Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bianchi - The New Obsession

Original listing photo. That is NOT my douug!

1982 Campagnolo NR mech and Gipiemme dropouts

Bianchi-branded Ofmega Strada crankset

Dia Compe hoods fit fine over Universal levers. I have since removed the top ferrules. 

I've always loved Bianchi bikes; particularly the celeste ones from the early 1980s. I found one on eBay recently and the seller was local, so I contacted him. It is a 1982 Nuova Racing with original components and a well-preserved paint job. I took it apart, cleaned it up, and now it's ready to ride.

Actual photos of the Tipo Corsa frame.

Not my bike, but a close-enough vision of what it will look like. 


Red cable housing. Yes!

Three weeks later, fueled by my recent purchase and the fun I had bringing that Bianchi back to original condition, I searched for another. I quickly found a 1983 Tipo Corsa 28-T that was a repaint, but well-done and quite pristine. The buyer was, again, local, so I purchased it and that is now my Summer build project.

I've taken the parts from my Guerciotti and some other I had in stock to build this, and am having a blast.

So why the interest in Bianchis? In and around 1981 and 1982, I couldn't afford any other bike than my trusty Univega Viva Sport. It served me well and I put many miles on it. Still, I longed for a "real" racing bicycle. I cut apart Bianchi, Specialized, and other brochures and created a collage on the wall next to my bed. No poster purchased in any store could have been more inspirational or fun to look at. I memorized the bicycle specs from the charts in the catalogs and dreamed of the day I could finally one one of these fine, elegant machines.

Fast-forward 33 years and I finally purchased a 1981 Super Leggera in mint condition. Unfortunately, it was too small, and I decided to sell it after two years. The ones I recently found fit fine and the experience of wrenching on these and riding them is, in every sense of the term, a dream come true.

I have my eyes open for more and am saving my pennies. The thought has even crossed my mind to sell a Colnago or two to pay for another Bianchi, but I've, so far, talked myself out of that silly notion. :)

What about you - ever own a Bianchi?

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