Son #1 and a few of his classmates have rented a house off campus, and between trips to Goodwill and the Habitat Restore for furnishings he mentioned that it would be nice to have a bike for commuting to classes. Since the Bianchi was originally purchased for either he or his brother to use, I jumped at the chance to get this bike road ready.
Given the frame and general appearance, I think it will be perfect for what he wants. It’s sturdy, yet light; well geared, and won’t draw the attention of any thieves looking for higher end stuff. I asked him about fenders and the rack, which he said he would like, and then I went to the basement bike parts bin and started digging.
I believe it turned out pretty well. Both the clean lines and the lightness are lacking in my own bikes. There is a thick coat of dust on the frame, so it will look even better once it gets a cleaning.
The racing frame roots required some cobbling with both the rear fender and the rack. The front of the fender is anchored to the seat tube using some small pieces of inner tube and a zip tie; otherwise the line is clean. There are no rack mounts on the chain stays, so I remembered a little doo-hickey clamp that I had on my old Privateer for mounting the rear rack. Its not pretty, but it is solid.
The only real downside I see is the short top tube geometry, which creates quite a bit of toe overlap. I have a problem with it on tight turns, so I expect my son’s size 14 shoes will be even worse. The steering is also a little wonky, but I haven’t figured out if it’s the bike or just my being used to my own bikes’ handling.
The only work remaining is to decide on a lock/cable setup, probably a small saddle wedge, and then some basic tools and a lesson on repairs and maintenance. Fortunately, like most college campuses, there is a bike rental/repair service; and a good shop in town.