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  1. #1
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    89? Bianchi Something Appraisal

    I just bought this bike for $200. I wasn't looking for a bike, but something about it was really talking to me. My previous experience riding a 57cm mid-90's reparto corse TSX turned me into a big Bianchi fan. This one is not Columbus tubing. My impression is that it is one of the Japanese made frames. It has a circled B on the seat stay. Does anybody know who was pre-fabing the Bianchi frames in the late 80's? The seller told me he thought it was an 89 but didn't know the model. The thing that really stood out about this bike to me is that, except for the tires, I think every bolt is original. Including the bar tape, gum brake hoods, and Bianchi labeled brown suede saddle. It has a complete 6 spd friction 600 group including the toe-in peddles. The bike needs a thorough cleaning, but I test rode it and everything worked great.

    Can anyone peg the model and give an estimate of the value?
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  2. #2
    4.6692016090 retrofit's Avatar
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    Given the paint and decals it looks like a Squadra to me. I sold an '86 model, with a mish mash of components, a couple of years ago for $250. I may still have photos somewhere around, I'll check...


    On Edit: Here are the details as I originally posted to BF in May '07:
    Serial #: 737 4 6-A
    Formula Two Columbus frame
    Shimano 105/Universal Squadra brakes
    Shimano 600 Shifters/rear derailleur
    SunTour Sprint front derailleur
    Ambrosio 19 Extra/Durex rims
    Sachs Huret wheel hubs
    ITM handlebars
    Sakae stem
    3ttt 27.2mm seatpost
    6-speed

    TMar ID'd the bicycle as an 1986 model based upon the Serial #

    stan
    Last edited by retrofit; 09-19-09 at 09:30 PM. Reason: more info

  3. #3
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    I tore the bike down and, for the most part, I like what I'm seeing. I don't think this bike has ever seen the inside of a bike shop. I thought the headset had a bad case of brinelling going on, it turns out that the grease was turning into varnish. After cleaning, the races are as smooth as a baby's backside. The rims are pretty shot. The 600 hubs are sealed. Is there anyway to service them? They are 36H. I have a set of 36H Mavic Open Pro rims that I wasn't sure what to do with. Would it be overkill to put them on a mid to lower end Bianchi?

    Squadra? Isn't that a touring bike? This frame seems more like a sport bike to me. The frame overall reminds me of a Fuji Club I looked at awhile back.

    I think me and this bike are going to make some sweet, sweet riding music together.

    For the books: Serial# A2533C.5
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    Last edited by rothenfield1; 09-20-09 at 10:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    IMHO adding Open Pros to that bike would be exactly what it needs. It's overkill ony if you're flipping it. If you're keeping it, you want the nicest wheelset you can afford. If it's a Japanese Bianchi it probably has Tange double butted chromoly tubing and should say "Tange" somewhere on the frame.
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  5. #5
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    Nice bike ! Given what these fellows have observed and having seen similar bikes at the time, I suppose that the bike is not an '89. The model names were not always present on the bikes even if they were in the brochures.. Some members may be able to crunch the serial numer.. Japan built Bianchis aren't always perfectly identifiable that way. The 600 friction points to '84 or older. On the other hand Bianchi models at large could remain unchanged for a year or more in the mid-80s, mine did. I wouldn't change the wheels, I do however agree with Rocco on the Tires, Open Corsas are top flight and in my opinion ride better than others.

  6. #6
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    600 hubs were never sealed and should service like any other Shimano hub. They may have a 'sealed mechanism' such as fancy washers on the cones but thats about it.

    As far as the date goes I'd say mid 80's upto about '85 based on the components. You can check component date codes on the the vintage trek site www.vintage-trek.com Check the codes of 3 or different components.

    Value? fully refurbished I'd say $250-275 in Tampa. Your local market may vary.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

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    The serial number indicates 1985 manufacture. The friction New 600EX group corroborates the time frame. Assuming the components are original, that would make this a Bianchi Limited. Around this time, Bianchi pulled the manufacture of several models back from Japan, to Italy, due to the change in value of the Yen. The Limited was one of these models. The serial number is not quite the standard Italian format, but it does resemble the Italian format more than the Japanese. A 70mm wide BB shell and BB cups stamped 36 x 24 TPI would confirm Italian manufacture. The Italian mid-range frames during this period used Bianchi Special tubesets from Columbus.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    The serial number indicates 1985 manufacture. The friction New 600EX group corroborates the time frame. Assuming the components are original, that would make this a Bianchi Limited. Around this time, Bianchi pulled the manufacture of several models back from Japan, to Italy, due to the change in value of the Yen. The Limited was one of these models. The serial number is not quite the standard Italian format, but it does resemble the Italian format more than the Japanese. A 70mm wide BB shell and BB cups stamped 36 x 24 TPI would confirm Italian manufacture. The Italian mid-range frames during this period used Bianchi Special tubesets from Columbus.
    Interesting. Since my last post, I noticed Gipiemme stamped on the rear brake bridge nut. Also has Bianchi stamped on the rear drop outs. Nothing on the fork drops. I don't have the bike in front of me right now, but will check the BB dimensions when I get home. If it is an Italian frame, would that mean Italian threads on the BB if I needed to replace it?

    As far as the hubs; yes, there is a black strip around the center of each which reads "sealed". That's good news, they seemed a little rough. I'll try my hand at repacking them this weekend if the barring look OK. What would be a far price for a set of 600 36H hubs if I needed them?

  9. #9
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    Just wanted to clarify for appraisal purposes and expenditure of upgrading components to bring it to the next level. I've come to the conclusion that I like this bike. I bought it thinking flip. Now I'm thinking, "make this the best bike you can with what you have and enjoy."

  10. #10
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    The serial number indicates 1985 manufacture. The friction New 600EX group corroborates the time frame. Assuming the components are original, that would make this a Bianchi Limited. Around this time, Bianchi pulled the manufacture of several models back from Japan, to Italy, due to the change in value of the Yen. The Limited was one of these models. The serial number is not quite the standard Italian format, but it does resemble the Italian format more than the Japanese. A 70mm wide BB shell and BB cups stamped 36 x 24 TPI would confirm Italian manufacture. The Italian mid-range frames during this period used Bianchi Special tubesets from Columbus.
    The off-crank side BB shell has a 36 x 24 T. I measured 70mm on the BB tube. The brakes, BB shell, & crank arms are stamped HI; which, according to the Trek site, translates to Sept 83. I'm freaking amazed at how this 26 year old bike is responding to a rebuild. The wheelset is the most important, and problematic aspect of this bike. The hubs still feel smooth, if a little like mollasses. But, like everything else about this bike, the signs tell me that this bike has never been rebuilt or serviced in 26 years. It's amazing to me how well this golden brown grease has preserved this bike.

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