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MOTOREX Magazine 2002 66 EN

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  • Motorex
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  • Bianchi
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MOTOREX_Magazine_2002_66_en

R eport R eport The

R eport R eport The exact dimensions of the athlete Tradition meets and “his” racing machine are measured on a special measurement bicycle. TIG (tungsten inert gas) process. off the road. racing department. Let’s look in on these 10 8 HIGH-TECH In the northern Italian town of Treviglio (BG), not far from the throbbing traffic of metropolitan Milan, with its 1.6 million inhabitants, people have been building bicycles for 116 years. They’re the stuff dreams are made of. . . and not just for Italians: BICICLETTE BIANCHI. The ultra-light frame consists of various structured, precisely engineered tubular parts. The frame is welded together into a solid assembly using a high-quality When Edoardo Bianchi set up his small shop more than a century ago in Milan and began to create his first bicycle, the technology was nowhere close to today’s aluminium frames and windtunnel-tested wheels. For 60 years bicycles simply met the need for individual mobility through muscle power. In recent decades, however, the fun factor has become more and more important, and BIANCHI has kept expanding its product range in response. This has resulted in continuous growth and has established BIANCHI as one of the world’s most respected manufacturers. Today, when someone buys a bicycle, their first thought is not of eco-friendly mobility, but of fun or sports – on or Racing helped BIANCHI grow BIANCHI has always been an enthusiastic and successful supporter of racing. The countless championship titles and numerous shiny trophies won by internationally renowned cyclists bear testimony to BIANCHI’s omnipresence in the world of bicycle racing. The hard work and creativity that takes place in BIANCHI’s legendary racing department, the “Reparto Corsa”, also benefits standard production, as the engineering innovations developed in the racing department keep appearing on more and more off-the-rack bikes. The secret of a BIANCHI racing cycle If you want to harvest, you have to sow – and following this old saying BIANCHI operates its own testing and development centre in Treviglio (BG) alongside its master builders as they work. MOTOREX magazine was able to get a glimpse into some of the secrets of BIANCHI racing bikes: Every human being is a unique individual – and the same is also true of BIANCHI racing bikes, since each frame is custombuilt to the nearest millimetre to match its rider’s body. The dimensions are measured on a special measuring bike, and the data are entered in a uniquely numbered build sheet that accompanies the bike through the entire production process. This sheet also includes the materials that are to be used and the tube contours, all of which will have already been rigorously tested in real-world and bench tests. The frames are made of an ultra-lightweight aluminium-zinc-magnesium alloy offering tensile strength values of between 600 and 650 N/mm 2 . This alloy is extremely stable and can be used in especially thin-walled tubes. The first step is to cut the frame parts to size, and then grind the connecting points down to the proper shape. Then the entire frame is spot-welded using a TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding process. The welds for the struts of the rear wheel mount are then applied. After the frame components have been welded together, the frame is trued and the tubes are filled with foam using a patented BIANCHI system. This SFI (Structural Foam Injection) process gives the frame the necessary rigidity without taking away any of its flexibility. After the bike is painted using a powdercoating process, extremely thin adhesive labels are applied by hand – both on custom bikes and standard production models. This labour-intensive process means that a single worker can only trim out about 3 – 4 frames per hour. Then the frame is clearcoated and once again measured on a geometric measuring system to the nearest hundredth of a millimetre. The highpoint: Final assembly After the heart of the bicycle, the frame, is finished, the rest of the components can be installed. The workers know exactly what they are doing, and each racing machine differs from its stablemates in small but important details that often prove critical to cyclists in race situations. Some of the components that are installed in this stage are manufactured by BIANCHI itself, while others, such as derailers, brakes, forks and saddles, are made by internationally renowned manufacturers. The next step is for the customer to accept the bike as it was specified on the original build-sheet. In the case of racing bikes, a number of identical machines are manufactured for each cyclist. Of course, these athletes perform the final inspections of their BIANCHI bicycles in person, and for most of them, the first race on their new bike can’t come soon enough! Pedalling into the future with CYCLEUROPE AB Since 1997 BIANCHI has been owned by the CYCLEUROPE AB holding company of Varberg, Sweden. The merger with BIANCHI made CYCLEUROPE the leader in the European bicycle market. Over 450,000 BIANCHI bicycles are sold in 68 countries every year. BIANCHI enjoys a 14% share of the Italian market and is clearly the technology leader in its market. And while we’re talking about market leaders – for some time now BIANCHI has been using MOTOREX’s BIKE- LINE, the comprehensive Swiss-made cycle lubrication and care range, for its racing bikes and also recommends BIKE- LINE for the maintenance of its standard-production models. Benissimo! www.bianchi.com Craftsmanship is the name of the game here too; extremely thin adhesive labels that can be clearcoated define the look of the bicycle. Final assembly, alignment and tuning of the racing bikes take place in the Reparto Corsa. The bike is then ready for the athlete to test. The finished masterpiece then awaits the first race and hopefully a first-place finish. 9

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