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Bianchi expert - help needed

Old 12-11-20, 02:49 PM
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Bianchi expert - help needed

I have been asked if I am interested in this Bianchi. I really don't know much of anything about Bianchis but I noted it has tubular wheels so I figured it must not be bottom of the line and worth a look. No decals to indicate model or tubing. Serial number on tag on bottom of bottom bracket looks like 5 9 (straddling front derailleur cable) then 3.8.404. Does that tell me anything? I think the shell is 68mm. Campy dropouts, seatpost, headset, derailluers. Cinelli bar and stem. Galli brakes, levers, crank, pedals. Miche front and rear hub. Fork definitely needs to be realigned. There is no obvious to me frame damage. I read thru a lot of an old thread on serial numbers and don't remember anything like what is on the frame and I expected to find the serial number on the seat lug. Otherwise, I got the impression there wasn't a lot of rhyme or reason to Bianchi serial numbers. Parts alone may be worth what I think I can get it for but is this special enough to have the fork realigned and do all the other necessary work, of which there is a lot? What is it? Thanks.








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Old 12-11-20, 03:06 PM
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I'm not particularly expert on Bianchi but that is a higher end one. My guess is around 1980-82 based on under BB cable routing and portacatena dropout. The rear derailleur is Super Record. A racing Bianchi from this era would be Columbus SL but the 27.0 seat post suggests otherwise and my guess would be Columbus SP which was used on larger size frames (like a 59 maybe indicated on the BB?). Another possibility is maybe it is SL and the seat tube just needs to be reamed out. The BB is almost assuredly Italian thread on this one. Cool bike!
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Old 12-11-20, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
I'm not particularly expert on Bianchi but that is a higher end one. My guess is around 1980-82 based on under BB cable routing and portacatena dropout. The rear derailleur is Super Record. A racing Bianchi from this era would be Columbus SL but the 27.0 seat post suggests otherwise and my guess would be Columbus SP which was used on larger size frames (like a 59 maybe indicated on the BB?). Another possibility is maybe it is SL and the seat tube just needs to be reamed out. The BB is almost assuredly Italian thread on this one. Cool bike!
Thanks. The 59 frame size makes some sense. I only had a tape measure in inches and measured 23" (very rough) which works out to about 58.4cm so I am guessing you are right.

I forgot to mention the rims are Mavic G40s, not that that necessarily says much.
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Old 12-11-20, 04:02 PM
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Calling T-Mar and Bianchigirll
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Old 12-11-20, 08:18 PM
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Serial number, in conjunction with frame features points to August 1983, so it's right around the crossover between 1983 and 1984 models. Offhand, I don't recall Bianchi specifying Galli components, so it would appear to have been Bianchensteined to an extent, unless it is some foreign model. I was also expecting more chrome, especially on the stay caps and fork crown, so I;m not sure of the model. As noted, 59 is probably the frame size and would right around the size where many builders crossed over from SL to SP. However, it does appear to be a high grade frame based on the reinforcing tangs on the fork blades and stay bridge. Unfortunately, the condition is only fair.
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Old 12-11-20, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Serial number, in conjunction with frame features points to August 1983, so it's right around the crossover between 1983 and 1984 models. Offhand, I don't recall Bianchi specifying Galli components, so it would appear to have been Bianchensteined to an extent, unless it is some foreign model. I was also expecting more chrome, especially on the stay caps and fork crown, so I;m not sure of the model. As noted, 59 is probably the frame size and would right around the size where many builders crossed over from SL to SP. However, it does appear to be a high grade frame based on the reinforcing tangs on the fork blades and stay bridge. Unfortunately, the condition is only fair.
Thank you. Fair is a very generous assessment but I could actually handle it. Browsing on Ebay, I found an 81 superleggerra that looks very similar (the frame) as well as another identified as early 80s with serial number 3.81.2?? So that would be August of 83 also?

This is looking like a buy, despite the messed up fork, which will not make my wife happy.
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Old 12-12-20, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
Thank you. Fair is a very generous assessment but I could actually handle it. Browsing on Ebay, I found an 81 superleggerra that looks very similar (the frame) as well as another identified as early 80s with serial number 3.81.2?? So that would be August of 83 also?

This is looking like a buy, despite the messed up fork, which will not make my wife happy.
Bianchi employees don't seem to have bee very diligent in their serial number stamping. It could be March 1981. Please provide a link to Ebay auction, to save me some search time.
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Old 12-12-20, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Bianchi employees don't seem to have bee very diligent in their serial number stamping. It could be March 1981. Please provide a link to Ebay auction, to save me some search time.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/BIANCHI-SPE...YAAOSwDnpftSbc
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Old 12-12-20, 10:01 PM
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I'd say it's March 1981. Sometimes Bianchi used two characters for the year but it was generally only one. Based on the frame chracteristics, yours in clearly not 1978 or 1988, so the '3" would appear to be the year indicator. The Ebay bicycle exhibits the chromed caps and fork crown that I would have expected to see on your frame.

Edit: The rear derailleur will a date/patent code on the upper housing, next to the cable housing recess.

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Old 12-13-20, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I'd say it's March 1981. Sometimes Bianchi used two characters for the year but it was generally only one. Based on the frame chracteristics, yours in clearly not 1978 or 1988, so the '3" would appear to be the year indicator. The Ebay bicycle exhibits the chromed caps and fork crown that I would have expected to see on your frame.

Edit: The rear derailleur will a date/patent code on the upper housing, next to the cable housing recess.
Thanks again. Not mine yet, we shall see. I am waiting to hear back on my discounted offer (because of the wonky fork) on an already low price. This just happened my way and Bianchi had never been on my radar. I am clueless about details like chroming and other points raised so this has all been interesting to me regardless of the ultimate outcome. I have been curious about the complete absence of any decals - no remnants, no nothing. It made it harder for me to narrow down my searches for info but I figured tubular wheels were an indicator of higher rather than lower end making the whole thing worth some investigation. Your help is appreciated.
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Old 12-13-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
Thanks again. Not mine yet, we shall see. I am waiting to hear back on my discounted offer (because of the wonky fork) on an already low price. This just happened my way and Bianchi had never been on my radar. I am clueless about details like chroming and other points raised so this has all been interesting to me regardless of the ultimate outcome. I have been curious about the complete absence of any decals - no remnants, no nothing. It made it harder for me to narrow down my searches for info but I figured tubular wheels were an indicator of higher rather than lower end making the whole thing worth some investigation. Your help is appreciated.
Wheels can be swapped and Bianchi offered tubulars on some entry level , club racer modles with hi-tensile steel frames. What's important to determine the level are the frame characteristics, such as the tubing thickness, which can be gauged from the seat post diameter, and features like the reinforcing tangs, which were an extra cost and typically used only on high grade models.
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Old 12-13-20, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Wheels can be swapped and Bianchi offered tubulars on some entry level , club racer modles with hi-tensile steel frames. What's important to determine the level are the frame characteristics, such as the tubing thickness, which can be gauged from the seat post diameter, and features like the reinforcing tangs, which were an extra cost and typically used only on high grade models.
Right, which is why I appreciate your insight. The wheels were but a flag that suggested maybe I should be interested when I otherwise would not have been, rightly or wrongly. Thanks again.
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Old 12-13-20, 03:44 PM
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Most Bianchi's like this that I've come across have been of the tre-tubi variety, definitely mid-range frames but with nice touches and typically with Campagnolo derailers and shift levers only.

This one seems to be one of those more-common bikes, which seem to out-number the full-SL bikes by something like 5:1.

Nuovo Racing was one such model from the early 80's, and featured contemporary Italian racing geometry so made a good entry-level racer.
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Old 12-13-20, 04:05 PM
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I see references to the fork - what's the actual issue with it?

Nobody's brought this up, but it's possible this has been repainted and is a top-line model, just not repainted in the correct way. The rear DOs should have little chrome flashes at the chamfers where the stays meet the dropouts and along the backside edge of the DOs - this was common on these frames. Also, the pinstriping around the headlugs and lack of evidence of decals. Maybe this was done after whatever happened to the fork, and the frame was biffed, too?

The linked Superleggera sure has an ambitious asking price! I think I'd have cleaned it better before I listed it for such a price...

Good luck with finding your Bianchi, whichever one it turns out to be. I finally found mine summer 2019 and couldn't be happier with it

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Old 12-14-20, 04:58 AM
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I just bought a 1983 Super Leggera with full Campy Gruppo from a private sale in Italy for only a little more than the ambitiously priced Ebay frame. That company regularly has amusing prices. The Bianchi panto on the seat stays of your possible buy is painted with black infill whereas mine is chrome with blue infill and lining, and the fork crown top is chrome too. The 1983 Catalogue is a reasonable reference but Bianchi famously varied the final product. Could yours be a repaint? In which case, if the price is good and because of the condition of the paint, which is beyond reasonable patination, it might be worth a full resto.
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Old 01-06-21, 05:16 PM
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Yesterday, I finally took possession of the bicycle in my original post (pictured here as it was upon delivery - and, yes, the fork IS bent). It is obviously a well used bicycle that has been neglected for quite some time judging by the condition of the tires and accumulated grime.



I have fully disassembled the bike and whoever put it all together had done a good job as everything came apart easily (even the dropout adjusters came right out) with the exception of the fixed bb cup (I didn’t get very aggressive in my efforts to remove it) and the front brake cable end fused to the lever (I’ll put more effort into that later). There is no evidence of any rust inside the bottom bracket shell, the head tube or the seat tube. Lots of scrapes, scratches and surface rust on the paint and chrome but the frame cleaned up better than I expected. The left fork blade appears to be splayed out and maybe not otherwise parallel to the right but there does not appear to be any tube damage and the steerer seems straight. Also, I can not detect any tube damage to the frame which seems to be in reasonable alignment but with some adjustments called for. Wheels are reasonably true and without evidence of any accident. Hopefully, I will get the frame and fork into Joe Bell’s shop next week for alignment. If all goes well with that, I plan to reassemble pretty much as it came and then maybe make some changes as I see fit. I think it will be a keeper.

Again, I’m very ignorant when it comes to Bianchi’s. That said, items of interest/curiosity to me that may give clues to what this bike is exactly:

1. I am still curious about the lack of any evidence at all of decals - “Bianchi”, model, tubing, made in Italy etc. I do not believe it is a re-paint as there is a CA license sticker as well as a renewal sticker for 12/31/86 and both are in pristine condition. Seems unlikely an 83 frame would have been repainted after a couple years. Why did the license survive undamaged but no decals?
2. Steerer appears to be chromed and is stamped “59”. The frame is 59cm. No other markings.
3. The lower head lug has an embossed “B” which is not filled in with black paint as are the embossments on the seat stay caps and crown.
4. 70mm bb shell so made in Italy?

Vitals:
frame 59cm almost square
stays 42cm though nds seems to be 1mm longer
125mm rear end
frame 4.7 lbs
fork 1.6 lbs
Campagnolo drop outs, faces chromed
Campagnolo derailleurs (Patent 81 super record rear), shifters, bb, headset, seat post
Galli calipers, levers, 52/42 crank, pedals (in bad condition so probably won’t make reassembly). Front caliper was recessed mounted and rear not??
Cinelli bars and stem (bar tape in better condition than everything but the license and renewal stickers)
Bernard ? made in Italy Turbo saddle (Hinault?)
Silca pump with Campagnolo head
Sugino binder bolt??
Miche Competition hubs laced to Mavic 36h G 40 tubular rims
Suntour 13-24 6 speed freewheel
Continental Super Sport tires; 20mm front, 23mm rear - rotten with lots of tread.

More pictures here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...Iu?usp=sharing

I’m excited about rebuilding and riding!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
bianchi2.pdf (348.9 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by L134; 01-06-21 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 01-11-21, 04:14 AM
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Still have my celesta '84 Campion de Italia I got it in 1984. Still perfect I had rims change to clinchers back then. Too much for me now but I like to look at it and remember.
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Old 01-20-21, 10:44 AM
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Disassembled, cleaned, frame and fork professionally aligned, reassembled:




As pictured, weighs 20.5 lbs. With matching Silca pump 21 lbs.

Based upon info provided in this thread and others, and some further research my conclusion is that I possibly have a custom build-up of a 1983 or 1984 Specialissima frame-set.

My reasons are as follows:

Columbus SP tubing based upon 27mm seat post.
Columbus SL or SP steerer based upon presence of helical support ridges in steerer.
Per 83 and 84 catalogues (links to catalogues available in RiddleOfSteel new sticky - thank you!), one could purchase frame sets for a custom build. The build of my bike does not match any catalogue build that I can find. My frame geometry roughly matches the Specialissima and Professional frames listed in the catalogues for 58cm frame. Mine is a 59cm frame so some variation is to be expected (not to mention my own imprecise measuring skills). The 84 catalogue lists frame sizes available whereas the 83 catalogue does not. For 84, a 59cm frame was available as a Specialissima but not a Professional. Does this qualify the removal of the Bianchensteined label?
Possibly this could also explain the absence of decals? Perhaps no decals was requested? Or, as someone mentioned, some decals were notorious for flaking off?

Thanks to all for the help.
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