Monday, August 23, 2010

Abici Granturismo Donna: Maine Impressions

While in Portland, Maine over the weekend, I rode an Abici bicycle, courtesy of Portland Velocipede. The Co-Habitant and I cycled around town a bit to visit some of our favourite spots from when we lived in the area some time ago. Two things about the city that are of relevance to cyclists: It is hilly, and there are no bike lanes. But not to worry: The hills are short and the lack of bike lanes does not seem to matter. We cycled on the roads, and the biggest obstacle was pedestrian traffic in the waterfront area (It was a Saturday); the cars seemed to be fine with cyclists. At any rate, I felt comfortable enough to get a good impression of the bicycle.

The model I rode was the Abici Granturismo Donna, single speed (also available as a 3-speed), in violet. The colour looks subdued on Abici's website, but in actuality it is highly saturated. I think pastels look good on an Italian bicycle no matter what the colour - though for my personal bike I would prefer something more neutral, like cream or slate gray.

The design of the Abici Granturismo is different from classic Dutch bicycles and English roadsters, but typical of an Italian lady's bicycle. The step-through top tube is asymmetrically curved, with the bend happening toward the rear of the bike, unlike a traditional loop-frame. You can see the same design from a number of Italian manufacturers, including Orco Cicli and Bella Ciao. It is also the design of the "Mrs. Cinelli" bicycle I had admired at the Larz Anderson Bicycle Show. (As an aside, I have tried to research the history of this frame style, but have had no success - so would appreciate any information or tips.)

Both the single speed and the 3-speed versions of the Granturismo model come with a coaster brake and a front caliper brake. The chain is fully enclosed, except for an opening at the rear for easy wheel removal. As far as design goes, the Abici is an appealing bicycle - though a couple of things puzzle me. For example, why was it made with derailleur-style dropouts, if it is designed for internally geared hubs? This is not so much a criticism, as a genuine question. Could it be that they are planning a derailleur version in the future? Also - and this is a minor thing - I was surprised by the lack of headbadge. Is it an intentional act of modesty to place the company's insignia only on a tiny part of the chaincase? If so, it is an interesting concept (but I nonetheless love headbadges!).

Continuing with the scrutiny of the details, here is the seat cluster. This part of the bicycle is beautiful.

Equally well done is the lugged connector between the top tube and downtube. The Abici is gracefully lugged throughout, except...

... yes, except for the welded unicrown fork. The contrast between the wealth of lugwork on other parts of the bike and this fork makes me want to cry. Why Abici, why? I am privy to the wholesale upcharge on lug-crowned forks, and it is not that high.

I know that some of you must be tired of my complaining about unicrown forks, and others might simply not understand what the big deal is, so let me explain my views: If a manufacturer claims to make an elegant, classic, high-end lugged steel bicycle and they go through the trouble of getting the details right and ordering all those complicated lugs, it makes no sense to omit the fork. The fork is a part of the bicycle just like the tubes are, and, in my view, its design ought to match the design of the frame. If the welded unicrown fork is a cost-cutting measure, then why stop there and not make the entire bike welded to match? If you consider this view extreme or unreasonable, then fair enough - but I cannot help my tastes.

Aside from the fork-crown issue, I have no complaints about the Abici Granturismo. On the contrary, handling and riding it was a pleasant surprise, as it was very different from any other city bicycle I had ridden previously. The main thing, is the sporty handling: from the steep-ish angles, to the aggressive sitting position, it handles like a roadbike that happens to be a step-through. It is fast, responsive, and light.

How light? Without exaggeration, it felt like half the weight of a Pashley or a Gazelle. Of course it had no rear rack, no lights, etc., etc. - but even taking that into account, the weight difference is considerable. I could drag a bike like this up and down the front stairs all day without complaining. Of course the downside to a light, sporty bicycle, is that the ride does not feel quite as cushioned as on a humongous Dutch bike or English roadster. So, as they say, choose your poison.

Because of its sporty geometry, I could mostly tackle the Portland hills on the Abici in its single speed - but the 3-speed would have been better. I should also note that it took me a while to get used to the coaster brake on this particular bike (despite being a lover of coaster brakes). Initially it felt counterintuitive, like having a coaster brake on a roadbike: In an aggressive riding position, you just do not expect to be braking in that manner. But the front brake on the Abici worked extremely well. So, just as I would on an actual roadbike, I ended up using mostly the front brake - activating the coaster brake only on occasion, and eventually getting used to its presence.

The Abici Granturismo Donna is a great choice for those looking for a sportier, lighter, more maneuverable step-through bicycle that is still more or less upright and comes with (or can be fitted with) all the trappings necessary for everyday transportation. Be aware that its handling and weight are radically different from that of classic Dutch bicycles and English roadsters, and whether this is a plus or a minus for you depends on your preferences. The price is very reasonable, and I would seriously consider buying the Abici for myself, if it were not for their choice of fork.

Many thanks to Portland Velocipede for loaning out this bicycle.

52 comments:

  1. Nevermind the bike (its beautiful)....GREAT HAT! A coworker of mine knitted me a similar style for this fall/winter. I can't wait to wear it.

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  2. Thanks! It is a linen hat from the UO clearance rack. Sadly, I think the proportions are just a tad too small for my huge head, and it only looks good when my hair is straight. When its curly, the hat makes me look like this.

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  3. I think these Abici forward-facing horizontal dropouts, together with their unique chain case make rear wheel removal very easy.

    You don't need to worry about the chain case at all. You don't have to mess with the pie plate and unhook the chain. This sounds more complicated than it is to do--just undo the 15mm bolts, the coaster brake nut, deflate the tyre and slide the wheel out. The whole thing is not much more involved than rear wheel removal on a fender-less converted fixie or single speed. Nice move, Abici!

    Yes, it looks less classic with these dropouts compared to the more traditional rear-facing track-style found on earlier English Roadsters and some Dutch bikes, but the benefits are real. The bike's construction does not interfere with basic maintenance like lubing the chain, changing gear ratios or replacing rear flats. And I kind of like the look of this chain case, it's very sculpted.

    I agree with you that the coaster brake probably feels odd together with the less leaned-back position and a powerful front caliper brake. But, hey, you could always drop in a fixie wheel since it's a 700c bike. Isn't that awesome? Yeah, I should've probably added that going with 700c is a good decision. It's better than Pashley's 26" wheels on the Princess (uh) and easier to size than the huge Gazelles. I would recommend a 3-speed rear caliper brake version, it seems perfect for a Summer trouble-free light and agile bike.

    I wonder if Abici offers a body-coloured rack. If not, they should. It would look excellent here. While we're dreaming, let's replace the fork with a crowned one and get ride of these ugly cranks. TA-style, please. I understand why they put a quick-release hub on that front wheel, but that makes locking up harder. And let's put a proper stem on this one and slightly narrower traditional dove bars (to taste, I suppose, and also possibly a wider than B17s saddle). Oh, and how about a recessed seat binder bolt to go with that beautiful lugged seat cluster. It could have a pulley for the rear brake--it would be a thing of beauty... :)

    But, very nice bike overall!

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  4. ha, the seat bolt caught my eye, as well, MDI...

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  5. not really relevant to your postings, so I have to apologize for this, but your pictorals have made me a bit nostalgic... I really love Portland (the real one ;) and miss, it in a way... I lived and worked there for a time in the mid-90s, visit when I can, though it's been a long time since I have been.

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  6. MDI - I did not realise that this type of dropouts made wheel removal easier; if anything I thought the opposite. As for body coloured racks- I happen not to be a fan and think it often makes bicycles look like toys (unless it's black on black). On a pastel bicycle, I prefer an elegant steel or alloy rack. The colour of the frame reflects in the polished metal and everything seems to shimmer.

    Luc - I think it's clear that we need to organise a bicycle race between team Real Portland and team That Other Weird Portland. Perhaps Portland Velocipede and Clever Cycles will sponsor it : ))

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  7. How easy would it be to add racks to a bike like that, though? Does it have places to fasten a rack to? (Sorry, vocabulary fail tonight. Eyelets?)

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  8. It has one set of eyelets that could theoretically be shared between fender stays and rack stays. The rear triangle has a plate for the rear caliper brake, and two additional holes drilled, possibly to connect the top/front adjustable connectors of the rack.

    However, I am not sure which rack model would fit without a forward/rear lean and how much weight the plate and shared eyelets would take. Perhaps Abici has a particular rack that they know fits properly. If I had this bike, I'd take it to a well-stocked store and try a few and see what fits well. I am sure it could be done.

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  9. From my experience with bikes with dropouts, the ones shown here are designed for exactly what the bike is (a single or three speed bike). The space allows for correct tensioning of the chain so that the use of half-links can be kept to a minimum. Also, if it was meant to have an external derailleur then it would have a little eyelet down below the dropout. Finally, one comment on the headbadge. My girlfriend recently purchased a Battaglin from BNB and it appears that Italian bike designers at some point decided to eschew the headbadge. I agree...I miss them.

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  10. I should add that if the fenders are sturdy enough and you are willing to drill them, you could install the VO Constructeur-style rack and keep the luggage load modest. It would look great, actually!

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  11. Very nice review. I like the steep geometry, clean lines, and the lack of superfluous decals, logos, stripes, and (sorry) headbadge.

    Handles aggressive like a road bike. Ooooh, that's what I like to hear. I could forgive the fork if it rides well.

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  12. I agree about those cranks being an eyesore. I am not a big fan of the stem either. The stem reminds me of an old Schwinn or other American dept store bikes.

    The colors are cool and I like the sportier looking chain case.

    @Anonymous: I suppose you could always add a derailleur with one of the claw type hangers... but but that would mean removing the chain case.... and why would you want to anyway?

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  13. I used the the eyelets for the fenders and p-clamps on the seat stays to attach a rack to my Abici.

    The plate on the seat stays is for wheel lock, I believe, which is supposed to be standard equipment. The shop may have removed it. I bought my Uomo from Copenhagen Cyclery in Chicago, who also deleted the wheel, saying they were of poor quality.

    That's probably my biggest complaint about Abici. They seem to have spec'ed a mish mash of parts, some of which are not particularly high quality. So it's a beautiful bike, with some crap (including the caliper) hung on it.

    That said, I do like my Uomo. It is lighter and sportier than other European city bikes. The geometry is such that you can stand up a sprint, which takes some practice on a Dutch bike. It's a great cafe bike and perfect for my four mile commute.

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  14. You would probably have preferred trying the Sveltino Donna :-). It even has your favorite inverted handlebars.

    What I don't understand is why PV doesn't offer the Amante Donna instead. Same geometry but fuller fenders for a wet climate, rim brakes fore and aft, and comes with lights fed from a hub dynamo. A newspaper holder, too, for whatever reason.

    As for the fork, Cinelli and other Italians seem to have dropped the square-shouldered fork for aerodynamic (ha) and aesthetic reasons. I would say the Chinese don't make them anymore, or at least not at a reasonable price.

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  15. I too am a fan of headbadges, but......all that clean, open space just begs for a custom headbadge, which could be even better.

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  16. Great review (and comments.) It really is a "lovely bicycle." I can see how it would make a fantastic addition to the stable as a complement to a more traditional (and heavier!) city bicycle -- if only one had the space!

    I agree with you about the back luggage rack. It needs one, and it needs to be a plain metal color....

    Love the skirt, too, by the way!

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  17. I have to agree with you on the unicrown fork. It does seem an odd choice on this bike. Browsing the Abici web site, it appears that they offer at least two models that do have lugged forks, though those appear to be more "road" style than "city" style--no chain case, for one thing. So it must have been a deliberate design choice, by someone with a different sense of bike aesthetics.

    Also, there doesn't appear to be a rack offered, but a collection of saddle bags.

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  18. Barry - That is good to know that you were able to install a rack. Regarding wheel locks: I do not like the ones that are supplied with currently-produced bikes in general. I removed the one on my Pashley, as it weighed a ton and was difficult to operate.

    Frits - I know for a fact that a high quality lug-crowned fork is available from Taiwan very cheaply. There are even some welded bicycles - such as some Masi and Bianchi models - that use this fork. Some custom bicycle builders use it as well, when the customer is on a budget but does not want a unicrown fork.

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  19. I live in a hilly city and I'm used to a road bike, but I have slowly become convinced that I need a bike with a chain case, a skirt guard and an internally geared hub. So, "a sportier, lighter, more maneuverable step-through bicycle" sounds perfect to me! Especially a purple one.

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  20. The bike has an "aggressive" sitting position? It's hard to tell with the swept-back bars and the lower seat. Any pictures of you on the bike to illustrate the position?

    Looking at bikes online I've noticed that most manufacturers seldom show someone on the bike - too bad, as that makes it easier to understand the frame geometry and to pick out a bike that best matches the riding position desired.

    Agree with you on the unicrown. However, they are suppose to be stronger/lighter and that may be part of how they lightened the bike. Unicrowns are required for disc brakes, but I hope they don't have THAT in mind for this bike :-)

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  21. Argh, nevermind, I don't think they make bicycles small enough for me. I guess they aren't interested in selling bicycles to Southern Italians? That's where my petite genes come from, after all.

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  22. Alexandra - They do make smaller bikes. There was an aqua one in Portland Velocipede that was tiny, and looked like it could be ridden by someone 5'1" or so with the saddle lowered.

    Peter - Unfortunately I didn't get photographed riding the bike; we were in a hurry. Despite the position of the handlebars, I was leaned forward quite a bit. It was similar to this position. Also, the seat tube angle felt quite steep.

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  23. Alexandra - I'm 5'0" and the smaller Abici Gran Turismo Donna fits very comfortably, even though they tell me it's 52cm, which is nominally much larger than my other bikes (I have a 45 and 47 as well). I think I've read somewhere Italian bikes are sized/measured differently?

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  24. in general, a single set of dropout eyelets can be shared between a rack and fender stays. i've done it with several bikes, and i've never had a problem. i just make sure i use sufficiently long stainless steel bolts.

    the bigger problem with installing a rack on this bike is that there are no upper threaded mounts for the rack (i.e., at the top of the seat stays). therefore the only option would be to use P-clamps.

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  25. Thanks, Nina, that's good to know. I also have a 47cm bike. I had gone to the Abici website and seen that the smaller size was a 52, which would definitely be too big on most bikes.

    The other Abici models, however, are one size only (the Sveltina Donna is so very pretty, but it doesn't come with a chain case or in any of my favorite colors, anyway).

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  26. I agree with Nina about the Italian sizing. I rode what they call the 56cm frame, and it fit me like a 51cm normally would. So I am guessing the 52cm frame is more like a 47cm.

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  27. I had a look at the Taurus of Milan website, and I think they provide for their customers better than Abici:
    http://www.taurusbiciclette.it/bici/taurus02.htm
    Frame is very familiar ....(like Philippe said).

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  28. Oh, of course! Those two little holes on the metal plate are for the O-lock. Makes sense.

    I am afraid I don't like p-style clamps. They work, of course, but look out of place on such a nice frame. So it would be the fender-mount VO rack and shared eyelets. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. I saw that rack on a VO frame in one of the local bike shops and it felt very sturdy. Most of the weight sits on the eyelet and the fender keeps it from tilting. I suppose if one crashes or hits the rack, they could bend/fold the fender.

    So it's not just me re: the cranks and some other cheaper parts used. I suppose Abici is trying to keep this bike less than $1000 and if we replaced the fork, stem, caliper x 2 and crank set, the price would climb up.

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  29. Frits - the frame looks familiar because it is a common Italian design since (I think) the 1960s or earlier. And although it's possible, it does not necessarily mean that Taurus makes everybody's frame. For instance, the Abici and Bella Ciao bikes are different, in that Bella Ciao has a lugged crown fork, what looks like track-style dropouts, and a different style of seat cluster.

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  30. MDI - I don't remember the exact price tag, but it was in the $800's for the single speed, which I think is as low as can be reasonably expected for a bike that is manufactured in Europe. Regardless of the price tag, I still could not live with a unicrown fork on a bike like this, but that is just me. For those who don't care, it is a bargain. On the other hand, I am pretty sure they *could* replace the unicrown fork with a lugged one and keep the price under $1K.

    I don't mind p-clamps, though I understand that some are bothered by the look. But I agree with the comments about those cranks.

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  31. MDI said:

    "So it would be the fender-mount VO rack and shared eyelets. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. I saw that rack on a VO frame in one of the local bike shops and it felt very sturdy. Most of the weight sits on the eyelet and the fender keeps it from tilting. I suppose if one crashes or hits the rack, they could bend/fold the fender."

    yes, the VO porteur rear rack would look fabulous. AND, since it comes pre-drilled for three wheel sizes, there are additional holes in the lower tangs for attaching the fender stays. so, no eyelet sharing! i did this with my VO porteur rack; i feel it looks much cleaner:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7516215@N03/4637277218/in/set-72157623167436095/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7516215@N03/4637274868/in/set-72157623167436095/

    as for p-clamps, i thought i would hate them, and was reluctant to use them on my trek 560, but honestly, i don't even notice them anymore. i think they're fairly innocuous:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7516215@N03/4692888331/in/set-72157622923303901/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7516215@N03/4692893255/in/set-72157622923303901/

    as for the cranks on the abici: agreed, those look rather cheap and too contemporary for such a classic bike frame. while TA cranks are gorgeous, they are expensive, and would push this bike out of its current price scale. when you start combining this with a lugged fork crown and other little details that add cost, well, then it becomes a much more expensive bike. they had to cut corners somewhere to keep this bike well below $1k.

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  32. somervillain, good to know that you can share a fender eyelet with a rack, with the appropriate bolts. That may let me put a rack on my old Schwinn. I've already got the p-clamps.

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  33. This is a beautiful bike. Lately I've been thinking seriously about planning the single speed as my next acquisition, although it would have to wait a year or two. I'm drawn to the minimalist lines and the coaster brakes and the hot looks. Mmmm. I don't see anything about the crown fork or even really know exactly what that is referring to, so in this case ignorance is bliss :)

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  34. How nice to visit Portland, which we did one year ago. I share your view of the unicrown fork and admire the hat and skirt (seersucker?) you chose that day.
    http://thechattanoogan.blogspot.com/2009/08/piratical-portland.html
    and
    http://thechattanoogan.blogspot.com/2009/08/peaks-island-cyclists.html

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  35. Despite the niggardly bits - the welding where there could have been lugs, the mildly unpleasant angles here and there- it's a very elegant-looking bike. Love the colour, even if it's blindingly mauve and, with the chain case, almost overkill. I want to ride it just looking at the photos, and I'm glad to hear you found it sporty and responsive even as a single speed - the lower weight obviously plays a part. Have been lusting over Abici on the interweb and so glad to read your thoughts on this bike.

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  36. My derailleur bike has vertical dropouts, so the position of the rear wheel is fixed. But bikes with IGHs (or singlespeeds) need horizontal dropouts (like the one on the photo), because it must be possible to move the wheel back a bit if the chain tension is too low.

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  37. It seems there's an entire Italian bike culture that isn't has been lauded as much the Dutch/Danish style. Outside of Abici, are there any other Italian city bikes available in the U.S.? Gruppo Bici N.A. was selling Atalas, but has seem to gone out of business.

    I think the Italian style might better suit American riders, but it needs better marketing.

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  38. Barry - As far as I know there are currently no other Italian city bike manufacturers that sell in N. America, but Bella Ciao will probably (hopefully!) start exporting in 2011.

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  39. Your sandals are fabulous! What make are they?
    Thanks!

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  40. Thanks for this review. I've admired Abici Granturismo for some time but crossed them off the list because of only 3 gears max. I'm wondering now - after riding the Oma around town and discovering the range of gears is just fine; it's just the weight that makes hills hard - I'd be interested to see how wide the range of those 3 gears on the Abici.

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  41. Opera Chic has a post on the Italian ballerina Alessandra Ferri:
    http://operachic.typepad.com/opera_chic/ [August 28, 2010]
    and look what bike she rides in Central Park (although I suspect that the magazine's editor just picked a nice, non-related photo).

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  42. Really I dont like Abici: i think is only nice to see but made with components of poor quality... Sure the Orco Cicli Nilde o Ariel is better: view: http://orcocicli.com/ORCOBIKE/Bikes/Bikes.html
    ciao!

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  43. i'm a bit late to this discussion, but wanted to comment as someone who is a happy owner of an Abici Granturismo Donna (single-speed version). i acquired it primarily as a bike to ride while at my family's beach house, but i love riding it so much that it has become my nice-weather city bike instead. For aesthetic reasons, i would of course prefer a lugged fork crown, as well as different crank arms, but i find the bike so fun to ride that it really doesn't bother me. i don't get the criticism of the stem though? i actually think the existing one suits the bike quite well. Regarding the (lack of) headbadge, i remember reading somewhere that this was an intentional decision 'to keep the bicycle in its simplest form' or something to that effect.

    Curiously, my frame does not have the same style of drop-outs as the one you test rode, but instead has rear facing track-style fork ends. (perhaps Abici read Sheldon's glossary entry on drop-outs & decided to change this element ;) Also, (thankfully) mine does not have a quick release front wheel. Lastly, mine came with a bell, battery operated headlight & metal wheel lock, but perhaps they no longer do?

    Velouria, it is interesting to me that you - as someone who regularly rides a road bike - found the Abici to be fast, responsive, and light. i jokingly refer to it as my fast & sporty bike, but i thought that was just in comparison to my Pashley PS, but i guess it really is?

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  44. Anon 8:05 - Thanks! They are by an Israeli manufacturer called Naot and are very comfortable.

    Emma - It's not just the gearing that should be taken into consideration, but the geometry of a bike. It is easier to ride my vintage Motobecane mixte up hills as a single speed than it is to ride a Dutch or English upright bike, even in the lowest of 7 gears.

    Anonymous 1:17 - I like the look of Orco Cicli, but they are a small company and are not available in North America or even most of Europe to try, as far as I know. So most people simply would not be able to choose one even if they wanted to.

    Genevieve - Interesting that they changed the dropout design, I wonder why. Personally I prefer the track-style dropouts on a bike with a hub, so I think it's nice that you have the other version. And the bike really does have the geometry of, or at least close to, a roadbike, so it's not your imagination! My theory is that Italian city bikes developed in this manner, because they have hillier terrain than the Netherlands or England.

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  45. Orco cicli sends his bike around the world, but builds only custom bicycles:just order them (pay) and you can get anywhere.

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  46. I am not much of an Italophile; except when it comes to vehicles. I'm glad I bothered to dig a little deeper into the "back issues" I've missed, as I've been lusting over this one for a while now and it's interesting to hear your impressions - you can keep your English roadsters, give me one of these.

    Except for some caveats: The cranks would have to go and be replaced by something classically slender. The fork would also have to go, like, right away. It's horrid. Plus, they seem to have dropped red (although it is still in the pipe in a place or two).

    And it IS on the pricey side for the quality. Add the price of the changes and it just makes it plain expensive. That's probably the only reason I don't have one already.

    I actually don't know anything off hand about the history of the style, what with all the books and things going gaga over English and French kit; unless it's a road racing bike. It's been around since before I can remember, and even before that. For now I just chalk it up to the traditional Italian style and enjoy.

    As for the drop outs; they're just dropouts as others have said. They make the wheel MUCH easier to remove as it, ya know, just "drops out." I've had drop outs on every single speed coaster brake bike and English three speed going all the way back to my Western Auto 20 incher with the little jet plane fender ornament. Go to Wal-Mart and you'll see the racks full of them. Rear facing fork ends have been an anachronism on everything but track bikes for more than 50 years. The fact that my Quickbeam doesn't have dropouts is my single real gripe about it. Really messes with a number of the Rivendelly things about it, especially fendery things.

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  47. As a main transportation bike, would you recommend the Abici or the Bella Ciao more? I would be in a relatively hilly area and using it for my daily commute. I do plan to switch the rear hug out for one with 7 or 8 speeds and a drum brake. But with that switch made, which bike do you think would be best for an everyday transport bike? Is one lighter, faster, more comfortable, more durable/protected from the elements? I prefer 700c or 28" tires that are at *least* 32c wide but preferably wider, but I can't find the tire sizes listed for the two bikes.

    Thanks for your input!

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  48. Brittney - Keep in mind that I've now collaborated with Bella Ciao, so you may not want to trust my objectivity : )

    Personally I would not put an 7-8 speed hub with drum brake on either bike; the frames were not really designed for it.

    Also, either bike could work for transportation in a moderately hilly area, and a 3-speed should do it.

    They weigh about the same.

    I personally find the Bella Ciao more comfortable - a slightly softer ride quality and more natural geometry.

    Abici comes in 47cm (26" wheels) and 51cm (700C wheels). Bella Ciao is 54cm (700C wheels). Both fit wide tires (35mm).

    Their handlebars are pretty different. Chaincases different. Lugwork is different and note the Abici's unicrown fork.

    Hope that helps!

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  49. Thanks for the great review!

    Could not resist the sale at Curbside Toronto on the weekend! Half price on all the 2011 Abici models. Won t import them anymore.

    Anyone interested, they ship althought i don t know if they ship in USA

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  50. As lovely as these bikes look I would not recommend purchasing one. I've had a men's model for three years now and during that time there's hardly been a month past without some problem or another. First it was something with the rear hub. Then the headset came loose - really loose. It felt like the bike was going to come apart beneath me. The shop told me the bearings or whatever in there were faulty from the factory. After that small things added up over time, broken spokes often. That lead me to believe the parts were just shit because although I ride it to work every day I don't jump curbs and never had so many busted spokes before.
    Then the real climax was the frame actually broke. Not cracked, but broke clean through. The distributor replaced it for free after a month or two of waiting.
    Now the head set is loose again and it's back in the shop.
    Basically this bike is pretty and maybe good for Sunday rides to the cafe. I would not recommend this bike if you're a commuter. Get something more solid, and not Italian.

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  51. Thanks Anonymous for your review above! It is so useful to hear feedback from people who have owned the bike. I chatted with a guy on his abici last week who had a lot of issues with the abici and said it is pretty but required a lot of upgrades and he did not recommend paying full price for the bike.

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  52. I bought an Abici Granturismo in the 2010 and i never have problems with my bike!

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