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1983 Bianchi Specialissima in white. How rare is this? Rallye frame?

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1983 Bianchi Specialissima in white. How rare is this? Rallye frame?

Old 02-29-24, 02:41 PM
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I wonder if "custom ordered" in this case means bought as a frameset and then built up with parts as desired. To lots of people, "custom ordered" can mean very different things.
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Old 02-29-24, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
In my area a bike like that would top out at about $500 and it would take a while to sell. Bikes that sell quickly are priced very low. It will take a fair amount of work to bring it back to its glory. The bike should be completely disassembled , polished , greased , and perhaps add new cables , brake blocks , and bar wrap. The tires , depending on age might need replacing . Old tires tend to fail at the worst time. I hope your father enjoys this bike , it should be a nice riding machine. Joe
We're having trouble finding tires in the right size because the rims were custom made. We're not sure if there's a standard from metric equivalent, or if we need to replace the rims too. I doubt we'll get imported tires if that's the only option; replacing rims makes more sense.
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Old 02-29-24, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by frenchfry53
We're having trouble finding tires in the right size because the rims were custom made. We're not sure if there's a standard from metric equivalent, or if we need to replace the rims too. I doubt we'll get imported tires if that's the only option; replacing rims makes more sense.
My guess is they are standard 700c tires. The 22 width is not something you see everyday, but a 23 (or potentially wider) tire should fit. My initial thought was that these were tubulars (sew-ups) that you glue/tape on. But with a quick look on line, they could be clinchers. Either way, finding tires for the bike should be fairly easy, you will probably just need to go for a slightly different width, which does not require changing the rims. Since this bike is from the early 80's the max tire width might be pretty small (I run 700cx25 on my 81 Bianchi but it is 2 years earlier). The concern is the tire hitting the chain stay, brake bridge, or the seat tube, so you just need to look to see how much clearance you have with the 22's.
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Old 02-29-24, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by SwimmerMike
My guess is they are standard 700c tires. The 22 width is not something you see everyday, but a 23 (or potentially wider) tire should fit. My initial thought was that these were tubulars (sew-ups) that you glue/tape on. But with a quick look on line, they could be clinchers. Either way, finding tires for the bike should be fairly easy, you will probably just need to go for a slightly different width, which does not require changing the rims. Since this bike is from the early 80's the max tire width might be pretty small (I run 700cx25 on my 81 Bianchi but it is 2 years earlier). The concern is the tire hitting the chain stay, brake bridge, or the seat tube, so you just need to look to see how much clearance you have with the 22's.
They are VERY small. But this is very helpful information! Thank you! We're going to to take it to the bike shop where my husband's father worked and put it together, but they're closed for the season until the end of March. We found out yesterday it's owned by the same family, so fingers 🤞, somebody remembers something or can give recommendations.
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Old 02-29-24, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by frenchfry53
They are custom built rims made by my deceased FIL. We're likely going to sell it to my father who goes biking almost daily if there's no snow on the ground. So maybe he just gets a good deal. At least it will get used.
Originally Posted by frenchfry53
We're having trouble finding tires in the right size because the rims were custom made. We're not sure if there's a standard from metric equivalent, or if we need to replace the rims too. I doubt we'll get imported tires if that's the only option; replacing rims makes more sense.
Originally Posted by frenchfry53
They are VERY small. But this is very helpful information! Thank you! We're going to to take it to the bike shop where my husband's father worked and put it together, but they're closed for the season until the end of March. We found out yesterday it's owned by the same family, so fingers 🤞, somebody remembers something or can give recommendations.
...there's some confusion here. Nobody custom makes their own rims, but it's a commonly used terminology for wheels, that have been assembled from hubs, spokes and rims. Thus "custom built wheels" gets thrown around a lot. Many enthusiasts have done this.....I have done it a number of times. The tires that are on there whould have some easily readable information as to both diameter and width. As stated above, 700c is the most likely diameter, for the early 80's.

Not sure if taking it to a shop is a good idea, because it will add to the cost of the project significantly. I guess a lot of this depends on how mechanically sophisticated your father is. Someone stated it's a good "project bike", to completely dismantle and put back together, with the parts cleaned of dirt and old grease, and all the bearings freshly serviced.

Unfortunately, bike shops, in general, need to charge so much for their time on something like this, that it makes taking a project bike to a shop financially unwise. Most, if not all, local bike shops will tell you this.
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Old 03-01-24, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
In my area a bike like that would top out at about $500 and it would take a while to sell. Bikes that sell quickly are priced very low. It will take a fair amount of work to bring it back to its glory. The bike should be completely disassembled , polished , greased , and perhaps add new cables , brake blocks , and bar wrap. The tires , depending on age might need replacing . Old tires tend to fail at the worst time. I hope your father enjoys this bike , it should be a nice riding machine. Joe
Tires definitely need replacement. And I thank you for the well wishes! My father will definitely enjoy it! At this point, we just want it to be used- it's sat in basements toooooo long.
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Old 03-01-24, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...there's some confusion here. Nobody custom makes their own rims, but it's a commonly used terminology for wheels, that have been assembled from hubs, spokes and rims. Thus "custom built wheels" gets thrown around a lot. Many enthusiasts have done this.....I have done it a number of times. The tires that are on there whould have some easily readable information as to both diameter and width. As stated above, 700c is the most likely diameter, for the early 80's.

Not sure if taking it to a shop is a good idea, because it will add to the cost of the project significantly. I guess a lot of this depends on how mechanically sophisticated your father is. Someone stated it's a good "project bike", to completely dismantle and put back together, with the parts cleaned of dirt and old grease, and all the bearings freshly serviced.

Unfortunately, bike shops, in general, need to charge so much for their time on something like this, that it makes taking a project bike to a shop financially unwise. Most, if not all, local bike shops will tell you this.
Rims were definitely made by my FIL. That's not a question. It was his job. He did it at 3(that I know of) LBS. Not "throwing it around" as you say. That's the one thing we know for sure he definitely did! ☺️



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Old 03-01-24, 07:18 AM
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622 is 700c, it is literally the most common diameter of road bike wheel you'll find. You shouldn't have a problem fitting 23x700c tires on there, which you should be able to easily find. Nothing custom about that size. Once again, this appears to be a terminology issue where someone took readily available rims, spokes, and hubs, and custom-assembled them into a "custom built" wheel, just like they appear to have taken a readily available bike frame, and "custom built" it by putting parts on it to match the rider's expectations/desires.
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Old 03-01-24, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
Not sure if taking it to a shop is a good idea, because it will add to the cost of the project significantly. I guess a lot of this depends on how mechanically sophisticated your father is. Someone stated it's a good "project bike", to completely dismantle and put back together, with the parts cleaned of dirt and old grease, and all the bearings freshly serviced.

Unfortunately, bike shops, in general, need to charge so much for their time on something like this, that it makes taking a project bike to a shop financially unwise. Most, if not all, local bike shops will tell you this.
At the shops where Iíve worked, Iíve done many, many rebuilds/overhauls of bikes just like this. Yes, if you know how to do all the work and have the required time and tools, or if you plan to sell the bike for profit, it may make more sense to skip the shop. But plenty of people are happy to lay down a few hundred bucks to have their bike brought back to life by professionals. OP, if you or your FIL do decide to work with a bike shop, try to find one that has experience with vintage bikes.
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Old 03-01-24, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by frenchfry53
Rims were definitely made by my FIL. That's not a question. It was his job. He did it at 3(that I know of) LBS. Not "throwing it around" as you say. That's the one thing we know for sure he definitely did! ☺️



...if you ask, I'm sure they will tell you that those "rims" were purchased from some company that makes and sells them. I'm not suggesting your FIL is telling stories, only trying to point out to you that he built the wheels, from individual components (rims, spokes, hubs). I'm sure he was an excellent mechanic. I'm sure he worked on bicycles. He doubtless assembled and tensioned those wheels.

Nobody makes their own rims. It would make fitting tires almost impossible.

Here's a link to the wheel rims currently available on Amazon. Maybe this will further clarify what I'm trying to communicate. The rim is the aluminum alloy ring, that runs around between the spoke nipples and the tires. The entire construction is commonly called the wheel.

I'm not trying to belittle your FIL's mechanical skills. Only trying to point out that you're making this seem more difficult than it actually ought to be.
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Old 03-01-24, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bboy314
At the shops where Iíve worked, Iíve done many, many rebuilds/overhauls of bikes just like this. Yes, if you know how to do all the work and have the required time and tools, or if you plan to sell the bike for profit, it may make more sense to skip the shop. But plenty of people are happy to lay down a few hundred bucks to have their bike brought back to life by professionals. OP, if you or your FIL do decide to work with a bike shop, try to find one that has experience with vintage bikes.
...I had no idea.
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Old 03-01-24, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bboy314
At the shops where Iíve worked, Iíve done many, many rebuilds/overhauls of bikes just like this. Yes, if you know how to do all the work and have the required time and tools, or if you plan to sell the bike for profit, it may make more sense to skip the shop. But plenty of people are happy to lay down a few hundred bucks to have their bike brought back to life by professionals. OP, if you or your FIL do decide to work with a bike shop, try to find one that has experience with vintage bikes.
There is one in town that we've had really good experiences with. Gave me a discount on a used bike when my e-bike was stolen. 4 years later, they recovered the stolen bike when somebody brought it in to try and sell (found it in basement of new rental). So we go there for anything we can't/don't want to do ourselves. Truly spoken in Milwaukee- such a great name too!
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Old 03-01-24, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...if you ask, I'm sure they will tell you that those "rims" were purchased from some company that makes and sells them. I'm not suggesting your FIL is telling stories, only trying to point out to you that he built the wheels, from individual components (rims, spokes, hubs). I'm sure he was an excellent mechanic. I'm sure he worked on bicycles. He doubtless assembled and tensioned those wheels.

Nobody makes their own rims. It would make fitting tires almost impossible.

Here's a link to the wheel rims currently available on Amazon. Maybe this will further clarify what I'm trying to communicate. The rim is the aluminum alloy ring, that runs around between the spoke nipples and the tires. The entire construction is commonly called the wheel.

I'm not trying to belittle your FIL's mechanical skills. Only trying to point out that you're making this seem more difficult than it actually ought to be.
I see what your saying. The Italian tires and markings threw us off for correct sizing. My dad only uses Gator tires, and they're not cheap. So we just wanted to be sure before he ordered anything.
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Old 03-01-24, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by frenchfry53
There is one in town that we've had really good experiences with. Gave me a discount on a used bike when my e-bike was stolen. 4 years later, they recovered the stolen bike when somebody brought it in to try and sell (found it in basement of new rental). So we go there for anything we can't/don't want to do ourselves. Truly spoken in Milwaukee- such a great name too!
Truly Spoken is great! Another place I highly recommend checking out is Vulture Space. Itís a DIY/community shop, the person who runs it is truly passionate about old bikes and helping folks learn to fix them up. They might have limited winter hours, so check before you visit.
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Old 03-01-24, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau
I wonder if "custom ordered" in this case means bought as a frameset and then built up with parts as desired. To lots of people, "custom ordered" can mean very different things.
According to MIL, frame was custom ordered for her height/weight and FIL picked out exactly what he wanted it to be made of to fit her needs. It was her 5th anniversary present, a lot of thought was put in, and he worked at a bike shop building custom bikes for professionals, so he had the knowledge. They did a lot of long distance charity rides, so steel Columbus tubing that is super tough and reliable makes sense, as does the fork also being the Columbus tubing. Having it built on the racing team production line is also something he likely would've paid extra for-he was not one to do anything cheap or half assed. My husband is currently contacting the Italian vintage bike registry to get it added and joined a bianchi FB group; Apparently somebody who worked in the bianchi factory runs the group, so hopefully we can get some answers and find out if it was or was not built on Reparto corse production line.

TL/DR- we're pretty confident it was a special ordered frame FIL picked everything out for as it was an anniversary present and It's what he did for a living.
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Old 03-01-24, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bboy314
Truly Spoken is great! Another place I highly recommend checking out is Vulture Space. Itís a DIY/community shop, the person who runs it is truly passionate about old bikes and helping folks learn to fix them up. They might have limited winter hours, so check before you visit.
Will do! And thank you! I've never heard of vulture space. I cannot say enough great things about Truly Spoken. They really take the time to fit your needs and budget. I live near Emory's bike shop, and will still drive across town to go to TS. West Allis bike shop is great too, but they're pricier.
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