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Bianchi Project 7 I.D.

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Bianchi Project 7 I.D.

Old 04-28-06, 05:22 PM
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Bianchi Project 7 I.D.

My "new" used Project 7 arrived today. WAY happy about it. I have just one nagging little question-- I don't know what year it is. I suspect it's an early model, due to the graphics and the tubing stickers (labelled as "Ritchey Tange" instead of just "Tange."). No date stamps on the hubs, crankset, or rear derailleur. Can anybody I.D. it from the Serial Number?

The S/N is KS072958.
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Old 04-29-06, 09:01 AM
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If that is klhartley's old bicycle, then it's a good march for 1990/1991. Those components should have date codes. As for the serial number, the format matches the Nishiki built by Kawamura in the early 1970s. Now, we know it's not from that period, but I wonder if it could be built by Kawamura?
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Old 04-29-06, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
If that is klhartley's old bicycle, then it's a good march for 1990/1991. Those components should have date codes. As for the serial number, the format matches the Nishiki built by Kawamura in the early 1970s. Now, we know it's not from that period, but I wonder if it could be built by Kawamura?
Yes, it is khartley's old bike. I PM'd her, told her to name her price, she named her price, and I bought it. Not as great a deal as the $20 she tried to get for it at a yard sale, but still a great deal for me. I *finally* have a bike to ride again, and it's the bike I wished I could afford way back when, and in nearly new condition.



Somehow, things worked out for me all these years later.

Now, I stayed up most of last night sorting this out, and finally figured out that it's a '91. For the sake of future Project 7 sleuths, here's how I figured it out.

I have a '92 Bianchi catalog, from when I was looking at the Project series of bikes. Somehow, I found this catalog right around the time khartley put her bike up for sale. I wasn't even looking for it-- it was just "there" when I was sorting through some old papers. So I knew what the '92 Project 7 looked like (different decals than on my Project 7), and I knew that it was spec'd with SunTour XC Comp components. When my Project 7 arrived yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was spec'd with SunTour XC Pro components.

I started by inspecting everything-- the frame, the components, everything-- for date codes. Nothing. I figured that *maybe* the serial number would indicate the year, which would make it a '90, but i wasn't sure. I kept inspecting parts to see if I could find any kind of date code (This process has convinced me that I need to break down and buy some reading glasses, or at least a magnifying glass, because everything's a blur now.). Nothing. Then I went to my bicycle file to see what I had on SunTour. I had Frank Berto's article Sunset For SunTour, which told me that SunTour had licensed Greaseguard technology from WTB in 1990. I also had the SunTour Timeline from First Flight Bicycles. Here's what I found:

1990: According to the SunTour Timeline, several of the components on my Project 7 made their debut in 1990. These included Accushift Plus, Powering chainwheels, Greaseguard hubs, and Greaseguard bottom brackets.

1991: In 1991, these same components were available, and a top-pull front derailleur labelled simply "SunTour" first appeared (I don't know for a fact that it first appeared in 1991, but according to the SunTour Timeline, it looks as if that was when it was introduced).

1992: In 1992, these same components were available, plus the Greaseguard headset was introduced.

1993: No changes in 1993.

1994: Changes in the SunTour XC Pro lineup.

Now I was ready to start eliminating years. I listed the years from 1990 through 1994. I crossed out 1992, because I knew that it wasn't a '92, based on both the decals and the spec'd components. Next I eliminated 1994, because there was no Greaseguard bottom bracket available in 1994. I also eliminated 1993, because the Greaseguard headset was available in 1993, and my Project 7 doesn't have a Greaseguard headset. This process of elimination left two possible years for this bike: 1990, or 1991. I decided to eliminate 1990, because no top-pull front derailleur is listed in the 1990 lineup. I didn't consider that definitive proof, but it seemed like evidence that my bike is a '91.

The maddening thing is the SunTour Timeline lists the SunTour part numbers for each year in the SunTour lineup, so I went back to the bike and looked for any evidence of part numbers. Nothing. I kept looking at every component for any kind of clue. Then I found the proof, right there in front of me, as plain as day. Stamped into the chainwheels were the initials "GG." Greaseguard. And right next to the GG was the date code: 91.

And that's how I figured out it was a '91. Told you I need glasses.
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Old 04-30-06, 07:00 AM
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I doubt that GG on the chainrings stands for Grease Guard, as they did not manufacture chainrings or cranksets. My understanding is that SunTour licensed their technology. More likely, it's the date code - July 1990. Still, for July 1990 components, the bicycle could be a 1991 model.
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Old 04-30-06, 02:23 PM
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T-Mar:

You're right, of course, greaseguard is/was just licensed technology. so.....

The alphanumeric codes stamped into the chain rings read like this: 91 GG

Are you saying that indicates July 1990?
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Old 05-01-06, 06:16 AM
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The SunTour letter codes are year-month. The general consensus is that the 1st letter represents the year, where A = 1984 and you proceed backwards or forwards from there. The 2nd letter is the month, where A= January. Please note that there is a minority, myself included, who believe that A = 1985, which would make your cranks July 1991.

SunTour themselves did not make cranksets. Traditionally, their cranksets had been made by Sugino, who were a member of the JEX trade group, along with SunTour. However, in 1990 SunTour was purchased by Mori who also owned SR (Sakae Ringyo). I suspect that SR may be the manufacturer of your crankset. SR used an open format date code, which would explain why your chainrings are double coded, 91 GG. If your crankset is indeed manufactured by SR, it would seem to put a nail in the coffin as to which interpretation of the SunTour codes is correct.
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Old 05-01-06, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
The SunTour letter codes are year-month. The general consensus is that the 1st letter represents the year, where A = 1984 and you proceed backwards or forwards from there. The 2nd letter is the month, where A= January. Please note that there is a minority, myself included, who believe that A = 1985, which would make your cranks July 1991.

SunTour themselves did not make cranksets. Traditionally, their cranksets had been made by Sugino, who were a member of the JEX trade group, along with SunTour. However, in 1990 SunTour was purchased by Mori who also owned SR (Sakae Ringyo). I suspect that SR may be the manufacturer of your crankset. SR used an open format date code, which would explain why your chainrings are double coded, 91 GG. If your crankset is indeed manufactured by SR, it would seem to put a nail in the coffin as to which interpretation of the SunTour codes is correct.
Thanks T-Mar, that explains it. Now I see why you say '90-'91. I looked for a review of the Project 7 today, but the closest I could find was a '91 Project 5 review, and a '90 Grizzly review. The '90 and the '91 Bianchis both had the same decals my Project 7 has, so I didn't narrow things down any further that way. I think, based on the 91 GG code, I'm going to assume it's a '91.

Your reasoning on the date codes for SR makes a lot of sense to me.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-01-06, 07:31 PM
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Those were the '700D' bikes, right? What are you doing about tires?
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Old 05-01-06, 07:35 PM
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700c, I think. Hmmmm, maybe I should check a little closer...
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Old 07-25-15, 11:29 AM
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hey man, can you post some scans of that '92 Bianchi catalog?
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Old 07-25-15, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by c_c_rider
hey man, can you post some scans of that '92 Bianchi catalog?
You do know you're dredging up a thread that's nearly 10 years old and asking things of members who are no longer active here.

I strongly encourage you to start your own thread about your bike; read the dormant threads and maybe quote some of the info into your thread. Chances are there are people that have information on the very bike you're looking for- that may not be into reading a 10 year old thread.

I'm not telling you how to use the interGoogle thing- just that you might be more apt to get results that are tailored more towards what you're looking for. It'll also be a good place to have information about your bike out there that's searchable. It's also much easier to search for your own threads when you want to reference them. I'm not the forum police and I'm not trying to be any sort of bully or whatever...

I just think you'll get better results with your own thread.

Best wishes!
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Old 07-25-15, 12:35 PM
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no problem man, will do.
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Old 07-25-15, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by c_c_rider
no problem man, will do.
I'm looking forward to it!

I'm always interested what people are doing with what I consider "purposeful" bikes.

Given the info in this thread, this is a bike I'd totally be interested in- so I'm interested to see where you're going to go with it!

Best!
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