I recently bought a circa 1970s Bianchi folder that I'm going to strip down and rebuild from the bottom up. This is what she looks like right now: IMG_0023.jpgIMG_0024.jpg
I'm going to replace the old chromed steel rims (which are pitted all to hell) with alloy rims, and I have a set of newer North Road-style aluminum handlebars that I'll probably use instead of the originals. Oh, and I'll likely add a saddle.
I've already found a bunch of answers to my questions about cottered cranks, getting in the bottom bracket, even taking apart the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub if it comes to that -- but one still remains unanswered: is there anything special I need to know about disassembling and reassembling the spring-loaded lock and hinge where the bike folds? I'd hate to get to that point in the tear-down and have the wrong spring go SPROING! off my balcony. IMG_0067.jpgIMG_0068.jpgIMG_0069.jpg
Also, are there any special care instructions I need to give the powder-coater about the hinge or anything else?
Any words of wisdom y'all can provide are greatly appreciated.
I think the answer as to what's a good price is usually what you decide it is. $150 seems to be in line with what people are asking on eBay right now, but I've heard of some people getting these bikes for $30 and up. For me, what I think is a good price depends on how close to being rideable it is. If it's in need of a complete overhaul and a lot of parts, I would want to pay a heckuva lot less than if it just needs air in the tires.
I paid $80 for mine because the guy I bought it from knew the Bianchi name, but right now it looks like a sow's ear. Mind you, this is exactly the type of project I'm looking forward to doing myself, even though I know I'm going to sink way more dough into it than I'll ever get back out of it if I should sell it.
The bike in your CL ad looks relatively clean (except that chain), but I'd recommend taking a test ride before buying. (I'm not particularly heartened by the seller's guarantee of "TUBES HOLD AIR.") It looks like it's pretty much all original parts, and some of those are going to be problematic and you'll probably want to swap out: the steel rims are heavy and will be a bear to try to brake when wet; the dynamo generator on the front wheel looks cool but is more trouble than it's worth to try to make it functional.
But if you love the bike... who's gonna stop you? And so it comes back to you decide what you think it's worth.
Best of luck with your purchasing decision!
Last edited by PadawanWrench; 05-23-12 at 09:21 PM.