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Old 05-21-09, 10:42 PM   #1
Citoyen du Monde
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1941 Bianchi Folgore

I found this bike in very rough shape some 6 years ago and am finally getting around to reassembling it. It has a cambio corsa derailleur system, however it is not the one that one usually finds, but rather the second generation one that was made from about 1937 until 1942 (as best as I can tell). So this means that the three levers (both Q/R levers and shift lever) all have cross-hatching marks and a wheel on one side of teh lever and writing on two lines on the other (look at the pictures to better understand), as well as the bell cover of the Q/R cam having a rounded shape. When I found the bike it was fitted with a three speed freewheel which is what I fitted it out with once again. The rims are period correct but from the wrong manufacturer and country (they are Sieber rims from Switzerland). Once the correct tires arrive (some 35 mm wide road tubulars), they will look great. The handlebars are likely period correct, but the steel Cinelli stem is too modern by about one decade. The hubs are original Bianchi-branded hubs (the front has an unusual 95 mm wide locknut ot locknut width). The cranks too are original Bianchi-branded, with the nice Bianchi chainring. The BB fixed cup is branded Bianchi and date coded 1941. The BB spindle is branded Bianchi and strangely enough is date-coded 1939. The adjustable cup is not marked. I still need to fit the correct tires (they should arrive from Italy shortly) and the integrated seat tube oiler (waiting to return from the chromer).
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File Type: jpg IMG_0272.jpg (95.6 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0255.jpg (100.8 KB, 161 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0260.jpg (95.8 KB, 134 views)
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Old 05-21-09, 10:49 PM   #2
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That's a beauty. Was that the original paint colour?
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Old 05-21-09, 10:51 PM   #3
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I absolutely LOVE that bike! WAY cool crank! And the rear brake cable inside the top tube!!! 40 years ahead of it's time! Sweeeeeeet!
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Old 05-21-09, 10:56 PM   #4
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Old 05-21-09, 11:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torchy McFlux View Post
Was that the original paint colour?
Nobody will ever know for sure. It does match the paint that was found under the seatstay clamps and on the BB shell under the fixed cup, so if not correct, it at least comes close. However, who knows how much the paint faded from its original tone? Anybody who says that a 60 year old bike has maintained its original tone is only fooling themselves. All paint fades over time if exposed to the elements or the air.
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Old 05-22-09, 12:49 AM   #6
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What a lovely bike - and more importantly - it's in the right hands. I'm very impressed with your knowledge of the Flogore and your search for the correct parts. I'm sure some compromises may have to be made, such as the rims, but I know you will not be completely happy until the original is found some time in the future.

Your paint explanation is very interesting and I do agree with your points. I think the closest match would come from under a clamp, etc. and your celeste colour is probably as correct as you can get.

Thanks for the images,

Gary.
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Old 05-22-09, 04:29 AM   #7
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And the rear brake cable inside the top tube!!! 40 years ahead of it's time! Sweeeeeeet!
Actually not uncommon on post-war Italian frames.
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Old 05-22-09, 04:31 AM   #8
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That's a beautiful bike (I've seen it in person) - and those CC levers are super-duper rare. By themselves, I think they would be worth a minor mint of ebay money. Which is why it's nice to see them used to part up a bike instead of being parted out.
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Old 05-22-09, 07:00 AM   #9
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Wow. Hoping I get to see it in person in about two weeks.
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Old 05-22-09, 07:17 AM   #10
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Wow. Unbelievable find. How on Earth did you find the patience to wait 6 years to reassemble that beauty? Looking forward to the final build pics!

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Old 05-22-09, 08:42 AM   #11
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This thread should be moved to the top of the threads...We haven't seen this kind of rarity in a very long time. What a great bike. Slather that old saddle in a some proofhide...

Oh baby what a score. It looks like a really fun bike to ride. Keep us posted. We want to see more and more pics. Lets see a few photos of it on the road. It looks worth of some Veloflex Roubaix tires or Dugast tires. Wow I'm jealous.
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Old 05-22-09, 02:21 PM   #12
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That is an awesome bike.
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Old 05-22-09, 07:32 PM   #13
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What kept the wheel straight when you shifted?
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Old 05-22-09, 07:44 PM   #14
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What kept the wheel straight when you shifted?
Depends upon which Roman Catholic saint you relied upon.
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Old 05-22-09, 07:56 PM   #15
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I wouldnt mind seeing some classic (or modern for that matter) video footage of a rider shifting that kind of a set up.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:16 PM   #16
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What kept the wheel straight when you shifted?
The Cambio Corsa system used a toothed dropout and hub axle, so the wheel would stay straight in the frame while the it moved forward or back in the dropouts. I'm sure it was tricky to braze those dropouts so both sides were properly aligned with each other and the frame. Apparently there was a special fixture to facilitate this.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:10 PM   #17
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I wouldnt mind seeing some classic (or modern for that matter) video footage of a rider shifting that kind of a set up.
http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/v/...G0003.AVI.html
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Old 05-22-09, 09:13 PM   #18
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The Cambio Corsa system used a toothed dropout and hub axle, so the wheel would stay straight in the frame while the it moved forward or back in the dropouts. I'm sure it was tricky to braze those dropouts so both sides were properly aligned with each other and the frame. Apparently there was a special fixture to facilitate this.
I know a few people that have the fixtures. Roland Della Santa is one here in the US. Here are photos of the ones that I used to own.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg a drop-out jigs.jpg (100.2 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg a drop-out jigs Campagnolo brand.jpg (53.0 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg a drop-out jigs with drop-out installed.jpg (97.6 KB, 35 views)
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Old 05-23-09, 08:09 AM   #19
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Can you give us an idea of how the bike rides, responds, rolls compared to a more modern bike? Noticeably harder to pedal maybe? When you bend it into a turn does it tend to want to stand up? Easy to ride no hands?
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Old 05-23-09, 08:14 AM   #20
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Wow! That's just a gorgeous bike, thanks so much for all the work you've done to restore it.
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Old 05-23-09, 08:43 AM   #21
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I'd like to know how well that system shifts. Does it work pretty smoothly?
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Old 05-23-09, 10:34 AM   #22
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That bike is absolutley stunning! gratulations!

Quote:
I'd like to know how well that system shifts. Does it work pretty smoothly?
if the rider is skilled, it looks like this:
Downshifting the Cambio Corsa
Upshifting the Cambio Corsa

if the rider is not... well, i always look for a free, straight piece of road of about 1/2 a mile length....
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Old 05-23-09, 10:35 AM   #23
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That is a magnificent bike. A Celeste Bianchi with a second-generation Campagnolo gear change -- life doesn't get much better than that.

Frank Berto reported that the Cambio is difficult and strange to operate, but I suppose a little practice and coordination would help immensely. ...
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Old 05-23-09, 10:42 AM   #24
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Outstanding! My #2 most desired bike. Are you bringing it to Cirque?

Is this different from the 1940 on your wj account?
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Old 05-23-09, 11:01 AM   #25
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Very nice! What a fantastic bike for a project.

I missed out on a very similar Bianchi last year at an estate sale. I was browsing the pics online and noticed an old ten-speed hanging in the garage. The picture was dark, but I could make out the Cambio Corsa system. The bike was listed as "a men's ten-speed".

Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the sale until my lunch hour.
When I got there, the bike was gone. One of the workers said the first guy in line when the sale opened bolted for the bike. I asked how much it went for. The worker replied "$70". Sigh.......
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