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Thread: Bianchi I.D.

  1. #1
    Junior Member Sivart's Avatar
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    Bianchi I.D.

    I purchased a used Bianchi Brava this past fall and am trying to figure out the model year. The seller was not the original owner and didn't know. He changed and upgraded almost all of the componets which seems to add to the difficulty of identification. I tried a couple of local shops that stock Bianchi's and one told me it was a 70's frame, the other said mid 90's.?! I also emailed Bianchi and got no response. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Here's what I can tell you for sure:
    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...IMG_0506-1.jpg


    Serial number on the BB is: 69 18 10
    Upper tube frame decal says "Tre tubi Rinforzati" Formula Two Produzione Columbus.
    The fork decals say "Foderi Forcella Bianchi Formula Columbus"
    The wheelset is original "Ambrosio 19 Extra Elite Durex", made in Italy. The hubs have the the little flip up lube port.
    10spd cassette.
    It's got a Superbe stem, but I was told that was NOT original.
    The downtube friction shifters have been changed to indexed Shimano, not much help there.
    I think the only other original part is the brake cable housing (no joke) which says Bianchi on it. Previous owner said he specifically got Shimano SLR replacement brake levers and hoods to accomodate the free brake cables which he thought gave it that "classic look"
    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...t/IMG_0507.jpg
    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...t/IMG_0515.jpg
    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...t/IMG_0513.jpg
    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...t/IMG_0518.jpg
    Any ideas out there?
    Last edited by Sivart; 03-03-07 at 02:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    80s
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  3. #3
    Junior Member Sivart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclotoine
    80s
    Is that as close as I'm going to get? Will anything help pin point the year?

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    We'll need pics, I don't know that much about Bianchis but there are people on this forum who do.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  5. #5
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Serial number will help with the exact year.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  6. #6
    Junior Member Sivart's Avatar
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    Serial number is in my original post.

  7. #7
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    D'oh.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    Have a look at this Japanese website: http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/my_bianchi/index.html (there is an underline _ between my and bianchi) and click on "Catalogs of Bianchi" then click on "1990" and you will see a BRAVA model.

    Its not a very good image but it is listed there. I think your deep red colour is original even though the catalogue only presents the various models in Celeste. Have a look at the previous catalogue and you will see a similar coloured bike.

    This doesn't mean your frame is 1990 but it's a starting point.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Sivart's Avatar
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    I had come across that site and you're right, the images aren't very good. It was my understanding (and I could certainly be wrong) that there was a difference between the Japanese and Italian made bikes (componets, etc). Thanks for the lead though, I'll keep looking. Anyone else know of any catalog scans on the net?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    I have always believed that the Italian frames had a 70mm wide - Italian - bottom bracket where the Japanese frames used a 68mm, British BB. I am more familiar with the 'Piaggio' era from around 1980 to 85. I would expect to see Campy. components on an Italian frame of that era. Frames of that era seemed to have an I.D. system that is starting to make sense - we are confident we can date these frames. Your frame has a 'different' I.D. number and its location is different. The Piaggio era frames had the serial number and date stamped on the seat cluster. I know other readers of this forum may be able to make sense of your bike's serial number.

    Your frame has a 'correct looking' Made in Italy decal in a position I would expect to see this decal. Do you feel the frame is in its original condition?

    I believe the 2 sets of biddon mounts (down tube and seat tube) and pump peg on head tube were mid to late 80's improvements in frame design.

    By 1990 and with Moser leading the way using Shimano, I wouldn't be surprised to see Shimano on an Italian frame. That being said, you cannot confirm the original components anyway.

    Best of luck in your quest - I can understand your 'need to know'.
    Last edited by Gary Fountain; 03-04-07 at 01:08 AM.

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    For what it's worth, I have a late 80's? (original owner said he purchased it in 90) that was built up by a local shop. It is an Ishiwata double butted chrome-moly frame. No idea on original components, but the original owner told me he bought it as a bare frameset and had it built up as a tri bike.

    As I got it.

    Redone to road bike

    frame decal

  12. #12
    Junior Member Sivart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fountain
    I have always believed that the Italian frames had a 70mm wide - Italian - bottom bracket where the Japanese frames used a 68mm, British BB. I am more familiar with the 'Piaggio' era from around 1980 to 85. I would expect to see Campy. components on an Italian frame of that era. Frames of that era seemed to have an I.D. system that is starting to make sense - we are confident we can date these frames. Your frame has a 'different' I.D. number and its location is different. The Piaggio era frames had the serial number and date stamped on the seat cluster. I know other readers of this forum may be able to make sense of your bike's serial number.

    Your frame has a 'correct looking' Made in Italy decal in a position I would expect to see this decal. Do you feel the frame is in its original condition?

    I believe the 2 sets of biddon mounts (down tube and seat tube) and pump peg on head tube were mid to late 80's improvements in frame design.

    By 1990 and with Moser leading the way using Shimano, I wouldn't be surprised to see Shimano on an Italian frame. That being said, you cannot confirm the original components anyway.

    Best of luck in your quest - I can understand your 'need to know'.
    Yeah, the frame is definitely in it's original condition. It's even got the shop sticker on the down tube from where it was purchased. "Michael's Cyclery, Ames, IA". I tried that route and discovered the shop has been closed for a few years.
    The wheelset is original and my friend at my lbs thought the hubs were campy (they have the flip up oil port). Only thing is the bike now has a Shimano 600 rear derailer. Not sure on the cassette. Would these be compatible?

    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...t/IMG_0521.jpg
    Is this the "pump peg" you mentioned?
    Here's a few more pics. You can see "hi" is stamped on the bottom bracket near the S/N.
    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...t/IMG_0526.jpg
    The cranks appear to be original, not sure about the chain rings.
    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...t/IMG_0524.jpg
    Big thanks to everyone!

  13. #13
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    Check out the Giro from 1985, looks pretty close...maybe the Brava name came along the next year or 2...
    http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/Bianchi-86/4.jpg

  14. #14
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    Older Campy hubs didn't have a flip-up oil port. The Record hubs had a "C" clip that covered an oil hole in the middle of the hub barrel. Other Campy hubs didn't have an oiler hole in the middle of the hub barrel.

    I think the Shimano rear derailleur would virtually work with any 6 or 7 speed freewheel (from your photo's, yours looks like a 6 speed) as long as friction levers were used. If you have an indexing lever and it works with your derailleur/freewheel setup, all the better.

    Yeah, that's the pump peg that allows the pump to be carried under the top tube in a horizontal position. I usually use a strip of velcro around the tube and pump as a safety measure; so the pump doesn't come loose on bumpy roads.

    I bet the "hi" in the final 2 letters in the word "Bianchi".

    The cranks look to be "Ofmega". I believe that they were fitted to 'lesser' Bianchi bikes. I think they are original and are quite nice on your bike (I would be pleased to see them on my frame). I'm not sure if the rings are original but they do look good.

    Thanks for the opportunity to look at your bike - I would like it in my garage.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Sivart's Avatar
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    Is this the type of "C" clip that you mentioned?
    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...t/IMG_0535.jpg
    I also noticed that the quick release levers say "Ofmega" on them as well. Anyone now about this level component group/year?
    http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t...t/IMG_0538.jpg
    Gary (and everyone else), thank you for taking the time to try and help me out. I was more interested in finding out what year this is from but now I'm thinking I got a really sweet deal on this bike from reading up on the components that have been upgraded (and ironically are more making it more difficult to identify).
    Brand new Ultegra brakes
    Shimano SLR brake levers.
    Superbe stem.
    Shimano indexed downtube shifters.
    Dura Ace headset.
    Dura Ace FD.
    Shimano 600 RD.
    New Continental tires.
    Aireon titanium saddle.
    Last edited by Sivart; 04-07-10 at 07:48 AM. Reason: privacy

  16. #16
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    Yes to 'C' clip - It probably has a correct name.

    I don't know much about Ofmega components but I have a feeling they are the poor cousins of Campagnolo yet good quality.

    I hoped someone could have zeroed-in on the build date of the frame to.

    I think you did get a good deal as well.

  17. #17
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Hi Sivart,

    Nice bike! It looks like a newer variant of mine, which also has a tre tubi renforzati (double-butted main triangle) frame and Ofmega crankset and hubset. This would make it mid-grade, just below the Reparto Course full Columbus frames with their full Columbus tubesets. I'll be those chainrings are original; I bought a set of Bianchi-labeled Ofmega cranks on eBay, complete with black anodized chainrings.

    The lead "6" in the s/n MAY indicate 1986; we're still trying to sort that out.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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