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Bike ID: Bianchi Volpe?

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Bike ID: Bianchi Volpe?

Old 07-29-21, 09:55 PM
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fixiegrrrl
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Bike ID: Bianchi Volpe?

I bought a used fixed gear bike today and it's in great condition, lightweight and fast. I'm trying to figure out what model it is. It was sold to me as a Bianchi Pista Classica, but it's painted over in matte black so the decals are obscured. I sanded away some of the paint and it says VOLPE in large capital aqua letters on both sides of the top tube, however as far as I can tell from my Google searches, Bianchi Volpes do not seem to come in fixed gear or single speed, and the frame is clearly a track frame since it has the horizontal rear dropout, so it wasn't converted.

I sanded away the front of the seat tube and there's a decal badge that says Superset 2 Bianchi Exclusive in black and gold letters against an aqua background. The downtube just says Bianchi in aqua. Front of headtube has another decal that says Edoardo Bianchi in black letters on an aqua ribbon against a gold eagle. I think the frame is originally black as well. I'm wondering if the original owner just put a bunch of random Bianchi decals on it? But they also seem really flush against the frame so I don't know.


If you can help me ID this bike, it would be appreciated. The serial # is H2B23331.

I can't post a link or photos right now but if you PM me I can send you a link to a Drive folder.

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Old 07-30-21, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by fixiegrrrl View Post
I'm wondering if the original owner just put a set of Bianchi Volpe decals on it?
^ This is most likely. Maybe Bianchigirll can comment on what you've described in your post. What is the seatpost diameter?
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Old 07-30-21, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by fixiegrrrl View Post
the frame is clearly a track frame since it has the horizontal rear dropout, so it wasn't converted.
My Volpe has horizontal dropouts. Does your bike have a derailleur hanger or evidence of one being removed? Canti brakes would be another indication, also tire clearance and shifter bosses. You may be able to post pics in the Gallery.
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Old 07-30-21, 06:55 AM
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fixiegrrrl
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i did some googling and the colours look exactly like the first search google result for "1991 BIANCHI VOLPE ROAD CROSS TERRAIN CYCLOCROSS 47CM" except mine is 49cm.
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Old 07-30-21, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
My Volpe has horizontal dropouts. Does your bike have a derailleur hanger or evidence of one being removed? Canti brakes would be another indication, also tire clearance and shifter bosses. You may be able to post pics in the Gallery.
it doesn't have one but is a hole to the right of the bolt holding the chain and the horizontal dropout, as well as another hole above the bolt, so possible there could have been one there? i uploaded all the pics to a gallery album called "Bianchi Volpe? 2021-07-30 09:00:50". some of the pics are from the ad, some are from after i bought it and sanded some paint off.

i feel like if the original owner was going to try to dupe the buyer that i bought it off of (i bought it off a guy who bought it used for his gf but she was too short for it) they would have purposely wanted to show the decals, not painted them all over.
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Old 07-30-21, 07:10 AM
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Pic/link asst. album



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Old 07-30-21, 07:16 AM
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Really interesting bike. I thought Volpes were hybrids only.

...Beefy rear drops. What is the spacing on the rear drops?
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Old 07-30-21, 07:18 AM
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That has rear facing track drop outs and no shifter bosses or canti bosses. Not a Volpe unless they used the model name for a totally different bike BITD.
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Old 07-30-21, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
That has rear facing track drop outs and no shifter bosses or canti bosses. Not a Volpe unless they used the model name for a totally different bike BITD.
...and no braze on brake guides at the top.

i wonder if it is strictly a rebranded track bike and a cheaper pista version.
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Old 07-30-21, 07:52 AM
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If it's a Volpe it's been seriously reworked. They came stock with derailleur hangers, forward opening short dropouts, brake cable tunnels and cable stops - and especially cantilever bosses. It's conceivable someone removed all those things and replaced the dropouts with track ends - but that would be a lot of work.

As I compare it to photos of Volpes from '88 and '89, I note the seat stay caps are different - maybe someone replaced the rear triangle on one? That would handle any rear spacing issues and track ends all at once.
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Old 07-30-21, 10:51 AM
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As noted, if this is a Bianchi Volpe, almost all the brazed-on fittings have been removed. I say almost all because there are still rack bosses on the outside of the seat stays, above the seat stay bridge. This is where they were on the Volpe of this era. There is no reason for these bosses on a track bicycle without dropout eyelets, suggesting they are OEM. This suggests the horizontal, track style dropouts were an owner modification and the joining does look sloppy and might explain the repaint. It also would be strange for a lugged track bicycle of this era to have a non-horizontal top tube but it would be appropriate for a hybrid style bicycle, like a Volpe.

About the only things that I can say for certain is that the frame was manufactured during March 1992 by Hodaka of Taiwan, a known Bianchi contractor during this era. Also, Superest 2 would be appropriate for the era and it does appear to have the Supeset 2 downtube which transforms from round to a oval at the BB shell, with the major axis oriented laterally.



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Old 07-30-21, 11:10 AM
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Another weirdness is the unicrown fork with fender/rack mounts at the dropouts. Looking more like a bike some hipster butchered back during the fixie craze. Double check the seat stay bridge, it may never have been intended to support a brake. Hope you didn't pay much.
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Old 07-30-21, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Another weirdness is the unicrown fork with fender/rack mounts at the dropouts. Looking more like a bike some hipster butchered back during the fixie craze. Double check the seat stay bridge, it may never have been intended to support a brake. Hope you didn't pay much.
Unicrown fork with eyelets was standard on the Volpe by 1988 or so - BUT there also would have been cantilever mounts, which are conspicuously absent here. Stranger and stranger.
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Old 07-31-21, 05:57 AM
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Ok, so this potentially a Volpe that someone completely obliterated for purposes of single speed...
1. Cut off the canti bosses.
2. Cut off the brake guides, shift guides and dropouts.
3. Welded track drops
4. Repainted and replaced Volpe decals.
5. Repainted again?
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Old 07-31-21, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Ok, so this potentially a Volpe that someone completely obliterated for purposes of single speed...
1. Cut off the canti bosses.
2. Cut off the brake guides, shift guides and dropouts.
3. Welded track drops
4. Repainted and replaced Volpe decals.
5. Repainted again?
I don't know about step 4 but it certainly appears to have been subjected to the others. While I don't have the 1992 catalogue, I do have the 1991 literature and it's a good match for the Volpe with the subject modifications. On the other hand, it's nothing like the track frame which had a horizontal top tube, non-Superset 2 frame, no rack bosses, rear track ends without cut-outs and a non-Unicrown fork with significantly less rake, that placed the wheel much closer to the down tube.

In my experience, the fixie/SS fraternity tend to be minimalists and removing braze-ons is quite common among them. The Volpe of this era had vertical dropouts, providing no axle adjustment to the chain. It would require either a tension accessory dropout replacement or tailoring the gearing to provide proper tension. So, the changes make sense, even if they do seem a bit extreme to some members, who might argue that it's easier to find a more suitable frame.
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Old 07-31-21, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I don't know about step 4 but it certainly appears to have been subjected to the others. While I don't have the 1992 catalogue, I do have the 1991 literature and it's a good match for the Volpe with the subject modifications. On the other hand, it's nothing like the track frame which had a horizontal top tube, non-Superset 2 frame, no rack bosses, rear track ends without cut-outs and a non-Unicrown fork with significantly less rake, that placed the wheel much closer to the down tube.

In my experience, the fixie/SS fraternity tend to be minimalists and removing braze-ons is quite common among them. The Volpe of this era had vertical dropouts, providing no axle adjustment to the chain. It would require either a tension accessory dropout replacement or tailoring the gearing to provide proper tension. So, the changes make sense, even if they do seem a bit extreme to some members, who might argue that it's easier to find a more suitable frame.
Agreed. People should do what makes them love their bike. Just curious why time/effort spent on "fixing" a hybrid. Unless they wanted a fixie that was spry but could handle larger tires.
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Old 07-31-21, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
...Unless they wanted a fixie that was spry but could handle larger tires.
That would definitely be an issue with a true track frame and many road frames but not with a hybrid.
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Old 08-01-21, 06:37 AM
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Someone went to a lot of trouble to ruin a nice bike. Try and get your money back.
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