Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lug Samesies! Vintage Bianchi vs Trek

I was initially going to sell my vintage Trek in October, but decided to wait until Spring. Now I am glad to have waited, because it is interesting to compare it to its replacement, the Bianchi. While the two bicycles differ in purpose and geometry (the Bianchi is a racing bike whereas the Trek is a "Sports Touring" model), what amazed me when the Bianchi arrived is that their lugwork is nearly identical. I had camera troubles on the day these pictures were taken, so excuse the quality - but have a look:

Plain and "pointy" lugs on the Bianchi with fork crown.

Identical style of lugs and fork crown on the Trek, only with "Trek" engraved into the crown instead of the Bianchi's "B".

Classic seat cluster engraved with a "B".

Same classic seat cluster engraved with "Trek." I don't have good pictures of the drop-outs, bottom brackets and brake bridges, but those are equally similar. Even the spacing of the braze-ons for the rear brake cable along the top tube is the same.

As far as tubing goes, the Trek is Reynolds 531 for the main triangle and the Bianchi is Columbus, both with cro-moly stays and fork. And they were produced just one year apart - the Trek in 1982 and the Bianchi in 1983. I guess I should not be so amazed that just because one bike is American and a sports turing model while the other is an Italian racing bike, there are such similarities in lugwork. After all, both are factory-built frames and these lugs must have been popular at the time. The Trek and Bianchi ride very differently and there is no mistaking one for another once I am on the saddle. But my disappointment in the generic frame construction makes me aware of how much I value difference in bicycles. I like looking at a bike and being able to distinguish its lineage from another by details of construction and not just by the stamped brand name and the decals.


alpina69 said...

The lugs on the trek are obviously hand filed and look far superior to the bianchi....silver solder too...hope you kept it.

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