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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 4:08 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:23 pm
Posts: 49
After a few weeks of scrubbing, cleaning, polishing, and so on, things are finally ready to go back together. Still waiting for a few pieces to come in the mail, but I was eager to see the shape of things to come.

Currently on Mavic G 40 clinchers, and debating whether I should stick with these or use the NOS GP4's I also picked up... I have half a mind to see if I can get this bike ready for the Retro Ronde in Belgium later this month, so may be safer to stick with clinchers for now (the devil I know vs. the one I don't).


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 7:14 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:46 pm
Posts: 962
Location: Montpellier, France
Following this with interest, very worthy subject for a rebuild and looks like you've done it justice. The things people neglect, eh? :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 9:55 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:56 am
Posts: 234
Location: Cambridge
Stunning, I'd dream of finding something like this at a flea market. I'm just happy that its rough treatment has come to an end.


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:33 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:03 pm
Posts: 5120
Location: held captive by baby haggis in a cave in Scotland
Lucky man!
Lovely bike and cool dog as well ;)

Jamie


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:11 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:23 pm
Posts: 49
After a few weeks of silence on the Bianchi front, this weekend saw a flurry of activity!

Some time ago I'd committed to joining a few friends for the RetroRonde in Oudenaarde in Vlaanderen, and had hoped to have the Bianchi ready for its inaugural outing. However, work and other life things kept me from being able to devote a lot of time to progressing with the bike over the last few weeks, save for ordering and receiving parts. But... when this weekend rolled around, I actually realized we wouldn't be leaving Amsterdam for Belgium until mid-afternoon. I had Saturday morning to get in a few more hours before we had to take off!

So, by 9:30am I was at a friend's bike shop for the last legs; fresh cables, new chain, adjusting the drivetrain, a host of other little 'check this, adjust that' business. After having done the bulk of the work on the bike in my apartment's living room, it was great being able to have some actual time in a well-equipped workshop, especially one where there's a secret basement stashed with old parts and an Italian mechanic cooking pasta with shrimp and zucchini for lunch :o

With the hour of departure looming, I ended up getting things done in the nick of time - 15 minutes before our departure, I walked into my front door with a fully functioning bike! Admittedly, the 3 minute ride from the shop to the house didn't amount to much of a shakedown run, but I figured I could iron out any kinks in Belgium should they appear. We arrived in Belgium just in time on Saturday evening to check the criterium races while we plied ourselves with some good beers, before heading to dinner and a good night's sleep at the hotel afterward.

Sunday morning broke, freezing, moist and overcast, but with a good breakfast behind us we headed to the start of the Ronde for registration and general retro malarky. At that point, hearing the chatter about the wet cobbles, the climbs, etc, the realization that I was a complete novice at this cycling business started to set in a bit. Was I completely nuts, having only started cycling late last year, having only done 6 or 7 easy flatland 30-40km rides in Holland? Doing 70+km, untested rider, untested bike and untested route, seemed a bit daunting. Then again, what's riding if not pushing yourself a bit, eh, so off we went! And of course, in the end it resulted in a truly momentous experience. Brutal cobblestone climbs (which I succeeded to walk up quite rapidly), one novice "oh shit, I'm not gonna get my foot out of that toe clip in time" moment, and about 80km of fields, castles, farm manors, sun breaking through clouds, and a cheshire grin were the result.

The bike itself performed without a hitch, and was a revelation... Supposedly, at 1m92 tall, this frame is too small for me, but it felt more than comfortable enough. By the time we were midway through the ride, I had sufficient confidence in the handling and brakes to follow some groups on 50-60kmh descents, and was getting ever more amazed at the ride quality compared to any other bike I've ridden to date. Smooth, light, fast and silent. Even my riding buddy (who rides like a beast) was surprised at the pace I was able to maintain compared to our previous rides. What an experience!

It's no surprise that today I'm sore as hell, but I'm psyched to have done my first group ride, my first ride in the hills, my first stretches of pavé & mud, and to have done it all on the Bianchi! Save for a little drift in the rear derailleur toward the end of the ride, she performed flawlessly. There are still cosmetic and elective things to do (repainting flutes on the panto'd parts, finding year-correct cranks and derailleur), but at this point it's a working bike :)


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 12:16 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
Good afternoon,

Great find, great resto, great story - i think this typifies what retorbiking is all about. Maybe i should take note myself and get out on a bike!!

What are the final plans? Are the GP4's going on? There is a sticky about tubs in retro road classic that might interest you.

Richard


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 1:25 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:23 pm
Posts: 49
Hmmm... Final plans? I'm afraid I'm not good with finality when it comes to projects... there's always something to tweak, to change, to improve, etc.! But of course there are plans aplenty, including trying tubs on the GP4's. In fact, I ended up talking to a Belgian guy after the ride yesterday who had recently had his first experience riding tubular, and was extolling the advantages in speed and control in no uncertain terms. Ironically, this was also the same guy that managed to do an endo at the bottom of a long descent, ending up in a field of nettles - the same turn he apparently went down on during last year's ride! :)

Where plans for the Bianchi are concerned, I'm going to see if I can make the size work for me because it really is a charming ride. Practically speaking that probably means building up a secondary parts set for 'daily' use, in addition to the all-period correct approach I'm taking for the current 'restored' state; a longer seatpost, a second cockpit with more reach, and perhaps even a pair of clipless pedals instead of the straps. Longer seat post will probably be something non-original spec - if I'm not mistaken Campagnolo didn't make extra long SR/NR posts? I'll also need to determine whether reach is working out with the current set up. If not, I have a spare set of correct 3TTT Superleggero bars lying around, and can easily find another correct 3TTT stem (although without panto) to try out. Furthermore I'll probably also need to figure out my gearing so I don't end up sucking on the hills so bad.

Where the period-correct restoration efforts are concerned, my long-term to-find-and-do list is as follows:

- 1982 Campagnolo cranks
- Pat. 82 rear Super Record derailleur
- Correct panto'd brake levers
- Super Record pedals
- Campagnolo toe clips
- find someone who can polish the seatpost
- Strip paint from brakes & seatpost flutes and repaint correct color blue

If, after all is said and done, it still turns out to simply be too small a frame for me, I'll probably end up putting it up for trade/sale for something more fitting (hmmmm... 7-Eleven or Motorola Eddy Merckx would be fun!!).


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 1:35 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
Interesting, so this may be a bike that might never be 'finished'. That is a good plan!!

My suspicion is that time, effort, more time and more effort will sort out the seat post polish.

Regarding a longer seat post, i could be completely wrong and someone will know but i think i saw/read about long Campag seat posts recently.

Keep up the good work and post your changes as you go.


Richard


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