Bianchi Classic, steel frame rehab

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by dldavis, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. dldavis

    dldavis New Member

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    I have a classic Bianchi road bike (bought new...much emotional attachment), approx 18 years old in great shape. I would like to upgrade the handlebars, front stem and fork to carbon to soften vibration. Ditto for the seatpost. I am uncertain as to a resource for the parts. Any thoughts for a supplier? Thanks.
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    eBay ...

    At this point in time, the most difficult component to source may be a carbon fiber fork which has a 1" steerer ...

    Of course, you could always ask your "local" (?) Bianchi dealer to order the fork that Bianchi is using on their retro Dolomiti frame -- the fork is presumably made by Dedacciai. I would think that you should anticipate paying $300+ for THAT fork, but maybe it will only cost a couple of hundred.

    FWIW. My observation is that changing from a good steel fork to a (good) carbon fiber fork does nothing for the way the road feels, or doesn't ...

    In other words, when I changed the surprisingly good carbon steel fork on my Peugeot to a threaded LOOK carbon fiber fork the only thing that changed was the bike's total weight -- net change was probably about a pound.

    Nonetheless, even though changing from a good steel to a CF fork does not change the ride, I subsequently changed the fork on my OLMO to a threadless CF fork because of the weight difference + greater ease in sourcing different length stems and/or handlebars.

    For aesthetic reasons (well, my preference), I recommend you get a Campagnolo CF seatpost.
     
  3. dldavis

    dldavis New Member

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    I was hoping to reduce some of the front end vibration. It isn't a terrible problem, but it is greater than the carbon setups I've ridden lately. So, you did not notice any significant reduction in vibration, fatigue etc.. with the carbon fork?
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    If you know exactly what you want and what to do with the parts once they arrive then buying new or lightly used on ebay can save you a lot of money.

    But if you aren't completely sure on compatibility then one of the reputable on line retailers can be a good idea like:
    Excel Sports Boulder - Online Bicycle Retailer
    PerformanceBike - Welcome!
    Nashbar - Welcome!

    And if you're not completely sure of how to install and adjust the various components or lack the appropriate tools then you're better off working with your LBS.

    FWIW, I rebuilt a mid '80s steel frame a couple of seasons ago, it was a great project and the bike rides really well with the new fork, STI shifters and other modern conveniences. Your fork choices will be limited if your Bianchi has a 1" steering tube and headset but there are still some good options. I went with an Easton EC-90 fork with 1" steer tube.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
    P.S. Looks like Alfeng beat me to the punch, but my observation was similar it's nice to drop bike weight but a full carbon fork didn't change the ride vs. a full steel fork. Which was really a good thing since I always liked the way that bike rode and still do. You want less road vibration, run a bit less air in your tires or run bigger tires.
     
  5. dldavis

    dldavis New Member

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    I will check the steering tube. It probably is a 1 inch. The lighter front end isnt such a bad goal for the bike either. You guys were supposed to tell me that this would change everything about the bike, add 2 mph to my climb speed and make me look 15 years younger. Rats. ;-)
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    BTW. When I say 'nothing changed' I really do mean that there was NO perceptible CHANGE in the ride on either rough asphalt or on fairly high speed descents.

    In addition to changing tire pressure, while this may sound too simple, you may simply need to adjust OR change the bearings and/or replace the headset PLUS ensure that the spokes are properly-and-evenly tensioned on your front wheel (try a front wheel with 36 spokes just to establish a benchmark).

    A different WIDTH of handlebar & stem LENGTH may make a difference for you.
     
  7. two wheels

    two wheels New Member

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    I am curious, If he changed the current seatpost with a carbon post would that help with road chatter?
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Not really. Reducing the inflation pressure on the tires would help.
     
  9. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Try rivbike.com or veloorange.com for some wider bars which would look right on an old frame.

    I haven't tried the gel inserts you place under your bar tape but those might work.

    I personally feel the seat rails are way more important than the seat post. Ti or Mg seat rails have the same size and shape as steel but are made from much more flexible materials.

    However, I feel the best modification would be 25 or 28 mm tires with lower pressure. 23s with less pressure would be good too, provided you could ride your bike without snakebites.
     
  10. crashmonkey

    crashmonkey New Member

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    This is interesting as I was contemplating the exact same upgrade on my 23 yr old steel frame. I thought the big deal with carbon forks was how they really absorbed road shock. Sounds like maybe not so much?


    The other rehab I was considering was a new rear cassette and shifters, but wonder if I am going too far enough down the rabbit hole at that point that I should just wait and get a new bike? My group set is Shimano 105, but we're talking 23 yr old 105 with only 6 sprockets in the rear. Technically it isn't 105 as it was replaced with a 12-17 sprocket back in my racing days. What I would like is a few more gears available to me before switching to the big ring up front. I also have a set of sew-ups with the same cassette, maybe I should upgrade that for a more comfortable ride?

    I was thinking of saving up for a new bike with Ultegra on it, but from the sounds of this post, it isn't worth the extra money, that maybe a new bike with 105 will do the trick.

    BTW, new to the forums and this is my first post!
     
  11. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Steel and carbon fiber are both quite good at absorbing road shock.

    I have put a seven speed uniglide cassette on a six speed uniglide hub. Maybe an eight speed would fit too. Mine was Dura-Ace but 105/600 is more available if anything. Try checking sheldonbrown.com for info on Uniglides. There are still affordable nos cassettes available on ebay. It could be as simple as changing the cassette. Just make sure it's not a freewheel.
     
  12. crashmonkey

    crashmonkey New Member

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    I should note that the sew-ups are Dura-Ace.
     
  13. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    What hub does it have though? The NOS cassettes for the Uniglide dura aces cost $80 or so.
     
  14. crashmonkey

    crashmonkey New Member

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    Both are from the very late 80's, 6 speed for both. I will figure out what kind of hub I have this weekend.
     
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