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Were there Italian touring bikes?

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Were there Italian touring bikes?

Old 09-02-20, 09:30 PM
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Were there Italian touring bikes?

As in, peak 1980s purpose built touring bikes with triples, long wheelbase, low rider mounts, cantis, fender clearance, all the braze ons for racks and bottles etc. Obviously the Japanese and the U.S. were the #1 contenders here and the French and British had their share (and a large overlap with club cycling and randonneuring), but what of the Italians? I imagine Bianchi had something, but can't think of anything else I've seen.

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Old 09-02-20, 09:47 PM
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I don't know! Bianchi is an old and huge bike company, and they don't export all their models to the US. So maybe that was the case in that period. I had a ~1996 Bianchi Volpe which I bought used. It was good for the job. It was stout and stable and reliable. A bit slow and heavy but very capable. It was my SUV bike for a while.
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Old 09-02-20, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I don't know! Bianchi is an old and huge bike company, and they don't export all their models to the US. So maybe that was the case in that period. I had a ~1996 Bianchi Volpe which I bought used. It was good for the job. It was stout and stable and reliable. A bit slow and heavy but very capable. It was my SUV bike for a while.
I've definitely seen a lot of love for the Volpe as a great all arounder
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Old 09-02-20, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
As in, peak 1980s purpose built touring bikes with triples, long wheelbase, low rider mounts, fender clearance, all the braze ons for racks and bottles etc. Obviously the Japanese and the U.S. were the #1 contenders here and the French and British had their share, but what of the Italians? I imagine Bianchi had something, but can't think of anything else I've seen.

What about Bianchi San Remo or Bianchi Randonneur listed in the table at the end of this article?

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Old 09-02-20, 10:05 PM
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I think there were a couple of Japanese Bianchis on our local cl in the past few months. I definitely remember they had long cage cyclones, and I think they had cantilever brakes, not too sure if they were triples. Ishiwata 022 I think. Asking price was 300 and 400 CAD, which was still a little to high for me since I already have a couple of tourers.
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Old 09-02-20, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
I've definitely seen a lot of love for the Volpe as a great all arounder
Mine was made in Taiwan. It also had the durablest paint I ever had on any bike, and I've owned a lot of bikes. I'm horribly abusive to my bikes' paint, and this chipped the least.
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Old 09-02-20, 11:06 PM
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This thread suggests that Italian touring frames were not common: Italian Touring Frames?
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Old 09-02-20, 11:26 PM
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.
...I lived in Naples for almost a year, and the only people I saw with touring gear on bikes were from other countries. My impression was that they were big racing fans (there was almost always some sort of bike race on the television in 1970 there), but the Italians I spoke with thought riding around with camping gear was not something they'd enjoy. I could be wrong, I wasn't there in a situation where I could make many friends in the local population.
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Old 09-02-20, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...I lived in Naples for almost a year, and the only people I saw with touring gear on bikes were from other countries. My impression was that they were big racing fans (there was almost always some sort of bike race on the television in 1970 there), but the Italians I spoke with thought riding around with camping gear was not something they'd enjoy. I could be wrong, I wasn't there in a situation where I could make many friends in the local population.
This is interesting and I wonder if it’s changed much since.
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Old 09-03-20, 12:17 AM
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This early eighties Bianchi "Touring" is a wonderful, sturdy, nice to ride touring bike. It is waiting for me, in Jamaica, assuming that I ever get back to the island...
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Old 09-03-20, 04:12 AM
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I had a mid '80s Bianchi touring bike which I loved. Japanese, Ishiwata 022, very like Randy's but with Suntour derailleurs, and different cranks. A few years ago the RD went into the spokes, and the resulting damage toasted it.
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Old 09-03-20, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
This early eighties Bianchi "Touring" is a wonderful, sturdy, nice to ride touring bike. It is waiting for me, in Jamaica, assuming that I ever get back to the island...
Good bike. I like it
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Old 09-03-20, 05:12 AM
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The way Italians drive their cars and mopeds, it would be a bit risky to tour on a bike!
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Old 09-03-20, 05:34 AM
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Touring Italians

I had a Super Corsa with eyelets.
Maybe they toured fast.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 09-03-20 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 09-03-20, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
As in, peak 1980s purpose built touring bikes with triples, long wheelbase, low rider mounts, cantis, fender clearance, all the braze ons for racks and bottles etc. Obviously the Japanese and the U.S. were the #1 contenders here and the French and British had their share (and a large overlap with club cycling and randonneuring), but what of the Italians? I imagine Bianchi had something, but can't think of anything else I've seen.
Maybe an Italian should be asked. I wouldn’t be surprised if he say: We’re touring with a Moto Guzzi or a Gilera.
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Old 09-03-20, 07:13 AM
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Yes.

I have an early 80s Bianchi “Rallye” with triple, cantis, etc. Italian-made with heavier duty (SP or seamed, I forget) Columbus tubing.
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Old 09-03-20, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
This is interesting and I wonder if it’s changed much since.
I got there semi regularly and I've not seen an Italian on a touring bike.
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Old 09-03-20, 09:41 AM
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Mid-90s Volpe. Had all the bells+whistles, including 3 bottle mounts. Used it for light touring.

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Old 09-03-20, 10:12 AM
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Italians aren't much into camping, generally speaking. I remember laughing at some Italian campgrounds. Manicured lawn, pool, nice bathroom facilities, snack bar. As if to say, If you're dumb enough to want to camp, let's be at least a little civilized. Don't go crazy!

Of course there are always some exceptions, but you simply aren't going to find the equivalent of a Singer or Herse.

There were some Bianchis made for the US market, as previously mentioned
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Old 09-03-20, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
The way Italians drive their cars and mopeds, it would be a bit risky to tour on a bike!
On the contrary. I like touring in Italy. I find the Italians to be not only enthusiastic but also quite capable drivers and courteous towards cyclists.
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Old 09-03-20, 07:08 PM
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Freschi made the Super in Columbus 510 cro-mo with double eyelets and braze-ons. There's one for sale on Toronto's Kijiji:

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-road-bike/ci...ike/1517429501

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Old 09-04-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
On the contrary. I like touring in Italy. I find the Italians to be not only enthusiastic but also quite capable drivers and courteous towards cyclists.
+1 to that. We credit card toured for three weeks through Tuscany, Umbria and Marche in 2001 and found Italian drivers to be just as extremely respectful as the French drivers we’d encountered on a similar cc tour in SE France three years earlier. I don’t even recall any bothersome scooter riders in Italy, unlike France.

But it’s also worth noting that we encountered almost no bike tourers in Italy, but plenty guys (no women) on fast day rides and a few odd looks. Almost everyone we encountered was unfailingly friendly and appreciative of our attempts at speaking in Italian. And that was even before they learned we were American. The trip started three days after the horrible 9-11 incidents. When our nationality became evident, we were showered with affection and hugs. The only unfortunate encounter was the train station person in Jesi who was adamant, “No! Velo impossibile!” despite signage saying otherwise. Oh well, the cycling we did back to Florence was some of the best.

We had an incredible experience when we met an Italian cyclist out on the road above a town in Marche where we planned to spend a day or two. His English was better than our Italian (he was a local policeman out on a day off training ride). We ended up getting a cycle tour of the town with him, including great hotel, restaurant and bike shop recommendations. The latter was particularly useful because my gel bike shorts had developed “leaks”, requiring immediate replacement!

Will we ever be welcome there again?

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Old 09-05-20, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
(...)
Will we ever be welcome there again?
I don't know whom exactly you mean by "we", but I hope to be riding in Piedmont in two weeks.
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Old 09-05-20, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
I don't know whom exactly you mean by "we", but I hope to be riding in Piedmont in two weeks.
I’m envious! Have a wonderful trip, take lots of pictures for us as vicarious travelers. Try not to eat and drink too well!
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Old 09-05-20, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
I’m envious! Have a wonderful trip, take lots of pictures for us as vicarious travelers. Try not to eat and drink too well!
Thanks!

And about the eating and the drinking, Piedmont is famous for its truffles and Barolo wine, so I am not even going to try. "Sorry".
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