Bianchi 2002 MTB (Italian bike #4)

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  • After sorting my other MTB in the summer (­72) madness has struck and I've somehow managed to acquire another one, albeit in a slightly larger size (19.5" frame). I was actually scouring the Italian version of Gumtree for a bike for my girlfriend, when I came across this Bianchi, with what appeared to be all original parts (minus pedals). I went to see it, paid the princely sum of €100 and now it is in my apartment, along with my Scapin road bike and the gaudy MAGA bike from the link above.

    But, I don't know what to do with it. The parts seem a bit of a strange mix (Deore XT rear derailleur and LX for the rest, with I think Avid v-brakes and some RockShox Jett Race forks - many parts have Bianchi branding on). I originally thought I could do a complete swap of the Deore LX black/gold components (and Kona rigid fork, wheels, stem/bars etc) from the MAGA bike, but my girlfriend seems to like the celeste touches onslaught; but I'm less convinced. I've got a few bits in the parts bin I can use once I've stripped it, cleaned everything and rebuilt it, but thought I'd seek the wisdom/wrath of the forum before proceeding (also because it is raining and I don't want to go outside to wash it). The idea was for me to use this frame as it is slightly larger than my other one (and the 400mm seatpost on that is at maximum extension).

    So do I simply restore it or use the frame with the matching black/gold parts from the USA machine?

    Seller's images below!

  • As collected this morning.

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  • Pretty sure this is it in the 2000 Bianchi catalogue, so I've already got the date wrong.
    My Italian is coming along but isn't that wonderful, but I'm sure he said his parents bought it for him as a graduation present and he's only done 50km on it since then. The tyres are the originals, so I am inclined to believe him.

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  • OK, I still haven't cleaned it. But I've taken a few photos of the drivechain to check against the manual and they do appear to match. So Bianchi v-brakes (TX67), Shimano CS-HG 70 cassette (11-32), Bianchi chainset (sadly also 44/32/22) and Bianchi hubs. So essentially this is a Bianchi version of the USA bike, albeit with a slightly larger, lighter frame. I'm going to strip it and see what's what.

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  • Gave it a wash. It was filthy. Now to disassemble. The headset seems a bit shit (YST Corp - looks like a G-Force) and the chain is shot, but I'm hoping (famous last words) it won't need too much work...

    *I might delete this later

    @ricky2slicky and @vp1337 am I insane to swap the frames? This one is very light, but part of me feels I should keep the Bianchi bits all together.

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  • I'm by no means an authority but as it's so original I think it would be a shame to split it up. At 100euros its a bit of a bargain. If you need parts of the other frame, I'd go and find a less complete donor.

  • Yeah I know what you mean, but I'd be keeping all the parts from this Bianchi frame and simply swapping them onto the Trump one (and vice versa). The major difference is simply that the Bianchi parts are a kind of gunmetal grey/silver combo, whereas the other frame has black finishing parts (with the strange gold LX bits) and is a better size for me (and the smaller one, a better size for my girlfriend). I'm going to do a mock-up of the two frames swapped over and see what it looks like.

  • Insane? Definitely not. Although I never cared about keeping stuff period/brand correct, so I might be wrong. :P If you benefit from matching things up, why not?
    Lovely bike by the way, as usual with your stuff ;)

  • What's the consensus on best (cheap) 1 1/8" headsets: Cane Creek 40? Ritchey Comp Logic? FSA?

    *Never mind, bought the Cane Creek (got one on my Scapin and it seems decent).

  • I thought it was going too smoothly. Every single part has been swapped from the Bianchi to the Maga frame, and vice versa, bar the cranks. Because.... they are completely different bottom brackets. Of course. Anyone of a more technical mind than I able to suggest replacement (cheap) bottom brackets for these frames?

    Paging @M_V 🙏

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  • I'm guessing the former is a Shimano Octalink, which was used with the Shimano Deore LX crank.

    The latter, a Shimano square taper, used with the Bianchi crank. I think.

    One is ITA the other BSA. Am I right in thinking I can replace these with two new Shimano versions? So (unnecessarily) complicated.

    For reference:

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  • Yes, BB standards are a whole world of fun. You can just get a new one of each BB, square taper and octalink, with ITA or BSA threads as required. Make sure to check the spindle lengths.

    Both the Bianchi and the mad Stars and Stripes bike are amazing by the way!

  • but I'm hoping (famous last words) it won't need too much work...

    Story of my life

    Love your mtbs, keep up the good sourcing if niche

  • @e54 and @DrDave thanks! I've now got the BBs removed so can order what I need. Hopefully.

    Wait. If I'm swapping the crankset from one bike to the other, I need to buy the version to match the crank arm (square taper/octalink) but in the size (70mm/68mm) and spindle length (110mm/121mm) with the alternate thread type (BSA/ITA); because the diameter of the BB shell is frame specific. Correct?

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  • And....
    Sheldon Brown says Deore LX M571 crankset is a V2 Octalink spline with a 113-118mm length. Yet my old BB has a 121mm spindle length. What is happening? Have the various bottom bracket choices driven me mad? What I plan to buy - are these correct for the swap?

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  • The bb shell width varies between the frames because ITA is 70mm wide and BSA is, even more confusingly, 68mm for road and some MTBs but 73 for most MTBs. I would have thought that you should choose the spindle length from the old bike, eg. if the octalink was 121mm on the USA frame, get the same spindle length but with the BB shell to fit the new frame. But, in my experience spindle length is a bit more approximate, especially for geared bikes (as opposed to fixed / single speed where chain line is more critical). So you would get away with a few mm either way, as long as the spindle is long enough for the crank to be clear of the frame on either side. I have in the past bought several BBs with different spindle lengths at the same time and chosen the right one by trial and error, which is annoying but avoids the situation where the one you order is wrong and you then have to wait another few days for the next one to arrive!

  • Thanks @DrDave, just what the doctor ordered.

  • New bottom bracket fitted, everything working well but need new pedals.

    (Also built the stars and stripes frame up with the old Bianchi parts and a new Shimano BB).

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  • Anyone have any suggestions for flat pedals? Or ones to avoid? Never mind, bought these!

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  • Looks awesome, how does the Bianchi ride?

  • It rides really well, it's a bit lighter than the other frame and I definitely prefer using the Kona forks as opposed to any form of suspension fork. I haven't tested it properly as I just whacked a pair of road pedals on to go for a spin, hopefully this weekend I can give it a proper thrash.

  • Arrived, really impressed with these. One-piece 6061 aluminium, serviceable cartridge bearings and only ~300g a pair. Plus, bright green.

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  • Few more changes, thanks @KieranHC for the Hope stem. Whacked on some Renthal Fatbars to widen things up, along with some ODI grips. Seems to have helped with the reach, but hasn't helped with my pathetic old knees.

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  • Nice build. The colours work really nice together

  • Thanks, I appreciate it! There is a lot going on with this bike, all sorts of colours, but I kind of like the madness. Like a small explosion in a sweet factory.

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Bianchi 2002 MTB (Italian bike #4)

Posted by Avatar for MrMister @MrMister