Customer Review

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great price for a decent bike, July 17, 2011
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This review is from: Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike (Sports)
The short and sweet of this bike: the frame and fork are good. For a bike of this price, that's all that really matters. What about the components? Well if you're expecting good components at this price, you have no idea what you're doing and need to have your local bike shop (hereafter referred to as lbs) educate you.
The bike comes partially assembled, and though I was able to assemble it the rest of the way without an issue, I ended up taking it to my lbs to do the final tune and throw slime tubes in the tires so as to avoid flats (living in NM, goatheads are prevalent). I also put a new seat on the bike, as the one that comes with it sucks. But to be fair, the seat that came on my $4k Gary Fisher mountain bike sucked too. Bike manufacturers almost never give you a good seat. So, after taking it to my lbs for the final tune and buying the seat, I'm in $600. I would say that for what you get, this bike is comparable to a lot of bikes that are in the $700-900 range (and you'll still have to put a new seat on those as well), so it's a decent little deal. It's a very nice looking bike, with the logo very understated. The bike is very fast, very smooth to ride.
The wheels came relatively true, and my lbs said I needed to ride it for a while and then bring it back to get them trued.
One particular issue? The crank kinda sucks, and the large gear ring on my particular crank came bent. Not much, but you can see it, and it's just an example of the poor build quality of the crank. But to be fair, at this level, the crank you'll get on any bike is going to be basically crap. And even though the crank is bent, it's not bent enough that it really affects anything as far as the ride, and my lbs was able to dial things in so nothing rubs with relative ease. So not a big deal, but that's why it gets 4 stars, in addition to the fact that it's just really impossible for a bike of this price to be 5 star, IMO.
Overall, a good deal, and a great starter road bike. I really enjoy riding it, it's comfortable, and the fit is good (and I just looked at their height sizing chart at roadbikeoutlet). If you can afford it, I'd go with the Forza 1.0, as you get a few better components, including the crank, for only about $100 more. I just literally didn't have the money to spend any more than I did.
Will post updates if they become necessary.

*UPDATE 1*
So far so great! This bike has almost 300 miles on it now and not one, single issue. Not even a flat tire. Went on a 50-miler with some friends today and simply smoked them, and they were on $1200 Trek bikes. One of the guys even got a flat tire with his 'kevlar' tires and Stan's tubes. Meanwhile, I just kept posting the best times of the day on my little $500 Vilano, which so far has done everything I've asked of it and more, without a hint of disagreement. My one complaint? Good god road biking is a pain in the nethers. My butt gives up far before the rest of me. Complaints about the Vilano? ZERO.

*UPDATE 2*
What else can I say, but that this bike is fantastic for the price. If I'd had the money, I still would have opted for the 1.0 due to a couple better components for not much more money. But this bike is truly solid. Even the wheels have stayed pretty true through almost 500 miles and multiple 50 milers on mediocre roads. But the wheels sure aren't light, I'll say that. But I stand by my opinion that for the price you get a lot of bike. I have no problem smoking people on their $2000 bikes. With a better wheelset, for which you really need only spend about $200 for a serious upgrade from what comes on the bike, this one's a champion!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 19, 2011 3:33:37 PM PDT
Have you had any problems with the rims? I read somewhere that people were popping spokes left and right on these rims.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2011 3:37:24 PM PDT
Z. Wagner says:
Not yet, but I only have about 200 miles on the bike so far. I probably could have waited a little longer to do the review, but I figured I'd update it if there were any major issues. I sure hope they don't start popping left and right...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2011 4:24:25 PM PDT
Z. Wagner says:
So just to further respond to your question, since I'm now possessed of more info:
I am looking at upgrading the wheelset on this bike. After some limited research, I've come to find that the wheelset on this bike is incredibly heavy. I'm sure that and the crank are the two main reasons the bike is so cheap. They also put the same set of wheels on the 1.0. I haven't, however, had any problems with them. They are definitely not the most true wheels on the planet, but I haven't taken them to my lbs yet to be trued. Thought I'd ride them for a while and then get it done (that and I don't have the money currently). I did put new tires on the bike, which made a decent difference, both in weight and ride feel. I'm now using the Forte DC Pro tires, which are only 195 grams. Not sure how they'll wear, but they feel much better, and they are faster.
I'm not going to go too far in the upgrades for this bike, as I'm looking at a titanium bike sometime next year. But even a really cheap wheelset from Mavic, Easton or Shimano, etc, is a huge improvement over what came on the bike, and pretty inexpensive.
If you've got some extra money though, check out bikesdirect. Their Motobecane's get good reviews and are super cheap for what you get. That's whatI'm looking at for my next bike.
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Location: Albuquerque, NM USA

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