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Ribble Gran Fondo VS Sportive Bianco

SpeedFrækSpeedFræk Posts: 111
edited October 2011 in Road buying advice
Hi all, I have been researching these bikes (really like both of them). I really can´t make up my mind about them at all. They seem to offer similar specs. I´m looking for a bike to use for club runs and also racing.

I have been on Ribble´s site and looking at the frame geometry of both but it seems to be for the first Gran Fondo and none for the Bianco? :(

I am 5´4 female with a 27" inside leg, very small/short torso and small hands. I know a lot of people have these bikes (on here) and I was wondering what your opinions would be on both bikes?

I know the Gran Fondo has a sloping tube is that good/bad?

I want something that i can reach with ease and not feel unsafe on the bike.

Any help about these bikes would be much appreciated.

Thanks very much.


S.
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  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    Try:

    http://static.bikeradar.com/forums/view ... sc&start=0

    The problem is that these bikes are so close in price that few people will have ever owned both so you will get one opinion or the other.

    In my case I have the GF and recommend it. I chose it over the Sportive because according to the above link the GF geometry was slightly more relaxed. I still don't know if it is or isn't.
  • Yeah I feel the same, a sales rep from Ribble told me the Sportive Bianco would suit me more with my build and also for the type of cycling i wanted to do (club runs and racing) although the bike radar reviews differ too so i am really confused and can´t make up my mind :lol: :oops:

    What size of frame do you have? According to my calculations and from the sales rep I need an XS frame (45cm).

    P.S that link say´s "forbidden" :?
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    Not sure what happened to the link. I had previosuly saved it as a favouriet however I have found it:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... comparison

    I'm on a 54cm at 5' 9" (5' 10" prior to my son claiming to be taller than me and insisting on a measure off!!)
  • It worked now :D

    Which bike would you recommend for me with the type of cycling I want to do etc? I read that the GF has a sloping tube height, is that good/bad?
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    The closest I have ever been to the Sportive is about 5ft and that would have been at about 15mph so little point in me expressing a recommendation however I suspect that they are so close in overall geometry that you may never know the difference.

    So read as many of the threads on here which cover both bikes, speak to Ribble and then choose (or toss a coin).

    Failing that if you are planning on spending £1k+ on a bike take a day's holiday and get a cheap train ticket to Preston and try a seat on them. It's doable from Renfrew. Make sure you call Ribble before you go though.
  • Could you possibly go to the shop to take a look. What level are you looking to race at and how much riding do you do
  • I´m debating whether to pop down there or not :?

    Looking to race just amateur really, I am competitive. Looking to do a lot of long distance riding too with plenty of hill climbs here.
  • I`d get down to the shop, not that much of a hike to Preston. The bikes in "the flesh" look quite different, I`d definitely buy the GF, it`s a great looking frame, a lot more sculpted on the chain and seatstays. Also, they`l be able to put you on a bike or measurement rig to check for best fit. Been in the shop a few times, very helpful people :)

    M6 here we come :)
    Jens says "Shut up legs !! "

    Specialized S-Works SaxoBank SL4 Tarmac Di2
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I`d get down to the shop, not that much of a hike to Preston. The bikes in "the flesh" look quite different, I`d definitely buy the GF, it`s a great looking frame, a lot more sculpted on the chain and seatstays. Also, they`l be able to put you on a bike or measurement rig to check for best fit. Been in the shop a few times, very helpful people :)

    The current GF isn't particularly sculpted at the back end - infact, the chainstays are about as unsculpted as you can get! Looks wise though, it seems to tick most peoples boxes - most people seem to think is a pricier bike than my more understated Look :lol:
    Faster than a tent.......
  • I have a busy schedule and I am not sure when I could go to Preston, however I am going to Evan´s cycles to try out their women´s specific Specialized bikes. I looked at the geometry of them and their small is similar in size to the XS GF and Bianco. :D

    I don´t really get the whole "women´s specific" when if you buy a ribble you can pretty much customize most of the parts anyway???

    Looks wise the GF wins hands down, though seeing me on a white bike....hmmm dunno.

    The review from Bike Radar suggests that you have a more "racier" feel because the GF sits you quite high and you get lots of wind blast, how do you guys feel riding your GF??
  • JD_76JD_76 Posts: 236
    I own a GF and find it nice to ride.

    The latest GF as Rolf says less sculpted on the rear end but it does now have a tapered headset and straight areo forks, both are improvements.

    The sportive is lighter so im thinking you would be better off with that F/F.

    I was told by Ribble the sportive isnt as stiff as the GF but unless your really going for it I doubt you would notice.

    I would be happy to own either.
  • Hi JD, thats good to know however is there much of a weight difference between the two bikes? I think the GF is smaller too?

    I am going to be using my bike in Spain too (Alicante) lots of steep climbs and downhills so it´s something for me to take into consideration too (moving there permanently).
  • JD_76JD_76 Posts: 236
    SpeedFræk wrote:
    Hi JD, thats good to know however is there much of a weight difference between the two bikes? I think the GF is smaller too?

    I am going to be using my bike in Spain too (Alicante) lots of steep climbs and downhills so it´s something for me to take into consideration too (moving there permanently).

    To my knowledge

    The GF frame is roughly 1200g and the forks are 620g

    The sportive Frame is 980g and the forks roughly 450g

    So the weight difference is significant, the fork weight is down to the GF having an alloy steerer tube and the sportive a carbon steere tube.

    I guess the GF frame is stiffer as it is made of more material, the thing you need to work out is are you better with a stiffer frame or a lighter one.
    If you output lots of power then go for the stiffer frame as if a frame is too flexy some of the power will be lost.
    If your not overly powerful and are just looking to get up the hills then lighter is deffo better.

    Its hard to advise you of what is exactly the best option for you as there are so many variables to consider. These are just points I would take into consideratiion when choosing a bike.
  • Thanks JD, i´ll let you know how I get on at Evan´s cycles :D
  • JD_76JD_76 Posts: 236
    SpeedFræk wrote:
    Thanks JD, i´ll let you know how I get on at Evan´s cycles :D

    No probs, specialized Frames will be better then anything Ribble has to offer due to the vast amounts of money they spend on research and development.

    You will pay more though, probably double - for not double the improvement though.

    So its basically down to your budget.
  • JD_76 wrote:
    I was told by Ribble the sportive isnt as stiff as the GF but unless your really going for it I doubt you would notice.

    I've owned the original Sportive Racing (same frame & forks as the current Sportive Bianco but in red/black/white colour) for a couple of years.

    While the frame is great - reasonably stiff, light and comfortable - I found the matching forks to be complete noodles. They were so flexy that they frightened the living daylights out of me.

    I swapped them out for some Kinesis carbon forks with an alloy steerer. Feels much safer now - and stiffer too!
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    JD_76 wrote:
    SpeedFræk wrote:
    Thanks JD, i´ll let you know how I get on at Evan´s cycles :D

    No probs, specialized Frames will be dearer then anything Ribble has to offer due to the vast amounts of money they spend on advertising.

    You will pay more though, probably double - for not double the improvement though.

    So its basically down to your budget.

    Fixed it for you :lol:
  • JD_76JD_76 Posts: 236
    Navrig wrote:
    JD_76 wrote:
    SpeedFræk wrote:
    Thanks JD, i´ll let you know how I get on at Evan´s cycles :D

    No probs, specialized Frames will be dearer then anything Ribble has to offer due to the vast amounts of money they spend on advertising.

    You will pay more though, probably double - for not double the improvement though.

    So its basically down to your budget.

    Fixed it for you :lol:

    Good skills..
  • Hey all, just got back from Evan´s cycles and I tried a Fuji women´s specific bike (supreme 2.0) didn´t like it. Though the frame was 50cm and it worked for me. They said every manufacturer is different with sizing, bloody confusing though! I am 5´4 and that bike was perfect, the bar was flush with the top too. Also my inside leg measurement was incorrect it´s 29".

    So I tried one of their own brand bikes just for size (unisex) A 49cm dolomite, not much to look at but had no problems with it. Even got the specs. I wonder does this almost match the Bianco or GF? If so it´s a winner.

    ScreenShot2011-09-29at174455.png

    Was quite disappointed that there was NO Specialized bikes in store :shock:

    Quite liked the high top tube too.


    I spoke to Ribble again today and the said that the Gran Fondo and Sportive Bianco have the same geometry.
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    JD_76 wrote:
    Navrig wrote:
    JD_76 wrote:
    SpeedFræk wrote:
    Thanks JD, i´ll let you know how I get on at Evan´s cycles :D

    No probs, specialized Frames will be dearer then anything Ribble has to offer due to the vast amounts of money they spend on advertising.

    You will pay more though, probably double - for not double the improvement though.

    So its basically down to your budget.

    Fixed it for you :lol:

    Good skills..

    Thank you kind sir.... :)
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    SpeedFræk wrote:
    Hey all, just got back from Evan´s cycles and I tried a Fuji women´s specific bike (supreme 2.0) didn´t like it. Though the frame was 50cm and it worked for me. They said every manufacturer is different with sizing, bloody confusing though! I am 5´4 and that bike was perfect, the bar was flush with the top too. Also my inside leg measurement was incorrect it´s 29".

    So I tried one of their own brand bikes just for size (unisex) A 49cm dolomite, not much to look at but had no problems with it. Even got the specs. I wonder does this almost match the Bianco or GF? If so it´s a winner.

    ScreenShot2011-09-29at174455.png

    Was quite disappointed that there was NO Specialized bikes in store :shock:

    Quite liked the high top tube too.


    I spoke to Ribble again today and the said that the Gran Fondo and Sportive Bianco have the same geometry.

    I don't think they are the same but simialr. I don't think you'll get an answer to your question about the GF vs Sportive on a forum. As I see it you have 3 choices:

    1. Go to Preston and try them both,

    2. Abandon the Ribble idea and buy a different make from your LBS

    3. Take a chance and buy the one you like the look of from Ribble and hope it suits.

    I've done nr 3 twice and it has worked both times. Perhaps I was lucky.

    Also keep in mind if you chose one and it feels fine you are unlikely to ever know if the other would have been better or worse, especially if you are heading to Europe to live.
  • JD_76JD_76 Posts: 236
    edited September 2011
    Tricky one.

    The sportive and GF frame sizing are different, the best thing you could do is pop over to Ribble and try the sizes out, even if you spend money on fuel getting there it would be cash wisely spent in the long run.

    I would call ahead and advise them of that you want to do as I dont think in the showroom they have both bikes made up in the small sizes, they may be able to mock up two for you if you ask.

    They have a height measuring device and a jig though so could fit you to a size without you actually siting on a bike.

    Its best to get more than one opinion also.
  • pete54pete54 Posts: 488
    t44iskn wrote:
    I've owned the original Sportive Racing (same frame & forks as the current Sportive Bianco but in red/black/white colour) for a couple of years.

    I think they must have changed the fork design since then because mine are fine. The bike is excellent. I have a set of Braccianos and SRAM Rival on my Bianco. It's a superb value bike.
  • Hmm there is no way I´d be able to go down to Preston with my schedule. I work a lot (nights) and generally am just very busy. Getting time to go to Evan´s was very lucky but at least I can actually ride unisex bikes :lol:

    What can I say, I really like both bikes. The Bianco and GF both looks excellent but I don´t think one is any better than the other?
  • JD_76JD_76 Posts: 236
    SpeedFræk wrote:
    Hmm there is no way I´d be able to go down to Preston with my schedule. I work a lot (nights) and generally am just very busy. Getting time to go to Evan´s was very lucky but at least I can actually ride unisex bikes :lol:

    What can I say, I really like both bikes. The Bianco and GF both looks excellent but I don´t think one is any better than the other?

    No worries, they both have their merrits and flaws.

    If you asked me to pick one for you id go with the sportive bianco as its lighter and I feel you would benefit more from that.

    But thats just my humble opinon based on the info you have given.
  • Have GF with Rival and Luccianos and ITM finishing gear- really great looking bike and feels stiff but comfy. Happily toddles along at 17mph average for a commute into and through Bristol (SW through Clifton to Filton) as well as running really well on long runs up and across the Mendips for more challenging climbs (Cat 3 - 5)
    Allez Triple (hairy with mudguards) - FCN 4
    Ribble Gran Fondo
  • pete54pete54 Posts: 488
    Just remembered that Ribble sent me an email yesterday saying prices are going up, bikebuilder today and special editions next week. So if you want a Ribble, I'd get your order in pretty sharpish.
  • pete54 wrote:
    Just remembered that Ribble sent me an email yesterday saying prices are going up, bikebuilder today and special editions next week. So if you want a Ribble, I'd get your order in pretty sharpish.



    Yeah I knew they were going to do that but it won´t be until next month (due to my employer). :? I wonder if they´re going up by much?


    Surely there is a Specialized Concept store or an LBS that sells Specialized soomewhere near you?!

    There are LBS but I tried Evan´s (biggest in my area) but they said that can ship up any bike I like to try. There are 5 LBS´s in my county but they´re expensive :shock:

    No worries, they both have their merrits and flaws.

    If you asked me to pick one for you id go with the sportive bianco as its lighter and I feel you would benefit more from that.

    But thats just my humble opinon based on the info you have given.

    The light frame is a plus, also it has had some really cool reviews (Even when it was the sportive old frame)

    I do wonder to myself though which bike would be a great all rounder for hill climbs and being really comfortable for long rides. Our roads in this area aren´t the most smoothest in the country.
  • AveziusAvezius Posts: 132
    If I was that worried about the pro's & cons of each different geometry implication then I probably wouldnt be thinking of a mail order bike anyway.

    I'd go with what you like the look of best.

    For mere mortals (like me) I probably wouldnt notice much difference between Bianco/Sportive & GF, as long as the general fit was pretty much right. FWIW, I spend most of my cycling time either commuting or doing informal 10TT - I don't feel like the "relaxed-geometry" of the GF is holding me back any.
  • Avezius wrote:
    If I was that worried about the pro's & cons of each different geometry implication then I probably wouldnt be thinking of a mail order bike anyway.

    I'd go with what you like the look of best.

    For mere mortals (like me) I probably wouldnt notice much difference between Bianco/Sportive & GF, as long as the general fit was pretty much right. FWIW, I spend most of my cycling time either commuting or doing informal 10TT - I don't feel like the "relaxed-geometry" of the GF is holding me back any.

    I only want to be 100% sure before spending my cycle scheme voucher :D Thanks for your input Avezius. I do personally think both look like great bikes I just need to make my mind up.
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