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I'm at a loss trying to ID the make and model of this old bike with Bianchi insignia, that I acquired recently for cheap. The seller had no idea, said it was a gift to him. It's obviously been (badly) repainted at some point, which makes the task even harder.

So I've now spent many hours researching 70s and 80s Bianchis online and none match perfectly to its features. Models like the Randonneur touring bike resemble it, yet the welds are always slightly different. Plus my bike has no "B"s or "Bianchi" carved into the frame/pantography.

Does anyone have any hints? I can really use some guesses even as I'm out of ideas. Full size picture Here are some of the more defining features:

  • The peculiar style of welds - Head tube: enter image description here
  • The peculiar style of welds - Seat tube: enter image description here
  • It has pegs for a pump: enter image description here
  • Rear dropouts have hooks for racks: enter image description here
  • This is the front of the headtube w Bianchi sticker but it could be inauthentic: enter image description here

Do you think it's a Bianchi at all?? I'm starting to lose faith on that. even though I really want to restore it back to its original glory, so long as I can find out what it is/was initially.

The closes resemblance I found is a Swiss brand of now vintage road bikes called Tigra.

Many many thanks for any useful information!

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    You're probably right that it close to a Radonneur but there are subtle differences (lugs, pump pegs, no stamped B on the fork arms etc...). I don't know but maybe you are better off asking in a forum like that which seems busier than Bicycles SE and I found at least one thread where somebody seems to be knowledgable with old 80s Bianchis, if that helps....
    – DoNuT
    Jan 10 at 17:05
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    However, these Weinmann Vainqueur 610 brakes seem to be legit 80s center-pull brakes, so I don't think it is a fake-old bike. Regardless if somebody is able to ID it or not, it seems to be a nice old bike in ridable condition and you probably won't make a fortune when you resell it, so the best you can do is restore it - why not a Celeste paint, with or without Bianchi stickers - and get yourself a lovely bike for Sunday rides or to put it in your living room?
    – DoNuT
    Jan 10 at 17:10
  • What does it say on the top tube?
    – David D
    Jan 10 at 19:20
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    Reads "Bianchi O? Oversize Structure Technology", but as we now know those decals are transferred from the MTB bianchi frame or here and there, but definitely not originals for the Carlton frame.
    – IVAN
    Jan 23 at 12:52

4 Answers 4

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I think it is most likely to be a Bianchi. When people clone decals onto repainted frames, they hardly ever include the tubing sticker and probably never the bottom of the range sticker -- which I bet couldn't be bought at a time that matches the paint. The red colour, by the way, is a usual option on many Bianchi bikes, they aren't all Celeste.

The sticker reads TTS: Tubi Trafilati Speciali, and was the basic Bianchi tubeset.

My assumption is that you have a bottom-of-range 1970s Bianchi. It's interesting but it isn't valuable (to most people).

The fact you can find no pictures or cataloge entries is no surprise. I have here a 1990s Bianchi Shark Asset (no joke) and you won't find a mention of that one either.

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Thanks so much for your input, everyone! It helped point me in the right direction.

I managed to finally ID the frame after tons and tons of digging around the internet (ashamed to say how much exactly). The closest was the Raleigh Grand Prix guess.

It is actually a Carlton, but basically the same as a Raleigh Grand Prix, with a few small differences. (This manufacturer was bought by Raleigh in 1960 and built by them for export later on, finally getting closed-down as a brand and its models digested as Raleigh models).

So it's a 1974 (SN gave it away), built in the Raleigh factory as a Carlton Corsa (hence the pump pegs on the top).

Here's what it would look like restored: Orange Carlton Corsa

I intend on keeping it and restoring it and I will record the whole process (will include a full repaint). So if you're interested to see that, follow this space and I will post videos of the project as I go forward with it!

Many thanks once again!

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    Good sleuthing. Mark your answer as "Accepted" with the check mark, and good luck with the restoration. That orange bike is beautiful. Jan 23 at 14:18
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    Thank you, Michael! Marked!
    – IVAN
    Jan 25 at 17:38
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Compare your lugs to the ones on this Raleigh Grand Prix. It's linked from a comment on this question. Your seat lug looks even more like the Grand Prix pictured than the asker's does.

This particular bicycle does not appear to have pegs for a pump under the top tube, but Sheldon Brown's site suggests that some models of Raleigh Grand Prix did indeed have pump mounting there.

At any rate, the lugs might refocus your search away from Bianchi.

Unknown model year 1958 Lenton Grand Prix
Raleigh Grand Prix of unknown date Raleigh Lenton Grand Prix Model 7 advertisement, 1958
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The left chainstay says Aspid (SX?), I think.

enter image description here

A bit of googling shows that this seems to be a MTB model in more modern days.

enter image description here

I can't find the Aspid on their product pages but there are a lot of hits in Turkey (including a YT review), so maybe this was a model only offered on the Eastern market and is discontinued, now. Or it was a market-specific name for another model back in the days.

Yours is obviously in road bike trim, so there are the following possibilities:

  • The frame was once an early MTB model and somebody rebuilt it as road bike - I've also googled for bianchi vintage mountain bike and found single-speed mods, tourer conversions, so maybe that's even a thing? I admit that the tubing doesn't look very rigid and the fork looks original, though.
  • Maybe, it was a (low-end) road bike model in the 70/80s and Bianchi repurposed the name for MTBs later, the "modern" Aspid picture above looks like a 2000s (?) MTB but could only be found in Turkish shops/marketplaces.
  • It is a totally different bike and somebody chose confusing stickers (or it is a scam?). How likely is it that somebody would fake a Bianchi with legit-looking stickers and then chooses a model hardly anybody has ever heard about?

I personally think, it is a legit Bianchi but not a collectable.

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    Would a mountain bike have pegs for a pump? Jan 11 at 14:24
  • @Michael Possibly retrofitted? Old Bianchi catalogues only show bikes with pumps on the seattube but information is sparse on these. Some older models of the Aspid exist, so it remains a mystery, indeed.
    – DoNuT
    Jan 11 at 14:41
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    The MTB frame is completely different. The fork looks original and the frame is very unlikely to ever been MTB, even an old one. Jan 11 at 16:50

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