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Custom Bianchi

Old 01-01-12, 08:51 AM
  #1  
Andy727
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Custom Bianchi

I got this bike from a neighbor for free. He told me his brother had the frame custom made and had it built up. He guessed that it was from the early 80's but that it could be older. The frame is columbus steel. It needs a lot of work, but I want to make sure it's worth it to spend the time and money to do it. It has 12 speeds, all Campy Record, and Mavic tubular rims. It also has leather bar wrap and a leather seat. So, I'd like to know if you guys know anything about this bike.








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Old 01-01-12, 08:58 AM
  #2  
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You my friend stumbled on a perfect bike to restore
Enjoy the experience.

ARed
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Old 01-01-12, 10:36 AM
  #3  
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Nice score and good winter project.
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Old 01-01-12, 11:07 AM
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That will be a great resto project. Really digging the 3TTT seat!
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Old 01-01-12, 11:07 AM
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free is good!

Bikes like that for free are GREAT!
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Old 01-01-12, 11:19 AM
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Most important thing here is if the frame is the right fit. If so, you just got one primo bike! Congratulazioni! Nice neighbor, BTW. If the seat post and stem are not permanently stuck, it should definitely be worth the time and expense of fixing it up. For many riders, an Italian-made Campy-equipped Bianchi road bike with Columbus tubing in celeste is a coveted dream bike...for some it is worth swapping a prized piece of anatomy for. Great winter project. Buona fortuna!!!
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Old 01-01-12, 11:29 AM
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It is a very nice bike and well worth some extreme elbow grease to clean it up. It is unlikely that the frame was custom built given the approximate time line, insofar as at the time Bianchi was generally only custom making frames for pros and or European-based customers (perhaps I am incorrectly assuming that you are located in North America). I think it was more correctly a custom-ordered stock frame. I likewise think that teh bike actually dates from the mid to late 70's and not from the 80's.
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Old 01-01-12, 12:03 PM
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Great way to start off the New Year!!

There should be a date on top of the rear derailleur such as, "Pat 79" for example. What is yours? Also, on the seat cluster lug there are numbers stamped on the side such as "79.3" or "9.3" on the drive side of the bike and a series of numbers on the other side of the bike. What are yours?
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Old 01-01-12, 12:11 PM
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With all due respect to CdM this bicycle may be very early 1980s. Those particular decals were used through to and including 1983 on some of the high end models, though the apparent lack of a Piaggio decal should eliminate 1981-1983. The other thing is that the mid to late 1970s models typically stamp the serial number on the collar of the upper head lug, while this sample appears to have one on the seat lug, which is typical of the early 1980s. Still, I can't say exactly when the switch took place. However, based on the serial numbers in my database, it should be very late 1970s or very early 1980s. The serial number will tell us the exact date, and should be in two parts, one on each side of the seat lug. There will also be date codes on the rear derailleur, back of the crankarms and back of the hub locknuts, though these may not be accurate, due to stock rotation practices at the time.
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Old 01-01-12, 12:21 PM
  #10  
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Just adding my "ooooooohhhhh" to the crowd. Definitely worth some elbow grease!
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Old 01-01-12, 12:31 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Andy727 View Post
I got this bike from a neighbor for free. ...
We're movin' to your 'hood Andy.
... Mind if we all stay at your house for a while?
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Old 01-01-12, 12:32 PM
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Gorgeous right down to the matching frame pump! That promises to clean-up nicely.
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Old 01-01-12, 12:43 PM
  #13  
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This looks to be a sadly neglected very near top-of-the line Bianchi, very, very nice bicycle. Hopefully you can get it back in shape. Great, great score !
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Old 01-01-12, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cycleheimer View Post
For many riders, an Italian-made Campy-equipped Bianchi road bike with Columbus tubing in celeste is a coveted dream bike...:

You can say that again........but let me get this right. The OP has all of 10 posts, is new on bike forums, and snags a bike like that for free.


I say Hang 'em


Seriously, to many on this forum you have what we affectionately call a "grail bike". An original celeste green Bianchi from the early 80's with Columbus tubing, made in Italy, and decked out with campy record and 3ttt no less. I am humbly impressed. You, my friend, has scored a very nice bike.
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Old 01-01-12, 01:08 PM
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It's a Specialissima frame (top of the line) and from the build I would guess was originally sold as a Super Leggera model. '78 or '79 was the first year for the braze-on top-tube cable guides so I would place it right about there. The lack of chrome on the seat-stay tops I think would put it pre 1980 as well.

CDM is probably right about the symantics of "custom". But the catalog did offer custom sizing at the time and did include a size form you could fill out. How often this actually happened I have no idea, and would guess in the States you were leaving with the model on the floor or nothing in most cases.

Anyway, that's a fantastic bike in very original condition. Take your time and do a proper conservative rebuild on it.
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Old 01-01-12, 02:23 PM
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I agree it is a great score for free if it fits properly. I also disagree that the frame is custom built, perhaps the frame and or bike was ordered for the size of the customer but I doubt it was built for him. ( I think at one time in the late '80s Bianchi was offering a custome TT length on Reparto Corse bikes But I never heard of someone buying one)

It looks, to be in decent shape just very neglected. be very careful with what you use to clean it. do not let anyone talk you into changing or upgrading anything. well perhaps the wheels but keep it basic just some silver clinchers with a freewheel hub.

where do you live? perhaps someone here will be willing to help you clean that up and learn about workig on bikes. I know I would be happy to spend a weekend making that diamond in rough shine


PS on the off chance that is not your size it isn't a 59cm is it?
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Old 01-01-12, 07:37 PM
  #17  
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That bike is going to take a lot of work to get fixed up. If you don't have the proper tools, this could be quite expensive. If you aren't at least 6 feet tall, it probably won't fit you. I will give you double what you paid for it to take it off your hands
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Old 01-01-12, 07:48 PM
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great bike, go and buy your neighbor something nice in return, like a good single malt scotch.
Could he mean he bought the frame and then built it up to his specifications, i.e. custom?
I can't find any Bianchi catalogs older than 1983 so I can't say for sure what the
bike would have come with.

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Old 01-01-12, 07:50 PM
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Well it definitely should be a fun project. According to the rear derailleur, it's from '78. It seems that more than anything it's just dirty with a little bit of surface rust on a few parts. I'm still thinking about what to do with the wheels. I don't know if it would be worth it to keep the tubular rims and tires. Also, the frame pump doesn't work, so i'll have to see if I can fix that.
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Old 01-01-12, 07:58 PM
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Andy,
whether you decide on clinchers or not (and I'm not going to start that debate)
keep the original wheels. If at some point in time you decide to sell the bike it
will help you get maximum money for the bike.
I agree, clean it up, take care of the surface rust (search for Oxalic Acid in this forum),
repack the bearings and replace the cables and you'll have a bike that most of us here
would be proud to ride.
if you need help with any of the above (and I don't know your level of expertise in
bike mechanics) feel free to ask either here or in the Mechanics forum.

Marty
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Old 01-01-12, 08:00 PM
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The pump is an easy fix. Just unscrew the plunger and work some grease into the leather tip, flaring the edges back as you go. It's just dried up. The rest of the bike just needs careful cleaning, although the oxidation on the anodized alloy parts might not completely clean up, and will have some white spots. But, call it patina and do not worry about it. Again that's a great Bianchi, and any of the 70's top end models are rare in the States (if you are in the States?).
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Old 01-01-12, 09:30 PM
  #22  
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Just wanted to echo with the consensus "Nice bike!" Especially if it fits you. I agree, even if you decide to ride it with different wheels, keep the originals. And yes, you owe your neighbor a little token of thanks. Keep us updated on the restoration!
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Old 01-02-12, 12:17 AM
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Andy, what are the #'s stamped into seat lug?
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Old 01-02-12, 12:42 AM
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I have a 1983 Specialissima. I'm no expert, but this one looks older than mine. This one is a nice bike and worth cleaning up or possibly restoring.

I really like the handlebar wrap and the 3TTT saddle is pretty good. It looks like a copy of the Unicantor saddle. Mine came with a Bianchi branded Turbo saddle which my anatomy finds very uncomfortable.

I recommend polishing it, removing all the dirt and grime, polishing the hardware to get it close to new looking as possible, and if it becomes a definite keeper, get it repainted and new correct decals.
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Old 01-02-12, 04:33 AM
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Wow! What a gift! I sold a '78 Bianchi Specialissima last year because I had a whiplash problem and I would put money on it being a '78, especially looking at the Campy components. The rear Dérailleur looks SR pre '79 for a start. It is a great winter project and the advice you've been given in all the posts is from is from people who know their Bianchis. If you don't use those wheels, clean them and put them in the loft in case you ever decide to sell. Please keep us informed as to how the restoration goes and send good photos on completion. Sadly it looks to be around 59 cm which is too big for this short-ass or I'd be in the queue to take it off your hands.
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