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  1. #1
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    Via Nirone to Sempre

    Hoping somebody will be able to steer me in the right direction.

    I currently have a 3 year old 53cm Via Nirone and I am contemplating buying a Sempre. The Via Nirone was my first bike and according to bikefit experts in Edinburgh it is actually too small for me. Now I do occasionally get pain in my lower back on longer rides and my knees do hit the handlebar ends when out of the saddle climbing. My cycling style is commutes to work 17 miles each way 3 to 4 days a week, a 60 mile run at the weekend and a 100 mile event once a month. My aim is to increase my speed, I currently average 16-17mph and I am looking to work on increasing this to 18+ mph and want a bike suitable for the task.

    My measurements are height 5' 8.5'' with a 32'' inseam. Now the rub is that I like the handling style of the Bianchi compared to that of my winter bike a Condor Fratello which is 55cm. The Fratello handles like a gate compared to the Bianchi, slow turn in, slow response to power etc. The Bianchi puts a smile on my face while the Condor doesn't.

    I would like my next bike to react as good as the Via Nirone currently does however I am wondering how much of this response could be due to it being a size too small (it also has 90 cm stem and 38cm Handlebars which compares to 100cm stem and 42cm handlebars on the Fratello). I also recall a post from Lolamunky who has similar sizing to me and rides a 53cm Infinito.

    To add further fuel to my confusion I attempted to study the geometries for the Nirone, Sempre and Infinito and from my inexperienced view the geometry of the Via Nirone appears more comparable to the Sempre than the Infinito which confuses me as the Infinito is part of the C2C family. This has led me to discount the Infinito - is this wise??

    If the Sempre will keep the smile on my face what size should I opt for??

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I don't think the nirone is too small for you. I good fitter should be able to easily get it dialed with a longer stem and some seat setback. Upgrading to a sempre or an infinito will not likely net you any additional speed if that is your main goal.

  3. #3
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    Check the geometries again. You should find that the Infinito sits between the VN7 (relaxed) and the Sempre (almost critracer) in geometry. Nevermind the extended head tube. Even the Oltre is more relaxed than the Sempre.
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Guys -

    KBWH- in relation to the geometries, I have been using the following geo charts, extracted below:

    A1 AS B1 BS C D E F G G1 G2
    Via Nirone 530 500 535 522 408 68 135 585 74 71.5 6
    Sempre 530 500 535 521 406 68 130 585 74 71.5 6
    Infinito 530 500 535 521 408 68 155 585 74 71.5 6

    Looking at the above charts it shows the following head tube sizes for a 53cm frame:
    Via Nirone: 135mm
    Sempre: 130mm
    Infinito: 155mm

    This appears to be the largest difference in the frame geometries (as shown above), maybe I am reading these incorrectly, but to me the the Sempre appears more comparable to the Via Nirone than the Infinito either that or there are other geometry figures not disclosed that have a significant bearing on the bike function.

    thanks

  5. #5
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    I think I heard my name from across the internet so here I am to talk about 53cm Bianchi's ;)

    53cm is your size if you're 5'8" with a 32" inseam. I can almost guarantee you need a 100mm stem and 42-44cm bars. Doesnt matter which frame you choose as long as its a 53cm you'll be fine. You could ride a 55cm sempre and it might feel like a 53cm because of the geo but a 53cm will give you the proper amount of setback for your saddle.

    It sounds to me like you might like the Infinito more with its very stable steering and very compliant ride as opposed to the sempre which feels more like a crit racer. With that said the sempre is cheaper and if you find a good deal you'll be just as happy with your choice in the end.

    Also I second what someone said before.....do not buy a $2K bike and then not get a professional fit. Seriously, its like buying a $2K suit in the wrong size because you skipped getting it tailored.

    Lastly do yourself a favor and get a good saddle and wheels so you can enjoy your purchase to the fullest. I recommend a cutout flat profile saddle to help your back. Spec Toupe/San Marco Mantra/Selle Italia (any cutout model). For wheels get some good sub 1500G wheels and see how much more enjoyable climbing is.

  6. #6
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    I stand corrected, coleshal. The all have the same head tube angle in size 53 (as opposed to where I operate: 57/59). I did not expect that. Sempre and Infinito have the same 1 mm shorter front-centre than the VN7, and the Sempre has 2mm shorter chain stays than the other two.
    Get the prettier one...
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys, your responses have been very helpful and much appreciated. The reason for change is due to a concern of potential frame damage following a collision with a van - appears to be a crack in the BB area.

    Lolamunky - I hear what you are saying regarding bike fit, but the problem is that I went for a bike fit and they said the 53cm frame is too small - trying to source a reputable bike fitter local to me (Glasgow/Edinburgh, UK) is proving to be a problem.

    Anyway I have ordered a 110mm stem to try it out for size and hopefully this will but me at ease that the 53cm frame is correct. Wheels are not a problem as I have a nice set of handbuilt Mavic open pros on Royce hubs. Saddle will definitely have a look at.

  8. #8
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    Did the fitter tell you 53cm was too small after fitting you or just when you told him what size your frame was. Bianchi 53cm's are more like 54cm and the 55 is a true 55. You will be fine with either size but one will feel more nimble and the other more self correcting. Sempre in 55cm wouldnt be a bad idea simply because it would smooth out front end stability at the cost of agility....Infinito and Via Nirone I woujld say 53cm only.

  9. #9
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    The advice from the fitter was after having conducted the fitting for both my bikes - the Fratello (55cm) and the Bianchi (53cm). I believe they use the Bikefitting.com system. My measurements using the Competitive Cyclist Calculator are:

    Gender M
    Inseam 82 cm
    Trunk 67 cm
    Forearm 33 cm
    Arm 68 cm
    Thigh 59 cm
    Lower Leg 54 cm
    Sternal Notch 144 cm
    Total Body Height 173.4 cm

  10. #10
    T K
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    wasssabi
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    I'm the same size as you and I can't see myself on a 53. All of my bikes have always been 54s and the Bianchi 55 is way closer to any 54 I've ever ridden. The Bianchi has a 55 cm virtual top tub length. My favorite bike ever had a 55. Cannodales 54s have a 54.5 cm top tube. I'm currently on a 54cm Cannondale and can't possibly imagine myself on somthing smaller. The 55 Bianchis are closer to the Cannodales size 54. If you look at head tube and virtual top tube numbers most 54s and Bianchis 55s are very close. A 53 would be way to cramped. My steel Bianchi (55cm)and my Cannondale (54cm) are almost identical in size.
    I say no way to a 53.

  11. #11
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    I'm 5'9 with 32. I'm on a 55 with 130mm stem. Can't imagine the 53 either.

  12. #12
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    Thanks Guys, I will try the current bike with the longer stem and see how that feels before I make a final decision on size. My biggest concern with going for a 55cm in the Bianchi is that I hope it won't dull the handling down to that comparable to the Fratello.

  13. #13
    T K
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    The size shouldn't affect the handling. It's about the geomitry not the size.
    I'm curious how many spacers you have under your stem currently.

  14. #14
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    I have 2 x10mm and 3 x 5mm spacers under the stem - a total of 35mm. I was planning to move some when the new stem arrives but have no idea how many or what the impact will be.

  15. #15
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    Maybe I am an outlier at 5'9" 32.5" inseam and comfortable on a 53cm Via Nirone and Oltre. I have a relatively short torso and long legs so that could contribute to my fit being ok on a 53cm and the same not being true for you.

    Just remember that all your contact points are moveable so the idea of a 53cm being too small vs a 55cm is kind of impossible. Its about handling...I personally dont like my bikes to feel like a boat underneath me.

    the difference in virtual tope tube length is 1.5cm with about 5mm being behind the BB and 1cm in front of it. Which means going from a 20mm setback seatpost to a 25mm setback and a 100mm stem to a 110mm stem will result in the same size bike as far as contact points go.

    With that said its a crap shoot.....the ONLY reason I would see to move up to a 55cm would be if you couldnt put the saddle as far back as you need due to no more useable rail on your current seatpost. Other than saddle position I cant see how one frame could be right or wrong......just different.

  16. #16
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    For reference...my fiance is in sick shape and flexible...she is 5'7"and rides a 53cm with saddle height of 718mm and a 90mm stem. I ride at 722mm and a 110mm stem at 5'9"

  17. #17
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    Lolamunky I really appreciate your input on this matter - as we are comparable size I will try and mirrror your setup on my bike and see how it goes.

    Can you tell me what height of spacers you have under your stem. I currently have 35mm and today have moved 10mm to the top so will try the bike tomorrow with 25mm under the stem. I will play about with stack height until the new 110mm stem arrives later in the week.

    Regarding saddle setback this is at the max - the max being where the front of the seat clamp meets the stop sign. Using a makeshift plumb line I have just measured the setback and the nose of the saddle appears to be approx 4cm behind the BB. My saddle height is 72cm.

  18. #18
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    I have 25mm of spacers.....yes my knees can touch the bars when climbing out of the saddle btw but if I push the bars out another 10mm I feel to stretched in the hoods and drops. I've just learned to hover a little closer to the saddle and I use 165mm cranks which helps. I use the short cranks to lessen my hip angle when I ride in the drops and while climbing.

    What saddle are you using....the rail position can sometimes be the determining factor in a frame size if you really love your saddle. I know my Adamo allows me to ride a 53cm TT frame but an arione would require a smaller frame or a very adjustable saddle clamp system.

  19. #19
    T K
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolamunky View Post
    I have 25mm of spacers.....yes my knees can touch the bars when climbing out of the saddle btw but if I push the bars out another 10mm I feel to stretched in the hoods and drops. I've just learned to hover a little closer to the saddle and I use 165mm cranks which helps. I use the short cranks to lessen my hip angle when I ride in the drops and while climbing.
    Or, you could just get a bike that fits you (55cm). Just a thought.

  20. #20
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    My saddle is dead in the middle of my seatpost on a 53cm with a 110mm stem....thats exactly how a bike is supposed to fit. On a 55cm my saddle is on the end of rail coming forward and I use a 100mm stem and 10mm less in spacers.

    Contact points remain the same therefore a 55cm with my contact points in the same places would produce the same effect and my crank length has nothing to do with frame size.

    If anything a larger frame would move the center of the bike forward which would force me to lean further into the handlebars when out of the saddle. If you have longish legs for your height then hitting the bars like that is inevitable unless you like to really extend your arms an additional 1cm to reach the hoods on a 120mm stem. Either way I would rather have a shorter top tube and smaller frame so I can use a longer stem for handling. If you're my height and using a 100mm or shorter stem your going to lose handling.

    Before I ordered my Oltre I got a very comprehensive fit from Bike Effect in Santa Monica which is one of the better fit centers in all of Southern California and I asked if I should move to a 55cm and even though Steve the owner was surprised he was also sure 53cm was in fact correct.

  21. #21
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    I am 5' 4" and I ride a 53cm VN7 without too much problem.

  22. #22
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    A problem with knees hitting the bar could be amended by using handlebars with shorter reach and a longer stem.
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  23. #23
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    I see all this advice, and I want to hope it is correct, BUT;

    How on earth can you fit a person without seeing them on the bike?
    Does back and hip flexibility play a big part in this?
    How about overall body shape and dimensions also play a big part?
    How about the way they ride?

    Because you are 5'8" and ride a ??? Doesn't make the next 5'8" person fit on the same size.

    Sorry for the rant, but fitting on the internet to me is a bit silly!

    As for the OP. You need to find someone you trust, that knows something about fitting a bike, and the style of ridding you want to do. Then work with that person. Even if you have to travel to find that person. Doing this on the internet is NOT in your own best interest. IMO
    It all comes down to rule 5!!

  24. #24
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    jr59 I agree with you 100%....but as a Bianchi owner of a bike in the size in question I can still help him by sharing my experience being the same height as the OP.

    My guess is that the OP does need a 55cm after he said his saddle was all the way back on the seatpost. I find generally that the placement of your saddle on the rails indicates if the frame is the right size for the rider. Mine is dead center so I am confident 53cm is my size. If his is on the ends of the useable rail then he can either run a small frame for the handling or a medium size one for the stability. Racers usually like bikes to run small.....touring is the opposite.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolamunky View Post
    jr59 I agree with you 100%....but as a Bianchi owner of a bike in the size in question I can still help him by sharing my experience being the same height as the OP.

    My guess is that the OP does need a 55cm after he said his saddle was all the way back on the seatpost. I find generally that the placement of your saddle on the rails indicates if the frame is the right size for the rider. Mine is dead center so I am confident 53cm is my size. If his is on the ends of the useable rail then he can either run a small frame for the handling or a medium size one for the stability. Racers usually like bikes to run small.....touring is the opposite.
    Please post a picture of your bike. I'm interested in seeing the set up.

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