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Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava
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So I have a beautiful old Bianchi (Italian not Japanese version), that still rides like a dream. I would to convert it to 2017 era gruppo. The original gruppo is Shimano 105, and I'm willing to invest in whatever gruppo would work. This is really a project to have fun with, and spending money on a gruppo isn't a concern. I AM looking to have different gearing on this, so I'm not looking for a fixed gear conversion.

All of that being said... any ideas would be greatly appreciated! :)
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Tri 2 Tri] [ In reply to ]
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It rides like a piece of antiquated junk compared to today's bikes. It's no different than the Colnago Masters that I raced on as a Pro. It's like a Model T ...really good for nothing unless you just like looking at it.
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Bernoullitrial] [ In reply to ]
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I have other bikes in the stable, and I still like the feel of that old steel ride.

One man's junk is another man's treasure! :)
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Tri 2 Tri] [ In reply to ]
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So... that would most likely be a 6sod cassette?
In that case, you'll need to take it to a bike shop and have them spread the rear stays to accommodate today's standard width. Yes, this can be done on a steel bike.

If it's Italian Biamchi, you've gotta go Campagnolo. Personally, I'd go used and look for Campy Daytona, Centaur, or Chorus shifters, derailleur, and cranks on eBay.

And you'll need new wheels. You're old school wheels won't take a 10/11 cassette..
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Bernoullitrial] [ In reply to ]
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Bernoullitrial wrote:
It rides like a piece of antiquated junk compared to today's bikes. It's no different than the Colnago Masters that I raced on as a Pro. It's like a Model T ...really good for nothing unless you just like looking at it.

What a load of unadulterated bullshit...



http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Tri 2 Tri] [ In reply to ]
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Love the old classic steel frames, every expo i find myself hanging around the antique booth
Build and aesthetics on those frames is just great
Still looking though grandpas old stuff just in case
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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I was going to say that this thread topic would draw you nearly as fast as one about a certain type of brake caliper and undersized rotor.
You didn't have a pic of your bike to hand?

My Merckx MXL is heavier, less aero and not quite as smooth as my S5. But I still really enjoy riding it and would not call it an inferior bike. Oddly enough, in the days I commuted to work (26km) my best time on the Merckx was equal to my TT bike so by common 'logic' it's actually as fast as a modern tt bike and position.


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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Tri 2 Tri] [ In reply to ]
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I have a 1988 Look Benard Hinault frame that I just finished having rebuilt. I sent it to a frame builder in San Marcos, CA - slowman knows him well - and had it modified. Internal cable routing, added new bosses, modified the front fork to accept modern stem and bars, removed any rust and primed. Then it went to a "sign" painter, who did a simple pearl white with red accents on the lugs. Rebuilt with Tiagra 10 speed groupset.

I probably took away any value and spent too much, but I love riding it!
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Boyt959] [ In reply to ]
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Ok.... that deserves pics!
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [cyclenutnz] [ In reply to ]
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cyclenutnz wrote:
I was going to say that this thread topic would draw you nearly as fast as one about a certain type of brake caliper and undersized rotor.
You didn't have a pic of your bike to hand?

My Merckx MXL is heavier, less aero and not quite as smooth as my S5. But I still really enjoy riding it and would not call it an inferior bike. Oddly enough, in the days I commuted to work (26km) my best time on the Merckx was equal to my TT bike so by common 'logic' it's actually as fast as a modern tt bike and position.

You were probably goofing on me about the picture, but here you go :-)


"This is Violet. At least once every 1-2 weeks I like to take her out for a spin...not just because she's cool and retro (although she is!)...but because she's fast, fun, comfortable, and still one of the best handling road bikes I've owned. She also keeps me calibrated on what have been the very few truly transformative road cycling improvements over the last 30 years or so, namely: clipless pedals, indexed shifting, and shifting from the brake levers. Everything else is just a bunch of technological "farting around". With a retro-looking, yet modern @jonesprecisionwheels wheelset on her and quality tires and tubes, the performance doesn't give up anything to modern bikes, besides a small bit of weight. In fact, she's still the BEST braking road bike I've ridden, regardless of brake type (rim or disc) and only serves to remind me of how bad road bike braking was allowed to get over the last 25 years or so that folks would think disc brakes are somehow necessary on road bikes. I like Violet."

Oh...and of the few KOMs I have on Strava, there are a couple that were set on this bike. So much for being "good for nothing unless you just like looking at it." :-P



http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Tri 2 Tri] [ In reply to ]
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Tri 2 Tri wrote:
So I have a beautiful old Bianchi (Italian not Japanese version), that still rides like a dream. I would to convert it to 2017 era gruppo. The original gruppo is Shimano 105, and I'm willing to invest in whatever gruppo would work. This is really a project to have fun with, and spending money on a gruppo isn't a concern. I AM looking to have different gearing on this, so I'm not looking for a fixed gear conversion.

All of that being said... any ideas would be greatly appreciated! :)

OK...back to the original subject...here's a question: With the more modern gruppo, do you want to keep it looking "retro", or are you going to be putting integrated "brifters" on it? If it's the former, take a look at the componentry that Bianchi is spec'ing on it's L'Eroica-ready models (such as http://www.bianchiusa.com/...road/vintage/eroica/ ). I "upgraded" my '86 Bianchi to 8-speed a long time ago, so my most recent change was putting a compact crankset on her. I found a discontinued Truvativ model that fit the bill perfectly (it's somewhat hard to find polished aluminum compact cranksets, actually).

One thing I highly recommend is getting a "modern" wheelset. 130mm spacing hubs will fit in your frame, you just need to flex the stays apart slightly from the 126mm stock spacing...no big deal. Last spring I had a set built prior to doing L'Eroica California, since I didn't have a good 32 spoke wheelset (one of the requirements for the ride) to use. We built up a set with H Plus Son TB14 rims (20mm internal width, polished aluminum), Origin 8 polished hubs, and Sapim CX-ray silver bladed spokes). I ride them with 26C Specialized Turbo Cottons (measure 28mm wide mounted on those rims) and latex tubes. That combo gives a "pure Cadillac ride". In fact, that's such a comfortable and great performing combo, I actually used those wheels on my Stinner for a couple of long-distance trips I did this summer.

Just some suggestions :-)



http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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That ride looks eerily familiar (just color is different)....

Someone had the idea of going Campy, and to be honest I've thought about it as well. Some of my best rides have been on this old steed, and for me putting out to pasture is not an option. Over the years I have scavenged parts, rebuild wheels, and overall done my darndest to keep it going. It brings me great relief to hear that others have done similarly to what I'm looking to do, means it's not insurmountable, just a timely and pricey project.
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [spookini] [ In reply to ]
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spookini wrote:
So... that would most likely be a 6sod cassette?
In that case, you'll need to take it to a bike shop and have them spread the rear stays to accommodate today's standard width. Yes, this can be done on a steel bike.

It doesn't necessarily need to be permanently "cold-set" to the 130mm width. There's usually enough flex in the stays to allow for a 130mm spaced hub to fit into the 126mm original spacing...that's just 2mm on a side. That's how I do it with my '86 Bianchi, with no problems.



http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Tri 2 Tri] [ In reply to ]
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Tri 2 Tri wrote:
That ride looks eerily familiar (just color is different)....

Someone had the idea of going Campy, and to be honest I've thought about it as well. Some of my best rides have been on this old steed, and for me putting out to pasture is not an option. Over the years I have scavenged parts, rebuild wheels, and overall done my darndest to keep it going. It brings me great relief to hear that others have done similarly to what I'm looking to do, means it's not insurmountable, just a timely and pricey project.

Yeah, with yours being an Italian-built frame, I'd go Campy as well.

Mine's a Japanese model (Tange tubeset), so I thought it appropriate to keep it Shimano. Besides the Dura Ace 8 speed downtube shifters and rear derailleur (it originally came with "Light Action" 6-speed - first year of indexed shifting) I've put on, I've also upgraded the original DiaCompe single pivot brakes to Dura Ace dual pivot brakes (1st gen dual pivot) and Shimano "hidden cable" brake levers. The stem is a 3T "Mutant" that I bought on eBay.

BTW, a friend of mine recently acquired an old steel frameset (I don't recall the marque right now) and built it up with modern Campy components...he seems to be riding it a LOT now (and this is a guy with a quite a few carbon road bikes ;-)



http://bikeblather.blogspot.com/
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Re: Converting 1988 Bianchi Brava [Tom A.] [ In reply to ]
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Sometimes a bike is not just about weight and speed. The training I do on my 94 pinarello is just as effective as the training I do on my carbon bike.
I built mine up with a veloce chorus 10 speed mix. Unfortunately I snapped the steerer on the original fork so it has a carbon fork now. Campagnolo neutron wheels look retro but work well. A training bike is a training is just that. I do miss smaller gears though every now and then a 42 - 23 bottom gear is a bit steep for my old man body.
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