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Bianchi
#1
Hey everyone, new here! I recently was gifted an old Bianchi, but don’t know much about cycling. I’m wanting to get the most out of this and know next to nothing about bikes. I come from a solid running background and am looking forward to getting into biking. Could anyone tell me what I’m really working with here? As in, model and year, along with gear specs if you can tell? Along with that, any easy suggestions to make the ride the best I can with this frame, ie buy new gears, tires, better seat, etc. it is all much appreciated.


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#2
Looks like it's running a Campagnolo 9 speed Centaur set—11-21 or 11-23. The front ring looks like it's 52 or 53. The wheels are Mavic Cosmos. Can't really speak much on the rest.

This is a bike that should be challenging to push on the higher chainring unless you're using the lower gears. Many people ride their road bikes this way, and even some prefer to ride on the second chainring most of the time, especially for urban commuting.

The hubs are probably dry and will need overhauled with new grease. Even if you get new wheels, they will likely arrive dry. Know that this is a job you're best off doing yourself, because a shop will charge you a small fortune possibly. Get yourself a 15/16 Cone Wrench and a 13/14 Cone Wrench and learn how it's done. I use Lucas Xtra Heavy Duty grease.

If you're looking to update the drivetrain, you're best off sticking with Campagnolo, as the Veloce and Centaur 10 speed components can be had rather affordably compared to Shimano or FSA road components. 10 speed is a great upgrade to start with for the affordability. You might be able to score an FSA road crank for a steal. I see them often. 50T should do you just fine. Make sure you get the exact bottom bracket that's suggested for your crank, but only after you have a bike shop identify what kind of bottom bracket shell your bike has.

Depending on what kind of riding that you do, your cassette will want to be like 11-25t or even 11-28t. It probably wouldn't hurt for you to do a 12-25t or 12-28t either. I'd just expect you need the lower gears to fall back on. Top gear of 11T is too rough to push for most people. They only use it downhill. If you plan on riding in the second chainring a lot though, it might not hurt to go 11T. I always do because I enjoy the challenge.

Even if you want to do a bare bones upgrade, you will still need to do all of:

overhaul the hubs // new bottom bracket for the crank that's on there (for the new bearings) // new cassette // new rear derailleur (at least) // new shifters (a plus―upgrade to 10 speed) // new chain // new bar tape.

Maybe new tires, but the ones on there look okay.
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#3
Is it your size? If not, you may not find it enjoyable because you will not be comfortable on it regardless of "upgrades". You should be able to date it with the serial number. Contact Bianchi with that information and they should be able to provide to you the year of manufacture. If you can contact the individual who gave it to you; I would ask them when the last time the bike was serviced and what was done. It may need nothing at all or it may need a full overhaul; who knows? If it is your size and everything is operating properly, the saddle might be the one thing that provides to you the greatest difference in how you feel while riding it, but you really won't know until you've been "in the saddle" for a while. Cycling is different from running and your butt needs to get used to being on a saddle if you plan on doing much continuous mileage (20+ miles; 1-2hr+). Looks like a decent ride as is if it functions okay and has been properly maintained. I wouldn't worry too much about upgrading it until you get some riding under your belt and determine what type of riding you will be doing as far as distance, time, and terrain are concerned then you can start to tweak it it to your needs. The model appears to be an "SL3" or "SG3" (I can't read it); it is on the top tube. Look it up online and check out the years it was made; you'll more than likely find an exact match to your frame and possibly components if original.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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