The Bianchi is done. Like, done-done.

The Bianchi is done. Like, done-done.

So, I know I kind of dropped off from posting Bianchi updates for awhile. It’s a long story, but first, there was a failed attempt to soak the frame and remove the rust. Then, life happened for awhile. Then, a client of mine who does auto restoration wanted to do some trade work, so I had him handle the frame re-painting (see failed attempt to soak the frame note above). And his chromer took forever. And then he got busy. And, well, a year later, I had the painted frame in my hands, and it was… awesome. At that point, I pretty much spent all of my spare time wrapping the bike up. And you know what? It turned out pretty damn great, if I do say so myself. I opted for some less traditional choices in terms of colors, but I really like how it turned out. I...

Bianchi Update: Preparing to soak the frame

Bianchi Update: Preparing to soak the frame

I admit it, I’ve been feeling guilty. That poor, poor Bianchi has been hanging in the garage, neglected in favor of my Surly Cross Check, which has been bringing me much enjoyment. That’s going to change this weekend, however, as I’ve finally got a day with no other major commitments, which means it’s time to soak the frame in an oxalic acid solution. Oxalic acid is essentially deck cleaner. One can purchase it off the shelf at their local paint store. The solution is a fairly diluted one of oxalic acid and water. From what I’ve read, I can expect it to soak for a day or two, with some scrubbing at the rusty spots here and there. Once it’s done soaking (i.e., rust is gone), I’ll drop in a box of baking soda to neutralize...

Update: Bianchi and Cross Check

Bianchi The Bianchi has been in somewhat of a holding pattern as of late. Once I got the headset and bottom bracket removed, it became clear that the frame needs some attention. So I took some time off to think over my next move. In the meantime, I did some shopping and managed to pick up some odds and ends, one of which is a Campy Record front derailleur from 1960, which appears to be of the proper vintage to me. Ordered it from France and it actually arrived here in three days. Another item I purchased was a tin of Brooks Proofide, which has allowed me to bring the original Brooks saddle for the Bianchi mostly back from the dead. Another purchase consisted of two small tubs of Oxalic Acid, which I’ll use to soak the frame and remove all of the rust while...

No news is good news

Not much to report recently. Been a busy transition for the kids going back to school, soccer season starting up and a general mad rush to take advantage of the nice weather before it’s surreptitiously replaced by water-bearing clouds for the next nine months. I do have a few quick bullet points, however: On Thursday evening, I dropped the Bianchi off to David Feldman of Feldman’s Bicycle Repair, right out here in Vancouver, WA. David is a member of the Classic Rendezvous list and is probably the only vintage-schooled bike mechanic in the Vancouver area. As it happened, he saw my post asking some advice on the CR list and responded, noting that he has the coveted and nearly impossible to find VAR tool needed for removing the headset on my Bianchi. I...

Bianchi Restoration: Removing the cranks & digging up pristine paint

Bianchi Restoration: Removing the cranks & digging up pristine paint

Quick update tonight: Took a little time to remove the cranks, which came off pretty easily and look to be in great condition. Bottom bracket looks more and more sad the more I unearth it, however. More rust keeps appearing and it’s making some awfully suspicious grinding sounds. I tried to remove it, but the cheap spanner wrench and pin spanner that came with my basic bike kit are both crap. So I need to buy some nice ones, as the BB seems to be somewhat rusted in place. Sprayed it down with WD40 and will let that soak in for awhile. Since the BB delay had me feeling somewhat disappointed and with some extra time and energy on my hands, I decided to get out my trusty heat gun and take a stab at removing one of the barber pole reflective decals that were on...

Bianchi Restoration: Finding the Darndest Things

I blogged about disassembling the Bianchi over the weekend and finding not only a cocoon in the brake lever, but also a wasp nest inside of the bars, which had been plugged for a number of years. Last night, as I was polishing some of the chrome, I noticed on the top bar, very faintly, some faded hand-lettering near the seat seat tube lug. I took some photos on my Nikon in RAW format, then imported to Photoshop in an attempt to enhance the lettering more. After some twiddling, I’ve decided that the name on top is that of Sam Knutson, who was a well-known bike racer and mechanic in the Portland area many years ago, and who also happens to have been the original owner of the bike. Beneath his name are the initials “R.C.W.” or “B.C.W.,”...