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Picked up another project. This '86 Bianchi Vittoria was begging to be saved.

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Picked up another project. This '86 Bianchi Vittoria was begging to be saved.

Old 05-22-20, 11:35 AM
  #1  
TimbyMaTombo
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Picked up another project. This '86 Bianchi Vittoria was begging to be saved.

So I found another project to work on during this quarantine. The frame is a little rougher than I had hoped but I've always wanted a Celeste Bianchi and couldn't pass it up. It is missing both derailleurs but I have a spare set of older Shimanos from my Lotus fixed gear conversion; the frame has Suntour GPX shifters that I plan on using in the friction mode. There is a good amount of rust on the bottom bracket and fork but it looks like surface rust from what I can tell. Will know more when I get it broken down for cleaning.

Am I in over my head or is this easily salvageable? From the cursory reading I've down there are a few different options to deal with the rust, just haven't decided which route I'll take. My roommate has some Loctite rust neutralizer that I can use or I would look into an oxalic acid soak. The wheels look pretty good and it's got newer 105 brakes; it's got Dia Compe levers but I will probably end up swapping those.

While the pedals spin fairly easily, it looks like the bottom bracket is pretty rusty so I will likely replace it. The stem bolt is fairly rounded so I haven't been able to pull it yet but the headset is also fairly rusted from what I can see. I've got it upside down with PB blaster down the headtube so I'm hoping that will free it up. This will likely be a longer term project as I'll have to spread the purchases over a couple credit card statements but I am patient and am excited to finally have some Italian steel in my stables.








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Old 05-22-20, 12:25 PM
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FastJake
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Get the stem and seatpost free before you bother touching anything else.

As much as I dislike repaints that might be the best option here. The rust is unfortunate. *Edit: another option is to clean up what rust you can (wire wheel?) and just paint on some POR 15 and ride it until it breaks. Bike frames can be shockingly rusty before it becomes a structural issue. This bike is almost certainly not worth the cost and effort of a full restoration/repaint, new decals, etc. Especially since the fork is chromed.

Last edited by FastJake; 05-22-20 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 05-22-20, 12:29 PM
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Close to unsalveagble.If you want it perfect get another bike it will be cheaper.
​If you don't mind it looking rough strip it and find out what is seized and broken now. Might be everything.
Don't even bother treating the rust till you are sure your going to build it.
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Old 05-22-20, 12:47 PM
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I admire your courage but...........

Sorry to say that bike is not worthy of a proper paint job. Either I'd paint myself or powdercoat. I'd strip everything off it and then seek out a powder coater for an opinion (most powder coaters throw in sandblasting as part of the service). If quote from powder coater is too high just sandblast and paint yourself. But, if powder coater says not worth doing I'd taker his or her word.
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Old 05-22-20, 05:14 PM
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I doubt I would repaint it, honestly. If anything I plan on trying to take care of as much rust as I can and MAYBE get some touch up paint but I agree that it wouldn't be worth a full repaint. I have no qualms making sure it's structurally sound and just getting it running again; I honestly find a bit of "patina" endearing and am certainly more concerned with functionality than aesthetics. I'm hoping it would make a good beater/loaner if I ever needed one.
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Old 05-22-20, 08:24 PM
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My 1975 Favorite is in incomparably better shape, I suppose it depends how it was used. Probably was 'garaged' out in the open and or it served as a commuter on salty slush winter roads.

I'd use gelled rust remover, you get those in automotive shop sections. Some are for removing rust from chrome but they work on any rust. One kind is for 'deep rust', the one that's left after flakes are cleaned off, it reacts with the remaining rust to stop it from continuing doing its work...

You might get matching spray paint in automoto shop as well. I also believe that the frame is probably not compromised. It might yet be going for ever if you stick to paved roads and won't be jumping curbs or such like. But my experience in this direction is with steel frame, no idea what this one is. Steel because it rusts? But that might be just the welds that are rusting.

For inspiration, check out this post in general cycling forum section Check out this restoration...this guy is pretty good

Last edited by vane171; 05-22-20 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 05-22-20, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
My 1975 Favorite is in incomparably better shape, I suppose it depends how it was used. Probably was 'garaged' out in the open and or it served as a commuter on salty slush winter roads.

I'd use gelled rust remover, you get those in automotive shop sections. Some are for removing rust from chrome but they work on any rust. One kind is for 'deep rust', the one that's left after flakes are cleaned off, it reacts with the remaining rust to stop it from continuing doing its work...

You might get matching spray paint in automoto shop as well. I also believe that the frame is probably not compromised. It might yet be going for ever if you stick to paved roads and won't be jumping curbs or such like. But my experience in this direction is with steel frame, no idea what this one is. Steel because it rusts? But that might be just the welds that are rusting.

For inspiration, check out this post in general cycling forum section Check out this restoration...this guy is pretty good
It is steel, I believe the "Formula One" tubes are Columbus made specially for Bianchi from what I've read. I already hit the bottom bracket with a light brass wire wheel and im hoping it isn't too deep. I am usually pretty gentle with my equipment so it won't be doing any aggressive riding. I'll look into the remover you mentioned, thanks. I don't plan on a full restoration, just want to curtail the rust as much as possible and get it back on the road.

As per other comments I'm not going to invest in anything until I can get the stem out and inspect the inside of the headtube as well as the bottom bracket. If it is worse than I thought I'll take off the parts that are salvageable and keep the frame as a wall hanger or something (as if I needed more clutter). I'm hopeful that it's still structurally sound but I don't plan on abusing it at all.
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Old 05-22-20, 11:40 PM
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I commend you on your courage
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Old 05-23-20, 08:28 AM
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If your on Toronto might be a good theft detterent to leave it as is.
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Old 05-23-20, 12:14 PM
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Some parts of the frame where the rust is just seeping out from those joints, I'd use that chemical rust cleaner and then clear coat finish it with spray can you get in automotive shops sections to seal it. Might be better this way rather than trying to match the paint which you won't match anyway, so its better to 'admit' the damage, because trying to hide it would look worse.

The bottom bracket mechanical cleaning with wire brushes on a drill and then apply that chemical that says on the bottle it reacts with the rust - it blackens it in the reaction, creating further rust protection that way and making it ready for paint (color and clear coat or just clear coat). Look for it in paint shops, but automotive I think carries it too.

And yes, dismantle it all, like that guy in the video. Doing half way job usually takes more time and gives half satisfactory end result, and you end up doing that in the end as you will be pushed to it anyway.

I just recalled, sometimes I was also using CLR to clean rust stains. Its worth trying that out since it can work wonders when it works. I always use it full strength and wear rubber gloves but it is pretty friendly, can wash it down in your sink. It is sold in gallon cans too if you might want to submerge the fork in it or part of the frame in some suitable container. In case of such volume use, I pour it back into another can to reuse it on other projects.

Last edited by vane171; 05-23-20 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 05-23-20, 04:18 PM
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Man, subbed to see if he can actually save this.
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Old 05-23-20, 05:05 PM
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Id defer to a paint expert, but I dont know if you can stabilize the existing paint with that corrosion. I think this would be a fun restoration, but if I were doing it, Id blast and repaint the frame. Id then find a campy Victory groupset for it.

Unfortunately, that cost would far exceed the frames value. But it would be fun.
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Old 05-23-20, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TimbyMaTombo View Post
I doubt I would repaint it, honestly. If anything I plan on trying to take care of as much rust as I can and MAYBE get some touch up paint but I agree that it wouldn't be worth a full repaint. I have no qualms making sure it's structurally sound and just getting it running again; I honestly find a bit of "patina" endearing and am certainly more concerned with functionality than aesthetics. I'm hoping it would make a good beater/loaner if I ever needed one.
If you have access to an airbrush and if you take your time mixing different amounts of paint to try, you might just luck out and get a colour tone that very closely matches the original paint.

Good luck with the bike.

Cheers
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