Bianchi SASS tips/ tricks/ info?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bianchi SASS tips/ tricks/ info?

    I'm brand new to SS- in fact, I'm still shopping. I have my eye on a 2005 Bianchi SASS and I love the look and definitely want to be in a steel frame. The bike has been outfitted with a Fox 80mm front fork (which I've read is the right correction for that frame). I have been looking around for more feedback/ beta on this bike, but I'm not finding much. I know the Bianchi's run a little long, and a little tall for the frame size, but I think it's the right size from talking to the current owner.

    Anyone out there riding a SASS or one of its many cousins? Anything you like/ dislike? Any issues I should know about?

    This is my first SS, so I wanted to keep it cheap and keep it simple, but not so simple that I wouldn't want the front suspension . I know I'll not love the grind the first ride or so, but I'm psyched about the simplicity after being on a Full Susp for the last couple of years.

  2. #2
    I'm just messing with you
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    I've got a rigid MUSS, the last in the long line of Bianchi 26" SS bikes.

    It's fairly light, and rides like a BMX bike. I considered putting a suspension fork on it, but after considering how my other bikes ride, decided it'd ruin what the MUSS was meant to be. I understand where you're coming from though.

    Search the forums and you'll find plenty of posts concerning the Bianchis.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  3. #3
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    Bob and I are MUSS riders, both fully rigid. I am a fan of the Bianchi family of SS due to their keen geometry. I wouldn't rule out the rigid fork until you try it. I remember when I decided I was going to stick with the original fork, my buddies thought I was crazy. Now I wouldn't change anything. I can't specifically comment on the SASS, but it is very nice frame. I have often thought about picking up a MUSS for a future build but now have my sites on a 650b custom frame.

    Here's more scoop on the Bianchi family that may be helpful - http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...=bianchi+codes

  4. #4
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    Nice- thanks gents. I bit the bullet and bought the SASS- should be here on Friday if all goes well. The other forum was good to check out, but not a ton of info about the bikes other than breaking down the acronyms. Either of you (or others) have any issues you've faced with the Bianchi's? I am pretty sure the bike I'm getting is fully stock minus the Fox on the front (I will also get the original rigid fork, and maybe I'll play with that). I've heard the stock Surly hub is suspect- any other thoughts? Rust prevention? Headset/ BB/ crank issues? If I dig the SS world, I will likely do some upgrades in time, but want to make sure I'll ride it much first. Bars, seatpost... but we'll see how it rides (and how I ride) first.

    Debated the 29er SS, but rode a geared 29er and really didn't like the feel (could've been that bike...or me).

  5. #5
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    No problems to speak of with my bike at all ... the headset had been changed before I got it though, and given that the bike was practically new I'd say it was an el-cheapo to begin with. I expect the one on your SASS has been changed already since it has the Fox fork on it.

    I keep meaning to pick up the right tool to pull the bottom bracket out, and give it a good coating of framesaver, but I haven't yet.

    Have you already looked in the reviews here for info?
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead
    Nice- thanks gents. I bit the bullet and bought the SASS- should be here on Friday if all goes well. The other forum was good to check out, but not a ton of info about the bikes other than breaking down the acronyms. Either of you (or others) have any issues you've faced with the Bianchi's? I am pretty sure the bike I'm getting is fully stock minus the Fox on the front (I will also get the original rigid fork, and maybe I'll play with that). I've heard the stock Surly hub is suspect- any other thoughts? Rust prevention? Headset/ BB/ crank issues? If I dig the SS world, I will likely do some upgrades in time, but want to make sure I'll ride it much first. Bars, seatpost... but we'll see how it rides (and how I ride) first.

    Debated the 29er SS, but rode a geared 29er and really didn't like the feel (could've been that bike...or me).
    I am riding a SASS frame and SISS fork. My SISS cracked. The SASS' didn't have the same problem. My SISS was dedecai (sp?) and this SASS is Bianchi Chomolite. I noticed the SISS seemed to feel better but it broke too. I could flex that frame pretty easily. You shouldn't have any problems with the frame. They did make them 2 years. I think 2004 was the dedecai and 2005 was Bianchi tubing.

    My bike had a spot rear hub. I did have a bearing problem after about 1 week but haven't touched it again since then (6+ years). The problem was the assembly. I did relace the wheel due to breaking spokes after about 2 years. I am still riding the same wheel now. This bike is pretty old now. Check the chainline. Mine was off by quite a bit. It may be fixed already or may not have had any problem. I put a 118 bb and used a 2.5mm spacer to line it up. The SPOT hub pushes my fw way out.

    I ride mine rigid and always have. I sold my geared bike and only have this mtb left. Fun bike.
    GP

  7. #7
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    This is great- and I'm increasingly more anxious for the bike to get here and take her out for a spin (even though it's snowing here in Colorado today).

    I'll be sure to give it all a once over when it arrives- chainline, headset, everything.

    Have you all done framesaver on your frames?

    I have checked the reviews, and that's a big reason I went for the SASS- the reviews are awesome. My biggest concern is about the size. I typically ride a 17/ Med frame, and the SASS in a 17.5 seems a little long and a little tall, but I talked to two guys selling them and they were both similar heights/ inseams as I, so I bit the bullet. I guess I'll know for sure in a couple of days...

  8. #8
    smell the saddle...
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    The only thing stock on my MUSS is the frame and fork so I can't comment on the other items. I run Paul Word hubs (front and rear) laced to DT Swiss 4.2 rims (I run DT Swiss rims on all my bikes) and have had no issues with any of it (I use a ENO freewheel on all my SS bikes also).

    I bought my frame used and it also came with aftermarket suspension fork (I think it was a old junky Judy) which I turned around and sold on eBay. I don't think the original fork was ever ridden and never had any issues with it. The frame had a few dings in the rear triangle and one small one on the down tube but none of that has caused any issue. I don't know that much about the steel of the SASS (talked ot Bob about that last week because I was thinking about buying one). But I figure it is similar to the cromo on ours.

    I doubt seriously the 17.5 will be an issue for you. I think the TT length is the biggest fit and you can always run a shorter stem and play with your saddle position if need be.

    Ride it how it is and upgrade as you need to or if funds allow. Mine weights about 22lbs, I can ride it faster and find I ride it better than my FS bike. Post some photos when you get it in and add it to the codes thread. Good to see these bikes are still hammering.

  9. #9
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    Does the SASS with Bianchi cromo have a multi-shaped downtube, or a round one? If it's shaped then I'd say it's the same stuff the MUSS is built from.

    IMO, the bikes are a blast to ride. At the going price, there's a lot of bang for your buck.
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  10. #10
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    according to the Bianchi website, it's the Bianchi DB CrMo. And yeah, I think I can't go wrong for the price. For the fourth bike in the quiver (road, FS mtn, commuter, now SS) and my first SS for $425 with a front shock, I feel pretty good about the purchase.

    I'll post pics when it arrives. Thanks for all of your help.

  11. #11
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    Love my Chrome SASS

    I got mine with a 100mm suspension fork installed. I imediately re-installed the rigid fork and have no regrets.
    Installed big 2.4 tires and havent ridden my full suspension Salsa or Yeti since.

  12. #12
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    you will love your SASS. I spent my first SS year on one, really liked the geometry. I wasn't manly enough to keep the stock rigid fork for very long, I threw a 100mm reba on there. I'm 5'8" and the 17.5 fit me perfecto, for reference.

  13. #13
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    Sick. Thanks. That's exactly what I needed. I am 5'9" and the frame is a little longer than my FS bike and I didn't want to have to put a super shorty stem on there to compensate. I think it's going to be a perfect fit.

  14. #14
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    6'1", 32 inseam, the 21.5 sass bike fits awesome with a 90x10 stem and wide handlebars. The MTBR review of the SASS is spot on and it is an awesome ride. Deda' pipes!!!
    Creative Producer, Will of the Sun, Platform Pedal Shootout 1M+ views WoS

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead
    Sick. Thanks. That's exactly what I needed. I am 5'9" and the frame is a little longer than my FS bike and I didn't want to have to put a super shorty stem on there to compensate. I think it's going to be a perfect fit.
    5'9" here and riding my 17.5" MUSS last night it actually felt a little small
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  16. #16
    smell the saddle...
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    5'9" here and riding my 17.5" MUSS last night it actually felt a little small
    You're finally hitting puberty Bob...

  17. #17
    I'm just messing with you
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    Oh hell, does that mean I'm going to grow even more hair on my back?
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  18. #18
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    Well lets see, it's made by Bianchi, it's made of steel, it's chrome plated and it's a Shiny Ass Single Speed.
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  19. #19
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    SASS Arrived and together

    She finally arrived yesterday and I was able to unpack her today. Unfortunately, though, I have the swine flu and probably won't get to ride her until later this week if the weather cooperates. Everything- EVERYTHING on this bike is completely stock- even the tires! I'll be swapping out the rear tire, stem, handlebars, seatpost and saddle right away to get a better fit, but it's not too far off. Definitely workable. The frame has seen some use, for sure, but by tell of the components, I wouldn't guess terribly high miles- maybe just left outside on a porch some or put away wet. Planning on getting some frame saver and treating it to preserve the frame from here on out. Rear rotor got tweaked in shipping, but was able to mostly straighten it out and otherwise everything rolls pretty solid.

    Thanks for the tips and info- can't wait to give her a ride on the trail (until my legs wear out, then maybe a walk a little? hoping this SS gets my climbing legs back in shape ).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bianchi SASS tips/ tricks/ info?-sass-side.jpg  

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    Bianchi SASS tips/ tricks/ info?-sass-frame.jpg  

    Bianchi SASS tips/ tricks/ info?-sass-r-wheel.jpg  


  20. #20
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    One tip. Ride the hell out of it. go on long rides. Ride to the trails if you can and get used to spinning smooth and fast to get your aerobic fitness up because if you have some steep climbs you will understand my mantra.

  21. #21
    I'm just messing with you
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    hoping this SS gets my climbing legs back in shape
    It will if you let it.

    Looks like a Bianchi tube sticker on the DT, and no pink Spot hub, so it seems to be a 2nd gen.

    Nice score
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  22. #22
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    Nice catch! Not used to seeing these with a susp fork, but it's just as sweet nonetheless (especially a Fox). There is something about the chromed frame, very clean and nice.

    When I first started riding my SS, I would fly up climbs. I found myself riding faster up to the foot of the climb to gain momentum and cranking up the remainder. It's a different thought process than the option to shift. You'll see soon enough. Post back with some ride reviews! Enjoy!

  23. #23
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    Thanks! I'm psyched. And I was psyched on the fox fork as well (though I think I need to overhaul it). I live on the front range in Colorado, so pretty much everything local is up, up, up, then down, with lots of fun throughout. Does make for interesting single-speeding though. It snowed on Saturday and Sunday, then got nice Monday afternoon- I knew I had this one window to get her out on the dirt before another storm came in Tuesday. The closest trail to my house is climbing pretty much out of the gate, with lots of little technical stuff on the lower sections, but I figured I just wanted to get out for a quick ride and see how it went. It was awesome. The trail was muddy, but not bad- just packed enough to make it interesting, and there were snowy/ icey spots in the shade-- reminded me of riding in Vermont in college. So much fun.

    I definitely need to gear down by one (set up currently as 32x18, going to go to 32x20 for these kinds of trails, while I get used to it, then maybe back to the 18), but other than that, I had a blast. I'm not in the best shape I've ever been in, but I was totally powering up and over stuff I would normally sit back and downshift for on my full susp rig. The feel of the steel, and the direct-drive efficiency was totally noticeable right away. I kept the fork locked out the whole way up, and much of the way down (I think I need to overhaul the fork- just need to pick up some seals...). I could DEFINITELY feel the upper-body workout and now understand what everyone on here has been talking about with the pulling-up-on-your-bars technique- I was cranking on those things. I had to stop a few times and catch my breath, but didn't walk anything I don't walk on my FS (there are a couple of moves on this trail that only the baddest ass of riders clean, and I'm not one of those guys). Really, I felt like I was a kid riding my BMX bike up some big ass hill. I'm going to make a few more tweaks (bar ends [thinking ergons- been curious], shorter stem, higher risers, overhaul the fork, and the 20T cog), and I can totally see riding this thing lots- as much as I can over the winter and definitely making it my bike of choice on certain trails as the spring season comes on. Completely different workout than on my Epic.

    I'll post more pics when I get the updates/ upgrades set up. I'm hooked.

  24. #24
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    Oh so you have the WTB rear hub with the freehub and cog setup? It must've been the previous generation then with the Spot rear disc SS hub and White Industries 16T freewheel cog (better IMHO). 32:16 all around. 32:18 off-road. 32:20 for lots of climbing terrain. But for an SS it's just not something the tool is made for. However, if you can find some moderate climbs with lots of downhill and short swoopy hills, the SASS at 32:18 should be perfect.
    Creative Producer, Will of the Sun, Platform Pedal Shootout 1M+ views WoS

  25. #25
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    Yeah- it's branded Bianchi, but it's definitely not the Surly that came on the 1st year of the SASS. I didn't know it was WTB, but I'd prefer the Surly and a freewheel cog. Either way, it's running smooth, which is all I really care about for now. This is primarily only see dirt, so the 32x18 it came with will work well for more rolling XC trails, but like I said before, most of what we have on the front range of CO is up, up, up, then down, down, down, (with some more ups in between) so I'm going for a 20T for those trails and to help while I get used to this SS thing. Been snowing out here for 2 days, so it might be another week or so before I get her out for her second ride- gonna drive a bit and try out some more rolling trails. Gives me a chance to overhaul the fork this weekend, too.

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