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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It is in the second link in my sig.

I got it in Feb of 1988, so it is either 1987 or 1988. The frame cracked and they replaced it, somewhere around 1989. The original rear wheel was replaced with some sort of shimano rim/hub. The rest of it is original stuff. However, I don't find it very comfortable to ride now, and don't think it is worth that much as a museum piece. The frame is great, and measures fairly similar to my recent custom frame. This gave me the idea of replacing the wheels and maybe getting one of the lower-level Crampy groups like Veloce or Athena with a compact crank and forgiving gearing, and some more ergonomic brakes. However, I have to work within the confines of the original frame geometry.

Is this a fool's errand, or an opportunity to breathe some new life into an old companion? I've been off my current bike for a couple of weeks due to a wheel repair, and it had me thinking I should have some backup wheels. That progressed into thinking I should have a backup bike, so ... here we are.

In summary, I am thinking I would need:

(1) A new wheelset. It doesn't have to be high-end, but I want something reliable.
(2) An entry-level Crampy groupo.
(3) New (quill) stem and bars that ergonomically don't suck and match the "ethos" of the bike.

What say you?

Edit: an alternate, more conservative approach:

(1) Keep current wheels and drivetrain and friction shifting, and get a good replacement crank (the current one is Gipemme, not Campy) like this, with the gearing of choice: ROAD CRANKS — White Industries
(2) New stem and bars, and some sort of ergonomically acceptable brake-only levers, like these: Brake Levers (The current brakes are Modolo and kind of suck.)
 

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That is a nice looking Bianchi but I am not clear on the "ethos" (appeal to ethics), for me it is more "pathos or logos" (appeal to emotion or logic). Anyway, it is valuable to have a second ride so you're on the right track but only you can tell if the minor changes you are suggesting will deliver what's needed to revitalize the Bianchi. I keep vintage iron in the best shape I can but only ride them out of my normal routes due to weaker braking, DT shifting taking a hand off the bars, etc. I have 80s Italians running 8, 9 & 10 speed Campy & Shimano which I will take anywhere. Some might say I have stomped on the ethos/pathos but to me they are perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, you are right. Anyway, I want to keep some semblance of aesthetic continuity. My priorities are better braking (my other bike has hydraulic discs, upon which I have become very dependent), lower gearing and perhaps a more forgiving geometry.
 

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I understand and commiserate. If you find the brake set you are looking for please re-post. I have a custom Renolds 753 I love to look at and fits well but between the DT shifting and the vintage brakes (even with koolstop salmon) with my weak grip it keeps me from riding it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
It is what initially motivated me to get a new custom bike with hydraulic brakes and Di2, after breaking my ankle.

My average ride here is > ±100 ft/mi (up and down, closed loop, often 10%+ grades). I find going downhill harder than going uphill.

At the moment, I've turned it into a Fredrico Bianchi, with butterfly bars and mountain bike brake levers. It is an improvement, but only incremental, and at the cost of turning it into a clown bike.

These might be interesting, but they are shockingly ugly: https://www.magura.com/en/bike/prod.../rim-brakes/allgemein/rt6-tt-2/allgemein.html
I also have a ca. 2001 commuter bike with Magura hydraulic brakes, and it is a bit underwhelming. Hopefully they are improved since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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I went through a similar process when deciding what to do with my 1987 Raleigh Team Replica (Reynolds 531C frameset). I decided to build it as my #2 ride, and opted for a Campagnolo Centaur drivetrain (compact 50/34 with 10 speed 13-29 cassette, and modern dual pivot brakeset), Nitto Noodle bars, and Campy Khamsin wheelset. I absolutely love the fact that I can ride it regularly now, where before it was as you say, uncomfortable to ride even though it had the period correct Campy Record and C-Record stuff on it.

I say for your Bianchi, go for the complete transformation! :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That looks beautiful. How do you like the brakes?
 

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FWIW if you want to build a second bike you can ride like your primary but with an old school feel, modern Campy to stay Italian [Athena if you want old school look], Wheels go where you want but consider a custom built set where you can get looks and performance [i.e. white industry's hubs with a polished rim]. That will give you the best of both worlds. I built up something similar but with a modern Colnago Master frame. Absolutely love the way the bike rides, not the same as modern performance carbon etc but still fun to ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That sounds great. Do you have a photo?

My new bike is steel too, so I won't be missing carbon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That looks beautiful. Nicely done!
 

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It is what initially motivated me to get a new custom bike with hydraulic brakes and Di2, after breaking my ankle.

My average ride here is > ±100 ft/mi (up and down, closed loop, often 10%+ grades). I find going downhill harder than going uphill.

At the moment, I've turned it into a Fredrico Bianchi, with butterfly bars and mountain bike brake levers. It is an improvement, but only incremental, and at the cost of turning it into a clown bike.

These might be interesting, but they are shockingly ugly: https://www.magura.com/en/bike/prod.../rim-brakes/allgemein/rt6-tt-2/allgemein.html
I also have a ca. 2001 commuter bike with Magura hydraulic brakes, and it is a bit underwhelming. Hopefully they are improved since then.
Hey man, if you want to call it a "Fredrico" Bianchi, better put deep drop handlebars on that old lady! Eduardo would be rolling over in his grave seeing more upright bars on a bike originally designed for drop bars. Screws up fore-aft balance! [or maybe not! :D]
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey man, if you want to call it a "Fredrico" Bianchi, better put deep drop handlebars on that old lady! Eduardo would be rolling over in his grave seeing more upright bars on a bike originally designed for drop bars. Screws up fore-aft balance! [or maybe not! :D]
It rides like a pig with butterfly bars. It's a failed experiment, nothing more. (Hence the .... uh, name, by which of course I don't mean, well, you know ...)
 

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It rides like a pig with butterfly bars. It's a failed experiment, nothing more. (Hence the .... uh, name, by which of course I don't mean, well, you know ...)
I'll let that last bit pass. :D I went with the tried and true and stuck with it. The body held up fine! No experiments at my age! :nono: My last "upgrade" was modern Can Creek brake levers. Aero levers were just coming in by the late 80s, so the rig is still period correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I put the butterfly bars on backward for extra bike nerd points. It was fine on the trainer for watching tv. Not so fine for real riding.
 

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I put the butterfly bars on backward for extra bike nerd points. It was fine on the trainer for watching tv. Not so fine for real riding.
I guess that would have placed the steering leverage at odd points for straight ahead control. I couldn't get anything out of a beach cruiser I rented in Nag's Head, NC. Handlebars way too wide! I couldn't steady myself on the seat when pedaling hard, so forgot it; didn't pedal hard. A very disappointing experience. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Loads of people love these bars (aka trekking bars) for touring, esp in Europe. I thought it was worth a try.
 

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Loads of people love these bars (aka trekking bars) for touring, esp in Europe. I thought it was worth a try.
/Sure! 3 hand positions, 2 forward extensions. For more upright riding, street modified MTBs, et. al. that could work, couldn't it, for those who haven't tried drop bars. :D

On the cruiser bike, I had no leverage holding next to the stem, so hands were stuck in one position out on the grips, way too wide! That's probably what you want riding on compacted sand, come to think of it.
 
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