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Thread: Bianchi

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    Bianchi

    I ve been riding bikes since I was a kid.But I wouldn't call myself a bike fanatic.So whats all the hype about a Bianchi.They use the same components as other bikes.Is ridding one that much different than another bike?I will admit I saw one at a bike event.It was one of those Celeste colored rode bikes.At first it seemed like a sissy color then another appeared.The more I saw these bikes the more appealing they became.One guy had a crowd standing around and it was a Celeste in mint condition.It was a cream puff.It really looked more edible than ridable.

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    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    To my knowledge there is little hype about modern Bianchi. Vintage may be another matter. Maybe it's a thing specific to your area.

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    Have you ever seen a Ducati 916? A Ferrari? There is just something about it. I don't know what or why. What I don't understand is why the older designs seem so gorgeous. Maybe it's because we remember the Corvettes and forget the Edsels. I have no clue. But as far as design goes I'd have an older Colnago in a heartbeat over a Trek.

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    As stated, not too much hype about the newer generation. Old steel Bianchis were the thang back then. My wife has an 88 Bianchi Sport. Nothing fancy but the old steel lugged frame and color still attracts a few lookie-loos when it's racked during a vist to a bike shop.

    We got this from a coworker of hers that heard we were into cycling. He asked us if we would be interested, $40!. I had $80 in my pocket so I gave it to him and a chance to think about what he had. He wanted $40 to put toward a Wally World MTB.

    I was heart broken that it wasn't my size but at least one of us got to enjoy it. I later took a test ride on a newer model full carbon roadie when I was looking for new bike. I was very disappointed, needless to say, I didn't buy it, it rode nothing like her bike.

    He took the $80. It was very rideable but very dirty. I shined 'er up, did some component replacements then she happily rode it for 8 years. Now that she has a newer full carbon, she still won't give up the Bianchi. She says (and she had never heard the steel is real comment) the bike has a spirit of it's own. She says when she sits on it, the thing just wants to go!










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    Hey...another chance to show off my '87 Bianchi frame which I built up with modern 9 speed Campag components and old Record friction shifters. Riding it is just a little piece of heaven.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Bianchi had dialed in classic European stage race geometry pretty early in the game while the American company's were still catering to the Crit crowd, which is great if you were racing a crit...........not so good IMO for the type of riding most of us do. 74 degree HA with a high BB is not nirvana in my way of looking at things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Hey...another chance to show off my '87 Bianchi frame which I built up with modern 9 speed Campag components and old Record friction shifters. Riding it is just a little piece of heaven.
    Nice! Columbus tubing! That should have been mine!

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    This was the man (1949'ish)


    coppi_f%20green by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

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    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Eduardo Bianchi (Ed White) is the oldest bicycle company still in business. (Capo, founded in 1930, may well be second. I don't count Schwinn or Raleigh, because the new companies have no relationship whatsoever with the respective originals.) My Bianchi (see signature) has a delightful geometry for fast sport riding -- not too laid back, not too aggressive. Others have already mentioned the criterium craze, which produced steep head tube angles and high bottom brackets -- my Bianchi is a nice mainstream 73 degrees.

    Austrian rider Adolf Christian on his Capo in the TdF:
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    "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
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Nice! Columbus tubing! That should have been mine!
    Thanks. It's SL, 53cm.

    Mrs. Beanz is one lucky girl to have happened across such a nice bike...and for $80. WOW!

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I get the same feeling about most manufacturers nowadays--Nothing special about the bikes to make then stand out. But go back 15 years and a Bianchi was my dream bike for if I ever went road. Never rode one and in hindsight I thought it was Hype but in 1990 I was up for a new bike to replace my Custom frame that had finally had too much use. Down to the LBS and they Had just become Bianchi Dealers and sitting there on the floor were 5 Bianchi MTB's. Bit pricier than I wanted to pay but test riding that included some offroad aswell and out came the wallet. Still have that bike and it still works but quality never lets you down.

    Think the change came about when frame manufacture was switched to the far East. All the time the frames were made inhouse they had something special about them. The name still has a pull for me but think that when they became available in colours other than Celeste- something was lost. May have been hype but back 10 years and a Bianchi was the bike to have. I just can't get as excited about the modern bikes.
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    Like most things Italian there is certain panache in much of what they build. In cars, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini come to mind. In men’ suits Armani, Caravelli, Firenze, Tazio, Umo, come to mind. In cycling Bianchi, Bottecchia, Colnago, Cinelli, Colnago, DeRosa, Duerciotti, Pinarello, Tommasso, Torelli, come to mind. The history of modern cycling is filled with Italian steeds with functionality and flair, a VERY nice combination. Mention a classic Italian bicycle and you’re sure to bring a smile to the face of someone who has ridden classic road geometry made in Italy. And as Fred Smedley said, Bianchi had the geometry dial in pretty early in the game.

    My Colnago Master XL, is a steel ride that still holds up, even with today's super bikes. When it gets ridden, it just begs the rider to go faster and faster.
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    Bianchi's have the panache' others seem to lack. The classic models were so elegant and the showcase for Campagnolo Nuevo and Super Record was almost too much to resist. As said, the geometry was/is spot on for each model's intent. I have ridden both classic Columbus steel/lugged frames and their new CF models and there is something about the way they ride that just feels right.

    I'd love to own either or both types, the new Sempre with Campy in the Athena or Veloce is as close as I could come to affording a upper line Bianchi now and the classics are all over the price map. The family has bicycles in their blood and even with the Asian made CF or aluminum frames their quality shows through, to me. A friend has one of their aluminum framed mid-2000 models with 105/Ultegra on it as his back up bike and it is a sweet ride. Even the 2012 and 2013 aluminum frames look inviting to this dyed in the wool Cannondale guy.
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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Thanks. It's SL, 53cm.

    Mrs. Beanz is one lucky girl to have happened across such a nice bike...and for $80. WOW!
    Darn, 53 is too small for me or maybe you could have let me take it for a spin.

    I almost had a sweet Bianchi back in 98. There was a Columbus steel Bianchi on the shelf at a local shop. $2600 back in 97 (not sure of the modelyear). But it didn't sell, was my size and the following year the price dropped to $1600. It was about 2 weeks before I got my tax return and the bike still there so I planned to buy it when I got my check. It hadn't sold the entire 2 years I was eyeballin' the thing but woudn't you know it, the week before I got my money, somebody bought it!

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    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    They're just pretty bikes (I'm liking the Celeste color more and more), and one of the makes that can still be gotten with Campagnolo components. Now that the dealer I bought mine from hasn't sold Bianchi in a few years, I seem to receive more comments about my bike. With the brown bar tape and Brooks saddle it has a bit of a retro flair, even though it is a 2000 model with brifters and a carbon fork. Too bad it doesn't have a lugged frame, though.

    Celeste by Yo Spiff, on Flickr
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

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    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    To my knowledge there is little hype about modern Bianchi. Vintage may be another matter. Maybe it's a thing specific to your area.
    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    To my knowledge there is little hype about modern Bianchi. Vintage may be another matter. Maybe it's a thing specific to your area.
    Maybe news of Bianchi's current crop of great bikes has not made its way to Nebraska.

    For the last several years Bianchi has been doing an outstanding job of building fine bikes; not just racing bikes but all across the range from commuter bikes to mtb's to racing machines. The Oltre is a fine machine; it is competitive with the best road bikes around. On the other hand, the Bianchi Methanol 29SL is an outstanding mtb.

    Several Pro-tour teams have ridden Oltre and Sempre bikes to podium position.

    There may not be much hype about Bianchi bikes in your neck of the woods, but the rest of the world has certainly taken notice.

    As for people's reverence for old Bianchis, over their modern counterparts, some of that reverence may be misplaced and due, to a some degree, to a lack of knowledge about Bianchi history. For most of its history, Bianchi was a huge manufacturing company. Unlike many of the boutique Italian bike makers, making racing bikes was not Bianchi's only business. Along with top end bikes ridden by the likes of Fausto Coppi, Bianchi made a lot of "Walmart-type" bikes aimed at an Italian market where bikes were the principal mode of transportation. Post WW2 Italy, like many of its European counterparts, was a country in ruins. Unemployment was high, people were poor and the infrastructure was in shambles. Accordingly bikes were the key to economic survival for most Italian families. (For an interesting and accurate take on the importance of bikes in post WW2 Italia, take a look at the movie The Bicycle Thief.)

    Bianchi sought to capitalize on this need for bikes by mass producing a LOT of bicis. So along with the pro bikes that Coppi and others rode, Bianchi also made a lot of cheap bikes. As BianchiGirl herself may attest, not all Bianchis out there are "hot commodities" (or as hot as some of the sellers in eBay or Craigslist would have us believe) worthy of the high selling prices that these sellers are asking for. (If you want to know if an older Bianchi bici is hot or not, ask BianchiGirl, I have been following her posts here and she knows her Bianchis.)

    Some older Bianchis, especially the ones built with Columbus steel (especially SLX) and sporting chromed lugwork, are true works of art that are also fast on the road. Many older Italian steel bikes of that era are equally beautiful and functional. On the other hand, the newer crop of Bianchi bikes, like the Oltre and Sempre are beautiful, fast machines. If I had not bought my Colnago C59, I would have certainly bought an Oltre to join my Infinito and my 1989 Bottecchia.

    Billy, send me an IM the next time that you are in So. Cal. and I will show you some beautiful new Bianchis.

    Peace out!
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

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    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
    They're just pretty bikes (I'm liking the Celeste color more and more), and one of the makes that can still be gotten with Campagnolo components. Now that the dealer I bought mine from hasn't sold Bianchi in a few years, I seem to receive more comments about my bike. With the brown bar tape and Brooks saddle it has a bit of a retro flair, even though it is a 2000 model with brifters and a carbon fork. Too bad it doesn't have a lugged frame, though.

    Celeste by Yo Spiff, on Flickr
    WOW...that is a beautiful, modern Bianchi.
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

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    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Think the change came about when frame manufacture was switched to the far East. All the time the frames were made inhouse they had something special about them. The name still has a pull for me but think that when they became available in colours other than Celeste- something was lost. May have been hype but back 10 years and a Bianchi was the bike to have. I just can't get as excited about the modern bikes.
    I agree. that is one of the reasons why I bought my Colnago C59. It is 100% made in Italy, by the people at Ernesto's shop.

    My 1989 Bottecchia was also handmade in Italy. So I am happy to say that I have handmade Italian bikes from two very different eras. And guess what? In spite of the obvious weight differences, there is a lot in common between the 1989 Bottecchia and the 2012 Colnago C59.
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

  19. #19
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    The older Bianchis are popular due in no small part to their storied lineage, ridden by il campionissimo Fausto Coppi to Tour and World Championship wins.

    Yes, lots of cheap mass-produced Bianchis out there, but this was pretty common for the Italian bicycle industry. During the Merckx era, one of the hot bikes to own was a Gios, as ridden by Roger de Vlaeminck. But the Gios race bikes had nothing in common with the mass-produced bikes the company was better-known for manufacturing in Italy.

    Usually, the top Italian race bikes of the time will have a small sticker that announces "Reparto Corsa," (racing department), the special shop where the bikes are actually handmade. The chromed or clean lugwork is also a giveaway. Italian bikes of the era used the simpler Prugnat spearpoint lugs, while many custom-made English or French bikes would have used the Nervex lugs with lots of filigree added, which enhances their visual appeal. Also, look at the dropouts; the good bikes will have forged dropouts, the cheap bikes will have stamped ones.

    It was also a practice during the 70's and 80's for the Italian frames to have rather distinctive fork and stay ends - they're sort of chopped off at the dropout, while English and French frames have the fork and stay ends domed. American frame bulders generally adopted the chopped ends because they're so much cooler, and show off the thickness of the stays.

    Luis

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    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
    The older Bianchis are popular due in no small part to their storied lineage, ridden by il campionissimo Fausto Coppi to Tour and World Championship wins.

    Yes, lots of cheap mass-produced Bianchis out there, but this was pretty common for the Italian bicycle industry. During the Merckx era, one of the hot bikes to own was a Gios, as ridden by Roger de Vlaeminck. But the Gios race bikes had nothing in common with the mass-produced bikes the company was better-known for manufacturing in Italy.

    Usually, the top Italian race bikes of the time will have a small sticker that announces "Reparto Corsa," (racing department), the special shop where the bikes are actually handmade. The chromed or clean lugwork is also a giveaway. Italian bikes of the era used the simpler Prugnat spearpoint lugs, while many custom-made English or French bikes would have used the Nervex lugs with lots of filigree added, which enhances their visual appeal. Also, look at the dropouts; the good bikes will have forged dropouts, the cheap bikes will have stamped ones.

    It was also a practice during the 70's and 80's for the Italian frames to have rather distinctive fork and stay ends - they're sort of chopped off at the dropout, while English and French frames have the fork and stay ends domed. American frame bulders generally adopted the chopped ends because they're so much cooler, and show off the thickness of the stays.

    Luis
    Luis, good post. Good info.
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

  21. #21
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    As stated, not too much hype about the newer generation. Old steel Bianchis were the thang back then. My wife has an 88 Bianchi Sport. Nothing fancy but the old steel lugged frame and color still attracts a few lookie-loos when it's racked during a vist to a bike shop.

    We got this from a coworker of hers that heard we were into cycling. He asked us if we would be interested, $40!. I had $80 in my pocket so I gave it to him and a chance to think about what he had. He wanted $40 to put toward a Wally World MTB.

    I was heart broken that it wasn't my size but at least one of us got to enjoy it. I later took a test ride on a newer model full carbon roadie when I was looking for new bike. I was very disappointed, needless to say, I didn't buy it, it rode nothing like her bike.

    He took the $80. It was very rideable but very dirty. I shined 'er up, did some component replacements then she happily rode it for 8 years. Now that she has a newer full carbon, she still won't give up the Bianchi. She says (and she had never heard the steel is real comment) the bike has a spirit of it's own. She says when she sits on it, the thing just wants to go!









    Mr. Beanz, that is a fine looking bike, and Mrs. Beanz looks fine riding it. There is nothing like steel. (Just an opinion)

    To answer the OP's question, What makes someone loyal to a particular brand of bike is something that really cannot be quantified or explained. For example, a fellow rider
    goes nuts for Bridgestone. He has three, and will buy another one when he finds one he wants. He cannot explain why, other than that he finds Bridgestone bikes to be "Awesome!"

    Some people are devoted to classic Treks, when they were made of Reynolds steel, and truly "Hand built in the USA". (Yes, I like these, a lot) I've noticed a lot of the young riders today like Cervelo bikes. (Did I even spell that right?)

    I don't think anyone can really explain brand loyalty.
    "The Universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on a government contract." Robert A. Heinlein

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    Mr. Beanz, that is a fine looking bike, and Mrs. Beanz looks fine riding it. There is nothing like steel. (Just an opinion)
    Thanks! When I bought her new carbon roadie I paid near 3 grand. She didn't want to ride the CF cause she said the steel bike was a better ride. Must be something about steel she liked.

    I like old lugged Bianchis, just the classic look and the history. The newer Cromo-lite looked fine but I had a chance to get one and passed. Just didn't seem the same without the lugs and old steel look. And like I said, Bianchi has some fine machines out there now. I rode one and was dissappointed. Jan rode one, Marco rode on but that doesn't do much for my taste in old celeste steel Bianchi models. Same with yellow, blue, black, pink Bianchi schemes, doesn't do a thing for me.

    I'm surprised nobody has brought the history of the celeste color on Bianchi.

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    Everybody should have some celeste in the stable.



    Its back there somewhere..

  24. #24
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    Everybody should have some celeste in the stable.



    Its back there somewhere..
    Brilliant....nicely played.

    BTW, I recently test rode an Oltre with Campy SR electronic. What a sweet ride...I may have to scrape together a few liras and add an Oltre to the stable.
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
    Brilliant....nicely played.

    BTW, I recently test rode an Oltre with Campy SR electronic. What a sweet ride...I may have to scrape together a few liras and add an Oltre to the stable.
    The Oltre is a stunning bike. With Campy SR.. Bella!

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