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Crazy New Bike Day

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Crazy New Bike Day

Old 07-27-19, 12:41 PM
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Drillium Dude 
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Crazy New Bike Day

I ended up getting the Bianchi after all! I had almost given up hope in this thread: A little help?

The seller contacted me back after the initial hiccups and sent some great pics that gave me all the information I needed to undertake the journey from Bothell to Port Orchard. The story of the bike is nothing special (though I think the bike is), but my trip was anything but uneventful!

I drove down starting around 1345 yesterday and braved the traffic - which seems to be getting worse all the time - and the heat over the course of 3.5 hours to arrive at the seller's place. A big guy who bore a striking resemblance to Mick Fleetwood answered my knock and took me out to the garage to see the bike. The only history I know about it is the PO to the seller owed the seller $1200 and gave him the bike instead. Seller was asking for $1000, and had already told me he wouldn't budge on the price. That's why I wanted detailed pics before I drove all that way!

Seatpost, however, was stuck. I guess that was not really surprising as it was slammed, but we dropped in some WD40 and PB Blaster. I'm going to leave it be for a few days, but will have to revisit it. Good thing there are lots of tutorials here on how to free a stuck seatpost!

Anyway, when he reached for a screwdriver to pry the ears apart I stopped him and told him not to worry about it and pulled out my cash and counted out $1000. AFAIK, that's the most I've ever paid outright for a complete bike. I pulled both wheels, installed my chainkeeper and put everything in the trunk for the return trip. Instead of retracing my route, I took 16 to Bremerton and then 3 to Kingston, with the idea that traffic on the Kitsap peninsula at 1800 would be less than the craziness on the other side going through Tacoma and Seattle. Just before getting to the ferry dock, I felt a bump/kind of a knock right beneath my feet - it came from the car, not something I ran over. Immediately the ABS and Brake idiot lights went on, and the battery gauge needle was dropping. I tried the brakes: fine. Paid my fare and parked in my row for the next ferry. But now the car was running rough. And I was worried about the battery now.

About 10 minutes before the ferry arrived I gave the key a twist and - nothing. My month-old battery had somehow drained in that short drive from the initial "bump" to the dock. The lot attendant jumped me just before loading, but it only got a little ways before dying on me. I had to be pushed onboard by a tractor they use for such issues (I wasn't the only one that day; a couple cars and two large RVs also had to be pushed/towed off the ferry before I came along). They did the same for me on the other side, but could only push me to a waiting area on the pier. The car would not start after trying to jump it again on the pier, so I called Roadside Assistance. That was an adventure all on it's own, but suffice to say that by 2230 the guy with the tow truck showed up, loaded up my lemon and drove me across town to drop my car off at the local garage. I unloaded the bike, put the wheels on and prepared to gingerly walk the bike the half-mile to my place; the tires were not up to pressure, but then I realized, hey, this came with a Silca pump! Doh. Pumped them up and walked home with no issues. I finally walked in the door at 2350.

After a shower and a relaxant (hey, I'd had a long day!), I spent some time cleaning up the bike. It's been sitting, but not in a bad way. But there was crustiness to clean up, and I'm not done yet.

It is a Supercorsa or Superleggera. No model name shows up anywhere, however. Two Piaggio decals on either side of the seat tube, Bianchi decals in blue with gold shadowing, crest logo on head tube, Columbus decal between the gear levers and a small triangular Modolo decal where the Columbus decal would normally be. The paint looks in super shape as does the chrome; the overall look is used but not abused. For example, it doesn't have that typical paint chip on the downtube from a brake caliper smacking the frame.

Components are mostly Campagnolo Super Record. Cinelli 1R black anodized stem mated to a Cinelli Campione del Mondo 63-40 with the later logo. This was on the top of the bar on the drive side:



Other components are Modolo Professional brakes, Phil Wood hubs and BB and Vittoria Superlight pedals with steel axles. I might try them out for fun, but they will probably go to Ebay. A Brooks Professional Select topped the seatpost. Serial on the bottom of the BB shell is 4 - 81 - 467, so it looks like it was built the month before Gilles Villeneuve won the 1981 Monaco Grand Prix.

I know, I know - where are all the pics? They're coming. I'm down to one camera for the time being and it's a crappy one, so my first pics didn't come out well at all. I'll be trying again this afternoon as I clean this bike up a bit and see if the post will come out. The good news is when I bang on the saddle sideways, the post and saddle rotate, so it's just a matter of getting it up and out. Whew!

So, why did I spend a G on a bike with a stuck seatpost? Well, several reasons. For one, I knew it would eventually come out if I followed BF directions. For another, I've paid more for paint. For yet another, it cost as much to get a lightbulb for one of my Audi's headlamps. And lastly? This was my grail bike! What good is money if you don't spend it? And it was my birthday a week ago, too, so happy birthday to me

I'm excited to get this on the road, but I have a bit of work to do. I'll take my time. It will be a fun project!

Lastly, I decided before I bought it that I would do an N-1 even as I added this bike to the collection. Because it's the smallest of my bikes and because the colorway is nearly identical, the Somec is going to be dismantled and sold. In fact, it appears I may already have a buyer for the frame. I'll need the seatpost (because I'm sure to wrack the post that's currently in the frame) and the pedals for a rider, and will use the Concor saddle as well as the clincher wheelset currently on it. The wheelset that came with the Bianchi is a pair of Ambrosio Synthesis Super Professional tubular rims mated to the aforementioned Phil hubs - mated, unfortunately, with what appear to be galvanized spokes (!).

Anyhoo...



DD
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Old 07-27-19, 01:01 PM
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Waiting with baited breath.
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Old 07-27-19, 01:12 PM
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That's a step up from mine, about the same vintage, same decal font. We have a winner!
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Old 07-27-19, 01:32 PM
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Good times!
...except the battery part.
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Old 07-27-19, 02:37 PM
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Yes, but it's green.


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Old 07-27-19, 02:45 PM
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Well, I paid $500 for three stuck seatposts (and more stuck stuff) in three bikes.

[All came out.]
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Old 07-27-19, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Yes, but it's green.


You always miss the imporant things...
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Old 07-27-19, 03:09 PM
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Beauty for sure!!!
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Old 07-27-19, 03:16 PM
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Hey Happy Birthday man! (mine was this week) nice Bianchi looks like it should clean up and be awesome. Good luck with the stuck seat post, when I encountered a stuck seat post on a Nishiki MTB I stripped the bike down to the frame clamped the seat post in a vise (bike upside down) and sprayed liquid wrench down the seat tube (and around where the seat post goes in) once a day for 3 days and then very gently grasped the frame and tried to rotate it and it moved! that was a great feeling. YMMV

I have been stuck in that traffic in that heat - no fun, hope the car recovers.
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Old 07-27-19, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Yes, but it's green.


RT , not green . Celest .

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Old 07-27-19, 03:45 PM
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Congrats! I’ve only had my Specialissima for a short time but it’s a really nice ride, maybe my top Columbus SL one. BTW, I’ve heard that Specialissima wasn’t necessarily a model name but the term used for their high end construction, like Reparto Corse a few years later.

Regarding your car, I’ll throw this out there. My son’s Subaru just had a problem where the battery and brake light came on. Power steering went out at the same time. I figured the alternator died, but when I went to investigate how to take the alternator out, it turns out it was just a broken mounting bolt which caused the alternator to shift position and lose tension on the belt. An 88 cent bolt from the hardware store and 30 minutes of work (10 minutes if I really knew what I was doing) had everything all squared away again.
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Old 07-27-19, 03:46 PM
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Drillium Dude , RT tuned me up on my stuck seat post that I inherited on my Bianchi . Spray the PB Blaster on the top let is sit a few days , then flip it over , remove the BB and spray . I did this for about 2 weeks and it still would not move . Took it to my LBS/Butcher , he finally got it . LBS had a nice steel work bench that was bolted to the floor and a 5" vice bolted to the bench . Looking back I should have brought some wood for padding . I hope yours goes quicker/better than mine .
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Old 07-27-19, 04:01 PM
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Looks good. No doubt you will get it sorted and looking the part.

I’ve always wanted more or less that same bike for no real rational reason other than the look. I would have made the drive and shelled out the money if I was in your shoes as well.
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Old 07-27-19, 04:02 PM
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@Drillium Dude



Well done, I think you were lucky. This should not have lasted regardless of the clueless/non cooperative seller, that can work against work against you sometimes when a buyer knows what they're doing. There should have been at least one after this sooner.

Great score, the chrome headlugs are the dead give away here as you have found despite there being plenty of variations.

Several commented when I found mine that they had never seen an actual SC in real life or theirs was the only one.

Mine is pretty rough but being absolutely top of the line makes it one of the rarest, now you have one too.

It has the the SC on the top tube so was a good clue that proved out.

I wasn't sure either but was sure that it wasn't getting away if I could help it so I was very lucky too.

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Old 07-27-19, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Yes, but it's green.


Exactly!

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Old 07-27-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Well, I paid $500 for three stuck seatposts (and more stuck stuff) in three bikes.

[All came out.]
And this one will not be a huge deal if it's already pivoting. Sad that I'm going to scrape up the shaft, tho I might see if I can cut off the top and have a certain someone locally bond a titanium shaft on it. Jacob has an NR post done this way. We'll see.

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Old 07-27-19, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
Hey Happy Birthday man! (mine was this week) nice Bianchi looks like it should clean up and be awesome. Good luck with the stuck seat post, when I encountered a stuck seat post on a Nishiki MTB I stripped the bike down to the frame clamped the seat post in a vise (bike upside down) and sprayed liquid wrench down the seat tube (and around where the seat post goes in) once a day for 3 days and then very gently grasped the frame and tried to rotate it and it moved! that was a great feeling. YMMV

I have been stuck in that traffic in that heat - no fun, hope the car recovers.
Hey, Happy Birthday back atcha! The more I go over it, the more I find little nicks that polish out, so while there are bits of wear/use here and there (and some light rust spotting I will only partially address - I want to leave some beausage), overall it presents wonderfully and is completely straight, too. This is only the fourth bike I've gotten in the last ten years that wears original paint in very good condition. But it's not perfect, so I don't have to baby it.

The post is rotating, so I think removing it will be a simple enough job, well, that is to say I don't think I'll have to hack at it with a hacksaw blade from the inside out!

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Old 07-27-19, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Congrats! I’ve only had my Specialissima for a short time but it’s a really nice ride, maybe my top Columbus SL one. BTW, I’ve heard that Specialissima wasn’t necessarily a model name but the term used for their high end construction, like Reparto Corse a few years later.

Regarding your car, I’ll throw this out there. My son’s Subaru just had a problem where the battery and brake light came on. Power steering went out at the same time. I figured the alternator died, but when I went to investigate how to take the alternator out, it turns out it was just a broken mounting bolt which caused the alternator to shift position and lose tension on the belt. An 88 cent bolt from the hardware store and 30 minutes of work (10 minutes if I really knew what I was doing) had everything all squared away again.
Thanks, Hugh.

It's a good ride, then? Good deal. I was wondering about that, and I'm definitely looking forward to taking it for a spirited test ride. Bianchi seemed to have model names that were based upon components. Supercorsa had SR and Superleggera had NR. Since mine has an NR headset, I'm going Superleggera. Although I have to think Bianchi sold these as frame-only, too. I was surprised to learn that 1981 was the last year Bianchi featured chrome head lugs on any of their models. Sad, but good that I've finally got one of the "last of the V8s"

You know, I wonder if that bump/thud I heard/felt was a bolt shearing? I will make sure to bring this up with the mechanic on Monday when they get the chance to eyeball the car. I swear, sometimes I feel like selling it and going car-free (I no longer take drives for pleasure after losing my BMW). But then I couldn't get to the places where all the good bike rides are

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Old 07-27-19, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
Drillium Dude , RT tuned me up on my stuck seat post that I inherited on my Bianchi . Spray the PB Blaster on the top let is sit a few days , then flip it over , remove the BB and spray . I did this for about 2 weeks and it still would not move . Took it to my LBS/Butcher , he finally got it . LBS had a nice steel work bench that was bolted to the floor and a 5" vice bolted to the bench . Looking back I should have brought some wood for padding . I hope yours goes quicker/better than mine .
One thing that will limit me to going in through the top for now is that I have no removal tool for a Phill BB. But I think between me and my buddy Jacob we might be able to wrestle it out tomorrow when he stops by for a ride. Fingers crossed

For sure I want to take my time and avoid causing any damage. I know it'll come out eventually, so I'm going to take it slow and steady.

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Old 07-27-19, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by toavii View Post
Looks good. No doubt you will get it sorted and looking the part.

I’ve always wanted more or less that same bike for no real rational reason other than the look. I would have made the drive and shelled out the money if I was in your shoes as well.
I feel the same way. It surely is partly about the way these Celeste bikes with the blue/red accenting look. It's such an iconic colorway, like the Gios blue, Molteni orange, etc. Instantly recognizable. And the chrome flourishes are the icing on the cake. This completes my collection, it's that cool

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Old 07-27-19, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Thanks, Hugh.

It's a good ride, then? Good deal. I was wondering about that, and I'm definitely looking forward to taking it for a spirited test ride. Bianchi seemed to have model names that were based upon components. Supercorsa had SR and Superleggera had NR. Since mine has an NR headset, I'm going Superleggera. Although I have to think Bianchi sold these as frame-only, too. I was surprised to learn that 1981 was the last year Bianchi featured chrome head lugs on any of their models. Sad, but good that I've finally got one of the "last of the V8s"

You know, I wonder if that bump/thud I heard/felt was a bolt shearing? I will make sure to bring this up with the mechanic on Monday when they get the chance to eyeball the car. I swear, sometimes I feel like selling it and going car-free (I no longer take drives for pleasure after losing my BMW). But then I couldn't get to the places where all the good bike rides are

DD
Plus you have to have something to bring home the new bikes!

Excellent rider. In Columbus SL I have a Colnago Super, Basso Gap and the Bianchi and after only a couple of rides on it, it compares very well. Well I have a Tommasini too, but that just ain't fair to those other bikes.
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Old 07-27-19, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
@Drillium Dude



Well done, I think you were lucky. This should not have lasted regardless of the clueless/non cooperative seller, that can work against work against you sometimes when a buyer knows what they're doing. There should have been at least one after this sooner.

Great score, the chrome headlugs are the dead give away here as you have found despite there being plenty of variations.

Several commented when I found mine that they had never seen an actual SC in real life or theirs was the only one.

Mine is pretty rough but being absolutely top of the line makes it one of the rarest, now you have one too.

It has the the SC on the top tube so was a good clue that proved out.

I wasn't sure either but was sure that it wasn't getting away if I could help it so I was very lucky too.

Damn, that's a handsome bike! Do you know the year? Btw, while mine is stamped 81, the components that would be date coded, the crank and RD, are both 82.

You know, I wondered why the bike was still up and when I got hold of Mick he said he'd had no calls but mine. Then again, forum members have been suggesting for some time now that the vintage market has tanked. Guess I won't know for sure until I sell a bike, but for this? I would pay what I had to pay for my grail

I was happy to find out that the frame was uppermost in Bianchi's food chain in '81. I was even happier to discover there was no difference between the frame/fork of the SC and SL - just the components. Once I was able to satisfy myself that the deets in Mick's pics matched the stuff I found in the catalogs, it was only a matter of determining if any issues were over the top in person. They weren't. And you're right, they don't appear too often; when they do, I always give them a good look. This will invite the same. I will do my infill-painting with a matching dark blue (flutes, lettering on gear levers), but I'm not going to worry about finding panto stuff. I've already got a full-panto bike.

DD
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Old 07-27-19, 05:38 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
That's a step up from mine, about the same vintage, same decal font. We have a winner!
What model is yours? I had researched a number of threads to find out info and I can't specifically recall if I saw yours in my search.

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Old 07-27-19, 10:08 PM
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Here are some detail photos. I like the fact that the hubs and BB are all sealed. I may use the hubs for a clincher wheel rebuild, but not sure yet. The stem/bar, brakeset and pedals will be substituted for 3ttt stem/bar, Campy Record brakes and Campy SL pedals.



















The brakes are really cool. Drillium on the backsides of the enclosed levers, and the backs of the caliper arms are profiled vice flat. They're near-perfect, tho the hoods are getting kinda crusty.

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Old 07-27-19, 11:01 PM
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Great stuff. Glad it is all matchy matchy and it went to a good home. The chrome should clean up nicely with some brass wool. It is definitely an iconic bike in the right livery.
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