Help me ID this bike
October 7, 2012 11:57 PM   Subscribe

Yes, it's a bike. It says Bianchi. How do I identify what kind it is and what it's worth?

Several years ago, I was given this bike by someone I'm no longer in touch with. I'd like to sell it as it's too small for me.

This is what I do know:
It's an older racing type bike
Floor to top of seat post - 30 inches (76 cm?)
Center of pedal to top of seat post - 20 inches (50.8?)
Horizontal across top bar, center of post to center of seat post - 21 inches (53.34?)
I was told it's a 12 Speed Formula Two with European style tires. The back tire says Ambrosio 19 extra Elite and the tires are 25 inches.

People keep asking me more questions about it, and I don't know the answers!

How old is it?
What model?
Is it a specialissima frame? (a whaaat?)
Is it numbered, and where?
Are the pedals an upgrade?

What else do I need to know to advertise it?

Some folks have told me that it's only worth $100, and some say Big! Bucks!

When I figure out what it is, what do I ask for it?
More pics

posted by BlueHorse to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total)
Generally, Colnago's are worth more than Bianchi's.

That said

It is worth what someone will pay for it.

On Craigslist, not so much. On eBay, with someone keen on that frame particular frame - a lot more.

I worked for a certified Colnago dealer, which was a privilege not easy to come by (be bestowed??).

Price it at $200 on eBay, with pick-up free, or bicycle packing and shipping by a local reputable bike shop near you matching their fee (call and confirm price.)

If no one buys it. Re-list on eBay at a lower price point.

My understanding is that frames get lighter and more ergonomical every year, so someone has to really really want that particular frame.

What pedals does it have? Those are not clear from the pics.
posted by jbenben at 12:23 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have sold a lot of bikes on Craigslist. I would put it on Craigslist for 220 and expect to get 150-180. You might get the 220 if someone likes it a lot. You won't get much more on Ebay, shipping will eat into the price you'll get there.
I would put a better seat on it too.
posted by lee at 1:01 AM on October 8, 2012

The Specialissima is a hand-built racing bike.

Yours lacks most of the detailing that would indicate custom construction. The gruppo (cranks, chainrings, derailleurs, brakes) are lower-grade generics and it looks like the pedal, saddles and brakes were replaced by previous owners. At a guess, this would be the sort of bike sold to a family as their kid's first "serious" bicycle, or to a fair-weather recreational cyclist.

This looks to be a decently well-kept 1980s-era road bike. Some googling indicates that Bianchi made Formula 2 bikes in the 1980s. I am guessing there's not much information about it because it's not one of Bianchi's high-quality models that would garner interest among collectors. I can't help you further since I'm not well versed in Italian makes.
posted by ardgedee at 3:07 AM on October 8, 2012

Bike Forums has a subforum for identifying and appraising older bicycles. You might consider posting your question there, in addition to AskMe.
posted by needled at 3:25 AM on October 8, 2012

This is the bottom of the barrel Bianchi. Reflectors on the wheels, flat pedals, wth is that seat? These are all clues that this could be worth around $50 if you are lucky. You could part out these things with something classier to sucker people but I don't think you will get your money back if you do.
posted by JJ86 at 5:49 AM on October 8, 2012

I think ardgedee has it. It's nothing too special. It might appeal to someone doing a fixed gear conversion. Maybe $125?
posted by werkzeuger at 5:51 AM on October 8, 2012

The bright frame color would definitely appeal to someone doing a fixie conversion (although the brazed on shifter posts, not so much.) In your listing, be sure you mention its horizontal dropouts.

Measure the frame size along the seat tube, from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top tube. You can say "center-to-center" in your listing. Use centimeters. The small frame is also good for the fixie market, since women's sizes are hard to come by.

Look for tire sizes on the tires. Here's more than you ever wanted to know about tire sizes, but just verify the numbers you find on the tires are on one of those lists and you've found it.

I'd call it a road bike, not a racing bike.

The green patch on the seat tube specifies what steel was used for the tubing, which is helpful to know and should be in your listing. That there is a patch at all is a good sign.

Can you identify the components? Anything made by Campagnolo is usually good.

There might be a serial number stamped on the frame. Often it's on the underside of the bottom bracket.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:22 AM on October 8, 2012

Before you sell because it's too small, try the following:

- take your measurements and get the seat at the correct height. there's a 90% chance you have it too low. replace the saddle with something modern and minimally padded while you're at it; almost anything would be an improvement over that sad padded 80s thing, even used.

- fix those bars! ugh, the brake levers are annoyingly high up the drops, they should point mostly out, not up. this will make the bike feel 1-2cm longer. get rid of the crappy plastic bar tape.

The paint job looks decent actually and I can't see anything wrong with the drivetrain. It's not worth much but with some upgrades it would be totally functional. If you're still too big for that bike it will make some short woman very happy, because used road bikes that small are a little tough to come across.
posted by slow graffiti at 7:26 AM on October 8, 2012

Is it only barely too small for you? Because that seat looks pretty low to me. If its only a little bit too small you could try raising the seat to where it should be (generally a couple cm above the stem, although your comfort should be the deciding factor).

That said, if you're selling on craigslist, look at other bikes on craigslist from the same era in your area and price accordingly. In my area you could probably get 220-250 for it from someone who really wants a pink bike that fits them (as someone else said, its hard to find small road bikes).
posted by czytm at 8:24 AM on October 8, 2012

That appears to be a Bianchi Celeste. This guy seems to have restored one really close to yours.
posted by chrisulonic at 10:49 AM on October 8, 2012

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