I follow a set procedure when I get a bicycle, regardless of the source. Almost all bikes get stripped down to the frame, if they are not already. I note serial number and circumstances of sale or transfer. I inspect the frame for serious flaws or damage. I also get a look at the inside of the tubes. I make sure the seat post and stem will come out readily. In the case of the Bianchi Squadra, I did this before I even left the bicycle co-op. This was due to other parts of the cycle being damaged. When I see something like that, I usually check things over before money or barter change hands. This saves any hard feelings on any ones’ part. This is also better than disappointment down the road.
The Squadra had a good bit of road tar from oil and gravel road riding. I use a product called Goo Gone. It gets rid of road tar (a hazard here in the Midwest, due to many roads being paved in oil tar and gravel, and the tar liquifying in temperatures above the mid 80’s Fahrenheit) as well as any adhesives used for attaching speedometer fittings or other accessories. It also removes a lot of paint blemishes and mars, and cleans the paint well. Because the bicycle has some decal issues with weathering and the like, as well as some decals coming loose, I can tell the clear coat has been compromised. A new clear coat will be applied when the weather turns.
I am also sourcing a period group set for this. As I have been modernizing the Trek 600 out of its Shimano 600 group set, I will use this on the Bianchi, as these two bicycles are from the same year,(1986) and the Bianchi also came with a Shimano 600 series group set. I still have the Universal brakes and Shimano levers, and I may continue using the Shimano 600 crank set on the Bianchi, unless I can find the original Ofmega cranks, or some Campagnolo from that era. The original Ofmega headset is still on the Bianchi, and it looks to be of the same quality as the Hinault/Stronglight on my Trek 600, just a little higher level of fit and finish.
Doing all of this brings me into contact with the finer points of the frame and paint, which are excellent, despite a few scratches and wear spots from years past. The bicycle has some thin braze-ons on the drop-outs. I’m used to drop out braze-ons being a bit beefier. I surmise these are meant to be for fenders only. That’s about all I’ll need. I may put a decaleur for a front bag on there, but this bicycle is mainly meant to go fast over day length distances, in my opinion. But what a day that’ll be! Once I get it all together, and find what works best in terms of pedals, saddle, and handlebars. That may take a while. Hopefully, we’l have some of those fine autumn days that inspire nostalgia, tailor made for bike testing.