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Scott in Maryland
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Hi from Maryland. I am building a 1998 BIanchi Campione with a mix of 8-speed Campy Athena, Veloce, and Avanti. This bike was a great find .... really low miles (maybe really, really low) and near-new condition. It's all stock except for the upgraded saddle and a mid-90's Thomson Elite post. Even the water bottles are mid-90s. This weekend was my first riding after some minor overhaul (brakes, headset, cables, etc) and I got about 100 miles in! Bellesimo!

Questions I need some help on ...

1) I picked up some brand-spankin' new 1998 Athena 9-speed hubs ... I am going to slowly just keep collecting 98 vintage 9-speed drivetrain and switch the bike over from 8 to 9. I hear that mixing 1998 with 2001+ 9 speed won't work, (but that 2001+ 9-speed shifts a lot better). But while I collect this 9-speed stuff, is there anyway to use the 9 speed Athena hubs with 8 speed system? Or is it easier to change over the free-hub body? Anyone know where to get a free hub body for 8 speed? I'm a fair home wrench ... is it tough to change the freehub body over?

2) If I can I get some 1998 9 speed shifters like Athena model number EC-09ATCG, can I upgrade them with a newer internal index gear to work with current 2001+ 9-speed rear derailler just in case I can not find a 98 rear derailler?

3) And even if I can find a 98 Shifter+RDr, is 2001+ shifting "more better" than 1998 shifting so that I'd want to break the authentic year group and go with a more modern 2001+ Shifter+RDr combination?

4) According to the 1998 tech spec manual I downloaded from campyonly.com, (page 8) "All 1998 cranksets will perform in conjunction with Campagnolo's 9-speed system." So does mean that all the '98 cranks are the same dimensions, chain-width, etc, and I can upgrade my 8 speed Mirage FC-21MI crank to a 9-speed FC-31VL Veloce crank? ( I have this 1998 Veloce 9-speed crank NIB already and it's a little nicer than the Mirage .... can I upgrade with 8-speed chain and drivetrain now or do I need to wait till I upgrade rest of drivetrain to 9-speed).

5) Finally, I don't need to change the front derailleur if I go from 8 speed to 9 speed, right? If I switch the shifters to something like 1998 Athena shifter, will my same low-grade Avanti Fdr model number EC-08AVCG will still work?

THANKS IN ADVANCE!
 

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Scott in MD said:
Hi from Maryland. I am building a 1998 BIanchi Campione with a mix of 8-speed Campy Athena, Veloce, and Avanti. This bike was a great find .... really low miles (maybe really, really low) and near-new condition. It's all stock except for the upgraded saddle and a mid-90's Thomson Elite post. Even the water bottles are mid-90s. This weekend was my first riding after some minor overhaul (brakes, headset, cables, etc) and I got about 100 miles in! Bellesimo!

Questions I need some help on ...

1) I picked up some brand-spankin' new 1998 Athena 9-speed hubs ... I am going to slowly just keep collecting 98 vintage 9-speed drivetrain and switch the bike over from 8 to 9. I hear that mixing 1998 with 2001+ 9 speed won't work, (but that 2001+ 9-speed shifts a lot better). But while I collect this 9-speed stuff, is there anyway to use the 9 speed Athena hubs with 8 speed system? Or is it easier to change over the free-hub body? Anyone know where to get a free hub body for 8 speed? I'm a fair home wrench ... is it tough to change the freehub body over?

Yes you can switch bodies with a hub that has a similar bell shaped shell. Hopefully someone here going from 8 to 9 speed can give you their 8 body they don't use any more. I don't have one, sorry.

2) If I can I get some 1998 9 speed shifters like Athena model number EC-09ATCG, can I upgrade them with a newer internal index gear to work with current 2001+ 9-speed rear derailler just in case I can not find a 98 rear derailler?

3) And even if I can find a 98 Shifter+RDr, is 2001+ shifting "more better" than 1998 shifting so that I'd want to break the authentic year group and go with a more modern 2001+ Shifter+RDr combination?



4) According to the 1998 tech spec manual I downloaded from campyonly.com, (page 8) "All 1998 cranksets will perform in conjunction with Campagnolo's 9-speed system." So does mean that all the '98 cranks are the same dimensions, chain-width, etc, and I can upgrade my 8 speed Mirage FC-21MI crank to a 9-speed FC-31VL Veloce crank? ( I have this 1998 Veloce 9-speed crank NIB already and it's a little nicer than the Mirage .... can I upgrade with 8-speed chain and drivetrain now or do I need to wait till I upgrade rest of drivetrain to 9-speed).



5) Finally, I don't need to change the front derailleur if I go from 8 speed to 9 speed, right? If I switch the shifters to something like 1998 Athena shifter, will my same low-grade Avanti Fdr model number EC-08AVCG will still work?

No. Yes. All this old stuff was thankfully not indexed in the front.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!
1) Yes you can switch bodies with a hub that has a similar bell shaped shell. Hopefully someone here going from 8 to 9 speed can give you their 8 body they don't use any more. I don't have one, sorry.
2) I forget. Others know. Think Campy site says. There were a few weird 9-speed years where outside was new and guts were old.
3) Not really better. Old rounded edge '96-90 pointy hoods to me are more comfortable but braking is not as good as newer styles. Main difference is that the big cogs on the old style required more throw than newer style that is more linear, which matters like almost not at all.
4) Not sure. I know 10-speed cranks have thinner spider tabs than 8-speed Record. I don't think you will have any problem with interchangeability either way if you change the whole crank (and maybe even tolerate the tab difference if you switch rings). I would just do it.
5) No. Yes. All this old stuff was thankfully not indexed in the front.
 

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Question about the Decals

Are was just wondering if you knew if the decals on the Campione Del Mondo where under or on top of the clear coat. I love the bike but have a serious vendetta against paying companies to advertise for them. I've been looking into purchasing one but would like to remove the decals.

Any info on this?
 

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Are was just wondering if you knew if the decals on the Campione Del Mondo where under or on top of the clear coat. I love the bike but have a serious vendetta against paying companies to advertise for them. I've been looking into purchasing one but would like to remove the decals.

Any info on this?
On my Bianchi they are over the clear coat. Note that removing the decals would seriously affect the resale value of your bike.
 

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I spent a few hours on this seat post. I don't think it was ever moved since the bike left italy. I tried all of the tricks. None of them worked.
View attachment 282447

I ended up drilling it out. Even that was tough. Bianchi used a really high grade aluminum for these posts so even drilling was tough. After I finally drilled the old post out I went in with a hone to clean things up. I'll let you know how the new post fits in a day or so.
View attachment 282448

The real mess is sanding all the old paint. A lot of it burned off when we tried the heat trick. A lot of people have mentioned how thick Bianchi paint is. Trust me the Italians really put the paint on these bikes. I can't remember OEM paint this thick.

Richard
 

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My seat arrived.

It's a San Marco Rolls saddle. They call it black rhino leather. I got it from an Amazon.com affiliate called We Keep You Cycling. It was $67.32 with free shipping and no sales tax.


The interesting thing is if I had purchased this saddle from their own web side it would have cost $89.99. They sell things on Amazon.com cheaper than they do on their own web site.

I thought about a Brooks saddle but it is a Bianchi bike. Best to keep it Italian. I like to stay with a theme.
 
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