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.