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My 2011 Bianchi Kuma with some added extras

Matt-LMatt-L Posts: 15
edited October 2013 in Your mountain bikes
Well I lasted all of 3-4 weeks with my Carrera Vengeance before wanting something a bit better. Saw this for sale and knew I had to have it. Not only is it a much better bike, it is a bit different and I haven't seen many Bianchi mtb's yet.

So the spec when I bought it:

19" frame
Rock Shox Psylo SL forks 80-125mm travel with lock off and rebound adjustment
Mavic F219 rims
Some dodgy 26" tan sidewall retro tyres
San Marco saddle
Hope hubs
Hope M4 no8 calipers front & rear
200mm front rotor, 180mm rear
Hope skewers
Shimano XTR 9 speed cassette
Shimano Deore rear mech
SRAM 971 chain
Race Face 100mm stem
Race Face non-oversized bars
Truvativ Firex crank
Shimano Deore shifters
SPD pedals

Here's pictures of how it looked at Rutland Water on Saturday, couple of days after I got it:



Got home Saturday evening and went to our local bike shop Arrow Cycles, needed some Slime tubes to go with the new tyres I was fitting the next morning, also bought some new cheap blue pedals as trying to ride in normal shoes with the SPD pedals was a nightmare for 17 miles. Also while I was at Rutland I dropped into Rutland Cycling and got myself a new Shimano Dura-Ace-XTR 7701 9 Speed Chain to go with the half decent cassette as the chain kept skipping in the last 2 cogs.

So got home, whipped the pedals straight off and headed down to the jet wash to rinse the bike down, decided I'd get a cheeky pic once it was clean:


The next morning I headed to a friends house who had a stand which made things easier. Firstly took off both wheels, removed the cassette and cleaned it up with GT85 and it came up lovely! Next the tyres and tubes were swapped over, filled the tubes with Slime and got them on, tyres are now Maxxis High Roller 26x2.35. Last job was to fit the new chain, we removed 5 links from the chain and it is now a lot better, however the gears need adjusting (I plan to run a single chainring on the front anyway). Bike is now looking much better and up to date, looking forward to getting back out on it!

Pic from when I got it home yesterday afternoon:


Really happy now with how it looks. Got the brakes to strip, clean, rebuild, drain fluid refill and bleed with fresh pads tomorrow when they arrive so will hopefully have much better braking tomorrow evening!

The future plan is to get rid of the Shimano setup and swap over to SRAM as I rode my friends bike yesterday with full SRAM setup and it was so smooth and quiet when selecting gears compared to mine which is loud and rough! I want to run a single chainring as well so I can get rid of the lever and derailleur to tidy the bars and frame up and lose a bit of weight. Plus I don't really use the granny or second ring anyway.

Comments and advice is always welcome.



  • Matt-LMatt-L Posts: 15
    So tonight we bled the brakes and fitted new pads all round. The calipers need stripping and rebuilding with new seals and pistons as a few pistons are sticky. Managed to free them off for the time being and I cannot believe the difference! The brakes are now awesome, so I can't to see what they're like after the rebuild!

    Ordered a carbon seat post last night so looking forward to that turning up. The white bars have got to go they look censored ! Carbon bars and stem needed!
  • Matt-LMatt-L Posts: 15
    Fitted a set of anodized blue disc bolts yesterday, it's the minor details that count ;) (not that you can really see them in the pics but oh well!


    So I took the plunge and found a matching carbon stem and bars on eBay, liked them and bought them! This morning at 09:30 they arrived and I had to unwrap them


    Really happy with the matte finish, not a big fan of the gloss ones. So I get home from work and head to a friends house to fit them and these are the results (yes the top cap is back on now)



    So pleased with them they feel a lot better with the small rise and stem pointing slightly downwards. Really looking to going for a ride tomorrow, and when my seat post turns up I'll be even happier!
  • jfry94jfry94 Posts: 392
    Nice bike. Ive never seen one before, read this thread last night and saw the exact same bike while walking to the shops this morning. :) that is freaky lol
    2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1
    2013 Cannondale Jekyll 3
    2007 Carrera Kraken
  • Matt-LMatt-L Posts: 15
    Cheers bud, typical lol! Ah well, it's still a bit different to the norm and that's how I like it ;)
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    I'd probably look to change the fork rather than getting carbon bars and what not, the Psylo's weren't great when they were new, and they haven't done them for about 10 years!
  • Myster101Myster101 Posts: 856
    Nice looking bike but would loose the blue, too much with the black, red and white.
    "I keep getting eureaka moments ... followed very quickly by embarrassment when someone points out I'm a plank"

    Scott Genius MC 30 RIP
    Nukeproof Mega AM 275 Comp
    Cube LTD Rigid Commuter
    Ribble 7005 Sportive
  • Matt-LMatt-L Posts: 15
    The Psylo's may not be great to the more experienced rider, but for me as a novice they are a damn sight better than the Dart 1 that were on my Carrera, I doubt I will be doing anything testing for the forks but I will probably upgrade them in time. I am thinking of taking the blue pedals off in favour of some smarter black ones.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Not sure the issue is really the pedals (or any single part), there's just too many colours. I like the blue actually, you could try and tone down the red?
  • Matt-LMatt-L Posts: 15
    What would you suggest to tone the red down? I don't think there's that much red on there. The saddle is also going to be changed to a black one that will hopefully a bit comfier.
  • DanDax1990DanDax1990 Posts: 1,201
    Having gone down the same kind of road as you when I first got my bike (Changing parts for looks etc) I'm gonna tell you to have a think about what you're doing. I changed to a carbon stem and bar just for the carbon, wish I hadn't of done although they may work for you. I bought loads of ano red blingy bolts etc which were all a pointless waste of money, especially the rotor bolts, although I like the look of the bolts that are still on there and how they make it 'stand out'

    The only changes to my bike I'd keep now are the changes which improved the performance. You'd probably benefit more from new wheels and shifters/rear derailleur than anything else and as said, a new/better fork but as you said, It's not that bad a fork for a 'newbie' as such.

    Also, you mentioned you want to swap from Shimano to SRAM because your friends bike running SRAM is smoother? Is that because his is higher end and set-up better? Yours may need some adjustments. You'd be surprised how well a Deore set-up can run when it's set-up well. There's a lot of little things that can throw it a touch out and make it feel censored . Your gears etc are only as good as they have been set-up to be.

    Also slime tubes are rubbish! Just stock up on On-One's tubes and carry a couple spare.

    Edit* In the near future I can guarantee you'll regret the rotor bolts ;)
  • Matt-LMatt-L Posts: 15
    Been a while but a few changes have taken place since the last update. Not much visually but it now rides so much better!

    The first change was my tyres as I do not ride off road much so the High Rollers were wasted really. Ordered myself some Kenda road tyres 26 x 1.5, fitted these the afternoon before I went on holiday, what a difference! Much less effort required to maintain a higher cruising speed and to even get up to speed. Very happy. I also had my carbon seat post turn up so put that on and I'm happy with that. Here's some pics as it stood before I went to Turkey:











    When I was away a single ring crank turned up on a Facebook selling page so I bought that and had it fitted last week. Swapped out the 32t ring for a 38t and it rides lovely! Very happy with the 1x9 setup and looking forward to getting a few miles on it now!

    This is the crank I bought:


    Need a bash ring now to fit the 38t chain ring. Also want some new grips and a new saddle, unsure what colour grips to go for, don't want it to have too much blue on it.

    As always comments and criticism welcomed.
  • Lewis ALewis A Posts: 767
    Why the risers, suspension, and flats if you don't ride off road?

    Looks great anyhow.
    Cube Analog 2012 with various upgrades.
  • Matt-LMatt-L Posts: 15
    I occasionally go across to Sherwood Pines for a blast, but I also liked the look of the bits I bought and fitted. Some of the rides I go on are a mixture of tarmac and off road.
  • Carl170Carl170 Posts: 99
    Nice looking bike! I kind of fancy a bianchi for my next frame.

    Can you give me an idea of how it rides? Is it harsh off road? I seem to remember a Bianchi review (wasn't the same one as yours though) that said it was a little bit harsh on the back end.


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