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Rasta Ride Rebuild

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Rasta Ride Rebuild

Old 12-22-19, 09:26 AM
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Triplecrank92
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Rasta Ride Rebuild

I couldn't figure out how to rename the original thread where I was considering buying the bike, so I just started over with a new "rebuild" thread. To start, here are the key posts from the original thread:

FROM 11-16-19:




No info on the listing, but can only gleam the following clues from the limited pics:
FD is brazed-on.
Given the brake guides on the top tube, I figure it has to be a late 80's - early 90's frame.

FROM BIANCHIGIRLL SAME DAY:
Grip Shift? That's from around '89ish I believe.

A lot doesn't add up. That paint certainly can't be original. The frame does seem to be Asian in origin, but none of those had a brazeon FD. No other pics? I can't quite tell if the dropouts are just real short or vertical. Those faux chrome stays look a little greenish.


FROM 12-7-19:

TRIPLECRANK:
I had the chance to quickly look over the bike & I'm split on whether to pull the trigger. My goal would be to strip the frame, repaint it and put it as close to it's original state as possible, while installing period appropriate parts as time and money permit. (With the exception of the grip shifters! They would have to go). But was looking for a full SL/SLX. Here's what I assessed:

1. The serial number has "N.9" & then a 4 digit number on the other side of the BB. Having read over 35 pages of the 50 pages of the "Bianchi Serial Number Identification" thread, I feel pretty confident that it's an '89 frame. Since it has a brazed on FD, I feel that puts it in the upper end of the Bianchi models for that time period.

2. The bike is a hodgepodge of parts: Shimano brakes and levers, 105 RD, Suntour hubs, the twist grip shifters (which don't work), but has a newer Cinelli handle bar stem, a Campy headset and Gipiemme cranks. I figure the headset and cranks are likely original, but that's a guess. I couldn't make out the make of the bottom bracket.

3. I was able to move the seat post in the frame but the handlebar stem wouldn't budge. I didn't put a lot of torque on it not wanting to invoke the "you broke it, you bought it" rule. While I have been successful with other frames, frozen posts on 30 year old bikes scare me.

4. The frame, as seen above, has been repainted. The seat stay caps were smooth & not embellished at all, no "Bianchi" pantegram. However, I believe that I remember in the "BSNI" thread that T-Mar referenced the '89 frames had plain seat stay caps. I haven't dug back through those 50 pages to confirm that info. I looked at the repainted chain stays hoping to see a paint chip with chrome underneath but to no avail.

5. The last piece of info is that the inside of the steerer tube was smooth, with no ridges to indicate that it was SPX or SLX tubing. From another T-Mar quote, "If there are no helical ridges in the bottom of the steerer, then the fork is Aelle, in which case the frame is tretubi SL, SP, Cromor or Aelle. I was hoping to find the ridges in the steerer to find a complete SL frame which would have made the sale.

Where I excitedly ended up at first was that the frame was one of 3 unconfirmed choices: Mondiale, Giro, or Super Leggera. However, not being able to see any chrome on a chain stay and the lack of the helical ridges in the steerer have given me some doubt on whether my assessment is correct on the model. Anyone know if these models would have a mixed set of tubing for this time period? The '88 catalog on Bulgier show only pure tube sets for these models. Is a mixed tubing set worth the time and expense of a rebuild? Would any other Bianchi models of that era have a brazed on FD?

FROM 12-21-19:

TRIPLECRANK:
Well, I took a chance and brought this bike home. I was mainly looking for a project bike and this one had potential. After the purchase, I took it to the local co-op to pick up some better components that I had previously seen. The co-op boss pointed out that someone was looking to make a Rasta Ride. Looking at the colors and the Grateful Dead sticker, I would have to agree. So, I renamed the thread in honor of the bike's paint job.


After conferring with the gurus of the C&V and doing a lot of thread reading, I felt that this bike had potential to be one of the upper tier Bianchi frames. It had the braze on FD. It was an '89 model based upon the S/N. While it did not have a panto seat stay cap, I found references that 1989 frames had stickers instead of pantos and I have run across other websites that show this ( 1989 Bianchi Giro ). Supposedly, the Giro, Mondiale, and Super Leggera of this time period were basically the same frame with different groupos. This bike came with the Gipiemme dropouts, BB and cranks. While I haven't stripped any paint yet on the chain stays to look for chrome, I have been able to break down the bike. I got a little nervous removing the components when I removed the stem (which was stuck somewhat) and removing the handlebar tape. YIKES! (see pic below) Fortunately, the inside of the frame looks pretty good with just surface rust. I was hoping that the prior owner would have been lazy by painting over the original paint, however, the pic of the fork appears to show that they went as far as removing the fork races before painting it (took the extra effort) and there's overspray up the steerer tube. I'm currently thinking that they stripped the frame and so, fear that the original paint is gone, but I plan to take a little solvent to the chain stays tomorrow so we shall see. I was hoping to find the ribbing inside the DT and ST of SLX tubing after removing the BB, but the tubes appear smooth. I've ruled out SLX tubes, but maybe it's just SL? Plus, there is no Columbus logo stamped on the steerer tube after I pulled it from the frame. However, I'm kind of hoping but will probably never be able to prove it, but would they were still using SL tubing at this time. Anyone have any thoughts? I work at a medical office, so i might be able to xray the frame to determine the butting and wall thicknesses. (Of course, it would be after clinic hours!)

Whatever it is, I plan to strip the paint down and repaint it, unless I do find some original celeste paint on the frame. If not, I'll pick up a cheap paint sprayer from Harbor Freight and then decide whether to return it back to its "celeste" legacy or go rogue and pick an off-the-wall color. I've been thinking about making a gravel bike for the dirt roads around the neighborhood. This one might be the ticket.










3SPEEDSLOW:
It will be nice whatever it is. I seem to think that the yellow paint is original.

TRIPLECRANK92:
What do you see that makes you think that? The yellow overspray in the BB?

And that catches us up to today's post below!

Last edited by Triplecrank92; 03-01-20 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 12-22-19, 09:35 AM
  #2  
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Fixed Cup Removal Trick and Celeste!

This morning I tackled the fixed cup of the bottom bracket, which was of course stuck. I let it soak in PB over night and then took out the spanner and big mallet. I did find a new way to hold the spanner on the flats of the cup without it dropping off and scraping my knuckles or damaging the frame. I ran a large bolt through the BB and placed large washers on either end. The spanner was held on the flats of the fixed cup by the washers. I then hand tightened the washers over the spanner and cup. The spanner stayed in place while I hammered and I easily "TIGHTENED" the cup into the frame. After scratching my head wondering why I could move the cup but not loosen it, I read more about "Italian" frames online. I learned this morning that both sides of these BBs are right-hand threaded, unlike all my other bikes. A quick flip of the hammering direction and the fix cupped loosened right up.

So, on top of confirming that the frame is "Italian", the removal of the fixed cup allowed a better look inside the BB. Lo and behold, there's some Celeste green paint! I still haven't been able to wipe a chain stay yet, but will this afternoon.



Now I'll debate whether to return it to its original paint scheme or go off on a tangent. If I go cheap on the paint, I'll look at Spray Bike and give it a try.

Last edited by Triplecrank92; 12-22-19 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 12-22-19, 10:03 AM
  #3  
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Thought yellow would be it. Why on Earth would someone wipe the Celeste for another paint choice?
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Old 12-22-19, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Thought yellow would be it. Why on Earth would someone wipe the Celeste for another paint choice?
Because "RASTAAAAAAA!". You got me on this one.

Back on topic. I tried lacquer thinner and acetone on the chain stay. Only cleaned the dirt and grease off. So, I'll be looking for a stripper to get the paint off. However, before doing so, I was thinking of giving the frame an OA bath, but was wondering if anyone has ever tried and been successful at plugging the openings and pouring the OA mixture in the frame instead of creating a bath? It would seem more practical and use less OA. I'm going to think about using old rubber from punctured inner tubes along with small automotive pipe clamps (like for radiator hoses) over the smaller holes around the frame. I'm thinking of the clamp holding the following on each side of the BB: rubber patch, small wood board, and then clamp. I think I can rubber patch the head tube with pipe clamps. That would leave the seat tube opening as the fill spot.
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Old 12-22-19, 05:06 PM
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3SPEEDSLOW:

i have seen Bianchi use that colour before. Plus it looks a little more professionally applied then some of the others.

BIANCHIGIRLL:

I agree the yellow is very likely the OEM color and that along with the GipMe crankset would make this a '87 Super Leggera frame wif Columbus SL/Sp throughout. Most likely SP DT and chainstays with the balance being SL.

The '87 SL came with a typical Bianchi Italian mix the above mentioned GipMe crank, HS, and hubs, Modolo brakes, stem/bar, CampI C-Rec B RD and Victory FD.
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Old 12-22-19, 05:19 PM
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Thanks BG for the encouraging words that I didn't buy a bad frame! But doesn't the S/N indicate it's a '89 frame, if I'm interpreting it correctly? It starts with "N.9" if read from the opening of the BB, if that makes sense. T-Mar indicated that it could be read backwards/upside down as "6.N", making it an '86, which would be in line with your "87 assessment". Did some SLs continue with the SL/SP into '89?
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Old 12-22-19, 09:40 PM
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[QUOTE=Triplecrank92;21254575 but was wondering if anyone has ever tried and been successful at plugging the openings and pouring the OA mixture in the frame instead of creating a bath? It would seem more practical and use less OA.[/QUOTE]

You might be over complicating a proven process that works. Concentrated OA is not friendly to work with and it's not that expensive. Do it safely, outside, in a bath. imo
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Old 12-23-19, 07:13 PM
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More Facts

While still pondering all the information collected and solicited on this frame, it occurred to me that I have an acquaintance with access to "imaging equipment". I thought that I could potentially measure the tube thickness to further narrow down particular tubes. So, I wrapped up the frame and headed out and later dope slapped myself for leaving the fork behind. Check the results below and give me all of your Dr. Bike Radiologist's best diagnosis. I was pleasantly surprised!



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Old 12-23-19, 07:44 PM
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Is it just me or do you all see some helical ridges in this photo? Look closely and you will see ridges inside the tube on the top left of the pic... Very interesting. The mystery continues...

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Old 12-23-19, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by aceves View Post
Is it just me or do you all see some helical ridges in this photo? Look closely and you will see ridges inside the tube on the top left of the pic... Very interesting. The mystery continues...

aceves
Did your grandma, like mine, ever say "if it were a snake it would have bite ya"? With all the work on the bike and frantic pace of the holidays, those "ridges" in the pic under the paint and rust escaped me completely. However, it was fun as H**L x-raying the frame. I originally looked for the ridges in the steerer tube to no avail, so I guess mentally I gave up looking for them. Oh well, all's well that ends well. But the good news is that "I'm having a bouncing baby SLX!"
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Old 12-24-19, 08:41 AM
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This is pretty cool

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Old 12-24-19, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
This is pretty cool

LOA lugged on arrival
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Old 12-25-19, 06:05 PM
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While the day was absorbed with Christmas festivities, I did have a few minutes to lightly wet sand the DS chain stay with 1000 grit sand paper. I didn't find chrome or yellow paint under the green, so I think this eliminates the bike being originally all yellow or being a Mondiale. At this point, I've got it down to a Giro or Super Leggera, but I don't think that I'll ever be able to differentiate between those last two models. I'll brush a little Ospho (a phosphoric acid metal prep) on the exposed metal to slow any rusting until I sand or strip the entire frame for painting.

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Old 01-25-20, 02:55 PM
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A Little Tradition Returns

Been spending the last few weeks cleaning, scraping, stripping, sanding, and all other "-ing" verbs getting the frame ready to return to its original status. I started with Citrus stripper which took several rounds of "slather, scrap, repeat" to get the paint off. At least with the Citrus, I could strip the frame inside the warmth of the house. I then spent some time sanding those small sections of paint and rust that the stripper did not clean completely. I did some online searches for the right paint color and did some testing of the local big box store Krylon and Rustoleum minty greens. Those brands came close to Celeste but not close enough to my satisfaction given the work that I put into cleaning the frame. I found an online paint company that could mix any color and sent them the Pantone 332c code for the Celeste which they mixed up in two acrylic enamel spray cans. I'm happy with the color and how its turned out so far. We'll see how the paint cures after a day or so. The first painted picture shows the frame only after the first few swipes of spray paint and shows some unevenness in the coat. I've also sprayed a scrap piece of pipe with the paint in order to later test clear coats for paint compatibility since I hope to put on the decals and then clear coat over the whole thing.

Next will be decals and clear coat after the paint has had some time to cure. I plan to get the Columbus SLX tube decals off ebay and the Bianchi decals from Velocals, but Velocals gives you a lot of options in terms of the colors of the lettering and lines. Any one every order decals for a 1989 Giro or Super Leggera? I've got to pick out the right blue and red from the options Velocals offers.






f


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Old 01-27-20, 08:24 PM
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Looking good! Keep the pics coming.

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Old 01-28-20, 11:45 AM
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you need a rasta them song even if the bike is going not rasta may I suggest


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Old 01-28-20, 08:29 PM
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LOL...I like it! Brings back a lot of memories from the music in college from the '80s. I've always picked up a "manufacturer-branded" jersey to match my bikes. And so, I had started to look for a Bianchi jersey in preparation for riding the bike, but I think it would be more appropriate to find a Rasta Jersey to honor this bike's history. Maybe something like this.....



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Old 01-30-20, 05:43 AM
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Back on Topic

The period correct '89 decals have been ordered and are two weeks out, but I need to paint the eagle logo on the fork. Does any one have a similar year Bianchi to tell me if their logo is black or a royal blue? I've looked at images on line but variations in the picture quality has me doubting the color. Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-01-20, 04:39 PM
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Update

I've been sidetracked from working on the frame due to work and family, but was able to get the decals on the frame this morning. Next is testing clear coat on a painted pipe and then spraying the frame.





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Old 03-02-20, 07:48 PM
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Component Question

I’ve been on the look out for a donor bike to snatch the components for this Bianchi. I’ve run across a CL bike that “appears” to have an Ultegra 6500 setup, but I’m waiting on confirmation pics.

My question / confusion is that the crank is a Octalink design, if my online research is correct. Is it possible to get an Octalink BB bracket for an older Italian frame? The frame is 70mm wide & of course Italian threaded.

I’ll confess that my BB knowledge is limited to square taper BBS. Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-03-20, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Triplecrank92 View Post
Iíve been on the look out for a donor bike to snatch the components for this Bianchi. Iíve run across a CL bike that ďappearsĒ to have an Ultegra 6500 setup, but Iím waiting on confirmation pics.

My question / confusion is that the crank is a Octalink design, if my online research is correct. Is it possible to get an Octalink BB bracket for an older Italian frame? The frame is 70mm wide & of course Italian threaded.

Iíll confess that my BB knowledge is limited to square taper BBS. Thanks in advance!
Yes. I got one for a Dura Ace build. Apparently there are two versions. Use Velobase to determine which Octalink (V1 or V2..?). THey are hard to come by and a bit pricey.
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Old 03-03-20, 08:00 PM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultegra-650...0AAOSwjbpddqhb
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Old 03-04-20, 01:13 AM
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Road Octalink BBs are V1 with the thinner splines (V2 is MTB stuff, almost exclusively). They come in two spindle lengths: 109.5mm for double cranksets, and 118.5mm for triple cranksets. English and Italian threading. BB-7700 (Dura-Ace), BB-6500 (Ultegra), BB-5500 (105) will work with any Octalink crankset. The "set it and forget it" BBs are 6500 and 5500 in their cartridge style--same install as square taper. Dura-Ace has four pieces including a lock ring, but good PDF instructions from Shimano make installation straightforward (with the right tools, naturally).

For any Octalink installation, I will take a pin spanner (the red grip ones from Park Tool have the correct diameter) and spin out the lock ring for the self-extracting setup. That will allow the fastening/crank bolt--along with a very slender black washer--to be removed. This gives you an unobstructed view of the crank arm's splines. Since the Octalink splines on the crank arm don't automatically "find" their match on the BB spindle, there is nothing to communicate to the installer that he/she is "doing it correctly" and one can end up with smashed or marred splines in addition to bolts that provide an "it's properly tight" false positive. With an unobstructed view, you can line things up by hand and press the crank arm onto the spindle. It'll only give you a millimeter or two, but that's all you need. Get the crank bolt going (don't forget the washer) and tighten it down--you'll see the crank arm move inward onto the BB spindle. Install the self-extracting lock ring (I'd put grease on the threads for any later servicing) and you're good to go!
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Old 03-04-20, 04:50 AM
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Triplecrank92
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Jdawginsc & ROS: Thanks gentlemen! Your responses were helpful & educational.
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Old 03-04-20, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Triplecrank92 View Post
Jdawginsc & ROS: Thanks gentlemen! Your responses were helpful & educational.
You are welcome! ROS's point about the false tightness is for real. It can be frustrating and disconcerting when it doesn't find the spline.
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