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Bianchi Columbus SLX '89 (Mondiale, Superleggera, Giro)

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Bianchi Columbus SLX '89 (Mondiale, Superleggera, Giro)

Old 01-14-14, 12:26 PM
  #1  
JonnyRo
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Bianchi Columbus SLX '89 (Mondiale, Superleggera, Giro)



Here's a story I concocted, not necessarily accurate, but much shorter then prefixing each sentence with "I'm guessing", "seems to be", "probably" and the like.

It's a Bianchi frame, made in 1989 from Columbus SLX tubing, the kind that would be used for a Superleggera of the period, built up with Shimano 600 Tricolor parts in 1991+. The frame is not particularly meticulously made, has stamped lugs and has no engravings or stampings, apart from the serial number. Its only redeeming feature is the Columbus SLX tubing and the decal/paint Bianchi branding. I read good things about the Tricolor group. The wheels are Mavic Open. Basically: a reasonably good frame was acquired for a reasonable price in the dawn of Nivacrom, some practical, not too fancy components were fitted and it was good. That's my best guess.

This frame and fork on VeloBase look to be an exact match in every aspect. The dual pivot brakes are a giveaway for the later build date. Here are more snaps of the actual bike.

Ignoring the celeste it looks to be nothing more then a good frame with decent equipment, above average for its time, still serviceable today. It's in good condition, a few paint chips here and there, more dirty and grimy than (ab)used.

I'm not going to bother you with the pricing details as it would be of no use at all considering my location. Let's just say: it's not an epic bargain find, I can get similar bikes for less, but in worse shape, with less usable equipment and less desirable color choices and for a little more I can squeeze in a new, department store-like, absolutely basic road bike.

The intent is to ride it, but resale, sooner or later, is all but inevitable. It would be my first road bike, it looks like it will fit me, but come on... It's not going to fit, is it?

So my main question is: does this look like a good bike to get some life experience about fit and road bikes in general? Is my guesswork wrong? The fact that it's just a built up Bianchi frame, not a specific model, decreases the value, doesn't it? I would stand to lose money in resale, wouldn't I?

Of course, any other information or advice is welcome.
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Old 01-14-14, 12:42 PM
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Nice Bianchi! With that 600 group it should be a great rider. It is more than a good enough bike to learn about group riding, racing and repairs.

Did you build this or buy it like this?
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Old 01-14-14, 01:18 PM
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Hey Bianchigirll! Thanks for stopping by! I'm all giddy because your name kept popping up while I was researching this bike!

Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Nice Bianchi! With that 600 group it should be a great rider. It is more than a good enough bike to learn about group riding, racing and repairs.
Yeah, that was my thinking. If by some miracle it does fit well the only thing that could cause a problem is the Uniglide hub body. Albeit not a major one. Otherwise, maintenance should be surprisingly easy for a quarter of a century old bike. I'm not really in to all the aspects of road bikes you've mentioned, tight groups freak me out, but who knows. Maybe it was all due to a hybrid I'm riding now with its ridiculously high BB and a proper road bike may turn this around.

Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Did you build this or buy it like this?
Neither! I'm thinking of buying it if the seller agrees to my price. That's the "relative price" I mentioned in my post. For what he's asking I could get say three to five mid-level Peugeot 10-speeds, two or three very good late '70 early '80 Motobecane, Puch (AustroDimler), Cilo or similar bikes or a VCG Colnago/Campagnolo combo that would be more of an investment.

I figure this bike is not an investment as such. A "no name" frame and the utilitarian Japanese equipment is not going to tickle anyone's imagination in the years to come. But I sure hope I can get it and have some fun with it.
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Old 01-15-14, 06:29 PM
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I am yet to get an appraisal for the bike so I'll use this bump to post more details.

My "relative pricing" scheme is a dud so I'll just put it plainly: the seller wants 250€ but I'm not prepared to go over 200€. That's about $340 and $270 US, respectively. He's throwing in a spare wheelset so there's some added value I suppose.

Can I get some "are you crazy, I'd be at the guy's door at dawn", "your offer sounds about right" or "nah, you're getting screwed either way"? Anything?!
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Old 01-15-14, 07:41 PM
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If the bikes solid in good working order no major issues you could basicaly ride it today and the sizing is OK I see now issues with your pricing maybe a bit low exspecially if the second wheelset offerd is decent. I would say if the bike is your size and you like it you could go another 50 with the extra wheelset.
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Old 01-15-14, 11:14 PM
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That's it! THAT's the bike! I had one just like it a decade ago, except it had internal cable routing from '90-'91. As you say, it was undistinguished construction but it rode beautifully. It fit me like a glove, even though it should have been too big (I normally ride 52-54). It was one of my favorite bikes from the 50+ I've owned over the last 20 years.

If it's a 56cm in good condition c-c, buy it and I'll take the frame. I don't know want to know what shipping from Eastern Europe is though.


(Honestly, these float around eBay. I've bid on a few. It has sentimental value to me, but the whole bike is probably worth the $300 level you are asking)
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Old 01-16-14, 06:02 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by JonnyRo View Post

So my main question is: does this look like a good bike to get some life experience about fit and road bikes in general? Is my guesswork wrong? The fact that it's just a built up Bianchi frame, not a specific model, decreases the value, doesn't it? I would stand to lose money in resale, wouldn't I?

Of course, any other information or advice is welcome.
Yes, its an excellent bike to some life experience and fit.....

Your guess work is good, keep in mind that European companies often offered high end frames with entry level components, I think they referred to these bikes a club bikes.

Value doesn't change much because its built up, in some resepcts it helps because someone else doesn't have to build it. Those 600/Ultegra components have marginal value so it sort of breaks down like this: Frame and Fork $250 + components $150 = $400. using $400 as a baseline you have to ask, is it worth more as complete bike or more parted out? IDK.
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Old 01-16-14, 10:24 AM
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Ok, that's more like it! Thank you very much guys!

If I'm reading things correctly I'm definitively not getting screwed if I fork out 200€ for the bike. In my location that's above average, but the bike itself is a little above average in many ways and comes with spare wheels. So I figure I'm not taking a huge risk and even if I end up losing money on it I'd be getting a good value in experience for it. That's the pessimistic estimate anyway.

If the seller agrees to my terms I'll be sure to update the thread with some juicy pics and probably pester everyone for servicing advice!

Thanks again!

Last edited by JonnyRo; 01-20-14 at 06:09 PM.
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