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Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Bike for the wife

My wife wanted to start riding to work and I happened to come across this very small Bianchi frame on craigslist. Did a little research and found that it was actually women's specific geometry so of course I scooped it up right away and took it all apart. Small steel frames are very rare these days and she loves the aesthetic of old classic Bianchi bicycles. 

One time while working at Halcyon, we had a lovely brown, near mint condition early 70's Bianchi road bike with stem shifters and old school non hooded brake levers. She wanted it very badly. She was a novice at the time when it came to cycling and I told her that it would not be a comfortable bike to ride compared to her modern day road bike. She said "I don't care, I like the way it looks." I learned from that statement that it is important when building a bike from a bunch of random parts that it looks good. Ugly bikes sit on the rack longer and sometimes never get to go to a good home. This was a typical reaction from someone with a degree in art who enjoys interior design. Luckily it was too big for her.

The bicycle she was currently riding had too long of top tube and I could not get the fit correct without her feeling over extended. I tried a very short stem without sacrificing handling. I installed a drop bar with a shorter reach; nothing worked. The frame was just too big. I transferred everything over from her previous bike and installed them on the Vigorelli. It fit her like a glove. I did change one thing however, I switched out the Shimano 105 for the Tiagra. She liked the throw of the shift lever a lot better and the braking was a lot easier for her hands to actuate. Another happy customer. The most important customer.

Steel Bianchi Vigorelli
43cm seat tube / 49cm top tube
10 speed Tiagra. Compact crankset. 700x28 RiBmo tires. Leopard saddle.

Tight little Bike.