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I'm contemplating whether or not to buy a Bianchi vintage mixte bike. I was told that it's a 1986 Bianch Strada but I have never seen a serial number like this: 51027563 (all numbers no letters). Photos are attached below. If someone knowledgeable about Bianchi bikes could answer these questions it'd be of tremendous help!

  1. Is this bike a 1986 Bianchi Strada?
  2. Given this 8-digit serial number is this a real Bianchi bike (and not a knockoff)?

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    I removed the valuation part of the question as its against our guidelines.
    – Batman
    Jul 9, 2017 at 1:03
  • Well its definitely a bike from the 80s. I can't speak for its authenticity as a Bianchi though. The tyres look old but the tread shows minimal wear so I suspect it was a ROPA - check the brake blocks for wear and hardness. The bartape and barplugs appear to be new, as do the wheel reflectors (I would have expected yellow ones back then not modern white/clear ones). Bike has been cleaned because there is no road-grime in places I'd expect to see it, like around the brakes. Even if it is a knock off, its still a loverly bike. If you like it, and it fits you, then its not a bad bike.
    – Criggie
    Jul 9, 2017 at 11:12
  • Just a thought - its could be steel wheels in 27" as opposed to the much more common 700c wheels in use these days. Braking on steel rims was never great, and dropped to "wishful thinking" in the wet, so you might wish to test for steel, and consider replacing with aluminium rims and right-sized rubber.
    – Criggie
    Jul 9, 2017 at 11:17
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    Schrader (?) valves and suicide levers, most likely built for the US market.
    – Carel
    Jul 9, 2017 at 16:23
  • OT: 'Suicide levers' – thanks, @Carel, for the refreshing LOL. Even as a kid, I knew these levers were trouble just by looking at them, and took them off everybody's bikes.
    – IconDaemon
    Jul 11, 2017 at 11:42

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Warning: this answer is based on rumours, speculation and hearsay.

Serial numbers: I don't think the Good Lord Himself could make sense of Bianchi serial numbers, so don't put too much weight on that as anything is possible.

Lugs and frame design/welds looks somewhat odd for Bianchi, in fact without the decals I would have guessed Nishiki. Thankfully, there is a fairly persistent rumour that Bianchi subcontracted cheap frames from Nishiki due to production problems while they were moving production from Japan to Taiwan in the mid 80s. If true, this could be one of those bikes.

If this is the case, it's a fun bit of bike history curiosa. As others have noted, the suicide levers on an otherwise mid-range equipped bike says it's probably a US-specific model

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I got confirmation from some Bianchi enthusiasts at BikeForums.net that this is indeed a genuine 1986 Bianchi Strada Mixte with pretty much all original parts. @Fossegrimen is right that the serial numbers are a mess and can't be relied upon.

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    Thanks for posting the resolution. It would be helpful if you could give a brief summary of their reasoning (and maybe even a link to the relevant forum thread) to help anybody who might have a similar query in the future. Jul 12, 2017 at 9:21
  • And accepting an answer would help too, to remove the question from randomly showing on the homepage.
    – Batman
    Jul 12, 2017 at 14:05
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I have this exact same bike in the men's version. My first serial number is a six and from what I have read this designates the year as a 1986 model. Seems as though yours was made in 1985. I do believe these are made in Taiwan. It has a 70mm bottom bracket shell that would lead one to believe that it is Italian made but the drive side threads are reversed as with the English threads. This makes replacing the bottom bracket a little tricky. Also there is a small sticker at the bottom that looks like it read made in Taiwan at one time but mine is worn off and does not resemble the Made in Italy decals that I have seen on Italian Bianchis. Still a very nice bike and very well built. Your bike in the photo seems to have all the original parts as mine does.

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Looks like a solid match, it's real.
Supporting information:

Some screen shots from the 1987 Bianchi catalog

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It is available as a 19" Mediterranean blue mixte

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Thank You for the posting. I just purchased a Bianchi Mixte with very similar component group. These are my differences. 1) Chrome plated forks 2) Forged Bianchi drop outs with frame adjusters 3) Brazed on down tube shifters 4) Dia Compe brakes with similar suicide brakes, gold embellishments 5) ITM quill stem made in Italy 6) Campagnolo or Gimpimmi hubs, with oil ports like Grand Sport (previous Gen. N. Record) 7) Ambrosia rims 8) The seat tube is 26.2mm, the old Campagnolo N. Record n Grand Sport, which frustrated many trying to restore or upgrade old Italian bikes from 1970's n early 1980's. Will try to post pictures for those interested. This seems to be the 1/2 way point when Bianchi were still made in Italy with mix of Italian and JIS parts.

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  • I'm not sure this really answers the question. Do take a look at our short tour and help center to see how we're different from traditional discussion forums. Jun 19, 2019 at 9:42

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