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Bianchi Volpe Glamor Shots! The original "master of none" bike

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Bianchi Volpe Glamor Shots! The original "master of none" bike

Old 02-26-21, 12:56 AM
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Bianchi Volpe Glamor Shots! The original "master of none" bike

Introducing one of the original "gravel bikes," the Bianchi Volpe. Ahead of its time, supposed to be an "adventure bike," but mostly defined by what it **wasn't**.

It wasn't a cyclocross bike, with its triple crank.
It wasn't a road bike with its 48T top gear in front and bar end shifters.
It wasn't a loaded touring bike with its low trail and only one set of braze-ons front and back
It wasn't a mountain bike, since those all had pogo-stick forks and 26" knobbies.
It wasn't even a hybrid "cross" bike, since those had flat bars and thumbie or trigger shifters




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Old 02-26-21, 01:22 AM
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awesome
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Old 02-26-21, 08:04 AM
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I wouldn't turn one away if it showed up at my garage door!
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Old 02-26-21, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy
I wouldn't turn one away if it showed up at my garage door!
Let's be honest, who here turns away *any* bicycle?
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Old 02-26-21, 09:17 AM
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I didn't turn away the Volpe that showed up at my door. I agree OP, it was a dagum gravel bike by any measure. You know what else it isn't? Light weight. I built it up with 38s and gave it to a college kid who was riding a Centurion Accordo on our gravel rides. He loves it.
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Old 02-26-21, 11:36 AM
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I like in between bikes. My personal favorite is my 1992 Bridgestone XO 2, drop bar bike with 26 inch wheels and road bike geometry. I briefly owned a Volpe and liked it a lot as well.
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Old 02-26-21, 11:40 AM
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I built one up last year and sold it. Decent enough bike for general purpose use.
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Old 02-26-21, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz
I built one up last year and sold it. Decent enough bike for general purpose use.
That white is nice and clean! The Celeste bar tape looks great with it, too. Mine came with celeste, but I didn't like the look with black and red frame.

Do you mind if I ask what you got for it? I'm trying to sell mine locally as well
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Old 02-26-21, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by guy1138
That white is nice and clean! The Celeste bar tape looks great with it, too. Mine came with celeste, but I didn't like the look with black and red frame.

Do you mind if I ask what you got for it? I'm trying to sell mine locally as well
Looking back, I think I received $360 for it. I gave a C-note to a Facebook Marketplace lister who had offered it for free...
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Old 03-04-21, 10:22 AM
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My go-to is my 2006 Volpe which I would be flogged for if I posted it here. Switched out the brifters for Cane Creek levers and Shimano barcons (running in friction). It's amazing that they're still making this model, with a very similar niche to what it was originally designed to do!
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Old 03-04-21, 10:46 AM
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I used a late-90s model for light touring. It was pretty decent and handled well when loaded. Sold it when I quit touring. Here's a pic at the tip of the Traverse Peninsula.

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Old 03-04-21, 12:52 PM
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I had a ~1996 Volpe. I was impressed with the quality. Handling was predictable and easy. The paint was the best on any bike I've had; I'm terribly abusive to bike paint, and I couldn't kill this. But it was slow and heavy for my taste, so I gave it away to a needy person.
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Old 06-17-23, 01:09 PM
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guy1138 - bumping this thread to ask you a question ...what year is the Volpe you posted pictures of? I'm looking at the exact model tomorrow for possible purchase - but info on the "older than 2016" versions seems scarce. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-18-23, 09:06 AM
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IT LIVES!!!! (obiligitory)

I'd say the OP's machine is ~'89 with the Suntour index barcons. I briefly had a white one that was similarly equipped as well as a later model one after they went threadless. The newer unicrown fork is so stiff that it really destroys the original's ride quality and character.
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Old 06-21-23, 03:56 PM
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I do wish that I had kept this one...
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Old 06-23-23, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob

I'd say the OP's machine is ~'89 with the Suntour index barcons. I
Originally Posted by Oldguy biker
guy1138 - bumping this thread to ask you a question ...what year is the Volpe you posted pictures of? .
Correct, it is a 1989. And just for bonus content, here's a pristine white one that also came through my collection earlier this year:












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Old 06-24-23, 03:07 PM
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I like triple chainrings and barcons, as well as a somewhat relaxed frame geometry with ample tire clearance.
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Old 06-25-23, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa
I do wish that I had kept this one...
I love my Sizzling Peach '86 but I'd love to find one of those torquoise '87s

While she's been heavily updated, and I think made much better, my '89 SIzzling Peach is a fabulous early season bike for a nice comfortable ride. SHe could use a new saddle though. The OEM crank was only double (although drilled for a triple) but I think a triple makes more sense on these great bikes. THe origina RD was sort of a mid cage Suntour but this long cage Mirage really allows for some wide gearing options.

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Old 06-26-23, 12:02 PM
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Thank you for the information. I did purchase the bike and am in the process of giving it a full "once over" and replacing all the typical consumables. It looks like it will be a great bike and fits like a dream.
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Old 06-27-23, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by guy1138
Let's be honest, who here turns away *any* bicycle?
oh so correct, especially for anyone reading this forum!
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Old 08-06-23, 04:11 PM
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I just picked up a 86/87 "sizzlin peach" version and would like to set it up similar to this to replace my Rivendell Sam Hillborne I sold a few months ago. I was wondering if anyone knows what the max tire width you can squeeze in these frames? I figure 38mm is safe but 40/42 would be where I was at with my Riv. Either way I'm excited to have gotten mine from the original owner who toured with it in Germany and Korea all while keeping it in great shape. He changed a few things up while he had it but the modifications seem tasteful and also help me not feel too bad about swapping some parts off as well to suit my needs. He even threw in an old bar bag, old Silca pump (that needs repair if possible) and some Parktool stuff along with other odds and ends. Anyways any help with the tire clearance would be much appreciated!
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Old 08-06-23, 04:12 PM
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I tried to post some photos but my account is too new to be able too. Once I get to the point where I am able to I will share a few!

Also, for anyone who might find this thread in the future wondering about tire clearance as well, I threw on some 38 Panaracer Gravelking SS tires and I think thats the widest you could safely squeeze in there between the chainstays. The tires measure pretty much a true 38mm on what I believe are the stock Araya rims at about 60 psi. This is on one of the early production year's "sizzlin peach" frames.

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Old 09-10-23, 07:35 PM
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I just wish these old Volpes had better clearance for fenders.
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Old 02-21-24, 07:56 AM
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1996 Bianchi Volpe

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Old 02-21-24, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by thefringthing
I just wish these old Volpes had better clearance for fenders.
What year is yours, and what size tires do you have on it? I don't have my Volpe anymore. I think it was a 1995 or 1996. If I remember right, it had 35 mm tires and full fenders.
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