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  #1  
Old 03-02-2019, 09:03 PM
mhespenheide mhespenheide is offline
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1987 Bianchi Campione d'Italia (modded to semi-modern)

After trips to a friendly framebuilder/artisan and then on to Groody brothers for refinishing, this 1987 Bianchi is back home with me and ready to start building up.

This specific bike/frame was my first good bicycle, bought in '87 from Wheel and Heel in Fishkill, NY. I rode and raced on it for a few seasons before it was superseded by a Trek 660. The Trek came with me to college; I left the Bianchi at home in NY for winter miles and other visits home. I didn't take that great care of it, though, and it eventually developed a little rust, a stuck stem, and a headset that was beginning to index. A Schwinn "Paramount" PDG got sent home for those duties when I picked up a titanium LeMond, and the Bianchi basically languished in my parent's basement for 25 years.

By 2014, I had moved to Central California and wanted to ride Eroica California with the Bianchi, so when I went home that Christmas, I boxed up the frame and shipped it out here. For that year, I didn't do anything about the stem or the rust. I just packed extra grease into the headset and made do. It worked okay, but I noticed that the bike had pretty excellent clearances for big tires -- except at the rear brake bridge and the front fork crown. I'd managed to pick up a beautiful flat-crown Waterford fork here on PL with just a bit of extra clearance, so I started to wonder about raising the rear brake bridge. When I found someone willing to do the work, and dimple the chainstays, I went for it. We also added slotted cable stops and spread the rear dropouts to 130mm. Both the front and the rear now fit a true (measured) 700x33mm, so I'll be running Challenge Strada Bianca tires on TB14 rims.

Groody Brothers put on a celeste powdercoat, applied decals from VeloCals (from the '84 era or so; I was never a fan of the '87 lettering with a line through the middle), and sent it out for clearcoat.

I got it back yesterday. A photo to commemorate its return, then I start building it up. It'll be a mix of modern and old; just within the legal boundaries of Eroica California.
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File Type: jpg mh_bianchi-repaint-1.jpg (38.0 KB, 405 views)
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2019, 12:23 AM
ultraman6970 ultraman6970 is offline
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Did not know that company, prices looks ok but the only thing I found weird was the frame alligment, they check dropouts only... to me frame alligment is frame alligment in a table and stuff not only drop outs.

Dudes make a nicely well done and not thick PC... good stuff...

Congrats for your bike OP.... finish it soon
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2019, 06:36 AM
Nomadmax Nomadmax is offline
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That looks like good work. I'm anxious to see it built up.
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Old 03-03-2019, 06:57 AM
Climb01742 Climb01742 is online now
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Really nice backstory. Psyched to see its new reincarnation.
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2019, 11:29 AM
NHAero NHAero is offline
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Great retromod job! Can't wait to see the build.
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2019, 10:57 PM
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Pegoready Pegoready is offline
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Nice! Great story. I love pouring champagne money into a PBR frame. Done it myself on an old track bike that treated me well for 10 years of hard East Coast commuting. It owed me nothing, but I had some frame mods done, a nice celeste powdercoat, and it now lives the easy life in CA with me.
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2019, 12:34 AM
Clean39T Clean39T is online now
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Looks great - excited to see the build and some pics from Eroica! Hopefully the sun is out in CA sometime this year..
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2019, 06:26 AM
velolab velolab is offline
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Looks great ! Please post pics of final build.
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2019, 02:52 PM
mtechnica mtechnica is online now
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I rode a white one of those for a long time and still have the frame. It rides good and I was always quick on it.
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2019, 01:54 AM
mhespenheide mhespenheide is offline
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Tire clearances, as proof of concept. These are Challenge Eroica tires mounted on TB14 rims; my cheap calipers measure them inflated right at 33mm. There's 3-4mm of clearance around the fork, brake bridge, and chainstays. (!)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mh_bianchi_tire-1.jpg (39.3 KB, 195 views)
File Type: jpg mh_bianchi_tire-2.jpg (36.7 KB, 194 views)
File Type: jpg mh_bianchi_tire-3.jpg (102.1 KB, 195 views)

Last edited by mhespenheide; 03-06-2019 at 02:03 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2019, 01:58 AM
mhespenheide mhespenheide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegoready View Post
Nice! Great story. I love pouring champagne money into a PBR frame.
The nostalgia alone would have made me hold on to the frame, but the possibility of converting it and having basically the bike that I would commission as a custom -- 63x59.5, good bottom bracket drop, relaxed but not sleeper angles, and big road clearances -- made it a no-brainer. At least to me. By the end of this, I'll have poured more money into it than probably makes sense, but I'll have something worth holding onto that might even make me stop browsing and window-shopping other vintage steel frames.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2019, 01:59 AM
mhespenheide mhespenheide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clean39T View Post
Looks great - excited to see the build and some pics from Eroica! Hopefully the sun is out in CA sometime this year..
We were drying out, but are right now in the middle of a good-sized storm, so I'm starting to worry about the three big dirt-road climbs on the Eroica route!
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2019, 11:58 AM
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cgolvin cgolvin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhespenheide View Post
...I'll have something worth holding onto that might even make me stop browsing and window-shopping other vintage steel frames.
I admire your optimism, but...dream on!
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  #14  
Old 03-06-2019, 04:52 PM
mhespenheide mhespenheide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhespenheide View Post
...that might even make me stop browsing and window-shopping other vintage steel frames.
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  #15  
Old 03-06-2019, 11:18 PM
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AngryScientist AngryScientist is offline
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Strong work here. Always a Bianchi fan. Celeste is timeless and instantly recognizable among bike people. I absolutely love keeping these older dogs on the road and enjoying miles.

It also scares the ba-jeebus our of me that ‘87 was over 30 years ago!
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