The Bike of the Month – Bianchi Specialissima
Friday, 23 March 2018

The Bike of the Month – Bianchi Specialissima

by Andrea Fossati

The oldest bicycle manufacturer still in production, Bianchi perfectly embodies Italy's racing cycling heritage as a few other brands. Indissolubly linked with the countless victories of Fausto Coppi and Felice Gimondi, the vintage "celeste" bicycles have appealed to enthusiasts worldwide and have become an icon of best Italy's bicycle manufacturing ever since.

The Bianchi Specialissima is the absolute evergreen in the Bianchi history. Released in 1958, it has been the pinnacle of the Milanese brand for sixty years and has been manufactured in different versions. The frameset of the first series was developed from the glorious Campione del Mondo which had been previously launched in 1953 to celebrate Fausto Coppi's victory at 1952 World Championship in Lugano. 

Designed and manufactured with competitions in mind by the Bianchi Reparto Corse – the Bianchi Racing Division – the 1958 Bianchi Specialissima shared with its predecessor the geometry and the typical headtube with integrated headset. However, it featured some new technical details, like a 27.2mm seat tube (the Campione del Mondo was 25.8mm), a head-tube oiler and – cherry on the top – it was fitted with a Campagnolo Record Strada Gruppo – released in the same year.

The 1958 Campagnolo Record Strada groupset consisted of:

Gran Sport rear derailleur – the Record was first released in 1963
- Record 151 BCD pinless crankset with thinner arms, square taper for BB, raised area around the pedal thread and dust cap for the backside of the pedal seat – only produced in 1958
- Record high-flange hubs
- Record front derailleur, seat post, bottom bracket and shifters

This Bianchi Specialissima with serial number 160167  illustrates the typical panache of the very first Specialissima series.
The bike underwent a paint refurbishment a few years ago and is equipped with all its original components.

Obviously fitted with a Campagnolo Record Strada groupset, this Bianchi Specialissima is also completed with:

Universal 453949 brakes – Campagnolo released the first Record brakes only in 1968
Ambrosio stem and bars, Nisi rims
- Nisi rims
- Regina freewheel
- Everest chain
- Brooks Pro saddle

Finely tuned in the Steel Vintage Bikes workshop, ready for the joy of any Eroica adventure.