Is it really the hipster’s fixed gear?
It really just depends on how much you paid for it. I paid $350 for mine, which is a rather beat up version with gunked up wheels and peeling clear coat. Once you get over the hype and didn’t overpay and realize what the Bianchi Pista is ( an Italian designed bike made in Taiwan, a poor man’s foray into a world of finer bicycles,), there really is no shame in using one. I bought one because I’ve always immensely enjoyed the look of the bike. Hell even if this bike was made out of crap hi-tensile steel, I would probably would have still bought it. I mean, look how beautiful this bicycle looks. Shiny Chrome, classic track geometry, 1/8 silver chain on a brushed aluminum Shimano crank that was infinitely stiffer than whatever came on my old Gravity. Look at those drops, this bike really just calls to the elegance of Italian design.
Due to it’s Chromo 4130 steel construction, this bike is BUTTERY smooth on pavement and absorbs bumps very well on more jarring surfaces such as cracked/dented concrete, pebbly surfaces and gravel. Yes, I’ve ridden this bike on extended gravel paths and it handles it with aplomb. It has a pretty short head set so the bike is also very nimble and maneuverable with a very small turning radius.
It’s a simple bicycle, but very solid in its construction. There isn’t anything too special about it as far as details. It’s your basic track bike. One gear, fixed and power grip straps to keep me connected to the ground. Crank is very smooth and ultra responsive. The Pista has your standard track drop outs so adjusting for larger gear ratios is a cinch. I enjoy skid stopping, but I value the wear of my tires so I put a front brake on it for those long descents and emergency stops. I’ve got 25mm Continental rubber on the wheels, a GP4000s ii on the front and a Gatorskin Ultra folding on the rear. I’d say it can fit up to 28mm, but save the 32s for your wide tire bike. The Bianchi Pista akin to a sleek and sexy race car.
It doesn’t pick up speed quite that well though. It is a heavier bike with all that steel. The stem and handlebars, despite looking so good, are grotesquely heavy. I think if I swapped them out for aluminum bars and stem, the bike would easily shed 3 lbs!. Not to mention the old school brooks saddle on the rear, this bicycle really doesn’t pick speed as quickly as my old aluminum track bike. But speed isn’t the most important thing here. It really is the look of the bike. If you’re really important, people will wait and trust me, you’re going to want to ride a bit slower because this bike is a head turner.
Traversing difficult terrain, sometimes this bike is a little overbearing on the shoulders especially when I’m carrying a backpack full of my every day carry and the bike over dirt and rail road tracks. Don’t even ask me why I have to do that. Road closures till December can be a bitch, so I had to find a slight detour through some foliage and backroads in order to get to my destination now. Perhaps in the future I will change out the handle bars, stem and get some lighter wheels. Doing that alone would shed at least 5 lbs off the bike and make for an easier commute. But for now, the looks of the bike is honestly enough to keep me from complaining. Besides, I’ll just look at it as exercise, my legs have gotten stronger and more muscular already just by riding this bike. All i have to do is look at it, even with its semi peeling clear coat and faded wheels, and realize that I’m owning a piece of gorgeous piece of machinery.
What a beaut and it rides wonderfully too. Until next time!