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Bianchi Volpe

Old 11-19-16, 10:09 PM
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Bianchi Volpe

I've been doing a lot of research today, and consistently ended up at Bike Forums. So I registered and this is my first post. I am looking at a used Bianchi Volpe, and the seller is asking $380. I think it is a 1987, but it seems the color that year was "Turquoise" instead of a Celeste.

Based on the photos, can we tell what year it is? Is this an Italian Bianchi? What is the most this bike would be worth?

I like CX bikes, and this one fits me. How much better is a Bianchi steel frame vs any other brand?

Thanks!
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Old 11-19-16, 10:23 PM
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Here is a photo from a 1987 Bianchi catalog. It's the best match I can find so far:
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Old 11-19-16, 10:33 PM
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I don't know the answers to your question, but don't fear a non-Italian Bianchi. I have a ~1995 Bianchi Volpe, and it's a competent machine. I'm particularly impressed with the paint.
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Old 11-19-16, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
...don't fear a non-Italian Bianchi. I have a ~1995 Bianchi Volpe, and it's a competent machine.
That's good to hear the good review of the Volpe. When Spring comes again, this may be my workout bike at the office and occasional commuter.

I wouldn't say I'm afraid of a non-Italian Bianchi, but more afraid of not being educated about any difference in value based on where they are manufactured. The asking price is already "an investment" for me.
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Old 11-19-16, 10:43 PM
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If there is a difference in value from the countries of manufacture, it won't be much at all. That might be different with high end bikes, but this isn't one. Perhaps brands lose their caché when they move manufacturing from one country to another, but that doesn't mean the quality gets worse. The difference is pretty much sentimental, and yes, that can have an effect on market value.
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Old 11-19-16, 10:48 PM
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Thanks, Tom!

If the Italian bike manufactured in Taiwan doesn't make a difference in price, I can at least eliminate that variable from my purchase decisions.
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Old 11-20-16, 12:02 AM
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The bike has had some parts exchanges, rear mechanism, seatpost, saddle, pedals.
Cyclocross bikes don't come up as often, just fewer out there.
Price is at the higher end, I would want to know of the wear of the drivetrain, soundness of the wheels, does it need tires?
I am of the camp that Bianchi should be Italian. Setting that aside, look at the bike other than that, would you be interested if it had a different brand name on it? If yes, then no problem.
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Old 11-20-16, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by IMontoya View Post
What is the most this bike would be worth?
Thread moved to C&V Appraisals with three day forwarding.
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Old 11-20-16, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
[W]ould you be interested if it had a different brand name on it? If yes, then no problem.
What I need is a second bike I can leave at the office for lunchtime wor outs. Nothing too fancy, but I do like to go fast and I occasionally commute about 20 miles through Detroit. Cross bikes seem to suit me well.

The Bianchi name makes this more interesting, but that is hard to quantify. Has this one depreciated the name out of the equation? I could certainly wait until spring and get a new bike.

But, if this is a good price, I have all winter to tinker and clean. Might even be a good indoor trainer for a couple months? How mad will my wife be if I bring this home? Now I'm just thinking out loud.
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Old 11-20-16, 08:41 AM
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If you like it, buy it. Even if you later see another one like it selling for less, you haven't overpaid by much, and I'm not saying it's overpriced now, as I don't really know. It's not way off, though. But at that price, pretty much everything should be working on it.
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Old 11-20-16, 08:45 AM
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Oh, here is mine. The second picture is from when it was doing supermarket duty. I've loaded this bike up with huge amounts of weight, front and rear, pulled a trailer, and I don't know what else. And by the way, I'll be selling it soon, as I have a redundant bike.

As you can see, I've outfitted it with a lot of gear: a rear rack, fenders, a handlebar accessory extension, a bell, a dynamo front hub, and dynamo powered headlight and tail light.



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Old 11-20-16, 10:39 AM
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I think a Volpe is a great all-rounder (I recommended one to a friend in 2005), but I think this one is significantly overpriced. Mid-level Bianchi, not celeste ≠ $400. That's upper-tier bike money. Cyclocross bikes are pretty rare on CL, but $400 should buy you a nice, canti-equipped touring bike with lots of braze-ons for commuter gear.

How tall are you? I looked around Detroit CL and found a 21" Schwinn Super LeTour and a little larger Centurion LeMans.
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Old 11-20-16, 11:16 AM
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Based on what appears to be the rectangular 1986-1987 Campione del Mondo decal, it is a 1987 model. It's certainly turquoise as opposed to celeste, which matches the 1987 catalogue. FYI, I have a few examples of 1987 Volpe in my database and they all have serial numbers indicating Japanese manufacture.
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Old 11-20-16, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
How tall are you?
I'm 6 feet tall. I like your reasoning about the price. I think those same misgivings are why I haven't purchased it, already. If I'm paying a premium for a name, I might as well have the signature color with it!

I'll call the seller tomorrow and see if we can come to a better price. If not, I am confident now that I can let this go without regrets.
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Old 11-20-16, 12:13 PM
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6' might mean you're in 23"+ frame territory. That Bianchi's too small.

1987 Schwinn Prelude - $275 (Grosse Pointe)
Schwinn Prelude Road Bike refurbished


1988 Miyata One-Twelve 112 - $125 (St Clair Shores)
Miyata One-Twelve 112 road touring bike w/ front and rear racks etc
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Old 11-20-16, 12:14 PM
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I really like my 1987 Volpe and if offered one for the OP's price, I would take it...

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Old 11-20-16, 01:50 PM
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@randyjawa, I spent a lot of time on your website comparing your Volpe to the one in my area. Thanks for the resource!

Last edited by IMontoya; 11-20-16 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 11-20-16, 02:14 PM
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@Clang, Good eye! That Miyata is what I was looking at if I decided against the Bianchi.
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Old 11-20-16, 03:44 PM
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This early hybrid would be too big for me (5' 8"), but I'm still lusting after it. Perhaps you could swing a leg over. It'd be a good drop bar conversion candidate. Circa 1989

Kuwahara Pacer road bike - $35

Kuwahara Pacer road bike

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Old 11-20-16, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
6' might mean you're in 23"+ frame territory. That Bianchi's too small.
+1. I'm also 6' and for me (and I think most others this height) the sweet spot is around 23" or 57-58cm. A 56 or a 60 might work, but on the smaller ones with stock quill stems you may find you need the bars too low. Also the medium sized frames tend to come with slightly shorter cranks, which compounds the fit issue.

Agree the Miyata looks sweet.

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Old 11-21-16, 11:16 AM
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I would like to echo some of the other comments for the sake of consensus. That Bianchi definitely looks a little small for a 6' rider. Also, I would agree that that price is at the top end for this bike and banking on name and frame color for the increase. I own a Volpe and it is probably my favorite bike to ride at the moment (though I'm unsure of how comparable it is to this '87, being that it's about a decade newer.). I don't think the price is outlandish, but I personally would expect more for that amount. $300 would probably be the most I would pay. If pragmatism is your goal, as others have pointed out, there are so many other bikes that will have an equal or better quality ride for less I believe. Miyata and Univega are a couple brands that produced a number of commuter-adaptable frames which, for whatever reason, tend not to command much money. But again, I love a good Bianchi so I can appreciate knowing that...and still wanting this one.
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Old 11-21-16, 11:32 AM
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I definitely wouldn't buy a bike to leave at work at a price that I considered an investment. I'd by something that was (or I could make) in very good mechanical shape, but that I didn't care about the looks, and try to do it at a price that I wouldn't hurt too much if I had to replace. Maybe your work is different.
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Old 11-21-16, 05:10 PM
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Well, I decided that if I wanted a Bianchi, I something like the current Eroica or Tipo Corso in celeste. That, with the suggestions that this 56cm Volpe might be too small for me, makes me rest easy that I am passing on it.

But, I'm now the proud owner of an ivory Miyata 112 with new Pasellas and a Topeak DX rack. In fact, the same one @Clang suggested in post #15. This is only my second adult bike, so feeling what fits right isn't a skill I've developed, yet. It feels a little tall for me, but the seller is an inch shorter than I am.

I will take pictures when I get home from the Holiday.
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Old 11-21-16, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by IMontoya View Post
But, I'm now the proud owner of an ivory Miyata 112 with new Pasellas and a Topeak DX rack. In fact, the same one @Clang suggested in post #15.
Good choice.

The 112 was near the bottom of Miyata's lineup, but even entry-level Miyatas were well-built bikes. The bike alone was priced more than fairly at $125. Plus new tires? Front & rear racks? Frame pump? Score.

I believe yours is a 1988 model. You can check out the catalog for full specs at miyatacatalogs.com:
Miyata Bicycle Catalogs: Miyata Catalog 1988

As for fit... If you can straddle it, you can probably get the fit dialed in. The bike looks like it has a long-reach stem. If you ride it for a while and come to the conclusion you feel too stretched out, you can swap the stem for a shorter one.

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Old 11-21-16, 06:03 PM
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I thought the same thing. Maybe $250.
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