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Let's find out: is this a real Bianchi or a fake?

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Let's find out: is this a real Bianchi or a fake?

Old 12-26-21, 01:23 PM
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FrantikNacho
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Let's find out: is this a real Bianchi or a fake?

Hi, I'm new to posting on this site and I don't know if I'm doing it the right way.
Here's the story...

Right around 2016 I bought this old road bike that I found in a local workshop for 2000 MXN (97 USD). The bicycle was painted with a very strange and worn out turquoise color with white details on each linkage plus different type of decals on it. The most visible of them the "Bianchi" decal on the top, seat and down tube, the "Colorado Springs 86-87" round design, the Columbus decals on the fork and seat tube, a "Made in Italy" in good condition and the Bianchi emblem on the head tube. At the time I ignored completely the brand on the frame because I wasn't sure if that was a true Bianchi so I decided to paint it black.

I rode this bicycle for a couple of years before getting a mountain bike and now I'm trying to figure out what brand and year this bike is. I searched all over the internet for the serial number and a weird text engraved at the bottom of the down tube but I wasn't lucky.

I restored the frame and printed the Bianchi decals plus the "Trofeo" one because a friend told me that it looked like one and after watching a couple of videos I decided to make it a Trofeo (I know it's not).

Thanks for reading and I hope you can help me sort this out, the engraved serial number is 61038358 and the text is "VIM" but I don't know why I can't post photos.
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Old 12-26-21, 03:24 PM
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I don’t imagine you have any before pics? Are there any stamping on the frame or dropouts?
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Old 12-26-21, 04:39 PM
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So you "made it" a Trofeo? Did you just answer your own question? LOL.

Yeah, hopefully there's some stampings on the frame.
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Old 12-26-21, 06:26 PM
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The serial number number format could indicate October 1986, as it is the format used on some of the entry level Bianchi models manufactured in Japan. However, that would make it a 1987 model, and while they had the Colorado Springs World Championship decal, it would have been the rectangular version. The round version was used on the 1988 models. So, the decals appear to be in conflict with the serial number, which means that the decals would appear to be replacements and it may not be a Bianchi.
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Old 12-27-21, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
So you "made it" a Trofeo? Did you just answer your own question? LOL.

Yeah, hopefully there's some stampings on the frame.
I am sure it happens more often than most of us care to think about. If you're painting your '86 Strada and the decals you buy from Ebay come with Columbus , made in Italy and Supreleggera decals they go on the bike!

There was post on here a few years ago where someone wanted a De Rosa and couldn't find one he could afford so he took something a Specialized Allezed or other decent Japanese frame and repainted and put De Rosa decals on it. Needless to say some of the replies were not kind.

I wouldn't be surprised if the OPs bike was, if a Bianchi at all, the Turquoise '87 Brava rebadged or even one of the lower blue Strada bikes.
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Old 12-27-21, 12:33 PM
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I found this “Bianchi” at the curb early this year:



Consensus seemed to be it was a C-Itoh or Kabuki that some went to great lengths to redo as a Bianchi. I built it up with bits from the parts bin and sold it for cheap on CL (and did not claim it was a genuine Bianchi):
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Old 12-27-21, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
...I wouldn't be surprised if the OPs bike was, if a Bianchi at all, the Turquoise '87 Brava rebadged or even one of the lower blue Strada bikes.
A 1987 Brava is unlikely, as the serial numbers that I have been able to collect for this model and year have all indicated Japanese manufacture. Regardless, it's pretty easy to distinguish a 1987 Brava frame from a 1987 Strada frame, as the former has recesses for Allen key brake bolts and a dropout with an integral derailleur hanger, while the latter doesn't have brake nut recesses and requires a claw adapter to mount the derailleur to the dropout.
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Old 12-28-21, 03:48 PM
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Oh right I forgot about the recessed brake mount.
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Old 12-28-21, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I found this “Bianchi” at the curb early this year:

Consensus seemed to be it was a C-Itoh or Kabuki that some went to great lengths to redo as a Bianchi. I built it up with bits from the parts bin and sold it for cheap on CL (and did not claim it was a genuine Bianchi):
Yes, that is definitely a Bridgestone product as it has the distinctive, chunky, die cast aluminum lugs with the faux spear points. It appears to be mid-1970s. At that time Kabuki and C.Itoh would have been the two most common brands using this technology that were marketed in the USA. The serial number will tell us the year.

However, you point is well taken. Due to thier popularity and the ready availability of aftermarket decals, there are a lot of fraudulent Bianchi in the used bicycle market.
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Old 12-28-21, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I found this “Bianchi” at the curb early this year:

Consensus seemed to be it was a C-Itoh or Kabuki that some went to great lengths to redo as a Bianchi. I built it up with bits from the parts bin and sold it for cheap on CL (and did not claim it was a genuine Bianchi):
That is one hideous-looking bottom bracket. At least they didn't try to pass off the frame as Reparto Corse.
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Old 12-29-21, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I found this “Bianchi” at the curb early this year:

Consensus seemed to be it was a C-Itoh or Kabuki that some went to great lengths to redo as a Bianchi. I built it up with bits from the parts bin and sold it for cheap on CL (and did not claim it was a genuine Bianchi):
years ago i had an opportunity to buy this exactly model.
But i decided to skip since the parts were not high end and the overall works was a bit too much.
just imagine a mouse nest under the seat and a tons of dust covering all the bike.
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Old 12-29-21, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
That is one hideous-looking bottom bracket. At least they didn't try to pass off the frame as Reparto Corse.
I can appreciate that its appearance may be repulsive to some forums members, particulary those used to more modern and/or high grade frames. However, it's very well engineered and practical when taken in context, and arguably better than the brazed alternatives.

One of the purposes of the die cast aluminum lugs and BB shell was to reduce costs. Manual brazing is time consuming and requires costly, skilled, frame builders. Die casting was a more effiicient, semi-automated process that could be operated by much lower paid personnel. The die cast frames were only intended for the mass volume, lower end models, where less knowledgeable consumers would be more tolerant of it's non-traditional construction. Integrating the stay bridge with the shell was a further cost reduction. It only made sense to have it function as a fender and kickstand mount given the intended market.

Personally, I prefer its chunky, industrial look to the anemic and cheap appearance of a kickstand plate and it functions better as a kickstand mount than chain stays with a tubular bridge. So, while the aesthetics may not be to everybody's personal taste, it's a very practical and well executed design for its intended market, in terms and functionality and cost.
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