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Dad's early 90's Bianchi Virata in storage for 20 years. Is it worth fixing up?

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Dad's early 90's Bianchi Virata in storage for 20 years. Is it worth fixing up?

Old 09-04-16, 07:27 PM
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chiyama
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Dad's early 90's Bianchi Virata in storage for 20 years. Is it worth fixing up?

https://imgur.com/a/Yhky2

My dad has a an old Bianchi Virata that has been sitting in storage for about 20 years. He said I can have it since he has no use for it. My mom told me that my dad only rode it a few times and never rode it again. Haha I asked and he confirmed.

As you can see from the pictures, it's really dirty, but I'm assuming it's in good shape since it's been in storage. He said there's no rust. I haven't gotten to check it out in person yet since I live far away. I was planning on picking it up next time I go home. He doesn't know exactly what the frame size is, but he's about the same size as me. Hopefully he bought the correct size for himself!

Does anybody have any knowledge on the bike? Is it worth the time and effort to fix it up?
I recently bought a 1984 Centurion Comp TA, seen here: https://i.imgur.com/jmXdu0t.jpg
I'm wondering which would be better to keep? Unfortunately, I only have room for one bike.

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Old 09-04-16, 07:49 PM
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Both are very nice bicycles. It looks like the Comp TA was upgraded to Shimano New 600EX SIS. The main advantage of the Bianchi is that the 600 Ultegra is a generation newer. You'll have the conveience of 8 speeds and the Hyperglide cassette will shift much better, particularly under load. The SLR dual pivot brakes are more powerful, with a much lighter feel and better modulation. On the downside, the Bianchi does appear to be 2-3 cm larger and will require a full overhaul.

You should try riding the Bianchi for at least a week, to see how it feels. Even if you feel it's too big, you just might like the 600 Ultegra enough to consider a component swap, which is probably the route I'd take.
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Old 09-04-16, 09:44 PM
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How tall are you? Both of those are pretty small bikes.

Do you ever need a bike when visiting your parents? Perhaps scrub up the Bianchi and put on the pedals and handlebar stem that you like on it (that stem is pretty long), then use it as a spare bike for visiting. Snag it later if something happens to your Centurion. Perhaps wrap the Bianchi in a sheet or something after you spend the effort to scrub it.
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Old 09-04-16, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
How tall are you? Both of those are pretty small bikes.

Do you ever need a bike when visiting your parents? Perhaps scrub up the Bianchi and put on the pedals and handlebar stem that you like on it (that stem is pretty long), then use it as a spare bike for visiting. Snag it later if something happens to your Centurion. Perhaps wrap the Bianchi in a sheet or something after you spend the effort to scrub it.
I'm 5'6" with a 29" inch inseam. My 50 cm Centurion Comp TA fits me pretty well. This Bianchi may be a tiny bit bigger. I haven't gotten to see it in person yet. I only plan to use these bikes recreationally anyway.
I don't need a bike when I visit them, so it would just be sitting around collecting dust. Keeping it there for future use is a good idea though.

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Old 09-04-16, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Both are very nice bicycles. It looks like the Comp TA was upgraded to Shimano New 600EX SIS. The main advantage of the Bianchi is that the 600 Ultegra is a generation newer. You'll have the conveience of 8 speeds and the Hyperglide cassette will shift much better, particularly under load. The SLR dual pivot brakes are more powerful, with a much lighter feel and better modulation. On the downside, the Bianchi does appear to be 2-3 cm larger and will require a full overhaul.

You should try riding the Bianchi for at least a week, to see how it feels. Even if you feel it's too big, you just might like the 600 Ultegra enough to consider a component swap, which is probably the route I'd take.
Thanks for the reply. I could swap out the components. I haven't really thought about that. This is such a hard decision! It's a good problem to have a guess.
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Old 09-07-16, 03:48 PM
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That poor Bianchi. Those early Viratas and Alfanas (next bike down with 105) were very nice machines. Tange UltraLite Prestige frames nice rims and tires. Always wanted to try one.
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Old 09-07-16, 04:10 PM
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Why am I not seeing the pics
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Old 09-07-16, 04:58 PM
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Those are both very nice bikes the Bianchi looks to be in very good shape under the dirt and is worth fixing up. It is probably a bit nicer than the Centurion I like that it has a full 600 Tri color components.


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Old 09-07-16, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by juls View Post
Why am I not seeing the pics
C&P the URLs into new browser tabs.
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Old 09-08-16, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
C&P the URLs into new browser tabs.
Must be my windows 7-Clicking on them (even right click) does nothing. Price of not keeping up with technology I guess.
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Old 09-08-16, 07:12 AM
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No, they're not links for whatever reason. You have to copy and paste them.

The Bianchi is a time capsule. Beautiful.
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Old 09-11-16, 04:53 PM
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Sorry about that, I thought the links would show up as hyperlinks, but I guess they didn't. I fixed it. I'll be going back home at the end of the month to check out the Bianchi. I think it's a 52cm, I'm not 100% sure yet. I'll be sure to clean it up and post more pictures! (Correctly this time)
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Old 12-07-16, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Both are very nice bicycles. It looks like the Comp TA was upgraded to Shimano New 600EX SIS. The main advantage of the Bianchi is that the 600 Ultegra is a generation newer. You'll have the conveience of 8 speeds and the Hyperglide cassette will shift much better, particularly under load. The SLR dual pivot brakes are more powerful, with a much lighter feel and better modulation. On the downside, the Bianchi does appear to be 2-3 cm larger and will require a full overhaul.

You should try riding the Bianchi for at least a week, to see how it feels. Even if you feel it's too big, you just might like the 600 Ultegra enough to consider a component swap, which is probably the route I'd take.

Hey @T-Mar, so I've been riding the Bianchi for a couple weeks now. And I like the components much more than the Shimano 600 SIS on my Comp TA. Shifting is a lot smoother and the brakes stop and respond much better. Is a component swap on these two bikes possible? I'm guessing that I would need to spread the rear dropouts? Would there be any other weird steps other than simply switching over the components? I think the Bianchi might be slightly too big for me. I haven't decided yet.
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Old 12-07-16, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
The Bianchi is a time capsule. Beautiful.

Agree 100%. Restoring it would be a labor of love. Then the OP can donate it to a worthy cause.
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Old 12-07-16, 05:35 PM
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I'd just ride the Bianchi. The amount of seatpost showing on the Centurion means that the inch or so larger frame the Virata has shouldn't matter. You can straddle the top tube, right?
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Old 12-07-16, 11:34 PM
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Old 12-08-16, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by chiyama View Post
Hey @T-Mar, so I've been riding the Bianchi for a couple weeks now. And I like the components much more than the Shimano 600 SIS on my Comp TA. Shifting is a lot smoother and the brakes stop and respond much better. Is a component swap on these two bikes possible? I'm guessing that I would need to spread the rear dropouts? Would there be any other weird steps other than simply switching over the components? I think the Bianchi might be slightly too big for me. I haven't decided yet.
Both bicycles are Asian manufactured so there should be no thread compatibility issues. The seat posts may be about one size different. Brake reach should be similar. You could just manually spread the stays to accept the 8 speed wheel but I'd cold set them and align the dropouts. There shouldn't be any other issues.
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Old 12-09-16, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Both bicycles are Asian manufactured so there should be no thread compatibility issues. The seat posts may be about one size different. Brake reach should be similar. You could just manually spread the stays to accept the 8 speed wheel but I'd cold set them and align the dropouts. There shouldn't be any other issues.
I've got a couple potential buyers for my Comp TA. But I'm still not sure if I want to sell it! Both bikes are comfortable for me to ride. However, my dad bought a longer handlebar stem for the Bianchi when he bought it in 1991, which is making it a little uncomfortable on my hands.

What are some telltale signs that a bike is too big for me? I'm having a lot of trouble deciding what to do. Any advice is appreciated!
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Old 12-09-16, 02:28 PM
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Try a shorter stem. That's way easier than swapping the entire drivetrain.
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Old 12-09-16, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
Try a shorter stem. That's way easier than swapping the entire drivetrain.
What's the easiest way to figure out which stem will fit? I'm not very experienced with the sizing of the handlebars and everything. I'm at work right now and I don't have my bike with me. Would the sizes be engraved on the stem or handlebars anywhere? I've been looking at stems online and am getting a little confused.
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Old 12-11-16, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by chiyama View Post
What's the easiest way to figure out which stem will fit? I'm not very experienced with the sizing of the handlebars and everything. I'm at work right now and I don't have my bike with me. Would the sizes be engraved on the stem or handlebars anywhere? I've been looking at stems online and am getting a little confused.
You need a 1-inch quill stem and I'm guessing since that has a Modolo stem on it now it needs to have a 26.0 clamp diameter. You can measure the length of it from the center of the little black cap on top out to the center of the handle bar that looks like it might be a hundred 110 millimeter stem. If you just look at the two place you can see how this down on the Centurion is much shorter. I hope this helps
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Old 12-12-16, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
You need a 1-inch quill stem and I'm guessing since that has a Modolo stem on it now it needs to have a 26.0 clamp diameter. You can measure the length of it from the center of the little black cap on top out to the center of the handle bar that looks like it might be a hundred 110 millimeter stem. If you just look at the two place you can see how this down on the Centurion is much shorter. I hope this helps
Thanks for the reply. I'm going to my local bike workshop sometime this week to find a used replacement stem. I know it depends on my reach, but about what length of quill stems could be considered average?
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Old 12-13-16, 06:39 AM
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100mm is the default. 80-120 are fairly common. You could just measure the stem on the Comp TA and try that size. That has an 80 or 90mm stem. Make sure that you get the right clamp size.

The modolo is also prone to breaking. Given your height, unless you're really... er ... chubby, you are unlikely break it. More information on that is on John Allen's site. This stem is in the second picture: Hazardous bicycle handlebar stems
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