The First Test Ride / New Info

Dropped by Camas Bikes today to pick up a Presta-Schrader adapter so I could pump up the tires and take the Bianchi for a spin. While I was there, I asked Ed, the owner, if they can order Surly bikes and to my delight, he said they could! He also said I should check out the Co-Motion Nor’Wester, which sounds like a nice ride — hand built in Eugene, OR. However, I’ve had so many people give me such high ratings for the Cross Check that I kind of feel I’d be cursing myself to get any other bike. Of course, there is that small issue of where to find the money to buy a bike (as well as fixing up the Bianchi), but I’m sure it will all sort itself out… right?

Anyhow, back to the first test ride. After pumping up the tires (and somehow snapping the tip off one of the Presta valves—D’oh!), I took a quick ride down the street and back, as I didn’t want to do too much with only one working brake. The bike fits better than I thought, but the ride felt a little clunky. The bike definitely needs a mechanical overhaul. Can’t wait to get it stripped down and start the process though.

I’m also constantly amazed at how fast the Internets work. I posted some photos of the bike to my Facebook account last night and already have been connected with a guy who is a vintage Bianchi expert and who owns a 1971 Bianchi Team bike of his own, which has been beautifully restored. He was able to confirm that this bike is most likely a Team bike and also point me towards a guy who does great frame restoration work. I was also shown this link, which shows a 1952 team bike that looks incredibly similar to mine.

I can clearly see that this is going to be a long term project, so make yourself some popcorn, grab a beer and get comfy. This could take awhile.


  1. Bret
    Aug 11, 2009

    Update: I see that the Co-Motion retails for about three times as much as the Cross Check. Ouch! I’m sure it has nicer components, but let’s face it, I’m no Lance Armstrong. Anything will be an improvement over my 20-year-old Novara Ponderosa. And the Surly will be plenty of bike for me.

  2. Jeff
    Aug 11, 2009

    I’ll be following along. I can’t believe you got that kind of response already from your Facebook post!

    I’m sure the bike guy did want you to look at a Co-Motion. 🙂 It definitely has better components, but I think the other price difference is “hand built in Eugene” vs. “machine built in Taiwan”. I love Surly bikes. I’m a big fan of buying a cheap frame and slapping high end components on it.

    That link to Coppi’s Bianchi is awesome.

  3. Bret
    Aug 11, 2009

    Yeah, Ed did suggest ordering a Surly frame and having them build it up with better components. I need to see what that would cost compared to the stock, fully built Cross-Check. By the way, if I want to do some light touring someday, is it worth the extra weight to get the Long Haul Trucker, or do you think the Cross-Check can be outfitted enough for touring?

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *