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Old 10-18-08, 10:36 PM   #1
jake8
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Hmm advise me on upgrading my Bianchi

Last spring I picked up a Bianchi Stelvio off craigslist and quickly serviced it and made it into ridable condition. This year I have been putting close to 200 miles a week on it and I am seeing the signs that things are going to soon go down hill. Top that off with yesterday I was cleaning and inspecting only to find that many of the parts are wearing fast.

Crank Ofmega 52/42: Shark toothed chain rings, slight bend in large ring, significant wear to the chainrings such as tiny chunks missing
Bottom Bracket: Bad condition, ring side already had to be tightened and how it was able to back out as that was the tightening side I don't know, it is also noticably grinding slightly
Freewheel: Suprisingly decent, some shark teeth but its only minimal
RD & FD : Campagnolo triomphe and surprisingly they are fine just need cleaning and lubing
DT shifters: Fine
Wheels : Mavic E2 with ofmega hubs- The rims are fine I can true them but the hubs are shot.

Question is how should I upgrade

Option 1) Replace each piece as it goes bad and hope that years down the line they are still available
Option 2) Cold set the frame to 130mm in back and find a 10 speed group and wheels allowing plenty of options in the years to come

Or is it even worth upgrading? I love the way it rides but my experience is very limited on road bike other than occasional short jaunts on my friends aluminum bikes. Sheldon Brown's site had an article from bicycling magazine in the 80's which described the bike as an entry level racer. It has Columbus tubing but I wonder if might need to be looking for a better steel frame not knowing how this one stacks up against the nicer steel frames out there.
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Old 10-18-08, 11:14 PM   #2
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pictures there must be pictures.... please.... that always helps
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Old 10-19-08, 04:08 AM   #3
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This is a big conundrum for many of us. How much money are we willing to put into an old bike for upgrades ? Often it's cheaper to buy a new or newer used bike than it is to upgrade the old one. You could invest a lot more money in an old bike than the bike is worth. If you love the bike, and you know you will get enough pleasure out of riding that bike with the upgrades, then it's worth spending the money. It's a judgement call that you have to make after weighing all the options.
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Old 10-19-08, 05:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by grinningfool View Post
This is a big conundrum for many of us. How much money are we willing to put into an old bike for upgrades ? Often it's cheaper to buy a new or newer used bike than it is to upgrade the old one. You could invest a lot more money in an old bike than the bike is worth. If you love the bike, and you know you will get enough pleasure out of riding that bike with the upgrades, then it's worth spending the money. It's a judgement call that you have to make after weighing all the options.
Agree with all of the above! Why not look around for a replacement complete bike at a reasonable price (end of season sales, special events), put your bike into semi-retirement and spend some time seeking out the parts you need at the lowest price you can find - no rush then?

I've been lucky enough to bag a specific frame, chainset, wheels brakes, levers & pedals - all for a period rebuild all for about one fifth of the normal e-bay auction prices, simply by setting my own maximum price and letting items go to other bidders when it goes over my price. Eventually it seems to come good - about a one in every twenty five to thirty bids succeeds, but I have got all the right bits now, it only takes time and patience. Now looking for an early two-bolt Campag seat pin and binder bolt if anyone's got them at a next to nothing price!

Bikes don't take up much storage space at all, you'll have the choice of two bikes and can always sell one later.

Good luck with it!
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Old 10-19-08, 06:05 AM   #5
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Have you serviced the hubs and crankset? I mean cleaning and re-greasing?

I think you might be able to rebuild the hubs with Campagnolo cones.

The crankset is more of a problem. You can replace the chainrings - Campy or Avocet should work. Or you can buy a realative cheap crankset off ebay.
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Old 10-19-08, 11:29 AM   #6
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Middle of the road

Well, theres a "cheaper" way through your dilemma. You dont have to buy new components (except for those you really appriciate); if you really like the frame and its own style, why not buy an affordable but low-wear ten-speed? Take what you can and perhaps finish off with new/newer stuff. According to my experience its always handy to have one or two "donators"...as someone said, they dont take that much space.

I bought a modern bike to balance my vintage tear and wear, but boy did I hate that bike! (actually, this discussion opened in another thread "up-grade not restore"). Good luck!
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Old 10-19-08, 02:45 PM   #7
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If you keep the friction shifting, you have myriad options. If the cranks are in good shape, just look for a set of 144mm chainrings on eBay -- this is your big chance to depart from old school 52-42 orthodoxy. Otherwise, look for an entire crankset and a new Italian thread bottom bracket, perhaps a sealed cartridge.
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Old 10-19-08, 04:53 PM   #8
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Here's what I do. Buy lots of cheap old bikes. Clean and fix what you can and sell for profit. Use that money to buy tools and parts here and there for your own bikes. Also, you can often scrounge the better parts from bikes for yourself, exchange them for lesser parts from another bike and still sell for the bike for a profit if it is very clean, and brakes and shifters work well.

I also remove old crappy bar tape, replace with hockey tape and shellac. The hockey tape treatment including shellac costs me about $2 per bike. Once you get the tools and an inventory of parts, it is very easy to keep your bikes well supplied with nice working parts with little or no cash outflow. I've got about 8 old bikes in my garage that need refurbishing this winter. Two were free and one was $5, and the others were very cheap. And you can simultaneously look for bikes to flip and bikes to ride for yourself. It actually makes things a little easier. You don't have to worry about whether it is the right size for you.
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