Focus Variado VS Bianchi Via Nirone VS Scott Speedster s40

Stuey01 Posts: 1,273
edited August 2008 in Road beginners
hi folks,

I hope you can stand another "what bike?" thread....

I am looking for my first road bike, having been an MTBer for years and a skinny tyred MTB commuter since Jan 2008. I do a pretty short 8 mile commute through London each day for which I will use the road bike when the weather is fine, MTB when not. I also want to start getting out there a bit further at the weekends, currently no ambition to race, but who knows where things will go from here... I am not interested in a touring bike or something with pannier or mudguard eyelets, i'll get by with some raceblades when I have to, the rest of the time I am too concerned with aesthetics :D

My budget is around £600. I have tried trawling through all the shite on ebay and gumtree but have had no joy and have decided on a new bike. So far, due to availability, aesthetics and spec I am down to:

£545 - Bianchi Via Nirone Xenon - full campy Xenon double 10 speed group on an Alu frame and carbon fork.

£599 - Scott Speedster s40 - Triple full 9 speed Tiagra, Alu frame carbon fork.

£615 - Focus Variado - full 105 group, alu frame, carbon fork.

All are medium/55cm/54cm depending on brand. I have test ridden the Bianchi in 55cm and liked it, testing the Scott tomorrow, cannot test the Variado as it is online only.

I have discounted Felt, Giant and Spesh Allez on the grounds that I just can't live with how they look - the sloping top tubes on the Giant and Spesh are ugly (IMO) and what the hell is with the rear triangle on the Felt, urrgh.

I am a bit dubious about the Celeste colouring of the Bianchi - it's a bit "look at me" for a cheap bike and it has the cheap xenon group, but I suspect the frame is very good for the money. My head has been turned by the Focus' full 105 group. Scott seems middle of the road, but if the frame is not much better than the Focus then why not get the 105 equipped bike?

Whatever bike I get I will get some SPD pedals and use my existing MTB shoes.

What would you do? Any other suggestions?


Not climber, not sprinter, not rouleur


  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'd get the Focus. For someone with your budget it's a bargain.
  • richa
    richa Posts: 1,631
    In the flesh, does the Focus look pink?

  • bendertherobot
    bendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    Either of the ten speeds. Easier upgrade path. The Variado is probably the best bet overall.
    My blog: (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • bendertherobot
    bendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    No, there's real pics on Wiggles website. I'd say it looks nicer than the expert this year.
    My blog: (kit reviews and other musings)
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • I've just bought the scott s40 for 569 and am thus far very happy with it, having looked at lots of bikes in this price range and slightly below. I'm glad I went for the tiagra equipped bike rather than the sora but I think for me at the moment anything more exotic would have been a waste of money!!!

    Just need some weather now so I can get out and ride!!!
  • Stuey01
    Stuey01 Posts: 1,273
    I'll test the Bianchi and the Scott side by side tomorrow. I am erring toward the Focus, if I don't fall in love with one of the other two tomorrow.
    Not climber, not sprinter, not rouleur
  • To be honest, what ever you get, won't be wrong.

    Each bike will have owners on this forum, and each owner will be pleased with their purchase.

    I have the alu nirone 7 c2c with Xenon myself, and I find the comfort of the ride fine, on roughish roads (the a23 Redhill to Croydon), the finishing kit is all ok, wheels are apparently a bit heavy but for my commuting over potholes ect absolutely adequate, and its a fine bike. Frame seems a good one, tripple butted in places with fancy hyroformed tubes which would be on a 2k roadbike 5 years ago.

    All I'd say if you go for the Bianchi, is xenons probably fine, its 10 speed and tbh I do use all 10 on a cassette, but seriously, do budget for better shifters. The xenon ones are a bit crap - well, they feel plasticcy and not that positive to me.

    Otherwise its a fine bike for someone transferring from a mountain bike - its got a (for me) comfy fairly upright for a roadie position, so you'll evolve fairly quickly.
    Bianchi c2c Alu Nirone 7 Xenon (2007) Road
    Orange P7 (1999) Road
    Diamond Back Snr Pro (1983) BMX
    Diamond BackSIlver Streak (1983) BMX

    Oh, and BMX is the *ultimate* single speed.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Get the Bianchi, and replace the crappy Xenon shifters for Mirage or Veloce......
    I like bikes...