for all or part of the ride.
I was visiting http://www.bicycling.com today and came across a cool article about the best bike rides of 2008. The article was posted in a blog you can find here. There is a lot of data, including GPS points and elevation information, for all of the rides. They are from the US, so hopefully soon we can get some information up about international rides.
Now that we’ve looked at some racks (more to come, don’t worry), we’re going to get into panniers.
There are a lot of brands of panniers on the market today, each pannier famous in their own niche, whether it be their quality, waterproofing, reliability, or price. What panniers are the best? What panniers are waterproof? What panniers are cheapest? We’re going to dive into the long list of pannier manufacturers and pick out some hot brands to consider when making your purchase.
Take the poll and comment on your selection. Sorry if your pannier isn’t listed, there are a lot of them.
So we’ve discussed the basic options when it comes to bicycles, the differences between racing, mountain, and touring bikes, as well as some of the components to look for when gearing up for a long tour. We’re going to put that all together with a compiled list of recommended touring bikes. Look through the list, compare, visit websites, and make a decision. Here’s the list, starting at the bottom with NUMBER 10… Novara Safari from REI. http://www.rei.com/product/730480
Novara Safari Bike from REI.com
Frame- USix aluminum, but forks are cromoly.
Chainstay Length- 16.9 inches
Weight- 31.8 pounds
Price- $ 669.99
Ok, so there is really only one reason I put this bike on the list, PRICE. Wow, reduced recently at REI to under 700 dollars makes this a great option for a first time tourer. There are a lot of things wrong with this bike, but I no doubt am sure it will ride. Comes equipped with a rear rack and stock shimano components. Tires are small, chainstay is short, and I don’t like the aluminum frame. But, if you are going local, on shorter trips with less weight, this bike could work for you. From what I’ve heard from an owner, the bike is quite reliable and has had no major problems in 2 years with over 1,000 miles.