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Bianchi Specialissma(s) project thread

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Bianchi Specialissma(s) project thread

Old 08-06-17, 10:30 AM
  #1  
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Bianchi Specialissma(s) project thread - finished.

This will be a somewhat peculiar set up…

I will have to do one Bianchi Specialissima frame clean up before being allowed to do the real Bianchi Specialissima project.

After the Master Piu build came to an end and as I still have some energy left I got around to an object of bad conscience.

Bought this Bianchi Specialissima about ten years ago here in Sweden and from its original owner. I bought it because of two things – 1/ it had a complete set of first generation Super Record (pat 1975 derailleur and corresponding cranks) and 2/ it was dirt cheap. I told the guy that he had the wrong price but he would not hear of it. He just said – “It is more than I bought it for”. The fact that over 30 years had passed since he bought it was not taken into account.

I have always considered this a 1975 but after further investigation it seems to be a bit later. Bianchi seem to have waited quite a while to start using braze on tunnels for the rear brake. I now believe it is a 1976 to 1978 frame. The original owner could not say for sure but the 1975 components came with it.

I have a bad conscience when it comes to this frame… To tell the truth I bought it because of the early Super Record parts. First generation SR parts are not something found very often here in Sweden. I need them for another build. The frame is in wonderful shape and/but I only collect bikes in my own size (58 to 60 c/c) and this one is a 52. I have tried to get my wife interested – but no success.

I am ambivalent about this one and that is why I have waited for such a long time to start doing something with it. It does not fit my collection, my wife does not want it (or any other racer I have suggested as of yet), and letting it linger in my hobby shop forever does not seem fair to this nice a frame.

Decided that I am going to sell it as a bare frame. It deserves a good home with someone that wants it and needs it. I will clean it, rub it, do some small touch ups and then wax it. Then my conscience might get better.

Got paint mixed for the touch ups and this is - the cue for my next project – a 1974 Specialissima. In my own size. It is also in great shape, with a very, very similar “buy-story”.

I have bartered with myself and I have put up a rule. I am not allowed to start the build on the 1974 until I have done right to/for the 1976-78 one.

Sorry for the bad pic – it was taken almost ten years ago



This is as it looks today. What looks like rust on the top tube – is just dirt that was under the cable guide.



Tomorrow I will get back with after-cleaning/rubbing pictures.

This is the bike that stands in line. 1974 and in my size.


Last edited by styggno1; 07-12-18 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Finished project - edited title
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Old 08-06-17, 12:21 PM
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Hmmm, that 52 is my size. How are you planning on selling it? Here...ebay..?
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Old 08-07-17, 12:24 AM
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I do not know yet. I am not used to selling bikes or frames. I am a buyer - not a seller... It will be revealed in due time.
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Old 08-07-17, 01:24 AM
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W+1 (wife +1). Just kidding. You have some fantastic bikes. I'm sure your wife is a keeper even if the 52cm Bianchi isn't.
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Old 08-07-17, 05:36 AM
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Subscribed, as usual. Should be interesting, someone send up the Bat, er Bianchi Girl signal.

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Old 08-07-17, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
W+1 (wife +1). Just kidding. You have some fantastic bikes. I'm sure your wife is a keeper even if the 52cm Bianchi isn't.
Thanks! She is a keeper for sure. She only has one "fault" and that is the no-race-bike-for-me thing. For some strange reason she only like the "sit up and beg bike" variety. One fault is nothing compared to all the faults I am guilty of... I am a very lucky guy in that she puts up with all my quirks.
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Old 08-07-17, 10:51 AM
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Although Bianchi's serial numbers are sometimes inconsistent as those of most other manufacturers, we might be able to get a a fix on the age from the serial number. For example, my serial number (see signature) is consistent with a 1981 build for the 1982 model year.
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Old 08-07-17, 12:39 PM
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When it comes to the 52 cm Specialissima it has a 1.8 on the right side of the seatlug. Traditionally (earlier) a “1” denotes a Specialissima and I presume that is the case here too. The 8 could be for 78 but that is a pure guess.

It is easier with the large frame Specialissima as it is early enough for the old system – that is somewhat consistent = 174 XXX = Specialissima (1) and 1974 (74). This system almost works thru the 60ies. I write almost as there are bikes that does not fit in. I have a frame that I call a 1965 to 1970 Specialissima as it has a 165 XXX serial but has some anomalies in the frame build that makes difficult to put at 1965 (decals and a rear brake bridge placed for normal reach Campagnolo Record brakes (1967). In 1965 the bridge normally is brazed further up the seat stays a bit making Record brakes impossible to use. There is a theory that has been put forward that the 165-bikes were brazed and stamped in a batch and then modified, painted and sold according to demand. There are too many examples of verified later bikes that have 165 as first numbers for it to be a coincidence. All these earlier Specialissimas has the integral headset. Then there is a gap in Specialissima serials (with some odd examples in between) until later and then examples of 173 and 174 shows up. From my research there are no later bikes than 174. At that time they changed the system and it gets difficult to read out (at least for me).

Today I cleaned and rubbed the frame. It had some very small rust bubbles under the paint at the area that is under the rear brake cable housing. I sanded them lightly with a Dremel and then primed them. Last pic shows them ready for Celeste. It will – as usual – be interesting to see how well the paint will match the original. I do not have high hopes even if I have had it especially made for this frame.



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Old 08-07-17, 02:37 PM
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What are your plans for the '74?
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Old 08-08-17, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by satbuilder View Post
What are your plans for the '74?
It will be revealed but in short (not one of my strong points) - gentle restoration and then fondling.
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Old 08-08-17, 12:59 PM
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Nice bike!
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Old 08-08-17, 01:59 PM
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This morning I painted the strip of top tube that was sanded, primed and prepped yesterday. This evening I sanded, rubbed and waxed it. It is far from a perfect match but it is OK. Considering it is going under the brake cable housing it is very OK.

This detailing of the frame could be taken a step further if one wanted to. It would be to sand some other small chip paint infills (old and new) to get them level with the surrounding original paint. There are also some small places that would benefit from touch up paint but I left them as they are (mainly lug edges). Then apply a thin clear coat. It would really get this frame to look extra nice. But I will settle for this shine and level of detailing as it is quite fine and show it is an original and old paint job. If a later owner wants it really glossy it can be done but not the other way around. I better write it here – I am not taking bids or selling it here on this site and/or thru this thread. This is just therapy and getting ready for the real project. It will be sold when I get around to it – at some time.

It got late and I therefore show pics in both (dim) natural lighting and inside with lamps.







Top tube colour match or un-match if you prefer.





And now my conscience is ready for the 1974 Specialissma…

Last edited by styggno1; 08-09-17 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Language things... I wish I would read thru before posting
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Old 08-08-17, 03:47 PM
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You criticize your paint work, but I'm impressed. I really like the frame, too.
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Old 08-11-17, 03:11 PM
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And now my conscience is ready for the 1974 Specialissma…

Started with the 1974 Specialissima today and it was a delight. Such a treat.

I bought it three years ago and I knew I had made a wonderful acquisition. A two owner bike in great shape. Then other things took up my mind and it soon ended up stashed far back in the hobby shop.

I described the purchase earlier here on bikeforum:

“I had great luck last year when this bike surfaced, dirt cheap, on a local selling site here in Sweden. I came home late from work and just browsed the net a little to wind down. The ad was just posted and I responded immediately by mail. Long story a little shorter – he phoned me, I told him he had a too low price, he thought I was the right buyer - and I bought it. I got the bike for the asked price but we added some for the tools and accessories that he told me he had.

The seller had owned it since 1978 and won a regional championship on it. He had bought it from a guy that was a Swedish national champion. When looking into this it actually was true as the first owner (I got hold of him) won the road time trial in 1975 – in the “old boys” class. He could however not say if it was on this bike as too much time had passed.

(Long rant…snip…)
As this was not enough, the extra parts were more than he had told me on the phone about. There were a celeste pump and bottle, Campagnolo tools, crank extractors, etc, an original paintbottle, an old Campagolo grease jar, new drilled and undrilled chainwheels, a new 3ttt stem, a new Cinelli Criterium old logo handlebar, new Campagnolo brake blocks, the original TA bottle holder. And some old spares of this and that”


Here are a couple of pictures from back then:




Today when I started to look at it more closely it is even better than I thought. This bike is pristine. I have found a couple of small paint chips that is all (the biggest being at the seatpost binder bolt). After a cleaning it will be almost perfect. It has been meticulously cared for. When I took it apart everything went extremely smoothly. Grease and lubrication at all the right places and in the perfect amount. Nothing too loose or over tightened. There was tape under the band on pump peg and the paint is unharmed under it.

Small things in the build – no date crank arms, 1973 rear derailleur, rear hub 1973, front hub 1974, milled seatpost, aluminium TA bottle cage, Cinelli bar and stem, Cinelli Unicanitor saddle, Silca Bianchi branded pump, etc. Brakes have rounded post CPSC levers which I thought strange – but in the spare parts boxes that was included in the buy I found these which explains it all. One of them is bent out of shape:



That is one of many small details that make this bike such a treat. One can follow its history thru the details.

Like these two (though I cannot find the place where the paint has been used):



Then there some small things that really do not fit in – the cable housing that is too thin – however the wires themselves are Campagnolo – and the chain – a HG Shimano.

This is not going to be a restoration. It is going to be a cleaning and tune up. New grease for the bearings, new bar wrap, cable housing, brake hoods, etc. That is not a restoration. Not even a project. It is just fun.

OK – here are some (a lot of) pictures so you can see for yourselves.







Last edited by styggno1; 08-11-17 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 08-11-17, 03:13 PM
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Old 08-11-17, 03:14 PM
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The Bianchi early seventies special attachment method for the bottle cage.



In the nude. It will clean up perfectly.



I am revving up the ultrasonic bath…
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Old 08-12-17, 09:33 AM
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One of the nice things having done this many times thru the years - after taking everything apart to the smallest bit - I do not need to keep everything separate. In the beginning that was not the case.

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Old 08-12-17, 08:11 PM
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Doesn't look like it needs much. Nice project!

My '73 is stalled due to home renovations. A few more touch ups and it should be ready for reassembly.
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Old 08-12-17, 08:55 PM
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That double-fluted seatpost is cool

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Old 08-12-17, 10:17 PM
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That big ring is a Big Cookie, looks time trial to me. 54? More?
I think the small one turned out very well.
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Old 08-13-17, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
That big ring is a Big Cookie, looks time trial to me. 54? More?
I think the small one turned out very well.
Thanks!
Both the first and second owners were strong TT-guys. The set mounted was 42/53 but among the rings that were included there are 45, 46, 54 and 55. Cranks are 175. Frewheel 13-18.

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Old 08-13-17, 08:23 AM
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This one is going to draw folks to subscribing like free ice cream in the summer time. Agreed with @Drillium Dude about that seat post, I've not seen this type of Drillium customization before. Pantographed logos and builders names yes, but not the shorter flutes between the long ones. Once it gets the sound wave bath, and your patented rub down and polish, it should be looking like a jewel. (Two Thumbs Up!)

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Old 08-13-17, 08:33 AM
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Nice work. Love the thread and would be totally interested in that 52cm frame, so let us know how you choose to move it.
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Old 08-15-17, 02:27 PM
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Other things took my evening time a couple of days but tonight I cleaned all the parts. Still wet in the picture. If you do not have an ultrasonic cleaner - get one. I bought a somewhat cheap one some years ago for another hobby and now I cannot live without it. The amount of time spent cleaning and the use of environmentally dangerous fluids are cut to a minimum.

This was done in less than an hour and with no effort or dangerous fumes (I do not want to think about all the brain cells I have lost cleaning parts during the years - both from boredom and fumes).




This project is now halted until next week. It is life - again - that comes between me and my Specialssima... Damned that life! ;-)
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Old 08-15-17, 05:43 PM
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What cleaning medium do you use in the ultrasonic?
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