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Bianchi Ibex Repurposing

Old 03-10-19, 09:22 PM
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Matadors
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Bianchi Ibex Repurposing

I just bought an old Bianchi Ibex with the intention of turning it into a coffee shop bike to match my wife's celeste Bianchi.

Many of the parts have 91 stamped on them, so I suspect it is a 1992 model but I am not sure. The frame is black and blue. It has a mix of Shimano and Suntour components.

I will post photos tomorrow showing the before condition and document the process as I go.

Tearing it down only took an hour, but removing the paint took four hours!

Which is better: painting or powder coating?
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Old 03-11-19, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Matadors View Post
Which is better: painting or powder coating?
Powder has a reputation for being thicker and more durable, whereas wet paint a reputation for looking better but not quite as durable. However, when comparing high-end powder to high-end paint, both are very durable and powder can be sprayed quite thin by a good coater.

I would just choose the cheaper for a utility bike. So powder.
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Old 03-11-19, 06:12 AM
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Here's my repurposed '92 Bridgestone MB-2. Original paint.

There's a thread on MTB upright conversions that might have a lot of inspiration for you. Lots of re-paints/powders in that thread.

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Old 03-11-19, 06:23 AM
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Paint has the potential to look better but it will be more expensive. Powder coat will be thicker, could be cheaper. Some have said powder coating loses definition of the lugs, if your frame has lugs.
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Old 03-11-19, 10:07 PM
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Here is what the bike looked like when I picked it up. Anyone got any idea of the year?


Bianchi Ibex
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Old 03-12-19, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by The_Joe View Post
Paint has the potential to look better but it will be more expensive. Powder coat will be thicker, could be cheaper. Some have said powder coating loses definition of the lugs, if your frame has lugs.
Good point. I definitely want to be sure the lugs show.

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Old 03-12-19, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Matadors View Post
Good point. I definitely want to be sure the lugs show.

I had a frame painted by a guy who does body work. Looked great. But, I don't know if he skipped a few steps, it's very brittle. A competent powder coater should be aware of the lug definition. The powder coaters I've seen around here advertise that they have coated bike frames. If you do some research it shouldn't be a bad idea.
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Old 03-12-19, 11:36 AM
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Did you strip the paint because you want it to be celeste? The original paint actually looks like it was in great condition and would have cleaned up nicely with a wipe and wax.

If the Deore LX rear derailleur is original it would place it early 90s. '90-92. Probably '92 if the date code on the components is '91.
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Old 03-12-19, 12:33 PM
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Those aren't super thin lugs, unless the powder coater really screws it up, they'll look fine. Here's an example of a good quality powder coat:

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Old 03-12-19, 01:22 PM
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Nice project, I picked up a 90 Ibex for the 2018 Clunker Challenge and while there is a lot to like about it I could never get the fit just right so I am going to do some light refurb and pass it along and search for a new lugged Steel MTB project. Good luck with your Ibex.

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Old 03-12-19, 03:28 PM
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Tearing it down was the easy part, but I am glad I did. The axle grease was almost solid but the bottom bracket was still in good condition. You can see the frame damage from chain jams.

Disassembled
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Old 03-12-19, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Those aren't super thin lugs, unless the powder coater really screws it up, they'll look fine. Here's an example of a good quality powder coat:

Gorgeous! I would love a powder coat like that!
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Old 03-12-19, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Did you strip the paint because you want it to be celeste? The original paint actually looks like it was in great condition and would have cleaned up nicely with a wipe and wax.

If the Deore LX rear derailleur is original it would place it early 90s. '90-92. Probably '92 if the date code on the components is '91.
Yes, the purpose for buying the Bianchi was to rebuild it into a celeste bike to ride with my wife on coffee shop/ cafe rides. You can see the gouging in the frame in the photo I posted above.
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Old 03-12-19, 09:20 PM
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Any insight on the type of tubing this referee to? I cannot tell if the Tange decal had something else written in the black that has rubbed off over time. I know the Superset II refers to the oversized bottom tube and oval chain stays, but is it butted or not? Does anyone have the catalogs from the early '90s?




Superset II
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Old 03-12-19, 09:27 PM
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@Bianchigirll might help
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Old 03-13-19, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
@Bianchigirll might help
Thanks, I just sent a PM to Bianchigirl.
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Old 03-13-19, 04:13 PM
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I saw TenGrainBread's post early this morning but didn't have time to check before work. It certainly is a '92 and the whole kit should have been Suntour XCM, looks like someone put Deore XT on it for better shifting.

The catalog doesn't give more information on the tubing, just Tange DB ChroMoly. I can't find a pic of it but I thing the blank space had a silver outline of a bear with a sun rising over it for their "Project Habitat" program. Bianchi USA was naming all their ATBs and MTBs after endangered species and donating money to someone for ever bike sold.
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Old 03-13-19, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I saw TenGrainBread's post early this morning but didn't have time to check before work. It certainly is a '92 and the whole kit should have been Suntour XCM, looks like someone put Deore XT on it for better shifting.

The catalog doesn't give more information on the tubing, just Tange DB ChroMoly. I can't find a pic of it but I thing the blank space had a silver outline of a bear with a sun rising over it for their "Project Habitat" program. Bianchi USA was naming all their ATBs and MTBs after endangered species and donating money to someone for ever bike sold.
Very cool! Thank you for the background info.
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Old 03-13-19, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Here's my repurposed '92 Bridgestone MB-2. Original paint.

There's a thread on MTB upright conversions that might have a lot of inspiration for you. Lots of re-paints/powders in that thread.
So how did you figure out the chain line to convert your mountain bike crank to single speed? My Ibex has a triple and I would prefer the simplicity of a single chainring.
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Old 03-14-19, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Matadors View Post
So how did you figure out the chain line to convert your mountain bike crank to single speed? My Ibex has a triple and I would prefer the simplicity of a single chainring.
I picked a bottom bracket spindle length that would place the chainring roughly in the middle of the cassette. The chainring itself is a Wolf Tooth narrow-wide chainring. Pick the right BCD for your crank (in my case I am using an older Shimano 600 crank), get some "single ring" chainring bolts (they are shorter than standard chainring bolts) and then bolt the ring on. I believe the ring I have on there is a 42 tooth.

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Old 03-14-19, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
I picked a bottom bracket spindle length that would place the chainring roughly in the middle of the cassette. The chainring itself is a Wolf Tooth narrow-wide chainring. Pick the right BCD for your crank (in my case I am using an older Shimano 600 crank), get some "single ring" chainring bolts (they are shorter than standard chainring bolts) and then bolt the ring on. I believe the ring I have on there is a 42 tooth.
That is what I will do. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-14-19, 08:50 AM
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You should single color powder coat for function at a low cost.

If you are interested in highlighting the lugs, get a pin striping pen and high light the edges in a contrasting or coordinating color.

If you wanted to go over the top, you could DIY mask and paint the lugs after powder coating. Alternatively, you could paint the head tube and possibly a panel on the seat tube. IMO, Spray paint would be easiest, however, if you are worried about spray there are threads on here that will detail how to brush paint (enamel) on the head tube that would be perfectly nice.

Either or both of the above would add significant DIY content to the bike's finish, so you would be able to take some pride in the outcome.

Last edited by Bad Lag; 03-14-19 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 03-15-19, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
You should single color powder coat for function at a low cost.

If you are interested in highlighting the lugs, get a pin striping pen and high light the edges in a contrasting or coordinating color.

If you wanted to go over the top, you could DIY mask and paint the lugs after powder coating. Alternatively, you could paint the head tube and possibly a panel on the seat tube. IMO, Spray paint would be easiest, however, if you are worried about spray there are threads on here that will detail how to brush paint (enamel) on the head tube that would be perfectly nice.

Either or both of the above would add significant DIY content to the bike's finish, so you would be able to take some pride in the outcome.
Excellent ideas! I took the frame to a couple of local powder coaters this week and they wanted $300 to do a celeste color. I found Spray.Bike on the internet as a great source of bike specific paints. They even have two versions of celeste (old style and new). I can get primer, paint and top coat for less than $100.

I think I will do the base color and then decide if I want to pinstripe or paint the lugs.
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Old 03-15-19, 08:15 AM
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Strip in process

Paint remover and steel wool was the easiest way to get the old paint off.
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Old 03-16-19, 09:39 AM
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Ready for primer


Head Tube


Head Tube


Seat Stays

A quick sanding and then I am ready for a coat of primer. Anyone used Stay.Bike paints?
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