MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

197? BIANCHI SPRINT - INTRO

FINDING BIANCHI SPRINT #1

FINDING BIANCHI SPRINT #2

BUILDING #1 SPRINT

BUILDING #2 SPRINT

RIDING THE BIANCHI SPRINTS 

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

BUILDING THE SECOND BIANCHI SPRINT

"As found", the second Bianchi "Sprint" to come into my possession was a mess.  The unfaded paint was scratched and chipped, in many places, offering a wonderful opportunity for the setting in of surface rust.  Many plated or bare steel components had also fallen prey to the ravages of oxidation.  The bicycle was by no means still in original issue condition, with many of the original components having been long since replaced.  All in all, first appearance suggested that I leave the bicycle where I found it.  But is was a Bianchi and these old Italian bicycles, though plentiful, are very collectable!  With that in mind, the apparently diseased vintage Italian steed made it journey out to my summer cottage where I would soon undertake a full but mechanical rebuild.

The second Sprint was my size and I did want to ride the bicycle.  I had come to appreciate the Old School but necessarily high end bicycles that frequently come my way.  This lesson was first make clear to me on an absolutely wonderful and memorable test ride of an entry level Legnano that I had found at the Dump and taken the time to refurbish.

Shortly after bringing the second Sprint to the cottage, I began a careful inspection.  A few efforts were made to clean up some of the more offending eyesores, such as the oxidized fork crown.  The results were pretty good, though not perfect.  Time and Mother Nature had had their impacts. None the less, I decided to go completely through the bicycle, paying attention primarily to the mechanical end only.  Cosmetics were not really an issue since all I wanted to do was test ride the bicycle and see if it was for me or not.  That said, once I actually got into the rebuild, I did spend a bit of time polishing the old steed up.  And the results were certainly worthy while!

The mechanics were pretty good actually, and none of the bearing needed to be replaced.  The bottom bracket looked to be an ugly and infested mess.  But it did clean up to look quite presentable.  That said, the Bianchi had suffered from serious neglect and nothing short of a full restoration was going to make this old bicycle look really good.

The chrome plated crank set presented serious cosmetic issues.  Once again, oxidation had set in and a through cleaning was in order.  I did have to replace the crank ring bolts since they had been badly attacked by rust, to the point of pitting.  Once a metal surfaces begins to pit, easy restoration is out of the question.  With that in mind, I simply plucked another set of bolts from the Old Shed and installed them.  When the cleaning and refurbishing effort was complete, the cranks looked quite good.  Certainly not perfect but at least presentable.

The Universal center pull brake callipers were not all that bad initially but they still sported a patina of oxidation.  Little effort was required to make that appear to be all that they could be and that was good enough for me.  A bit more time and with some hardware replace, would have worked wonders on these old stoppers.

Like the rest of the bicycle, the transmission was a mess.  Once again, rust had made its ugly presence know, destroying parts of the entry level Campagnolo shifter set.  The drive chain was shot.  Though a great deal of work might have offered some degree of salvage, no effort was made to repair such badly damaged items.  I fitted a new/used drive chain and replaced what I could on the derailleurs.

NEXT - RIDING THE BIANCHI SPRINTS

 

 

 

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