Classic Bikes


Not every bike has achieved it’s finest expression right out of the box, and so it is with my Bianchi L’Eroica. After several hundred miles of time in the saddle (including Eroica Hispania) I have come up with a few changes that I will make. Not that any of it will improve the performance of the bike, which is already great at this point, but just to add some style points. After all, can a classic bike ever really be too classic?

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My 2015 Bianchi L’Eroica

I originally discussed this bike in a post last year after I first heard about it, Preview of the Bianchi L’Eroica. I determined that I wanted to get one as soon as they became available and put my local bike shop onto the job of tracking one down. After a few months of phone calls and inquiries my Bianchi arrived in January of 2016. It appears to be the 17th bike in production based on the serial number, and is certainly among the first to arrive in the US.

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Here is a project that I may regret taking on. I stumbled across this frame online and picked it up for a song, and that may be about all it is worth. To my optimistic eye however it has some potential in spite of its condition. Rusted chrome, bent top and down tube, bent fork etc. But, I am usually up for a challenge!

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I first got word of this bikes existence at Eroica California earlier this year and became very intrigued. It is fascinating to me that there appears to be enough interest in classic bicycles these days that a major manufacturer like Bianchi has decided to reintroduce what is basically a 30 year old bicycle in most regards. Apparently they believe that there is a demand that is not being met in the current marketplace.

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I purchased this bike last year (2014) from Pacific Coast Cycles in Oceanside California. This shop has a surprising number of older bikes in various conditions which are available for purchase. Lygie was a marque that I was not familiar with but this was a quality bike crying out to be loved so I took it home. This one was in original condition and mostly complete when I bought it but it was not rideable. It came with Campagnolo Record drive-train and hubs, 27 inch clinchers and Weinmann brakes and levers. The paint was also original but the down-tube decals had mostly flaked off. Still, with a little bit of love……..

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Mistral

“A classic model for the tourist, a craftsman built frame in Reynolds 531 butted tubing with Prugnat lugs, Campagnolo forged dropouts, 72 degree angles and 41 inch wheelbase.

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This bike came to me from Portland Oregon when I was looking for a bike to ride in L’Eroica Italia in 2012. I ended up taking another bike to that event and so this one sat in the shop as an unfinished project for a couple of years. It is now finished and well ridden, and has completed one heroic event so far.

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I took this bike to the 2014 inaugural L’Eroica Britannia last month in the Peak District and completed the 100 mile route. Just a simple century you say, but this one had almost 10,000 feet of climbing in its course! More on L’Eroica Britannia here.

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