Sunday, November 6, 2011

1981 Bianchi Super Leggera

Ahhh... Bianchi. I purchased this Superleggera in September 2011 from an eBAY buy-it-now sale. The seller lives 85 miles south of me, in Del Mar, CA, so my son and I made an early Sunday morning road trip out to pick it up. The seller buys used bicycles all across the US, and this Superleggera came from one of his clients in the Midwest. From what he told us, this bicycle was kept in a spare bedroom for two decades. It's immaculate, and a the closest thing I have to a "show bike."

It has Campagnolo Super and Nuovo record components, although I'm hard-pressed to distinguish the Nuovo record items - perhaps a reader can chime in on the differences between Super and Nuovo on the two-bolt seatposts, brake calipers (if there are any differences), headset, hubs, and pedals. Yes, the bike came with Campy pedals, as well - although they are not shown in the photos. Also included were the original Silca celeste frame pump, and the water bottle cage. The wheels are Mavic GP40, where the bike would have originally come with the sew-up equivalent, the Mavic GP4.

There were only a few, small spots that required touch-up paint, so I purchased some Celeste touch-up paint off of eBAY and mixed it with some Testors model paint - a little green and blue to match the frame color on this older Bianchi. The original gum rubber hoods are deteriorated, but still intact, so I'll leave them for now. OEM replacements are upwards of $75, so this will have to wait until they split wide-open.

The frame size is 58 C-C seat tube and 57 C-C top tube, which is 2cm shy of my ideal frame size of 60cm, but with the longer stem and the seat set far back, the ride is comfortable enough. I took off the original Selle Italia seat and bagged it for safe keeping, replacing it with a vintage San Marco Condor from the mid-80s. Interestingly, the rails on the Condor don't match perfectly in-line with the Campy seat post rail guides, so there's a tiny bit of play in the seat. This, of course, will just HAVE to be remedied somehow before any long rides.

Do you own a vintage Bianchi or have anything to add? Leave a comment below. Thanks!


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  2. I have a Bianchi Super Leggera that I purchased in 1983 from the dealer in Santa Rosa California. It is still all original except for the rims and shimano pedals. I also have all the paper work, purchase invoice, manual and even the Bianchi pump and water bottle that came with the bike.

  3. This was my 1st "real" bike. $1000 in 1981. It came with a "pro groupo", Super Record except for the bottom bracket and pedals (both Nuovo Record). I was told that pro bike racers tended to break the titanium spindles in the SR BB and pedals (the NR versions have steel spindles). It came with a Concor saddle and clinchers, although I may have had the bike shop swap out the sew ups.

  4. Those tires are awesome, where did you find them?


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