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  1. #1
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    Bianchi Ocelot found on the curb: is it worth repairing/turning into a touring bike?

    I found a Bianchi Ocelot few days ago. The frame is XL - perfect for myself.

    While the frame, brakes, both derailleurs, and the handlebar are in decent shape, both wheels, freewheel, chain, and the crankset need to be replaced.

    It looks like this one here:
    vga_IMG_0387.jpg

    It can take rear and front racks and has room for two bottle cages.

    If I were to slap on some hybrid wheels/tyres, would this bike make a decent touring bike? Is this a decent Bianchi?

    Many thanks!

    P.S. This bike was discarded and it not stolen or missing! I knocked at the door of the house and was told to take it as the previous owner did not use it for a decade and did not feel like fixing it.
    Last edited by kebbs; 08-06-13 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Mentioning the bike is not stolen

  2. #2
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Maybe it was stolen and dumped? Somebody might be missing it.

  3. #3
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    I thought so too, but I knocked at the residence where the bike was discarded and was told to take it The gentleman had no use for it and did not feel like fixing it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    I would probably report it to the police and wait a bit to see if anybody's looking for it. Up to you.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    As you say it's a good fit and has a frame suitable for touring, then yes, it would make a decent touring bike. After you get all the components into mechanically reliable condition. After riding for awhile, you'll probably want to do some tweeking here and there to meet your personal preferences. Gear ratios, cockpit design, saddle, etc.

    I guess you've already checked the integrity of the frame.

    You state it was a discard, thus free to you. Congrats on your good luck. Pretty amazing find.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  6. #6
    Junior Member HotFootPusher00's Avatar
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    I actually picked one up a green '96 one last year off of craigslist for $20 everything worked fine and was in decent shape. it had three small chips in the paint chips on the frame, no seat (zoom seat post fused or frozen in place), and the rear spokes being a little rusted i felt it was good with a little tlc. although i still cant get the seat post out, i love this bike. i tuned it up myself, threw a seat on it, and ride it every chance i can. i ended up disassembling the rims cleaning all parts, and sanded all the rust off of each spoke. i took only 36 of the nipples and lightly sanded off the first layer of finish to expose the brass. i had some left over spay paint from old projects and painted the hubs metallic red, the spokes gold, and the inside of the rim (not the sides) black. when reassembling the wheels after paint i every other spoke nipple with an exposed brass one. it looks awesome like professional "Street Bobber" style wheels everyone likes it. all in all it took me 2 days to do this, but it was worth it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I'd get some butterfly bars for it and slicks but otherwise try to recycle as much as possible. It will make a great touring/trekking bike. Nice find.

  8. #8
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Some of the old rigid mountain bikes can be made into great touring bikes. Personally, I would add drop bars.

    My wife has an old Giant mountain bike with similar features and geometry. I installed a rear rack and slick tires, and it's now a great road bike if weight is not an issue.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    +1... Figure 8 bend Trekking bars are a low cost conversion for straight bar bikes , because about all you need is the bars ..

    all the levers will transfer, both being a 7/8" (22.2mm) tubing and 1" centers..

    drop bar will be considerably more expensive a proposition ..

    in addition a bearing overhaul before heading off on a remote track would be wise.


    weight in the panniers is best handled with a heavier frame ..

    If I were to slap on some hybrid wheels/tyres, would this bike make a decent touring bike?
    there will be no brakes if you change the rim diameter ..

    if you want a 700c wheel touring bike , flip that one and go buy what you want.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-15-14 at 08:52 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    Drop bars can be added cheaply enough if stem shifters are used, they get a bum rep from bike snobs but they work fine and play nicely with different speeds and mountain bike front derailleurs. Any bike shop in Canada can order you some basic MTB wheels built around sun cr-18 or alex rims that will be perfectly serviceable for touring. A pair of smooth 1.75 or 2.00 tires will make for a plush ride too. I've set up a few MTB style touring bikes for friends looking to do budget touring builds.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Ive got a drop bar touring bike and a trekking bar MTB, also a touring/trekking bike , (the latter gets more use)

    to do the MTB to drop bar switch, bars, brake levers m bar end shifters , the cables to hook them all up and new housing

    The Stem reach as is may not be right , either in height or reach .. and few Road bars are 1" centers ,so whole handlebar assembly

    stem and all would be pulled set aside and starting over is the needed path .. .

  12. #12
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clasher View Post
    Drop bars can be added cheaply enough if stem shifters are used, they get a bum rep from bike snobs but they work fine and play nicely with different speeds and mountain bike front derailleurs. Any bike shop in Canada can order you some basic MTB wheels built around sun cr-18 or alex rims that will be perfectly serviceable for touring. A pair of smooth 1.75 or 2.00 tires will make for a plush ride too. I've set up a few MTB style touring bikes for friends looking to do budget touring builds.
    Also bar ends will work with this type of conversion. You may be able to find a pair of sun tour ratcheting style bar ends that will do the job; you can buy new friction bar ends which are quite good but expensive.

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