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KJMUNC 05-09-2015 03:57 PM

Bianchi FG Lite - Cipollini's bike; updated build pics
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The story of this bike is exactly why I love this forum.

I've always wanted a Liquigas FG lite frame, but really wanted the all-aluminum version they made for the team. Cipo was always entertaining to me and I even gave up my 12x29 for him to ride at the Tour of Georgia back in '04 (another story for another time). I never figured I'd come across one of his bikes for sale, but that's exactly what happened a couple of months back.

I found the bike for sale on Germany eBay, but after emailing the seller she responded that she was selling for a friend and would not ship outside of Germany. The other challenge was that the owner had a stroke and was in grave was being sold by a friend of his wife, so he was unable to answer any questions. Despite that, I figured it was still a once in a lifetime chance, so I posted a note in the general forum asking for some help if anyone happened to live in Germany, and sure enough Jambee responded and offered to help. He lives in Berlin and the bike was in Munich, so after negotiating a fair price, the seller shipped the bike off to him. She used a freight company so instead of breaking the bike down, they literally just built a box around the complete bike and sent it complete!

Jambee kindly offered to break the bike down for shipping to the US, and after we evaluated a couple of options, we decided that bringing it with him on a flight from Berlin-San Francisco would be the best option. Lufthansa did charge an oversized bag fee, but we knew it would be safer and ultimately cheaper than shipping international.

Once the bike was in the US, I arranged for Bike Flights to pick it up from his hotel in Milpitas. I've never used them before but they were simply awesome! Super easy to use and great pricing. So after an incredible, long journey, a box arrived at my doorstep last Thursday.

Now about the bike itself:

The prior owner apparently purchased it from the Bianchi boutique in Munich. I'm assuming he converted the drive train to compact, as I can't imagine the Lion King ever rolled a compact. The frame also appears to be a custom geometry, as it has a 58cm top tube but only a 160mm headtube....the epitome of long and low. I've emailed Bianchi to see if they'll send me the original build sheet. The BB shell is stamped with an "M" below the serial number, so I'm guessing it was a custom job for Cipo.

The frame is incredibly light and in excellent condition. He didn't race much in 2005 beside Qatar and the Giro Toscana, so there wasn't much chance to ding it up.

I'm swapping the Record 10 compact set up for my Super Record 11, but I'm absolutely keeping those Bora wheels!

Will post pics after I've had a chance to build it back up with the SR11. In the meantime, a huge note of thanks to Jambee, as none of this would've been possible without his help!

zmudshark 05-09-2015 04:06 PM

Too cool. Big Cipo fan.

weisan 05-09-2015 04:38 PM

Can you confirm that the part of the top tube where he leans on his butt has not been wiped down?

weisan 05-09-2015 04:42 PM

Winning the Sprint

Climb01742 05-09-2015 04:45 PM

Such a great story. And the bike? Even better. I'm with you. That's a bucket list bike for me too. Please give us a ride report when you can. Hope you love it.

weisan 05-09-2015 04:46 PM

Cipo inspecting the Bianchi factory
"Signor Cipollini, tranquilli, la nostra qualità è molto buona, noi soddisfare ogni vostra esigenza."

Anarchist 05-09-2015 05:18 PM


I always wanted one of those FG lights but never found one in a store in my size and couldn't get the don dealer to search for me.

Given the weight of it, I have never been thrilled with the idea of buying a used, but ridden one.

You found a beauty.

Love it and keep it forever.

Matthew 05-09-2015 05:50 PM

Damn, that is so cool, and a great story. This place really is the best. That bike is so bad a$$. In such great shape too. Great score. Matthew

thirdgenbird 05-09-2015 06:01 PM

Too early to call dibs?

msl819 05-09-2015 06:24 PM

That's sweet... Will that be a bike you ride or one you treat as a collectors item?

Bencolem 05-10-2015 08:08 AM

Too cool, but looks like Mario was riding an Aliante rather than an Arione. And he'd have slammed a -17!

velomateo 05-10-2015 09:23 AM

That is so freakin cool. Love it!

firerescuefin 05-10-2015 12:23 PM

Fan-Friggin-Tastic story and bike. Thanks for sharing the story and pics!

ofcounsel 05-10-2015 01:42 PM

Super cool!!! Very cool to see forum members help each other out!

Dr Luxurious 05-10-2015 02:06 PM


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