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Classic Lightweights UK
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Bianchi Folgorissima (Super Lightning) - 1950

Submitted by N. S.


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Frame
1950 Bianchi Folgorissima frame no. 285030; seat tube 56cm c to c, top tube 57.5cm c to c.
Wheels
NISI “Moncalieri” (Aluminium) sprint rims on F.B. for Bianchi hubs (aluminium /steel), with Campagnolo QR skewer with modern made tubs having a vintage look. 28mm
Chainset F.B. for Bianchi. 49 tooth chainwheel. (Steel).
Pedals Sheffield with Cornez toeclips
Gears pre "Paris Roubaix" engraved Una Leva derailleur with 4-speed freewheel, Regina 3/32” chain
Brakes Universal Mod. 50. (Aluminium / Steel)
Stem/Bars Ambrosio “Bianchi” (steel).
Saddle  Aquila. (Leather / Steel)
Extra details Total bicycle weight = 24.5 Lbs, 11.1 Kgs
I acquired this Bianchi from the original owner in Italy in the 1990s he had kept it in his living room! It was his "baby"!
Incredibly it has survived, save the tyres, with all its original components.
It had many layers of blue cotton bar tape which I carefully removed and replaced with the same coloured cotton tape.
I have ridden it on the road and mastered the Campag Una Leva gear change. It changes as fast as any modern derailleur but it is imperative that when the skewer is released, DO NOT PEDAL FORWARD! The wheel shoots out of the frame in an instant!

The Bianchi “Folgorissima” was introduced in mid 1949 as Bianchi’s top of the range racing bicycle. It was introduced to show case the new Campagnolo “Una Leva” 4-speed derailleur. The Folgorissima model was short-lived as in April of 1950, the great Italian racing Campionissimo, Fausto Coppi, rode a Bianchi Folgorissima to victory in the Paris-Roubaix spring classic race. As a result, Bianchi immediately re-named the Folgorissima to “Paris-Roubaix”!
The Bianchi Folgorissima existed on the Bianchi inventory for less than one year making it the scarcest Bianchi racing bicycle ever produced.

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Ambrosio “Bianchi” engraved steel stem

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Four views of the working end of the gear clearly showing the 'toothed' rear ends to 'walk' the hub backwards and forwards
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Below: Where it all starts - the sigle (Una Leva) gear lever
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Bianchi steel single 49T chainset made by F B

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Two images of an unusual front mini-mudguard which pushes onto the brake bolt to secure as can be seen in left  image.


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Left and centre: Everything Bianchi; Right: Frame number clearly visible on seat lug

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FB/Bianchi hub
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NISI “Moncalieri” (Aluminium) sprint rims