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Bianchi Auto-Milano Shimano NEXUS hub

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Bianchi Auto-Milano Shimano NEXUS hub

Old 05-27-19, 07:37 AM
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Bianchi Auto-Milano Shimano NEXUS hub

I am asking about the Bianchi Auto-Milano; ever hear of it? Essentially a beach cruiser, labeled as a "café racer" (and that's all you'll be racing to on this frame, which is aluminum). It has an odd Shimano electronic automatic 3 speed tranny (Nexus?) with digital controls to shift manually and/or automatically. Bought it for $30 nearly unused as a ride for folks visiting and needing some basic transportation that would be easy to use. I looked at a replacement cost for that rear hub, and it's over $300 (quoted $400 on a "NOS" unit) new if you can find one. It works fine, but I'll never ride it and I'm mostly concerned with any problems these hubs may have had in the past so I don't loan it out just to have it break down. Were the hubs solid and reliable, easy to maintain, etc.? And what of the electronic controls, are they reliable? I will get a photo up shortly of the Shimano components. Most of the components seem fairly cheap except the Shimano stuff. Brakes, pedals, bar, grips; all leave something to be desired. For the new price ($500-600) of this bike, it would seem that some better components could have been added without boosting the price too much; and I feel the price was more to justify the "Auto" part of this bike; because without it, it just becomes a fairly regular ride, excepting the "Bianchi" badge. This bike is identical in design to the bike shown in the Bianchi Milano thread if you need to see a photo of the full bike. Thanks for your time.
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Old 05-27-19, 08:57 AM
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$30 virtually unused? Sounds like a great find.

I know nothing of the bike, but I do like the looks of the Milanos.

Knowing I would have snapped up that bike like you did, I'd test ride it for a while so I could give it a passing grade so I'd feel confident handing it off to others.
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Old 05-27-19, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HPL View Post
Most of the components seem fairly cheap except the Shimano stuff. Brakes, pedals, bar, grips; all leave something to be desired. For the new price ($500-600) of this bike, it would seem that some better components could have been added without boosting the price too much; and I feel the price was more to justify the "Auto" part of this bike; because without it, it just becomes a fairly regular ride, excepting the "Bianchi" badge.
This is without a doubt. Any IGH above a plain 3 speed boosts any bike's price up.
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Old 05-28-19, 12:56 AM
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Bianchi Auto-Milano

Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
$30 virtually unused? Sounds like a great find.

I know nothing of the bike, but I do like the looks of the Milanos.

Knowing I would have snapped up that bike like you did, I'd test ride it for a while so I could give it a passing grade so I'd feel confident handing it off to others.
I agree with whole heartedly about the testing out of this bike; I'll do a solid 10 miles on it before I loan it or give away.

I actually had to buy 2 bikes when I got the Bianchi; it came with a Huffy Santa Fe cruiser. Purchase both for $45 or no deal; I break it down as $15 for the Huffy and $30 for the Bianchi. Both bikes appeared to have barely been ridden, both had new saddles, and tires looked nearly unused except for the dust/dirt. Already gave away the Huffy to a friend, so the Bianchi is a keeper for now. I'll replace the pedals, bar and grips; and I've already installed a wooden rear fender to give it a little more of a unique look; looking for a front wooden fender now. Hopefully it will be a reliable and comfortable loaner bike. I ride my 69 Raleigh Sports for that type of biking so I doubt that I'd ever take it out myself except for the initial break-in/testing.
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Old 05-28-19, 08:47 AM
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it sounds like a trek lime (i think trek made it, i do know it was called a lime). if so you might be able to research it for comparable info/parts. one came through the co-op a while back and i got to ride it around the block a few times. wish i could have brought it just because, but i didn't have the spare cash at the time.
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Old 05-29-19, 12:36 AM
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Milano to Trek Lime

Originally Posted by Philphine View Post
it sounds like a trek lime (i think trek made it, i do know it was called a lime). if so you might be able to research it for comparable info/parts. one came through the co-op a while back and i got to ride it around the block a few times. wish i could have brought it just because, but i didn't have the spare cash at the time.
thanks, I've never heard of that Trek before; didn't know they made any kind of cruiser at all. Did the Trek have the "auto" hub? Since I've yet to ride mine I'm curious how it shifts. I don't know how the gearing ratios are, curious if top gear will get me moving as fast as I go on the Raleigh.
I've assumed that the "auto" hub was used on other bikes, but I've yet to see any others.
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Old 05-29-19, 08:28 AM
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yeah, still making the assumption that it is the same set up. the rear axle looks like it has half a tennis ball screwed to it? like i said, i only rode it around the block a couple times, but i thought it was interesting. my only "testing" was pedaling fast enough to get it to shift. i didn't get a chance to try going up hills and various conditions to see much beyond that. i definitely would have brought it just to add to the stable if nothing else.
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Old 05-30-19, 01:18 AM
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Auto Shifting Trek

Originally Posted by Philphine View Post
yeah, still making the assumption that it is the same set up. the rear axle looks like it has half a tennis ball screwed to it? like i said, i only rode it around the block a couple times, but i thought it was interesting. my only "testing" was pedaling fast enough to get it to shift. i didn't get a chance to try going up hills and various conditions to see much beyond that. i definitely would have brought it just to add to the stable if nothing else.
Wow! I took a look at a picture of the Trek; you're right about the tennis ball! My rear doesn't look like that at all; pretty standard looking overall. I've yet to photo it, but I'll get one up shortly. It also has a weird "disc" brake on the rear hub; looks nothing like the disc brakes you see today.
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Old 05-30-19, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by HPL View Post
Wow! I took a look at a picture of the Trek; you're right about the tennis ball! My rear doesn't look like that at all; pretty standard looking overall. I've yet to photo it, but I'll get one up shortly. It also has a weird "disc" brake on the rear hub; looks nothing like the disc brakes you see today.
Roller brake with heat dissipating disc that looks like a rotor?

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rollerbrakes.html
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Old 05-31-19, 01:11 AM
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Shimano rear brake-? roller or disc

[QUOTE=FiftySix;20954529]Roller brake with heat dissipating disc that looks like a rotor?

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rollerbrakes.html[/QUOTE

56, you've got me on that one. I've not looked too closely at it, nor am I familiar with a "roller" brake system. I just looked at an ad for the bike (2002, not sure if parts are the same on mine, ad states an alloy h-bar, but mine is steel) and it spec'd the Shimano Inter-M rear brake which I believe is exactly what you are talking about. I'll get some photos posted so folks can see this unit. If this is that same type of brake, I'm very curious now to see how well it functions.
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Old 05-31-19, 06:16 AM
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Please show the whole bike including the auto IGH and brakes in those photos. I'd like to admire it all.
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Old 07-19-19, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Any IGH above a plain 3 speed boosts any bike's price up.
Nice to read this. I've never thought about selling my Schwinn Cruiser Deluxe (bought new circa 1994), but I had a 7-speed Nexus IGH installed around ten years ago. I've enjoyed it a lot more since doing that- especially when navigating the hills on our local creek trail. Can't remember exactly what I paid for the bike or the Shimano system, but it's been well worth it.
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Old 07-21-19, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by JimR56 View Post
Nice to read this. I've never thought about selling my Schwinn Cruiser Deluxe (bought new circa 1994), but I had a 7-speed Nexus IGH installed around ten years ago. I've enjoyed it a lot more since doing that- especially when navigating the hills on our local creek trail. Can't remember exactly what I paid for the bike or the Shimano system, but it's been well worth it.
Excellent upgrade.

My Norco came with a Nexus 8. It sure has been an interesting and satisfying way to change gears. I love being able to shift at a full stop.
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