Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Emmett's Bianchi Eros Restore

Bianchi - Before - Side View

This week I started a restoration of Emmett's Bianchi Aeros.  The bike comes from the early 90's.  The obvious is it needs wheels along with new cables and housings and bar tape.  Emmett has a cool black and white theme picked out.  He is looking for black rim 700c wheels and we will put black housing and bar tape on.

The bike is very interesting.  It has a touring geometry, a touring stem and a triple crank.  This will be a pretty comfortable fast ride.

Bianchi - Before - Crank Set

Bianchi - Before - Bottom Bracket and Crank

Bianchi - Before - Front Derailleur

Bianchi - Before - Rear Derailleur

Bianchi - Before - Brake Levers

Bianchi - Before - Rear Brake

Bianchi - Before - Front Brake

Bianchi - Before - Stem & Handle Bars
 I started by stripping the frame of the components.  The frame is very greasy and dull but it looks in good shape, very few chips or scratches.  The bottom bracket gave me some trouble, it was locked in place.  I did not want to use the heat wrench technique because that would mare the paint.  After a good amount of trying to loosen it it broke free.  I cost me some badly cut and bruised knuckles.

With the frame stripped of components I started to clean the frame.  The dirt and grease cleaned fairly easily.   With the frame cleaned I polished it.  I am pleased with the results, just a few chips and scratches, I am hoping to have a color that matches the off colored white.

Bianchi - Frame Stripped of Components

Bianchi - Frame - Dirty -Bottom Bracket

Bianchi - Frame -  Dirty - Drop Outs

Bianchi - Frame - Polished

I put the headset and bottom bracket components in the crock pot with soapy water on low.  The components have a thick sticky grease on everything.  It the stickiest grease I have ever seen.  Very difficult to clean.  I soak the parts in the crock pot, take them out and wipe them down and soak them again.  I am on round eight of this.  I am not sure what kind of grease it is, but I have not come across it before.

Bianchi - Headset & Bottom Bracket - Before
While I am waiting for the headset and bottom bracket components to soak I started work on the stem and handle bars.  I removed the old bar tape, removed one brake lever and separated the stem from the bars.  The stem polished beautifully, I am very happy with the results.  It will surly shine bright on the bike.

Next I polished the handle bars.  The bars are in great shape, most bars this age are badly scratched from removing the bars from the stem.  But these bars are in great shape, they polished up very nice.

Bianchi - Before - Handlebars

Bianchi - Before - Stem

Bianchi - Stem Polished

Bianchi - Handle Bars Polished
Next I started work on the brake levers.  The levers have white hoods that are very dirty, I was a little worried that they would not clean up well and would need to be replaced.  With a lot of elbow grease and cleaner they came out pretty nice.  Well worth the time.

Bianchi - Brake Levers Before & After
That is where the bike stands as of now.  When the headset and bottom bracket components are finished soaking things will move along fast.  Will post as things move along.

Today the headset and bottom bracket components finally cleaned up.  I polished out the components and installed both the headset and bottom bracket.  With the headset complete I installed the stem and handle bars.  Things really look nice polished up.  I have the crank set soaking in soapy water, not in the crock pot though.  the crank should be ready tomorrow.  I also have the derailleurs and brakes soaking in the soapy water.

Bianchi - Headset Cups Polished & Installed

Bianchi - Headset Bearing Packed

Bianchi - Headset Cup Race Installed

Bianchi - Stem Polished & Installed

Bianchi - Handle Bars Installed

Binachi - Bottom Bracket - Fixed Cup Installed

Bianchi - Bottom Bracket Complete

Bianchi - To This Point
I have been a little slow the last two days, my sister and my new nephew are visiting from Miami.  I finished of the crank today, I disassembled the crank into all 25 pieces.  The crank polished very nicely.  It is a very nice Suguno crank.  I used one just like this on a 1985 Cannondale ST-500 I put nearly 40,000 miles on.  I miss that bike and I am looking for the same frame to recreate it.  I should have never sold it.

Bianchi - Crank - Before

Bianchi - Crank - Disassembled

Bianchi - Crank - Polished & Installed
Tomorrow I will finished of the derailleurs and start the brakes.  From there I will run the new Housings and cables and then it is mainly waiting on the wheels to arrive.

Have a good night,
John Z.

Bianchi - Derailleurs - Before

Today I finished the derailleurs, brakes, seat post and bolt and installed the second brake lever.  I can't do much more then that until Emmett receives the wheels.  Tomorrow I will remove the down tube decal and the chain stay guard   Emmett has new Bianchi decals that are a better fit for the black and white theme.  I was going to remove them today, but at the start I ran out of Goo Gone and will need to get some in the morning.

I got a new Camera this weekend from my sister.  It is a nice Canon with three lenses, one for very close ups.  It also has a ring flash for better close up photos.  I am very excited about it and started to take the bike photos with it today.

New Canon Camera
The derailleurs did not polish up easy, it took some time and a lot of passes on the buffer.  I also had to do a lot of hand polishing in the tighter areas and corners.  They are now nicely polished and lubricated.  They function very smooth.  I wish the back painted areas where in a little better shape.  Overall they polished not to badly.

The brakes are in great shape, cleaned up and polished wonderfully.  The rear brake needs some adjustment, the lock nuts are set a little to tightly, I will adjust that when I get the wheels.  The front brake had a decal that was almost worn off, only a few letters left, the D, i and C of DiComp, so during polishing I just removed the rest, it looks a lot better that way.

Bianchi - Brakes & Derailleurs Polished - Old Camera

Bianchi - Brakes & Derailleurs Polished - New Canon Camera

Bianchi - Front Brake - Installed

Bianchi - Rear Brake - Installed

Bianchi - Front Derailleur - Installed

Bianchi - Rear Derailleur - Installed
With the brakes and Derailleurs complete I polished the seat post and seat post bolt.  They both polished nicely and look good installed.

Below is a photo of the Bianchi to this point.  Tomorrow I will remove the decals and then its waiting on the wheels.

Have a good night,
John Z.

Bianchi - To This Point

Emmett brought over the wheels and freewheel this weekend.  Very nice high end Bianchi wheels and some nice white striped tires.

I started with the front wheel.  Mainly just cleaning up a little old grease and packing new grease.  I really like the quality of these wheels, the bearing surfaces are chromed and show just a little wear.  With the front hub overhauled I trued the front wheel, which was almost perfect to start, and installed the new tube and tire.  Looks good with the white stripe.

Bianchi - Front Wheel - Old Grease
Bianchi - Front Wheel - Bearing Surfaces
Bianchi - Front Bearings - Packed
Bianchi - Front Wheel - Complete & Installed
With the front wheel complete I moved on to the rear wheel.  The wheel came with a six speed freewheel.  This is going to be replaced with a seven speed freewheel to go with the seven speed index shifters.  I had a heck of a time getting the old freewheel off.  Someone in the past did not grease the threads before installation so the freewheel and hub corroded together.  I tried with a large wrench, I also tired a vise and using the wheel at the wrench.  I did not want to apply a lot of force in the vise because I did not want to damage the wheel.  I ended up holding the freewheel socket in place with the skewer and carefully using a 3 foot crescent wrench.  The freewheel broke loose with just a small amount of force protecting the wheel.

With the freewheel switched out, with a generous amount of grease, I trued the wheel and installed the new tube and tire.  The wheel was badly out of true with a curb dent in the rim.  I was able to fix the dent only slightly with different pliers.  I did not want to wreck the rim more.  The dent is still there, but a little better.  I really like the the white tire combination.

Bianchi - Rear Wheel - Before
Bianchi - Rear Wheel - Freewheel Removed
Bianchi - New Freewheel
Bianchi - New Freewheel - Installed
Bianchi - Rear Wheel - Installed
From here I tuned the brakes and ran the shift cables.  I would have been done with the bike today, but I am having a little trouble getting the rear derailleur and new freewheel to shift well.  I ran out of time for today, so tomorrow I will finish things off.

Until tomorrow,
John Z.

I finished off the bike yesterday.  The bike now shifts well and the brakes are working well.  With everything tuned I installed the new handlebar tape.  The test ride went well, the bike rides smooth, solid and fast.

Bianchi - Handlebar Tape Installed
Bianchi - Finished - Side View

Bianchi - Finished - Angle View

Bianchi - Finished - Front View

Bianchi - Finished - Drive Train

Bianchi - Finished - Rear View
Thanks Emmett for bring me the bike.  It was a fun project and I like the choices you made.

John Z.