Found a nice old Bianchi!

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by trinogt, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. trinogt

    trinogt New Member

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    Before you say anything, yes, it's a 'ladies' bike... I found it at a pawn shop, made an offer, and hauled it away. I got it for my 11 year old son to ride; figured it would be easier for him with the step through frame to start out with on the road (He's been riding a BMX and a 24" MTB).
    I hope someone can help me identify the year. I do believe it is a Bianchi Strada 'W' of some vintage. It is a 12 speed, and I am pretty sure bars were swapped out, but can't be certain.
    700C wheels, Shimano derailleurs and shifters. Crank is a Sugino VT 52/40, and freewheel is a 14/30 cog. Dia-Compe brakes and pads, front wheel hub is Suzue with Ambrosio rim (Made in Italy), rear hub is S.I.W.
    Size is a 55cm, measured from BB to top of seat tube. Pedals are missing their toe clips and straps.
    I dismantled and cleaned the worst stuff (which wasnt all that bad), lubed, torqued, trued. This thing is slick and fast! Super stable for no- handing.
    Serial number, if that helps, is: BS578093
    Has the Bianchi decals, plus the odd 'Wiele' sticker on both sides. I believe the Strada 'M' was mens and the 'W' was womens, and if you'll notice the 'W' of 'Wiele' is more pronounced. Can anyone help? More curious than anything! Thanks. I am proud of my find! Oh, and the tires look like they've never been around the block yet.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  2. Paolo1987

    Paolo1987 New Member

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    Hello, I'm italian and I love Bianchi!! I do believe it is well preserved and I hope that your son become a great cyclist!! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    Sorry my english but I'm here also to learn the language!! Correct me, please!! Thank you!!
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. Far from definitive, I reckon the bike dates to c1982 +/- 2 years.

    Nice find.
     
  4. trinogt

    trinogt New Member

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    [​IMG]
    Hello Paolo. Your English is just fine! Thank you for your kind words.
    Yes, I love Bianchi too... One of my first road bike loves was a Bianchi carbon bike, celeste of course!
    Maybe with you being Italian, do you know anything about the word "Wiele" on the top tube? The "W" is in red, while the rest of the letters are black. I haven't been able to find another bicycle like it. The closest I've seen was a 1986-87 model, but it was made in the USA I think, Colorado Springs sticker on it. It was a Strada Campione del Mondo. I believe this to be an older bike. BIANCHI is stamped into the dropouts.

    I just found some road bars for it as you can see, and I put new brake cables and housing on. Going to make it a retro restoration, have some Tektro brake levers coming and some new bar tape. A better saddle is also in the plan. Today I let my 15 year old ride it. It fits him almost perfectly, as he is 5 feet 9 inches tall and the bike is a 55cm. A 24 mile ride today, and it performed flawlessly. My son has never been more impressed with a bicycle! (Coming from mountain bikes haha)
    Mark
     
  5. trinogt

    trinogt New Member

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    Yes, I think you are close... I found some old catalogs online from 1983-up, and one Strada model came close, but not 100%, like the rear brakes were not at the top of seat stays but rather on the 'top tube extension/secondary chain stays', and decals were different. Anyone know what year Bianchi stopped production in Italy for the US bikes?
     
  6. Paolo1987

    Paolo1987 New Member

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    Thank you trinogt!! I don't know anything about the word "Wiele" and about the bike's costruction year. Is the first time that I see this model, i hope that someone will respond to your questions!!
     
  7. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    The word Wiele is Polish and means "many". It is also a common surname in Poland. Do you have many Poles in your area? Could the decals have been applied post-purchase?
     
  8. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Well then it's safe to assume there are many Many in Poland./img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  9. trinogt

    trinogt New Member

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    It is possible the letters were added later, yes... The fact that they are individual letters and not one solid decal like the Bianchi script may be another indicator... I don't particularly like them on there, but didn't want to just remove them if they added any kind of value to the bike. I think it is time to pull them! lol
    [​IMG]
    Just received the brake levers (Tektro RL340), cables, and bar tape in the mail today, so threw everything together. Love the clean look without the brake cables all up in the face lol. My youngest boy picked out the bar tape. I am really liking this old stuff! Gets my kids involved too...
     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. From the angle of the picture, those look like the TEKTRO brake levers designed for V-brake caiipers ...

    Is that right?!?

    If so, then I think that you really want to consider replacing them with levers made for regular Road brake calipers.

    BTW. If you want grandchildren at some point in time in the future, then you may want to level out the top of the bike's saddle.
     
  11. trinogt

    trinogt New Member

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    No, these are not brake levers designed for V-brake calipers. These are Tektro brake levers (which are designed for caliper OR cantilever brakes, according to http://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?page=8&description=RL340+Brake+Levers&vendorCode=TEKTRO&major=1&minor=29)
    Look up the RL340 (or 341 for womens) for the Tektros. You will see them under 'Road Bike' here: http://www.tektro.com/_english/01_products/00_prolist.php?pid=3

    If you want these for the V brakes as you mentioned, then get the RL520's, on the same Tektro webpage above, but under 'Cyclocross'. Note that they look very similar, but the lever is quite different.

    This is the Tektro XLC (RL340) lever you are looking at on my bike: http://www.ebay.com/itm/XLC-Aero-Road-Brake-Lever-Set-Drop-Bars-Bike-Bicycle-Black-Silver-NEW-/330756830302?pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4d02a4b45e . If you look at the check box, 'Road Race' is checked, and the 'V- Brake, U- Brake, and Cantilever boxes are not checked. I don't know why the package doesn't have the Tektro name on it, but the part does on the hoods. Says XLC on the levers. The fit is perfect and the actuation even better. I highly recommend them for vintage road bikes.
    As far as the saddle (thanks for noticing), the clamp was not tightened up firmly, and this was the result of one of my sons getting off the bike during fitting. Nobody in my family rides with a saddle this way. It would not be conducive to a nice long ride. ;)
     
  12. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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  13. trinogt

    trinogt New Member

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    They have a great looking website. I didn't know anything about Tektro until I started looking for brake levers for this Bianchi. Have you used any of their products before? My road bike came with Oval Concepts R500 calipers, and while I wasn't real familiar with that brand at the time, I think they look and work great. I rely on others reviews a lot when I purchase stuff.
     
  14. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I have both TEKTRO levers & calipers on different bikes ...

    I have a couple of frames set up with some Tektro LONG REACH brake calipers ...

    • at the moment, only Tektro & Shimano make long reach (49-59) brake calipers; and, Tektro has even longer reach calipers, too ...
    • the Tektro calipers aren't quite as nice as Shimano brake calipers, but few are ... Tektro brake calipers ARE nonetheless nicely finished & generally cost a fraction of what Shimano calipers cost
    [*] allowing that Shimano has the best brake pads, the difference between Tektro & Shimano is otherwise mosly cosmetic for us common folk
    • they slow the bike down when I want them to slow the bike
    • and, they stop the bike when I want to stop the bike

    Here are some Campy-copy Tektro brake levers on one of my bikes:

    [​IMG]
     
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