1988 Bianchi Superleggera
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  1. #1
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    1988 Bianchi Superleggera

    Does anyone have specifications for a 1988 Bianchi Superleggera? I believe it was Columbus SL with Campy Chorus, Synchro shifters and Ambrosio wheels. Would these wheels be 700C or 27”. Just trying to gather information. Bought one and am waiting to receive it now. It looks all original but I haven't seen it in person yet, so I won't know exactly until I unpack it. I was looking for an older Bianchi steel frame to rebuild with a modern Shimano drive train. But this one looks pretty cool and it seems a shame to remove all that Campy. Thinking of just restoring it and using it for coffee rides with the wife or our local bike club's Tour De Café rides on Sunday afternoon. Maybe remove the synchro shift and ride it in an L'Eroica type event. Who knows.

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    I have it (or maybe it is 1987 -- I bought it in Feb 1988). It is sitting in my living room on a fluid trainer at the moment. The wheels are 700c. (edit: Ambrosio 19 Elete) I replaced the rear one, but the front is still the original. I will check for you. Mine has a combo of Campy and Modolo. The crank is Gipemme. The shifters aren't ratchet.









    (I was using those pedals for awhile after I broke my ankle. Don't worry -- that isn't original stock.)

    The tubing I have is SLX, but I broke the original frame and I think they told me they gave me the next one up.

    Two things to keep an eye on: (1) my frame cracked at the FD braze-on. I am kind of hard on bikes, so it might be a one-off. The replacement frame was problem-free. (2) If you have the Modolo stem with the split in it, like I do, be aware that it has been recalled. Mine never caused a problem, but it is a potential safety issue.

    This is a great bike. I wouldn't touch the drive train unless there is something wrong with it. I spent many happy years on this thing. I bought it with every penny I had when I was a broke grad student at Berkeley, and riding it kept me sane.
    Last edited by wgscott; 02-03-2016 at 07:36 AM.

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    1988 Bianchi Superleggera

    Nice wgscott..

    Want to find something think that for Erioca..
    Last edited by spdntrxi; 02-03-2016 at 08:58 AM.
    PO is a liberal echo chamber.

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    Thanks. I don't think the bike I bought is 100% original. It has an Athena rear derailleur for sure. Looks almost the same as yours except the A & B screws are on the top not the bottom. I believe you have a Chorus. The stem is a Cinelli and the bars are Ambrosia. The shifters are the ratcheting Synchro type. Also the brake cables exit the back of the lever and wrap under the handle bar tape. It also has old style LOOK delta pedals.
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    Last edited by bigjohnla; 02-03-2016 at 02:31 PM.

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    hfc
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    I recently bought an '89 Giro from the original owner and got the catalog with it. The top 3 Bianchi models in 89 were Mondiale, Super Leggera, Giro. They all had the same frame SLX with Gipiemme dropouts. Group sets were Croce D'Aune, Chorus, Athena in the order above.

    Wheels are 700c , per the catalog rims for the Mondiale were Campy Omega, and Ambrosio for the others but mine has Fir EL25's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjohnla View Post
    Thanks. I don't think the bike I bought is 100% original
    Yes, it doesn't seem to be 100% original but it's still a great bike, I really like the color!

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    Quick question about Campy stem shifters. I am not familiar with Campy at all. The bike has bosses on the downtube with Synchro sis shift levers. I would like to change these out with some older Nuevo Record style levers and go straight friction shift. I like the look of these better. Will these fit on the same bosses. The only friction shifters I ever had on any of my old bikes were the kind that clamped on the handle bar stem (shimano and suntour).

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    Synchro is Campys downtube indexed shifters and Shimano had SIS (Shimano Indexed Shifting). You will be able to mount any downtube shifters on those downtube bosses.

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    hfc
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    Yes the older style should fit. If you want friction but want to stay closer to the spirit of your Chorus Group the first generation C-Record shifters were friction. Notice the lack of bulk to the "hub" of the right side shifter.

    VeloBase.com - Component: Campagnolo C-Record Friction

    Edit: I notice that's what wgscott has on his bike above.

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    If you're wantin' to go straight friction, I'd recommend you find a set of Simplex Retro-Friction shifters instead of Campagnolo shifters. They are incredibly smooth operating. It was a pretty standard up grade in the day.

    VeloBase.com - Component: Simplex SLJ, Retro-Friction (later version)

    On my bike. The rest of the group is Super Record.

    bike 007.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by hfc View Post
    Edit: I notice that's what wgscott has on his bike above.

    Yeah. The only thing that I have found that bettered these is Di2. (I was asleep for the whole index shifter and 'brifter' thing on road bikes.)

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    The bike arrived Friday. It appears to have been put together from spare parts. The frame is in great shape with a brand new headset and looks like brand new bottom bracket. It has Ambrosio Campione Du Monde bars which are gorgeous. Wheels are not original and pretty beat up. 8 speed cassette hub on the rear which is not correct for the bike. The seat post is fluted alloy and that looks really good. Brakes are Chorus coplanar and in great shape, minus some mismatched adjusters and nuts. The frame was re sprayed but the color is not to my liking. Too light. Front derailleur is Chrous in great shape. Rear is Athena and is missing some parts. Shifters are Synchro which I will replace. Lots of work but also a whole to work with too. looking forward to a fun project.

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    Love this thread. I'd probably recommend going with friction shifters b/c you'll have more options for the cogs/cassette. many of the mid-late 80's bikes had fairly straight blocks, which can make climbs overly difficult, and perhaps harmful. I started to develop issues from the giant gears (in comparison to running a 50-34 12-29)
    I love pre 90's Bianchi.

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    Consider this...the Campy 8sp Synchro downtube shifter will work with Campy 8sp cassettes, Campy individual cog 9sp cassettes, respaced for 8sp, and surprisingly 7sp Sachs free wheels.

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    Yes, I have pretty much decided to keep the cassette hub. I am considering this project more of a spirit of the period rebuild versus a complete restore to factory spec. I own a modern carbon fiber Bianchi Infinito with Shimano and FSA components. I am thinking that an Italian made Bianchi steel frame with European components that enthusiasts of the day would have used is the way I am going with this one. I am going to stick with the cassette hub and Monoplanar brakes. I will be acquiring an 8 speed derailleur and friction shifters. Crankset is going to be the problem. I don't know of any older cranksets from that era that can be configured 48-36. I use this with a 12-28 cassette on my main ride which gets my 61 year old Clyde butt up just about anything. The new Bianchi L'Eroica has a Dia-Comp crankset in that gearing as does Velo Orange. These are options if I can't find something older.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjohnla View Post
    Yes, I have pretty much decided to keep the cassette hub. I am considering this project more of a spirit of the period rebuild versus a complete restore to factory spec. I own a modern carbon fiber Bianchi Infinito with Shimano and FSA components. I am thinking that an Italian made Bianchi steel frame with European components that enthusiasts of the day would have used is the way I am going with this one. I am going to stick with the cassette hub and Monoplanar brakes. I will be acquiring an 8 speed derailleur and friction shifters. Crankset is going to be the problem. I don't know of any older cranksets from that era that can be configured 48-36. I use this with a 12-28 cassette on my main ride which gets my 61 year old Clyde butt up just about anything. The new Bianchi L'Eroica has a Dia-Comp crankset in that gearing as does Velo Orange. These are options if I can't find something older.
    If you're looking for a new crank that has the look, another option is IRD. They don't have the exact configuration that you mention, but they have a coupe of options.

    Crank Arms / Chainrings ? Interloc Racing Design / IRD
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    I had thought that Campy Synchro DTs were late 80s. Are you certain that the were not OEM on that Bianchi?

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    The Synchro DTs were original. The left one is a friction shifter ala Pantani. The right one is a ratchet. One click, one gear. It still works pretty well. But it is missing a plate with a lever that allows you to choose between index and friction shifting. To be honest, I don't really care for the look. It is kind of clunky looking. I much prefer the old style levers from an aesthetics standpoint. Plus, it will be L'Eroica with friction shifters. I am retiring in a little over a year and hoping to make it out to Pasa Robles for the California version in the next couple of years.

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    While we got some folks reading this, I am planning to strip the paint off and repaint the frame. The frame is nickel plated. Does anyone know the proper procedure for doing This. Should I use a chemical stripper? Does a primer need to be applied?

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    Afaik, the left shifter for the front derailleur has always been friction. Mine has no ratcheting or detents involved. Also, my right, rear shifter does not have any way of running as a friction shifter. It is indexed all the way. It also does not have a ratchet. It simply clicks between cogs.

    Now Suntour shifters did indeed have ratcheting that was audible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Afaik, the left shifter for the front derailleur has always been friction. Mine has no ratcheting or detents involved. Also, my right, rear shifter does not have any way of running as a friction shifter. It is indexed all the way. It also does not have a ratchet. It simply clicks between cogs.

    Now Suntour shifters did indeed have ratcheting that was audible.
    Velo Orange has the Dia Comp levers which are copies of the Suntour levers.

    Dia-Compe ENE Down Tube Shifters - Shifters - Shifting - Components

    And Rivendell has the silver shifters which is their copy of the Suntour lever.

    Silver Downtube Shifter Kits - 17101

    But IMO they're neither are work as well as the Simplex levers that I referenced in an earlier post.
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  22. #22
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    It took a bit of time to acquire all the proper tools for working with the Campy hardware. I have mostly worked on Shimano, Suntour and Simplex. Probably could have removed the crank and headset with some jury rigging, but it seemed like a good excuse to acquire the proper tools. I am a fool for tools.

    The bike is now disassembled and I am getting ready to strip the frame. The paint was actually pretty good for a rattle can job. But the color was wrong and nothing had been masked off correctly so all the threads had been painted. Managed to acquire color codes for Celeste and got some paint mixed up at a local auto paint supplier. They are pretty proud of their products.

    I have also started acquiring parts. Found a very nice Super Record derailleur in great condition. Got some NOS Campy brake pads, a very nice old Head badge I also ordered a pair H Plus Sons TB-14 rims. Still need a rear hub, hoods, shifters and pedals. The Wife is being patient but the costs are starting to add up. I need to rummage through my parts bin and sell a few things.

    Still debating whether to go with a "vintage look" compact crankset or keep the Chrous crankset. It would mean swapping the bottom bracket because no one makes ISO square taper cranksets anymore.

    I will post some pics after the frame is stripped and painted.
    Last edited by bigjohnla; 02-23-2016 at 10:15 AM.

  23. #23
    hfc
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    Well you have fallen into the vintage bike sinkhole! I bought a Tommasini frame a couple of years ago, bought another bike for the parts, but ended up keeping it because I liked it so much and so on until now I'm at 4 vintage bikes with enough parts for one or 2 more!

    Campy did not make compact cranks until about 7 or 8 years ago. Velo Orange sells modern parts with vintage look such as these cranks:

    Grand Cru 110 Fluted Double Crankset, 34x48t - Cranksets - Components

    This is my go-to site for vintage info, you'll find a few threads there for stripping and painting frames.

    Classic & Vintage

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    That velo crank is neat. Too bad they didn't make it look like super record

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    Funny that you guys mentioned Velo Orange. I made the decision to go that route a few days back and ordered one. It arrived yesterday and it is a beauty. I got the CRU-110 with smooth rings. Not the “Drillium” one. On the outside the rings look old school. But, it has all the pins and ramps of a modern chain ring. My wife said it was very “pretty”. At least I got the important stuff right.
    Last edited by bigjohnla; 02-25-2016 at 01:48 PM.

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