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Bianchi Serial Number Identification

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Bianchi Serial Number Identification

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Old 02-05-19, 12:08 PM
  #1076  
Corto
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Bianchi Eros SN and Questions

Hello – this is my first post here. This is a fascinating thread – a lot of great knowledge being shared! I have two Bianchi serial number database submissions (sort of) and a few questions, please.

Bike 1 (my wife’s) is an early Eros, purchased new in early summer of 1992, Palo Alto, CA. Believe it is a ’92: it’s one of those black/raspberry two-color Eros bikes, a 7-speed triple, with Shimano RX-100 components (all of the dates codes of these components are 1991, ranging from April (PD), to September (PI) and November (PK), which seems to match a ’92 bike). Bianchigirll identified a same–color Eros posted here on 8-14-2011 as a ‘91, and the only differences here are (a) my wife’s bike has a Shimano SG triple (30-42-52), not a Deore LX, and (b) the decals (that I could see in the earlier post) are different: my wife’s bike has large white “Bianchi” (in the current font-style, not capitals like the ‘91) on DT and small white “EROS” on TT. FWIW, it also has decals for Superset II and Tange Infinity tapered double butted tubing. Does that all add up to a ’92?

My ‘sort of’ contribution to serial number records is this: just as the 2011 poster noted on his/her bike, my wife’s bike has no frame serial number anywhere – which seems weird, but consistent with the ’91 example. Also, no “made in” decal – which seems odd, too.

Bike 2 (mine) is, I’m reasonably sure, a 1999 Eros (bought used many years later in the Boston area): “New Race Blue” color, 9 speed triple, with Italian components: Campy Mirage, with Avanti brakes, Miche headset, ITM stem and bars. Steel decals are “Exclusive Set Double Butted 25CRMo4 Heat Treated Bianchi Engineered” on DT and “CrMo Fork Double Butted Bianchi” on fork. Is this proprietary steel or something re-branded?

Serial Number on the ‘99 Eros is WA9030312A. I note that this thread has seen two other ‘98-‘99 vintage Bianchis with similar codes: a Racing Comp with Mirage and a UK retailer sticker (WA8063168A) and a '99 Campione with “Bianchi Lite Steel” (WA8073557). Do we have any theories as to what is conveyed by this code format? It seems different from the ‘80s codes beginning with a letter followed by an ‘S’ and a number sequence, which I believe TMar has identified as Japanese builds, or the ‘H’ prefix codes identified as Taiwanese).

Final questions: based on whatever black magic you possess, is there a sense of where both of these Eros bikes were built and/or assembled? The ’92 has no serial number and no origin decal, Tange steel and all Japanese components. Does this, or its date, mean anything in terms of whether it was made in Japan or Taiwan (I am assuming that it would be one of those two places for this model at that time, but maybe not?) As to the ’99 “Made in Italy” bike, I assume that this means it at least visited Italy for the value-add of the Italian componentry, but what about the frame? Where was that built? If built in the East – any theory as to where?

I really like my ’99 Eros – like me, it’s more than a little retro (it even has a head tube peg for a Silca style pump to ride under the TT), and since my wife has been riding her ’92 Eros for the last 26 years straight (including an inaugural ride across the US), it’s safe to say she likes hers a lot. Not looking to take anything away from Bianchi or Bianchi USA, who get all credit for producing and bringing these bikes to market, but I do like to acknowledge the factory that builds a bike too. If that’s a mystery, I suppose it may remain so for a while: Bianchi is still active and, I suspect, at least capable and perhaps willing to enforce the Non-Disclosure Agreements that I imagine were almost certainly baked into its contracts for outside production (if I were outsourcing frames, I might not want to tell the world ‘Factory X does such a good job of balancing quality and price I’m having them make my frames’ since this might encourage my would-be purchasers to conclude the same thing and buy direct from X). That said, if there are clues pointing to these frame origins, I’d like to know.

Thanks, in advance, for any thoughts, and thanks, too, to all the prior posters to this remarkable thread – I’ve learned a lot.
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Old 02-05-19, 06:16 PM
  #1077  
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Welcome! The ‘92 Eros is almost certainly built in Taiwan. Did you look around the bottom of the seat tube for the serial number?

I think the late ‘90s Eros bikes were built in Italy
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Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 02-05-19, 07:07 PM
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I have on I would like to add to this list. I recently purchased a Premio, it is black with yellow decals. The number on the bottom bracket is KS549032
8

I would like to be able to break down the s/n but haven had any luck.

Any help would be appreciated.

Don,
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Old 02-06-19, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by DT Tandem View Post
I have on I would like to add to this list. I recently purchased a Premio, it is black with yellow decals. The number on the bottom bracket is KS549032
8

I would like to be able to break down the s/n but haven had any luck.

Any help would be appreciated.

Don,
Don, your Premio was manufactured in November 1985 by Bianchi's unidentified Japanese contract manufacturer and is a 1986 model. It was 13th in a line of 15 road models.
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Old 02-06-19, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Corto View Post
Hello – this is my first post here. This is a fascinating thread – a lot of great knowledge being shared! I have two Bianchi serial number database submissions (sort of) and a few questions, please.

Bike 1 (my wife’s) is an early Eros, purchased new in early summer of 1992, Palo Alto, CA. Believe it is a ’92: it’s one of those black/raspberry two-color Eros bikes, a 7-speed triple, with Shimano RX-100 components (all of the dates codes of these components are 1991, ranging from April (PD), to September (PI) and November (PK), which seems to match a ’92 bike). Bianchigirll identified a same–color Eros posted here on 8-14-2011 as a ‘91, and the only differences here are (a) my wife’s bike has a Shimano SG triple (30-42-52), not a Deore LX, and (b) the decals (that I could see in the earlier post) are different: my wife’s bike has large white “Bianchi” (in the current font-style, not capitals like the ‘91) on DT and small white “EROS” on TT. FWIW, it also has decals for Superset II and Tange Infinity tapered double butted tubing. Does that all add up to a ’92?

My ‘sort of’ contribution to serial number records is this: just as the 2011 poster noted on his/her bike, my wife’s bike has no frame serial number anywhere – which seems weird, but consistent with the ’91 example. Also, no “made in” decal – which seems odd, too.

Bike 2 (mine) is, I’m reasonably sure, a 1999 Eros (bought used many years later in the Boston area): “New Race Blue” color, 9 speed triple, with Italian components: Campy Mirage, with Avanti brakes, Miche headset, ITM stem and bars. Steel decals are “Exclusive Set Double Butted 25CRMo4 Heat Treated Bianchi Engineered” on DT and “CrMo Fork Double Butted Bianchi” on fork. Is this proprietary steel or something re-branded?

Serial Number on the ‘99 Eros is WA9030312A. I note that this thread has seen two other ‘98-‘99 vintage Bianchis with similar codes: a Racing Comp with Mirage and a UK retailer sticker (WA8063168A) and a '99 Campione with “Bianchi Lite Steel” (WA8073557). Do we have any theories as to what is conveyed by this code format? It seems different from the ‘80s codes beginning with a letter followed by an ‘S’ and a number sequence, which I believe TMar has identified as Japanese builds, or the ‘H’ prefix codes identified as Taiwanese).

Final questions: based on whatever black magic you possess, is there a sense of where both of these Eros bikes were built and/or assembled? The ’92 has no serial number and no origin decal, Tange steel and all Japanese components. Does this, or its date, mean anything in terms of whether it was made in Japan or Taiwan (I am assuming that it would be one of those two places for this model at that time, but maybe not?) As to the ’99 “Made in Italy” bike, I assume that this means it at least visited Italy for the value-add of the Italian componentry, but what about the frame? Where was that built? If built in the East – any theory as to where?

I really like my ’99 Eros – like me, it’s more than a little retro (it even has a head tube peg for a Silca style pump to ride under the TT), and since my wife has been riding her ’92 Eros for the last 26 years straight (including an inaugural ride across the US), it’s safe to say she likes hers a lot. Not looking to take anything away from Bianchi or Bianchi USA, who get all credit for producing and bringing these bikes to market, but I do like to acknowledge the factory that builds a bike too. If that’s a mystery, I suppose it may remain so for a while: Bianchi is still active and, I suspect, at least capable and perhaps willing to enforce the Non-Disclosure Agreements that I imagine were almost certainly baked into its contracts for outside production (if I were outsourcing frames, I might not want to tell the world ‘Factory X does such a good job of balancing quality and price I’m having them make my frames’ since this might encourage my would-be purchasers to conclude the same thing and buy direct from X). That said, if there are clues pointing to these frame origins, I’d like to know.

Thanks, in advance, for any thoughts, and thanks, too, to all the prior posters to this remarkable thread – I’ve learned a lot.
Welcome to the forums. There are a couple of 1990 Eros in my database but no 1992. The 1990 version was manufactured in Japan. The serial number was stamped on the non-drive side of the seat tube, about 5-10cm above the bottom bracket shell. Your 1992 is almost certainly Asian manufacture given the tubing and components. It may be Japanese , like the 1990 version, but I wouldn't rule out it having been transferred to Taiwan or another Asian country. I'd need the serial number or a country of origin decal, to be sure.

Regarding the WA-code serial numbers. the format appears to be WAymmxxxx, where WA is the (unknown) manufacturer, y is the calendar year, mm is the month and xxxx is the sequential frame manufacturing number.

Edit: Regarding the tubing, the 25CrMo4 alloy designation was that used by Columbus for their lower grade tubesets during this period. Consequently, I suspect the tubing is sourced from Columbus. It could simply be a rebranded version of an existing Columbus tubeset but more likely it was manufactured to Bianchi's requirements, as implied by "exclusive" and "Bianchi Engineered". Given the apparent tubing tubing source and components, I'd assume the bicycle was manufactured in Italy or at least Europe.

Last edited by T-Mar; 02-06-19 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 02-06-19, 07:52 AM
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T-Mar, thank you very much for the response. I really appreciate the information.

Don,
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Old 02-06-19, 12:50 PM
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RE: Bianchi Eros SN and Questions

Thank you, Bianchigirll and T-Mar -- Very helpful insights.


Re the '92 Eros, I should first apologize for my reference to the alleged 2011 posting, which now looks like a red herring (I must have jotted the wrong reference down, or have seen it elsewhere, because now I can't find it -- I thought there had been a post by someone with a '91 pink and blue/black Eros that also did not appear to have a SN). Leaving that aside, the hunt for one on the '92 continues to be challenging. You both directed me to the lower ST, but I still find nothing stamped UNLESS is happens to be exactly covered up by the derailleur clamp. Before touching that, however, would you expect the SN to be stamped horizontally (in which case it could be covered) or vertically (in which case it seems unlikely)?


Also, I'm still really flummoxed by the lack of a 'Made in" decal -- I am under the impression that this is legally required 99.9% of the time (subject to some exceptions that don't seem to apply). My wife has had this bike since it left the shop and has never touched the decals (it even still bears the lawyer warning stickers re consulting the manual before touching the wheel QRs). It could have worn off, I suppose, but that seems unlikely given that all the others survive. One other explanation would be that the dealer sticker (on lower DT) was applied over the (presumably Asian) origin sticker (I would find that somewhat surprising -- it was a premiere shop in Palo Alto, and that would seem pretty dodgy). Odd.


We need another '92 Eros to surface!
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Old 02-07-19, 08:56 AM
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Just as a follow-up on the '92 mystery Eros : I wasn't completely out of my mind recalling earlier discussion about Eros bikes without SNs: the discussion was here in the C &V area, but under a different thread ("Dating my Bianchi Eros" from 08-14-2011). There, one poster's '91 and another's '92 were both said to have no SN. I may try to reach these folks and see if they had origin stickers. Also, no chance the bike shop decal is obscuring anything on mine -- its 90% transparent and there's nothing under it.
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Old 02-07-19, 04:20 PM
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Have you tried using a good flashlight to look for the serial? It is possible that it was stamped so faintly that the paint has all but obscured it. IIRC the made in Taiwan sticker was placed on the front of the bottom headlug. It is possible it was removed, I am not aware of any law against removing it. Maybe it wasn’t sticking well so the mechanic just ripped it off. The bike was however built in the Orient am I positive it was Taiwan, it was not built in Italy.
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 02-07-19, 09:23 PM
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Radiocarbon dating of Bianchi Grizzly

Seriously, has anyone figured out a way to decode these serial numbers? This is a mammoth thread and I don't see any clear answers.

I have a Bianchi Grizzly, Celeste - original RM-20 wheels and Deore Components
Serial number: JS 763084

Anyone have a clue?

Thanks!
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Old 02-08-19, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MickeyKriza View Post
Seriously, has anyone figured out a way to decode these serial numbers? This is a mammoth thread and I don't see any clear answers.

I have a Bianchi Grizzly, Celeste - original RM-20 wheels and Deore Components
Serial number: JS 763084

Anyone have a clue?

Thanks!
RM-20 rims and Deore sound ‘87ish, what type of rear brake does it have? I am on vacation, so don’t have my catalogs, but if you post a few good pics of the bike and components I am sure we can figure it out.

TMar seems to be the only one able to make sense if the serial numbers but I suspect that is just from years of recording the information.
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 02-08-19, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MickeyKriza View Post
Seriously, has anyone figured out a way to decode these serial numbers? This is a mammoth thread and I don't see any clear answers.

I have a Bianchi Grizzly, Celeste - original RM-20 wheels and Deore Components
Serial number: JS 763084

Anyone have a clue?

Thanks!
Your Grizzly was manufactured in Japan during October 1987 and therefore should be a 1988 model. The known serial number formats for approximately 120 Asian manufacturers (and non-Asian brands contract manufactured in Asia, including Bianchi), have been documented and consolidated in a single for sticky thread for ease of use and location. See post #1 of Asian Serial Number Guide
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Old 02-08-19, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Have you tried using a good flashlight to look for the serial? It is possible that it was stamped so faintly that the paint has all but obscured it.
Like falling over clipped in, all that hurts is my pride... Bianchigirll has it exactly right (was there ever any doubt?): on the umpteenth examination of the '92 Eros, to my astonishment, there it was -- right across the underside of the bottom bracket, but so faint as to be almost invisible -- Serial number H2A20505! Hodaka-build, Jan. '92, if I understand it correctly. Thanks!

BTW, I was interested to read a bit about Hodaka's history. Subject to correction by those more knowledgeable, I gather they were a Japanese company, originally in in the motorcycle parts biz, that partnered with a US agricultural export firm (of all things) to become a full-blown motorbike company in the 60s and 70s. That business folded and Hodaka switched to the right kind of bikes. They built in Taiwan, forming a subsidiary there (Taiwan Hodaka) and by 1981 (according to a US international trade report) they were the number 3 producer in Taiwan, behind Giant and Merida. Somewhere along the line they established what would become a long relationship with Bianchi. In 1998, Giant bought a 30% stake in what King Liu called 'the Japanese firm Hodaka".
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