Campagnolo Vento and Bianchi Via Nirone 7 review

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by violto, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. violto

    violto New Member

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    Vento Wheel review

    Hi everyone,

    I just picked up my new set of Campagnolo Vento wheels from Dean Woods in Melbourne and thought some of you might be interested in a few of my initial thoughts and impressions!

    Background story: I have wanted a new set of wheels for my Bianchi Via Nirone Alu Carbon job for a while. The stock wheels weren’t cutting it for me and despite the fact they are bomb-proof – one really bad accident where they survived while I didn’t – I felt my bike needed to be treated right with a lighter and stiffer set of wheels.

    I had three options:

    - Rebuild my Miche/Ambrosio stock wheels with CXP32 rims and DT db spokes from my LBS (Planet Cycles in Brisbane). (Around $400 AUD not inc Cassette)

    - Get Planet to build me a completely new wheelset, inc hubs etc… (around $700 AUD no cassette)

    - OR Buy a new factory wheelset.

    Because I’m cheap, I went with door number 3 and started looking around at the Mavic K’s and lower end campys. The K’s were way too exxy for my budget ($800+) and I’d heard of them having a few issues with broken spokes even on light riders (I’m 64kg, 5ft 11) and a ‘clicking’ problem associated with the rim joining process. K’s were out, Campys were in.

    According to popular belief, the Vento’s were cheap, strong but a bit on the heavy side – 2kg’s for the set. My current and very flexy Ambrosio wheelset couldn’t be much worse really – 2.4kg’s inc cassette/lockring/ti skewers so I started looking around at prices. D Woods did me a fairly good deal inc a veloce cassette, installed, taped and shipped to Brisbane.

    The shop I bought my Bianchi from – Peloton Cycles at Milton – wanted to charge me $650 for the same rig! No sale.

    BIG hint to anyone buying the Ventos – make SURE that you get the 2006 model – they have dropped 250g to bring them to around 1750g and have a redesigned front and rear hub and they are still as strong as ever apparently! Hence, I asked DW explicitly for the 2006 model.

    But despite the fact that I drummed it into the sales rep’s head that I needed the latest model, they sent me a set of the 2005 Ventos – not happy Jan. A few phone calls later and they sent me a set of the 2006’s and I ended up with BOTH wheelsets at home this weekend. I haven’t ridden the 2005’s because they have to go back in mint condition so a ride comparison is out of the question but I can give you heaps of photos to look at and my thoughts on the 2006’s of which I’ve done about 150k’s on them in the last two days.

    So without further ado, onto the photos!

    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Rear4.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Rear3.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Rear2.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Rear1.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Nips.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Front4.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Front3.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Front2.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Front1.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento06Spoke.jpg
    You Can really see the big spoke here – used to balance the wheel.

    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento05Rear4.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento05Rear3.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento05Rear2.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento05Rear1.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento05Nips.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento05Front3.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento05Front2.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/Vento05Front1.jpg

    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/LineUp.jpg

    From left to right: Vento 05 / Vento 06 / Stock Ambrosio


    Vento report

    The 2006 Vento’s feel completely different to my Stock Ambrosios (FCS 28 rims, Miche hubs and cassette). The Via Nirone is a great bike but because of the low(er) cost compared to their other bikes I really think Bianchi skimped a bit on the wheels. Lesson learned – build your own bike next time! The Ventos are responsive, light and fast – we were practicing sprints and pace lines on my training ride on Sat and I won my sprint by miles and actually kept up with the pace line doing 45+km/h along the Brisbane corso. So the bottom line is that they are faster, but it isn’t hard to imagine why when compared to my old wheels. The Veloce cassette shifts are better and faster than the Miche on my stock wheels and when pedaling, the drivetrain is quieter with less skipping. No matter how close the derailer is to the correct cog position on the Miche cassette, I can’t stop the chain from picking up the offset tooth or the next cog. As always, the 06 Vento hubs stay true to their Campagnolo heritage and are REALLY noisy. This isn’t really a problem in bunches which are quite noisy anyway and peds can now hear me coming a mile away!

    I’ve only ridden them on a few rough roads and only had to bunnyhop them once to avoid a ditch but like their 2005 contemporaries, they remained true.



    Bike report

    The Bianchi Via Nirone is one of their budget models and to keep costs down Bianchi has skimped on some of the parts. Let me qualify that statement – by skimping I am referring to Campy Veloce 10sp and in-house Bianchi branded parts. Not really a big deal if you aren’t a bike coinsure or a racer. The groupset works well and functions as it should with no major complaints. I’m not terribly particular about my bikes but it’s still a Bianchi and it’s still made in Italy.

    One complaint I do have however is the poor quality of the break pads. They are SHOCKERS and will pick up bits of your rim no matter how much your resurface the rim or sand down the pads. This has lead to several deep gouges in my stock rims and the pads are now replaced with a BBB set – still trying to get some koolstops. Did I also mention that I’m commuting on my Bianchi?? I chose the Via Nirone because I’ve always wanted a Bianchi and I wanted something that wasn’t your run-of-the-mill Taiwanese made Treks etc… (this is despite the fact that I KNOW the Taiwanese bikes are actually pretty good – I have a Kona Kula for bushbashing). I could have gone for the 1885 or 928 but they were out of my budget and if I was spending that sort of cash, I would want to build my own bike.

    The ride is stiff and the bike is responsive. Steering is stable and corning is predicable and controlled. The bike isn’t weight weenier light – 8.2kg’s with my old wheels, under 8 with my Ventos but for the price you can’t go wrong! The ass end fit felt good but the stock stem was way too long as is the case with most European short TT bikes where they make up for it with a longer stem (which can help with steering control). I swapped the 120mm stem for a 100 and it felt a lot more comfortable. However, having said that, now that I’m getting used to the aero position and my core strength is increasing, I feel that the bars could go forward just a tad.

    While I’m not bowled over by the bike and won’t rave on about it for ages, it’s still a fantastic bike to ride and does exactly what you want it to do with no complaints. With the vento wheels, it’s a completely different bike.

    Pics

    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/IMG_3077_resize.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/IMG_3076_resize.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/IMG_3075_resize.jpg
    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f382/violto/IMG_3073_resize.jpg


    Cheers,

    Tim

    PS any ideas on how to insert the links as thumbnailed images? i've tried using the code provided by photo bucket for this purpose but the board only creates a text link and not an clickable image.
     
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  2. sideshow_bob

    sideshow_bob New Member

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    thanks for the detailed (and excellent review). i currently have a set of scirocco's which i've got about 2,000k on. also relatively cheap and are holding up well. i'll probably buy a set of protons or zondas to race on this year. probably the only fault i can pick up on the sciroccos (and i dont know if this happens on the ventos) is that the valve is drilled right on top of the the spokes which given in the g3 spoke pattern there is lots of empty rim seems a bit dumb. not a major thing but it does interfere with getting the pump head on.

    i'm assuming by describing them as noisy you mean the freehub? i like the way the sciroccos sound but thats probably just a personal thing.

    --brett
     
  3. violto

    violto New Member

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    They have fixed this on the 06 ventos -dare i say the rest of the 06 wheel lineup. The valve hole is now positioned just outside the g3 spoke and there is plenty of room to fit a track pump head.

    I like the way the vento's sound too and when i refer to the noise, it is the freehub click. Something I forgot to mention in the review is how long these wheels spin for - give it a good throw with your hand and you can come back several minutes later and it's still spinning (i haven't timed it exactly so its a subjective measurement). This goes for front and rear.

    edit:
    I should have also mentioned in the review that the supplied skewers don't feel that great - cheap plastic knobs on bothe ends and a steel beam but hey, you gotta cut corners somewhere (hopefully non-critical!) at this price. They've been swapped out for ritchey ti's.

    True to the age old cycling addage - they are cheap, strong but not super light
     
  4. cameron41

    cameron41 New Member

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    I've got a set of 05 Sciroccos on my bianchi that I'm more than pleased with. The only negative I've experienced is mounting tyres. Never had to use tyre levers on my numerous sets of Open Pros, yet I found it impossible to mount Conti's, Michelins or Vittoria tyres without the assistance of tyre levers. Where as it once took 2-4 mins to mount a tyre, I find I'm spending 7-10mins mounting them on the sciroccos. It's an inconvenience I put up with because I really like the wheelset.
     
  5. violto

    violto New Member

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    Thanks for reminding me of that too cameron. the ventos are just as painful to put the tyres on as other previous models. The trade off for the higher rim profile is less chance that the bead will roll off around a corner but i've never had that happen on my old wheels or my old bike. I have two sets of tyres - conti gp4000 that came with the bike and a set of super nice vred fortezzas. The conti's have a wire bead and i find them more difficult to fit than the vreds with their kevlar bead but i still have to use my leavers. It's going to be fun to change a flat when i get another puncture on the vreds.

    I guess we all just will have to use quality tyres on our quality wheels :rolleyes:

    Have you got any pics of your bianchi? we need more celeste on this board!
     
  6. XAJIM

    XAJIM New Member

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    How much is shipping to Brisbane for a set of wheels? They look damn nice.
     
  7. violto

    violto New Member

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    It's actually pretty funny - shipping from Melbourne to Brisbane from DW was $7 road freight and it was here in 2 days. When I had to send the 05 model back to melbourne I got a few quotes and the CHEAPEST one was $350 road freight.

    Couldn't believe it. Australia post wouldn't even touch it caus it was too big. I think the problem was that it was too big to fit into their standard cargo space so they had to charge for the next size up. Needless to say I didn't pay the $350 and got DW to overnight a freight coupon to me.
     
  8. dan4923

    dan4923 New Member

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    Cheers on the review,Tim. Just out of interest, how much did you get the wheelset for (if you'll forgive my asking)? I bought the 2005 set with veloce cassette last year for 600.
     
  9. violto

    violto New Member

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    Thats ok.
    DW has them listed for $376 on their website. Bargained them down on the veloce cassette from $150 to $125 so the complete package inc cassette install and rim tape was just over $500.

    FYI, Cecil Walker cycles has the Ventos for slightly cheaper but the shipping was $15 while i've found the veloce cassette for sale at bikepro.com.au for $115. Honestly, i think that any cassette more expensive than the veloce is a rip-off especially something that you'll replace in 10,000 or so km's. for the sake of a few grams campy charges the earth - same goes for most of their components. They all feel and work exactly the same although, i must admit that the CF break leavers look pretty swank and I would probably get them if I was loaded :).

    I would not however go below the veloce groupset - i tried the mirage on a willier bike when shopping around and the PLASTIC break leavers felt terrible.

    All in all, I think that means that the complete set from DW was cheaper - I'm sure that you could bargain them down even further. If you get a set, let us know how much you got them for!

    Something else about the wheels - they come with campy rim tape of the plastic variety. The velox stuff that DW supplied was crap and kept moving when i installed the tyres so i got rid of it for the plastic stuff. I hear that the cloth tape lasts longer without deformation into the spoke holes but even if this is the case, its better than the two hole-flats when pumping with the velox.:(
     
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