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To Buy or Not to Buy: 83ish Bianchi Randonneur

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To Buy or Not to Buy: 83ish Bianchi Randonneur

Old 10-18-11, 01:14 AM
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strctrofsmplcty
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To Buy or Not to Buy: 83ish Bianchi Randonneur

(I posted this in the touring section originally, but figured that it fits here just as well.)

I am planning a tour from Sarasota, FL to San Francisco, CA this coming march with three friends, and do not yet have a bike to tour with.

I went to a Local bike shop today and found a 1983 Bianchi Randonneur, in near perfect condition with all original parts that the owner is trying to sell for $465. I feel like this may be a little steep, but I like the bike a lot.

Here is a picture
https://picasaweb.google.com/1084931...24077588844898

It Is a Magny Frame with Suntour ARX derailleur

One note is that it is a very interestingly sized frame. the seat tube is 52cm and the toptube is 57cm. I am about 5'9" but my inseam is only 30", so i have a very long torso and very short legs. The bike fits me nicely.

I would really like to find a complete bike that I can feel comfortable taking across the country, and Ideally would like to do so for less than $1000.

Should I hold out, or take the plunge? Any suggestions on other bikes? Should I give up on trying to be cheap and just buy an LHT?
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Old 10-18-11, 04:17 AM
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Goodmorning and Welcome!! your pic is not showing up.

I personally would love a great condition Bianchi Randonneur but I think that price is steep. I also think if your a novice attempting a long trek like this you should have a newer easier to operate easier to repair (ie parts more available) that is not to say a new bike will break down on you. if a Surly LHT is in your budget look at a Bianchi Volpe.

IMHO this is a once in a lifetime adventure few people ever do. splurge asnd get a great ride so your comfortable and confidant in it so you can enjoy the ride!
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Old 10-18-11, 05:57 AM
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The link did not work for me but I have owned an eighties something Bianchi Volpe. Had that bike been a better fit, I would never have sold it. What a nice bike...
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Old 10-18-11, 07:51 AM
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You'd think a bike shop would use a drive side shot
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Old 10-18-11, 07:55 AM
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Be aware that there was a recall on the original fork. Price quoted seems way high.
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Old 10-18-11, 07:58 AM
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if the bike fits you and you have a hard time fitting other bikes, you might want to consider getting it (especially if you can talk him down on price). Older parts might mean harder to get replacements, so keep that in mind. Whatever you do, get a bike soon and start getting miles in so you're ready for next summer. That's a long way to go if you don't have a good base in.
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Old 10-18-11, 10:47 AM
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Here is the bike



I know about the recall, the guy at the shop actually mentioned it to me, and has a replacement fork on the way that he will throw in with it if i buy the bike.
Attached Images
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Old 10-18-11, 11:12 AM
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Is that a front and rear rack on it, or is what appears to be a front rack on the bike behind it? If they're of decent quality, those and the fenders will be nice starts to your outfitting of the bike that you won't have to pay for. And, while modern components would be nice, dt shifters are a lot harder to break on a long trip than brifters, so that might not be such a bad thing. You'll still spend a fair bit if you want to upgrade the wheels and drivetrain though.
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Old 10-18-11, 11:37 AM
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It does have front and rear racks, although they dont seem like the absolute sturdiest racks in the world, however probably good enough. I was not intending to upgrade the wheels or the drivetrain if I buy it. Would these components be sufficient as is? What might be a good price to ask for? I was thinking i might ask him to knock $100 off the price and see if he bites.
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Old 10-18-11, 11:38 AM
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As I recall, I sold my Bianchi Volpe for $450.00 plus shipping. The Volpe was in excellent, little used condition. I can't tell too much from the picture but the OP's bike looks pretty good. Perhaps the price is not too far off of the reasonable mark? Just a guess. I bought mine for $80.00 through a Kijiji add.
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Old 10-18-11, 11:54 AM
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Here is mine, a 1982. It's hard to say whether the fork issue is serious. When I called Bianchi, they told me that they had 3 fail out of the 1,600 that were sold in the US. Mine bike is in good shape, but obviously has some miles on it. I have seen this bike go on ebay for $350 - 450. I'd still try to talk him down.

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Old 10-18-11, 12:17 PM
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about the shot, I have to admit, I snapped it quickly on my way out the door so its not the shops fault. RFC, How do you like riding yours? Would you feel comfortable doing a cross-country tour on it? Have you ever ridden it loaded up? Did you change any components other than switching to brifters and adding the leather saddle?
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Old 10-18-11, 01:20 PM
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I like the ride very much. I am not a fan of the slogging way full tourers feel. This bike is different. It's reasonably quick, but with the randonneur fork, stable. Yes, I would ride it across the country, however, I would consider upgrading wheels. The original components are fine, but add barend shifters.
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Old 10-18-11, 01:55 PM
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I don't think the asking price is that crazy and value is relative; I'd take this over an LHT any day of the week. I think a big part of the question here is what kind of touring are you going to be doing? Are you sleeping in hotels? How often? Are you camping? How much gear/weight are you planning on bringing? If you're bringing massive weight - say, over 60 lbs, I think a true full tourer might be a better fit (though I'd still avoid an LHT like the plague). If you're more in the 40lbs area, I think this is a good choice. If you're talking heavy weight, I'd want 40h wheels.

Personally, when i finally get a chance to take my Koga cross country, I'm going to use STI with some DT shifters as back up. I trust DT shifters more, but STI is just SO nice. I really dislike barend shifters, though many swear by them. I find shifting with them twitchy and difficult.
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Old 10-18-11, 04:45 PM
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I will mostly be camping and carrying food, and dont plan to stay in hotels if i can swing it. Im not sure what the pack weight will be because I have never bike toured before, but when I do backpacking trips of a similar scope my pack tends to come in between 50 and 70 lbs, including food for 10 days, which i dont expect to have to carry, i will be able to buy a lot of food on the day that i use it mostly. What are some examples of "true full tourers"? What do you not like about the LHT? Is it ubiquity or are they not great bikes?
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Old 10-18-11, 04:52 PM
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I think they're the heaviest touring bikes around. I think they're overkill and ride like a boat when not loaded. Some people swear by them, but I think they're overbuilt and limited to riding with weight...there are touring bikes that ride well loaded down but don't feel like anchors with less weight. I'd be after a 2nd market Lotus, Miyata or Trek touring bike personally, or I'd hope I got lucky on a Bruce Gordon or Bilenky.
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Old 10-18-11, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by strctrofsmplcty View Post
It does have front and rear racks, although they dont seem like the absolute sturdiest racks in the world, however probably good enough. I was not intending to upgrade the wheels or the drivetrain if I buy it. Would these components be sufficient as is? What might be a good price to ask for? I was thinking i might ask him to knock $100 off the price and see if he bites.
Don't change the geartrain if it isn't worn out.

I personally tour just fine with down-tube shifters. Some prefer bar-end mounted ones - a simple conversion. Brifters (modern shifters and brakes built into one unit) would ruin the look, if you ask me!
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Old 10-18-11, 06:04 PM
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I don't think the price is all that high. Depends on your market, I guess. I bet if you walked in there with 4 crisp hundred dollar bills, you'd walk out with a bike.
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Old 10-18-11, 06:20 PM
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I passed on RFC's for considerably less than he paid for it.

In my mind there are many other bikes reasonably priced that would be better suited for a cross country, loaded ride. In the end, you decide what works for you.

I do know I'd want to be comfortable, so size first. IMO
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Old 10-18-11, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
I don't think the price is all that high. Depends on your market, I guess. I bet if you walked in there with 4 crisp hundred dollar bills, you'd walk out with a bike.
And a happy ending.
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Old 10-18-11, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
In the end, you decide what works for you.

I do know I'd want to be comfortable, so size first. IMO
+10000

Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
... I bet if you walked in there with 4 crisp hundred dollar bills, you'd walk out with a bike.
Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
And a happy ending.
+1. Money talks on old bikes at bike shops selling new bikes.
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Old 10-19-11, 05:14 PM
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thank you everyone for your help! Im going back to the shop on friday to take it for another longer test ride to see how i feel about it. My initial reaction was that I like it a lot. I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old 10-19-11, 05:47 PM
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i'd wait to see what the replacement fork is like. does anyone know? what if is comes without canti bosses or something dumb?
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