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Help identify Vintage Bianchi model

Old 04-19-21, 05:34 PM
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suiseman
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Help identify Vintage Bianchi model

Update: here is the link to pictures https://imgur.com/a/6SNY1eH

Good afternoon everyone,

After many attempts to figure it out by myself, I give up...

I am brand new to this forum and I would love some help with 1) identifying the specific Bianchi model shown in the pictures below and 2) the date/era of production of this model.

Summary: I bought this bike from a gentleman who owned this bike since 1978 (original owner). My understanding is that he had the bike powder coated many years ago (reason of missing stickers) and got new wheels while keeping the original hubs. Then, the bike sat in his basement for too many years and decided to get ride of it. The gentleman also told me that the bike was allegedly a « 1978 Bianchi USA Campione Delmondo ».

if you guys have any other questions or you would require better pictures or dimensions of certain part of the bike, please let me know.

Thanks,

Gui

Last edited by suiseman; 04-19-21 at 06:24 PM. Reason: Adding pictures
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Old 04-19-21, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by suiseman View Post
Update: here is the link to pictures https://imgur.com/a/6SNY1eH

Good afternoon everyone,

After many attempts to figure it out by myself, I give up...

I am brand new to this forum and I would love some help with 1) identifying the specific Bianchi model shown in the pictures below and 2) the date/era of production of this model.

Summary: I bought this bike from a gentleman who owned this bike since 1978 (original owner). My understanding is that he had the bike powder coated many years ago (reason of missing stickers) and got new wheels while keeping the original hubs. Then, the bike sat in his basement for too many years and decided to get ride of it. The gentleman also told me that the bike was allegedly a « 1978 Bianchi USA Campione Delmondo ».

if you guys have any other questions or you would require better pictures or dimensions of certain part of the bike, please let me know.

Thanks,

Gui
Welcome! It's a huge forum, with lot's of posts on a myriad of different subjects. Read some, reply to some, before you know it, you'll be at 10 posts.
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Old 04-19-21, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward1066 View Post
Welcome! It's a huge forum, with lot's of posts on a myriad of different subjects. Read some, reply to some, before you know it, you'll be at 10 posts.
Thanks for the recommendation. I realized that if I purchase a premium account, I am able to share pictures. The post has been updated with the pictures.
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Old 04-19-21, 07:03 PM
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imgur link generating blank page for me

are others able to view something?


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Old 04-19-21, 07:04 PM
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Old 04-19-21, 07:08 PM
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Old 04-19-21, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

imgur link generating blank page for me

are others able to view something?


-----






here are other pictures
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Old 04-19-21, 07:32 PM
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Clearly a repaint. Weirdly mixed group. Looks like Victory or Triomphe brakes, maybe hubs and front mech. Nuovo Record rear mech. Maybe Chorus crank? Synchro or Synchro II shift levers.

My only concern would be about the powdercoat. A lot of folks use powdercoat to cover over rust. It tends to cover any details and will also allow water between the coat and frame, which results in invisible rust.

As for whether or not it is what he states, I don't know. It would take someone who knows the specific frame details, braze-ons, pantographs and other such things for specific years and models. That's not me.
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Old 04-19-21, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Clearly a repaint. Weirdly mixed group. Looks like Victory or Triomphe brakes, maybe hubs and front mech. Nuovo Record rear mech. Maybe Chorus crank? Synchro or Synchro II shift levers.

My only concern would be about the powdercoat. A lot of folks use powdercoat to cover over rust. It tends to cover any details and will also allow water between the coat and frame, which results in invisible rust.

As for whether or not it is what he states, I don't know. It would take someone who knows the specific frame details, braze-ons, pantographs and other such things for specific years and models. That's not me.
Merci francophile.

I cannot PM message yet (less than 10 posts). Here are the cotters:

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Old 04-19-21, 07:57 PM
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Grazie Mille cb400bill !


Bianchigirll T-Mar



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Old 04-20-21, 06:46 AM
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Based on the Portacatena dropouts, in conjunction with the seat lug codes, the frame is from July 1977. Given the BB cutouts, it should be the Columbus SL frame, which can be confirmed by the presence of a 27.2mm diameter seat post. The Columbus SL frame was called the Specialissima but it could be configured into either a Barcelona, Professionale or Super-Leggerra model depending on the component mix. This bicycle has been extensively rebuilt (and the frame possibly somewhat modified) complicating identification. The only components which look like they could be era correct are the rear derailleur and headset. If so, they suggest either a Super-Leggera or Professionale, the latter being a Super-Leggera with customer requested alterations.

Last edited by T-Mar; 04-20-21 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 04-20-21, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Based on the Portacatena dropouts, in conjunction with the seat lug codes, the frame is from July 1977. Given the BB cutouts, it should be the Columbus SL frame, which can be confirmed by the presence of a 27.2mm diameter seat post. The Columbus SL frame was called the Specialissima but it could be configured into either a Barcelona, Professionale or Super-Leggerra model depending on the component mix. This bicycle has been extensively rebuilt (and the frame possibly somewhat modified) complicating identification. The only components which look like they could be era correct are the rear derailleur and headset. If so, they suggest either a Super-Leggera or Professionale, the latter being a Super-Leggera with customer requested alterations.
Thanks T-Mar. I will confirm the diameter of the seat post. As part of identifying the frame/bike, I want to buy the accurate decal for the model but it seems to be a “frankenbike”. Have you ever installed any decals on a powder coated frame? If you do, any suggestions on where to buy and the type I should be looking for?

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 04-20-21, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Clearly a repaint. Weirdly mixed group. Looks like Victory or Triomphe brakes, maybe hubs and front mech. Nuovo Record rear mech. Maybe Chorus crank? Synchro or Synchro II shift levers.

My only concern would be about the powdercoat. A lot of folks use powdercoat to cover over rust. It tends to cover any details and will also allow water between the coat and frame, which results in invisible rust.

As for whether or not it is what he states, I don't know. It would take someone who knows the specific frame details, braze-ons, pantographs and other such things for specific years and models. That's not me.
I definitely did not know that and I do hope there is not too much hidden rust... I’m starting to think that the seller’s story was probably too good to be true. One owner bike since 1977... probably more a 1970s frame where he collected older group set (mix/match) and powder coated to resell. I hope it will be a fair bike for commute. I do want to install some era specific decals (since bare frame is a bit boring). Have you ever done it? If you did, any suggestions on what to buy and where to get it? I suspect Ebay may have cheap alternatives but more trustworthy sources would be appreciated.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge on Bianchi.
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Old 04-20-21, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by suiseman View Post
I definitely did not know that and I do hope there is not too much hidden rust... I’m starting to think that the seller’s story was probably too good to be true. One owner bike since 1977... probably more a 1970s frame where he collected older group set (mix/match) and powder coated to resell. I hope it will be a fair bike for commute. I do want to install some era specific decals (since bare frame is a bit boring). Have you ever done it? If you did, any suggestions on what to buy and where to get it? I suspect Ebay may have cheap alternatives but more trustworthy sources would be appreciated.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge on Bianchi.
My knowledge isn't as great on Italian, T-Mar, P!N20 and a few others are way better versed than I am. My father in law only rides Pinarello, but he doesn't lust after vintage like many of us do, so I never had a direct connection with the brand and its history. Anyway, probably better to listen to the others.

For full disclosure, powdercoat is a love/hate thing for me. I'm unusually hard on it, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. My opinion is this:

Unless you take it to someone familiar with the challenges of powdercoating bikes correctly, the job rarely gets done right. The coat may take, it may look solid, but it's really the finishing work that determines whether you'll have issues more than the success of the coating. Powdercoating melts over the steel, but doesn't create the same level of bond with the steel a self-etching primer would. Paint is superior because the primer engages the steel, and the paint topcoat engages the primer. When properly painted, it's very well bonded but it takes a lot of extra work to get there, thus it's expensive.

In a world where many of us are looking for the cheapest solution possible, good coatings and cheap prices typically don't mix. With powder, things can be over-coated, making the seams at the lugs look clunky and less sharp. If they coat too lightly to preserve those lines, you may have thin spots where water can penetrate. Powder is almost like an ultra-hard plastic, so if the steel is rusting under the coating, there won't be bubbles like you have with paint, so you won't know it's there. If the openings at the head tube, seat tube and bottom bracket aren't touched up and finished correctly, water can potentially enter at the seam of the powder and steel, then ... where does it go from there?

Powder is an excellent budget solution for utilitarian bikes which won't see much water time. Or maybe those where the steel is already heavily corroded and needs a full media blast to clean it up. However, over the years since powder tech came out, I've seen my fair share of nightmare fuel, with bikes, with car luggage racks and truck step-up bars, and even with patio furniture. Otherwise normal-looking tubes snapping in half because water got in and had nowhere to go. If we're talking percentages, your realistic chances of this ever happening to you on your current bike is maybe one in a million, or one in ten million. I wouldn't let it stop you from riding it.

There's a strong chance you have a killer frame and fork based on what T-Mar is saying. I think you've got a prize which needs very little work to be whole again. And I honestly think, even if the crank, brakes aren't the original, they're improvements if the original was Nuovo Record. Furthermore, the shift levers are some of the best you can get for downtube shifters. Nothing to be sad about here.
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Old 04-21-21, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
My knowledge isn't as great on Italian, T-Mar, P!N20 and a few others are way better versed than I am. My father in law only rides Pinarello, but he doesn't lust after vintage like many of us do, so I never had a direct connection with the brand and its history. Anyway, probably better to listen to the others.

For full disclosure, powdercoat is a love/hate thing for me. I'm unusually hard on it, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. My opinion is this:

Unless you take it to someone familiar with the challenges of powdercoating bikes correctly, the job rarely gets done right. The coat may take, it may look solid, but it's really the finishing work that determines whether you'll have issues more than the success of the coating. Powdercoating melts over the steel, but doesn't create the same level of bond with the steel a self-etching primer would. Paint is superior because the primer engages the steel, and the paint topcoat engages the primer. When properly painted, it's very well bonded but it takes a lot of extra work to get there, thus it's expensive.

In a world where many of us are looking for the cheapest solution possible, good coatings and cheap prices typically don't mix. With powder, things can be over-coated, making the seams at the lugs look clunky and less sharp. If they coat too lightly to preserve those lines, you may have thin spots where water can penetrate. Powder is almost like an ultra-hard plastic, so if the steel is rusting under the coating, there won't be bubbles like you have with paint, so you won't know it's there. If the openings at the head tube, seat tube and bottom bracket aren't touched up and finished correctly, water can potentially enter at the seam of the powder and steel, then ... where does it go from there?

Powder is an excellent budget solution for utilitarian bikes which won't see much water time. Or maybe those where the steel is already heavily corroded and needs a full media blast to clean it up. However, over the years since powder tech came out, I've seen my fair share of nightmare fuel, with bikes, with car luggage racks and truck step-up bars, and even with patio furniture. Otherwise normal-looking tubes snapping in half because water got in and had nowhere to go. If we're talking percentages, your realistic chances of this ever happening to you on your current bike is maybe one in a million, or one in ten million. I wouldn't let it stop you from riding it.

There's a strong chance you have a killer frame and fork based on what T-Mar is saying. I think you've got a prize which needs very little work to be whole again. And I honestly think, even if the crank, brakes aren't the original, they're improvements if the original was Nuovo Record. Furthermore, the shift levers are some of the best you can get for downtube shifters. Nothing to be sad about here.
Thanks for the detailed explanation. I do hope this frame will not bring me too much work. I guess buying vintage come with some risk.

At this stage, I would like to find decals for this frame (matching era). I feel that would make the bike complete. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-21-21, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Based on the Portacatena dropouts, in conjunction with the seat lug codes, the frame is from July 1977. Given the BB cutouts, it should be the Columbus SL frame, which can be confirmed by the presence of a 27.2mm diameter seat post. The Columbus SL frame was called the Specialissima but it could be configured into either a Barcelona, Professionale or Super-Leggerra model depending on the component mix. This bicycle has been extensively rebuilt (and the frame possibly somewhat modified) complicating identification. The only components which look like they could be era correct are the rear derailleur and headset. If so, they suggest either a Super-Leggera or Professionale, the latter being a Super-Leggera with customer requested alterations.
Hi T-Mar, I verified the seat post and it is basically 27.2mm in diameter. Would a Campione Delmondo be a different size?and pardon my ignorance but why would the bike frame be called a “Columbus SL” and also “Specialissima”? Is it the North American name vs the Italian name? I guess the seller did not know his own bike...Again, I suspect he was probably not the first owner.
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Old 04-21-21, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by suiseman View Post
At this stage, I would like to find decals for this frame (matching era). I feel that would make the bike complete. Any suggestions?
Most decals are to be applied with water (waterslide), then clearcoated over, as the original manufacturer did. This is an important piece of info you may need. Alternately, if clearcoating is not in your budget or you want something "easier", you can definitely find places to buy clear vinyl decals, and you can also buy "Cricut" decals which are not dissimilar from single-color vinyl decals you'd apply to a car window. I don't have sources for the latter, but I do have sources for the former (waterslide) options. Some of these (like Greg) may be able to knock out the latter, I've never asked ... but I suspect they're able.

Velocals has become unreliable. This leaves a couple other sources.

Greg Softley, whose stuff you'll see on eBay: https://www.cyclomondo.net/

H. Lloyd, who many professional restorers use: https://h-lloyd-cycles.myshopify.com/

Finally, a recent source I learned about with a limited supply (SSSI), but they have some more-rare stuff, including decals I needed for my Behringer: Bicycle Restoration

Whatever you choose, neither of these three will leave you disappointed nor waiting forever. You can't go wrong.
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Old 04-22-21, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by suiseman View Post
Hi T-Mar, I verified the seat post and it is basically 27.2mm in diameter. Would a Campione Delmondo be a different size?and pardon my ignorance but why would the bike frame be called a “Columbus SL” and also “Specialissima”? Is it the North American name vs the Italian name? I guess the seller did not know his own bike...Again, I suspect he was probably not the first owner.
Columbus SL was the tubeset selected by Bianchi to manufacture the frame. It is not the model. Often cyclists will refer to the tubeset, rather than a model name, especially when the latter is unknown, as it provides an indication of the level of the frame.

Campione del Mondo (World Champion) was not a Bianchi model during this era, either in the USA or Italy. In the 1970s, the USA models still correlated with the Italian models.

Bianchi models often bear references to past World Championship victories, as a marketing tool. Often, owners erroneously believe this to be the model name. During this era, the Campione del Mondo label would be a reference to Felice Gimondi's 1973 victory in Professional World Championship Road Race held at Barcelona, Spain. This is why Bianchi's top model of the late 1970s was called the Specialissima Barcelona. During the era of your frame, all Bianchi models, even the entry level bicycles, would have bore the Campione del Mondo 1973-1974 sticker.

As an example, attached is a Bianchi identified as Campione Del Mondo by an Ebay seller. It bears the Campione Del Mondo 1973-1974 sticker on the seat tube but also has a Calibrati 1-30 tube decal on the down tube, indicating the frame is hi-tensile steel. This is confirmed by the presence of stamped dropouts. The frame is actually an entry level Binchi Rekord 74x variant.
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Old 04-22-21, 07:02 AM
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Just wanted to note that in the photo showing the full bike, the chain appears to be too short, potentially dangerously so. The reason: shifting into any of the largest sprockets on the freewheel while the chain is on the bigger chainring would risk breaking the rear derailleur or even damaging the dropout.

I always used to set up my Campy Nuovo Record and Super Record bikes so that the chain would sag a bit in the small rear/small front combination. Works fine and lessens the likelihood of damage resulting from less than ideal gear combinations.

Off topic: for every one of these threads asking for help identifying a bike, there's another thread where someone boasts of stripping all the decals off his bike. Sure, it's your bike, but I wish that fad would stop.

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Old 04-26-21, 06:08 AM
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Welcome,
mom following your thread as I’m new as well and in a similar situation....
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