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Bianchi History

Edoardo Bianchi started manufacturing bicycles in Milan, Italy, in 1885. For their first 100 years, Bianchi bicycles won more races than any other brand. 1)2) Bianchi states that they're the oldest bicycle manufacturer in existence. There are a few older bicycle companies, such as Orbea (1840,) but they started making their bicycles after Bianchi. Italy retains the most active and productive road bike culture. Unfortunately, this cycling zeal hasn't spilled over into mountain biking 3).

Today, Bianchi continues to make excellent bicycles while being managed from Stockholm and owned by a family in Naples.

Bianchi, divinely inspired, royally blessed
Bianchi, divinely inspired, royally blessed pezcycling

Celeste Green

Bianchi insists that Celeste is blue. It's certainly unique. Bianchi, without a doubt, owns the public perception that every handsome minty green bicycle in existence is a Bianchi. Other bicycles, such as Canondale and Huffy, which attempted to culturally appropriate the Bianchi “look”, end up merely looking, well, bad.

Celeste in a can

1983 Grizzly

The first high end European maker to try their hand at making a mountain bike, Bianchi outsourced this work to Japan. The early 1983's were TIG welded in Japan, without lugs, and came in a single color: Sierra Blue. Lugged Grizzlies didn't appear until the end of 1983. The example at the right is lugged, made by Ishiwata of Japan. The 1983 catalog scan below is TIG welded.

Were there more color choices? The grey example at the right seems to be original paint. Catalogs are often out of date as soon as they're printed.

1983 Bianchi catalog 1983 Bianchi catalog

1983 Sierra Blue Grizzly
1983 Sierra Blue Grizzly thecabe

1983 Grey Grizzly
1983 Grey Grizzly john's recycled bicycle blog

1984 Grizzly

1984 Grizzlies came with lugs and probably all in red.

1984 Grizzly
1984 Grizzly bikeforums

1985 Grizzly

The 1985 at the right was the only mt. bike pic I could find from that year. It wasn't until 1986 that Bianchi enlarged their line of comparatively low end mountain bikes. No Celeste for Bianchi Mountain bikes until at least 1988?

1985 Grizzly
1985 Grizzly offersgeeks

1987 Grizzly

Deore MT-60 (1987-1988), lugged frame with Tange tubing. Presumably all 1980's Bianchis used Asian frames.

1987 Grizzly
1987 Grizzly ebay

1988 Super Grizzly

Finally Bianchi blesses a mountain bike with Celeste. Full Deore XT M730 components (1987-1988), lugged Tange frame, 28 pounds.

1988 Super Grizzly
1988 Super Grizzly bikeforums

1989 Super Grizzly

Full XT M732 cgruppo (1989 only.) Celeste seat and lettering, the rest was black speckle.

1989 Super Grizzly
1989 Super Grizzly offersgeeks

1990 Sika

1990 Sika
1990 Sika bikeforums

1991 Project 7

700c mt bike weighing 25 pounds. Double butted and lugged Tange frame. SunTour XC Pro (1989-1991).

1991 Project 7
1991 Project 7 bikeforums

Bianchi Café & Cycles

Bianchi has opened a series of coffee & cycle shops worldwide, serving Italian goodness. Somehow Italy has come to own coffee, inventing cappuccino, latte, espresso and even the word “café” 4). Which is ironic, as Italy isn't even a big coffee drinking country, as that title goes to all of the Scandinavian countries who need more than just alcohol to keep them warm during their dark winter months 5). But, if Ikea is any example, if the Swedes owned coffee culture we'd be stuck calling our drinks Eyjafjallajökull and Äpplarös. Italian simply sounds better. See Bianchi Cafe.

Bianchi Café & Cycles coolhuntermx

Stockholm Menu tripadvisor

Production Notes

[1]. Unknown

Today it's fellow Italian makers Pinarello and Colnago sicycle
History from Bianchi
Italy has never podiumed in a UCI World Cup XO men's Mt. Bike event: wikipedia. To be fair, they actually do quite well in the other events.
Café comes from the Italian “caffè” wikipedia
Italy comes in at number 13 on the coffee consumption chart: worldatlas
bianchi/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/06 16:12 by mtbtimeline