Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The "Snowpocalypse" and the Arrival of the Bella Ciao Superba

As predicted by the forecasters for the last several days, the snow storm hit the state over night (and is still actually dropping snow as I type). We awoke to no power (and no heat, more importantly), but the views outside were actually quite beautiful.
View from the window
Sagging tree branches from weight of wet snow
The large trees keep snow off a lot of the ground, but they seem to suffer for it in the form of losing branches
I love seeing the combination of the fall colors and the snow together
Depending on where I look, there's anywhere from 1/2 an inch to about a foot of snow, but surprisingly, the roads seem to be fairly clear, considering the amount that fell. Heat and power have now been returned (at least here) and life begins to resume. Then, just as I was finished shaking snow off of some of the tree branches I could reach, a delivery arrived for me: the Bella Ciao Superba.

The driver didn't seem happy to be dropping off a 46 pound-and-some-change package, but when I looked at the box, I wasn't thrilled with the way it had been cared for while in their hands.
Bottom of box as delivered
More damage - just a couple of images of the many slices and holes present on the box.
On an interesting note, it appears I received #11 out of 12 of the Superba's!
This is not the first time we've experienced poor carrier handling, so I suppose I wasn't horribly shocked to receive the box in this kind of condition. Disappointed, certainly, but not surprised. I opened up the box to survey the package.
Looks good so far
I started to pull out the packing materials, praying that there was no damage to the bike. There was a lot of packaging, so I assumed the Superba would be fine. Sadly, I was wrong.
Dimples in rear fender
I was disappointed to see dimples on the rear fender. How the damage occurred is even more odd to me because the exact position of the indentations actually had a large piece of foam surrounding it. There was, however, a large slice through the reverse side of the box, and it was easy to see in the formations on the foam that something had struck it.
Slice in box that coincides with location of the fender and dimples
Thus far, it seems that this is the only damage that occurred, and while I'm not exactly happy to have a new bike that already has damage, I will say that the fender is probably the easiest area to deal with some imperfections. I have yet to contact Harris Cyclery about the damage (though they will likely have me file a claim with UPS, which I already know will not have positive results because of past experiences), but will do so as soon as the bike mechanic is home and can take a closer look. From what I can tell, the rest of the bicycle seems to be unscathed, but I don't want to speak too soon.
As you can see, in this photo it's difficult to see the damage to the fender, and eventually the rear rack will also somewhat cover the area.
I have to admit, when it came time to vote for the color of this Bella Ciao, I voted for periwinkle. Of course, at the time, I didn't think I'd be purchasing one either (though I certainly was lusting after the bike). While I am a sucker for that lovely grayish-lavender color, I have to say that the green is actually quite pretty, and was probably a better choice for this bike.
Unpacking the contents of the box has been fun. All sorts of goodies to discover, like the grips, the rear rack, the kickstand, the saddle and so on. I especially enjoyed the note on the front of the grips, reminding the assembler that the grips must be glued in place.
I should point out that this bike is meant to be assembled by a bike shop or a bicycle mechanic, so anyone who is considering shipping one of these should be aware that there is some technical expertise needed. Fortunately for me, one lives in-house. So, while the snow continues to fall, I await his return home to assemble this beautiful bike, and hope for the roads to clear quickly so I can actually take her out for a ride. I look forward to seeing her in all her glory and sharing initial thoughts.


  1. All I can say is oh my goodness!

    Oh my goodness, look at all that snow!
    Oh my goodness, your poor fender. :(
    Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous bike! I hope you are able to ride her today. :)

  2. The snow is so pretty... I am going to have to toughen up though as I've forgotten what it's like to ride in snow since last winter. I know this will melt quickly, so I'll have a bit of time to break in (I hope). :o)

  3. Oy vey, so sorry to hear about your fender!
    I know that Harris insures the bikes, so you *should* be able to get positive results from a claim, and I know others who have. I hope it works out.

    As for the snow, I am speechless entirely! October???

  4. Thanks, Velouria. I did send an e-mail last night, so we'll see what happens. It's such a beautiful bike though... I can't wait to ride it! :o)

    Our snow is very unpredictable. It always takes me by surprise the first time of the season. This was kind of an extreme "first snow" though, even for Colorado.

  5. Just test rode the Bella Ciao today, and girl, I didn't think that I could be more jealous, but that is one nice bike. You are going to enjoy it. I'm going to post some quick impressions of it later.
    Hope the snow doesn't keep you inside for too long! :)

  6. Can't wait to read more about your ride. I actually got to get out for a bit today on the Bella Ciao, so I'm hoping to get some first thoughts up very soon. Thanks for checking in and letting me know that you got to take a ride. :o)

  7. Congratulations. Your new bike looks like a little bit of spring, like a crocus pushing through snow! ENJOY!

  8. Thank you... It really does seem like a bit of spring. Looking forward to being able to ride a bit more now that all of the mess has melted. :O)

  9. I am the happy owner of a Superba too. :) I also had a few dents in my fenders upon arrival. One small dent in both the front and rear fender. Did you contact Harris? I don't want to make a claim, I just want to know how to remove the dents.

  10. April, I did contact Harris. Honestly, I don't think UPS will do anything so you're probably better off trying to remove dents on your own. In theory, you should be able to use a spoon or other similarly shaped object and mold the fenders back in place from the under side. Of course, this will necessitate removal of the fender, more than likely.

    I hope you're enjoying your Superba!

  11. I just read your initial review of the Superba. It is like we are bike twins! I too am having a noticiable drag issue and it makes a slight grinding sound. I've never had dynamo lighting and am thinking it may be the cause of the drag. I don't think its the chaincase. I am hoping to take into my local bike shop this weekend to have them take a look at it. I'll keep you posted.

  12. April, if you're hearing a grinding sound, that very well could be the chain dragging on the chainguard (or at least, without hearing it/seeing it, is what it sounds like it could be). That can definitely cause a dragging feeling on the bike, and will definitely make a kind of dragging/grinding noise. If you have a good bike shop close by, I would say definitely pay them a quick visit. It shouldn't take long to adjust as we (royal we, of course) did it in just a few minutes. The dynamo lighting shouldn't cause so much drag that it makes the bike unrideable. I'm still attempting to figure out what the dragging sensation is for me too. I hope you'll let me know when you get yours resolved.


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