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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I just posted this in the beginners section but decided to post it here as well since there is more traffic here. My father's friend gave him a mtb a few years ago that was originally purchased in the late 80's (i think). I went into the garage to check it out and it turned out to be a Bianchi Forte. Here are a few pics (still a bit dusty):






I really love Bianchi's style and since I can't really afford to buy a new road bike at the moment I thought I might try and convert this Forte into some sort of a hybrid for now. It's kind of heavy, so the lighter I can get it the better. I essentially want to replace the seat, handle bars, wheels, and get rid of all the different gears and make it a fixed speed.

I researched putting a 700c on a mtb and found that the best possible solution would be to buy slicker tires instead. Does anyone have any experience with these? I compared the frame shape of the Forte to similar Bianchi road bikes (such as the pista) and can't find many differences. Do you think its possible at all to install a 700c wheel on this?

As for the handle bars, I really like the look of ramhorns but don't know if those brake levers or gear shifters would be able fit and function right on something like that. What would you suggest? I'm not really liking the feel of the ones now.

And finally the gears. I would love to make it so its fixed since I'll be commuting on flat roads for the most part. I assume that would also make the bike a tad bit lighter in weight? What would you recommend purchasing as a beginner?

Sorry for all the questions. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update

So I have researched a bit and came up with these new parts:

Bullhorn Handlebars

Store Link

I like the internal brake cable routing feature. I'm a tall guy (bout 6'2") so I'm thinking the largest size (43 cm) will do.


Selle Italla C2 Seat

Store Link

Something plain and sleek like this i think would fit. Any other online stores you think might have seats similar to this?


Tioga Slicker Tires

Store Link

Seems like this will fit. I would like to try the 1.25's. Anyone have experience with these?

I'm not too sure about the change to fixed gear. Is it possible with this bike? I just want to clear the handlebar space as much as possible.
 

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OK I'll be nice.

"Fixed speed" How do I put this? Doesn't really exist.

There are 2 things that you could mean. There's a "fixed gear" bike. Otherwise called a "fixie" these are a bike that run a rear hub that has no clutch unit so the cranks always move with the real wheel. A conventional hub will turn the rear wheel when pedaling forward but will become disengaged when you stop pedaling or pedal backwards.

There is also a "single speed" (SS). This is a bike that has had the gears removed.

Your best option(s) is to get a SS conversion kit or just keep it geared.

Handle Bars- It looks like the stem on your bike has a 25.4mm (1") diameter clamp. This means the handlebars need to be the same size otherwise you will need to replace the stem which will be hard because that bike has an old size stem that has become (almost) obsolete. Those handlebars will work, just be aware of this.
Both the shifters (if you need them) and the brake leavers will not work with the new handlebars.

Wheels- You should be able to fit 700cc wheels with slicks on that bike. The big problem I can see is that the brakes will be too low to work with the bigger rims. This could (probably) be fixed by changing the brakes but that equals more dollars. Those new tires are the cheapest, easiest option.

Seat- May or may not work with your seatpost (I can't see it well enough to make a call).

More good info here

If you do go on with this conversion (wheels, tires, tubes, handlebars, brake leavers, brake calipers, shifters, new cables, seat and seat post? and it will probably need a new chain and rear cassette) you are looking at spending a lot of money that in my opinion is not worth it. You could get a new bike for around the same money.

I see two options:
1/ Get new tires, tubes, brake cables and housing and convert the bike to single speed or
2/ Buy a new bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, I was hoping for someone like you to answer. Just wanted to know if any of this was possible.

Yes, I meant fixed gear BUT, single speed sounds like it would be easier to do. That would mean taking the gear shifters off and setting the chain to a permanent setting that's comfortable for me?

I guess I could try and find some brake leavers to replace mine that will also fit those handlebars. Gonna want some way to stop myself.

So yes, I will probably just use the slicks instead of buying 700c's with a new set of brakes.

But just to point out, I did an ebay search for Bianchi parts and found this Bianchi Brava frame. It looks so similar to the Forte. Is it possible Bianchi used to use the same road bike frames for some of their mtb's in the late 80's?

Again thanks, I'm new to road bikes and all the terms that come with it (I'm learning though) so please bare with me. :)
 

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Bianchi Forte

I know it's a little late, but here's my two cents.

I have a identical bike and I am giving it to a friend in NYC who needs a larger frame.

I have put 700c wheels on the bike, but the geometry is all wrong. The head tube is too relaxed where a road frame is steep. The Bianchi Forte won't allow for a decent road setup, but it can be made into a great commuter/hybrid.

I think if you keep it simple with 1.25 slicks and a new saddle and you'll be in great shape.
Also, you may want to look into moustache handlebars and road brake levers. They can be had pretty cheap and they will offer you more hand positions than the bullhorns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
halmsi said:
I know it's a little late, but here's my two cents.

I have a identical bike and I am giving it to a friend in NYC who needs a larger frame.

I have put 700c wheels on the bike, but the geometry is all wrong. The head tube is too relaxed where a road frame is steep. The Bianchi Forte won't allow for a decent road setup, but it can be made into a great commuter/hybrid.

I think if you keep it simple with 1.25 slicks and a new saddle and you'll be in great shape.
Also, you may want to look into moustache handlebars and road brake levers. They can be had pretty cheap and they will offer you more hand positions than the bullhorns.
Thanks, halmsi!

I actually went ahead with the 700c wheels and had new brakes installed all for about $150. Since I never owned a road bike before I guess I can't compare but for me it's working out great. I usually just ride it to the park every now and then (about 1.5 miles away) so i'm not worried about it standing up to daily commutes. It's much faster now too!

Yeah, I still want to look into a new saddle but I may just have the current handlebars cut shorter. They feel a bit awkward right now, too long. Anyways, thanks again! I'll try and post some pics up soon of the new setup.
 
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