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 went with brown brake lines, brown leather bar tape, brown leather toe straps and copper plated toeclips/pedals.

Anyhow, it’s a fast ride. I’ve discovered it’s a little too long for me to ride comfortably, but I did find a shorter stem that is close in terms of the time period this bike was built, so one of these days I’ll try to get that swapped out.

With that, enjoy the photos below! Now, on to my next project… building a Jazzmaster copy out of parts. Stay tuned.


  1. Chris stumph
    Jan 13, 2012

    Very nice! I don’t typically ride this style of bike, but I’d have to make an exception if I happened to come into possession of one like this.
    Nice to see it finally come together.

  2. Bret
    Jan 14, 2012

    Thanks, Chris!

  3. Eric S.
    Jan 20, 2012

    Beautiful bike! I used to work at a bike shop in the early ’80s and it carried some classic Bianchis. I’ve been watching eBay to snag something from around 1983 It kills me to see so many of those celeste beauties in such poor condition!

  4. bonanz
    Feb 19, 2012

    looks awesome. I came across your site searching about oxalic acid baths for frame restoration. can you explain what the failure was? i was thinking about oxalic acid bath for an old frame I picked up but it seams a little daunting…how did you fail

  5. Bret
    Feb 19, 2012

    @eric: Thanks! Yeah, I’ve come across a few people online who have found beaten up old Bianchis hidden away in sheds and garages begging to be restored. Some of them do a simple reconditioning and they turn out great. This one, unfortunately, required quite a bit more labor. 🙂 Good luck on your quest!

  6. Bret
    Feb 19, 2012

    @bonanz: Thanks! Yeah, I was going to write up an entire post about the oxalic bath, but just didn’t have the time. So the primary issues, I believe were that, a) the clearcoat had pretty much been worn off over time; and b) the paint had been chipping/peeling off a bit on part of the frame. I did a ton of research on the oxalic acid processes and was careful to measure out quantities and times. What ultimately happened was that the spots that had been under decals, which still had clear coat, cleaned up nicely. The spots without clearcoat bleached out like crazy, and where the paint was chipping off, it just peeled and chipped a TON more. It was basically at the point where a re-paint was my only option. In the end, I’m glad I did, as I’m really happy with how it turned out. I also don’t regret having an auto guy do the painting. I’ve heard a lot of bad talk about car guys not doing bike frames correctly, but I think if you do your research, and know what the common pitfalls are, you can communicate those concerns and the specs you need them to follow and it will all be good. Best of luck to you!

  7. bonanz
    Feb 20, 2012

    thanks for the response. one more question. how did you dispose of it? is this ok to pour down the drain when your done? I’m going to strip the paint on my frame first anyways but there is some minor rusting in the bottom bracket, headtube, and around the cable guides. i want to soak it to make sure the inide is rust free.

  8. Bret
    Mar 2, 2012

    I poured a box of arm and hammer baking soda in there to neutralize the acids and then disposed of it. I’ve read that you can just dump it down the drain, but in my case, the container for it was simply too large to get to a drain. That is one thing that did help——most of the rust on the bottom bracket and what I could see of the interior tubes was largely gone.

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