The Authentic Bianchi X4

Pushies Galore 2015 Bianchi Specialissima X4 from Cologne, winner of the road bike category. No sheep stations here!
Pushies Galore 2015 Bianchi Specialissima X4 from Cologne, winner of the road bike category. No sheep stations here!

Bianchi X4 SPX year build 1988, Road Bike Of The Year at Pushies Galore 2015

Pushies Galore 2015 is done and dusted. This year is the first time I'd brought along some of my own bikes to enter into the Pushies Galore show 'n' shine. Two Bianchi X4's, the Bianchi Piaggio team bike and a totally original Bianchi X4 that had been kept in almost new condition since 1988. It's a fun day out at Pushies and entering a bike into the show 'n' shine is just part of being able to share your own special bike with everyone who attends. The thought of going home with a prize isn't something that I'd set out to do. On the Pushies show 'n' shine page they explain ... "We want to encourage a spirit of sharing in the show ‘n’ shine: for us, all bikes are beautiful. That being said, we do award prizes on the day. We have a group of judges select the winner in each category. Winners getting bragging rights, but no sheep stations." Given the bragging rights but no sheep stations concept, there's still some very stiff competition across all categories. The calibre of the bikes entered into the road bike category was exceptionally high. So when the 1988 original Bianchi X4 won the the road bike category I was very pleased, but at the same time all the others are winners too. I hadn't intended entering this X4 into the Pushies show 'n' shine, then two weeks out, on a whim I spent the weekend detailing the Bianchi from Cologne ready for the show! There were so many beautiful and unique bikes on display, that Pushies Galore certainly has become the place to be under the mid winter Australian sun.

When I hunted the web for an authentic Bianchi X4, Karl's bike was the only one that I came across, that had not been stripped of it's parts and sold off as a frame only, or a repaint, or one those bikes you see that has components that simply don't belong on an X4. This one was the real deal and if it was going to sit beside my meticulous Bianchi Piaggio restoration it had to be a good one!

I’ve included below some edited notes from Karl from Cologne who I bought the X4 from, and who has carefully kept this beautiful Bianchi Specialissima in authentic and exceptionally well preserved condition since 1989.

This BIANCHI racing bike is guaranteed a specialissima X4 from the year 1988, bought in 1989.

Except for the brake cables the BIANCHI is in genuine condition. (Editors note : I’ve since sourced and installed a set of NOS Casiraghi - Bianchi cables.) The paint has not been restored nor any components polished. The frame, saddle and handlebars as well as the pedals were ridden fewer than 500 km. All other Campagnolo components and the wheels fewer than 1,600 km. Only in sunny weather.

This specialissima x4 (for my feeling fortunately) escaped the engraving obsession of Campagnolo components, which therefore present themselves in simple beauty. Together with the 60 cm frame (58 cm ctr to ctr) and the unique 3 ttt handlebars, which have a beautiful curved drop and outward sweep and hand stitched Celeste Almarc leather, this BIANCHI x4 delivers a statement of classic Italian steel. An exceptional exemplar of a mid 1980’s professional racing bike with inimitable elegance.

History: Looking for a good second-hand Campagnolo-Record group for my de Rosa frame I had the opportunity to purchase this almost new BIANCHI bike at the end of 1989. The seller had bought the Specialissima x4 at the beginning of 1989, only riding a few kilometres before he decided to change over to mountain bike riding.

With the De Rosa, combined with the Campagnolo-group and the wheels of the x4, I rode fewer than 1,200 km (because of scarce leisure time due to work pressures). So the low different mileage of the unique BIANCHI bicycle parts becomes self explanatory. KARL.

Bianchi X4 winner of the Road category at 2015 Pushies Galore show 'n' shine.
Bianchi X4 winner of the Road category at 2015 Pushies Galore show 'n' shine.
Fastidiously preserved almost thirty years on and this C Record Campagnolo brake lever represents a piece of Bianchi history.
Fastidiously preserved almost thirty years on and this C Record Campagnolo brake lever represents a piece of Bianchi history.
Original 1988 Almarc Bianchi celeste leather bar wrap.
Original 1988 Almarc Bianchi celeste leather bar wrap.
Bianchi supplied 3ttt stems on some later Bianchi X4's with black laser etched 3ttt stems. Moving away from the pantographed stems and components.
Bianchi supplied 3ttt stems on some later Bianchi X4's with black laser etched 3ttt stems. Moving away from the pantographed stems and components.
3ttt LA 84 stems on Bianchi X4's were later replaced with ITM stems. Three phases, 1. Pantographed 3ttt. 2. Laser etched 3ttt. 3. Laser etched ITM
3ttt LA 84 stems on Bianchi X4's were later replaced with ITM stems. Three phases, 1. Pantographed 3ttt. 2. Laser etched 3ttt. 3. Laser etched ITM
Well preserved hand stitched Almarc leather and C Record white brake hoods.
Well preserved hand stitched Almarc leather and C Record white brake hoods.
Campagnolo C Record gear shift lever, friction on the Bianchi X4.
Campagnolo C Record gear shift lever, friction on the Bianchi X4.
Factory finish on the Bianchi x4 fork crown. Pristine triple chrome plating with hand painted gold detail.
Factory finish on the Bianchi x4 fork crown. Pristine triple chrome plating with hand painted gold detail.
Mint Campagnolo Cobalto brake calipers.
Mint Campagnolo Cobalto brake calipers.
Sporting the traditional Bianchi Edoardo Bianchi crest, pantographed into the head tube. A sure way of spotting an authentic Bianchi X4.
Sporting the traditional Bianchi Edoardo Bianchi crest, pantographed into the head tube. A sure way of spotting an authentic Bianchi X4.
Selle Italia celeste Bianchi Super Turbo saddle, factory original.
Selle Italia celeste Bianchi Super Turbo saddle, factory original.
Columbus SPX Bianchi X4
Columbus SPX Bianchi X4
Silca Impero Bianchi celeste frame fit pump with matching black collar to the black 3ttt stem.
Silca Impero Bianchi celeste frame fit pump with matching black collar to the black 3ttt stem.
Karl had removed some of the original decals in pursuit of an unembellished aesthetic. Only the X4 decals were added back to the original when I received the bike from Karl.
Karl had removed some of the original decals in pursuit of an unembellished aesthetic. Only the X4 decals were added back to the original when I received the bike from Karl.
Classic Silva brake bridge. Earlier X 4's had a "square" bridge.
Classic Silva brake bridge. Earlier X 4's had a "square" bridge.
Bianchi stamped into the Silva brake bridge, some X4's simply had X4 engraved into the steel.
Bianchi stamped into the Silva brake bridge, some X4's simply had X4 engraved into the steel.
Rear Cobalto Campagnolo brake caliper, C record. With the distinctive blue plastic bolt cap. A quick cheap way to rebrand super record brakes when the delta's failed.
Rear Cobalto Campagnolo brake caliper, C record. With the distinctive blue plastic bolt cap. A quick cheap way to rebrand super record brakes when the delta's failed.
Mint Campagnolo gen 2 C Record rear derailleur.
Mint Campagnolo gen 2 C Record rear derailleur.
Regina CX freewheel 6 speed.
Regina CX freewheel 6 speed.
Bianchi winged logo decal, designed in the early 1980's, special bikes received the bottom "feather" of the gold wing, while other bikes received blue.
Bianchi winged logo decal, designed in the early 1980's, special bikes received the bottom "feather" of the gold wing, while other bikes received blue.
Bianchi Campagnolo bidon.
Bianchi Campagnolo bidon.
Bianchi reparto corse, the famed decal from the Bianchi race department.
Bianchi reparto corse, the famed decal from the Bianchi race department.
Special Bianchi Servizio Corse rims.
Special Bianchi Servizio Corse rims.
Bianchi supplied Columbus SL fork blades as standard in the X4.
Bianchi supplied Columbus SL fork blades as standard in the X4.
Karl was careful to keep the paint finish in pristine condition, but had a strong conviction of preserving originality with slight blemishes and no polishing of shiny parts.
Karl was careful to keep the paint finish in pristine condition, but had a strong conviction of preserving originality with slight blemishes and no polishing of shiny parts.
Investment cast lugs a quality adding to the allure of the Bianchi X4.
Investment cast lugs a quality adding to the allure of the Bianchi X4.
Bianchi engraved top eyes, with the Bianchi cursive script painted by hand in gold.
Bianchi engraved top eyes, with the Bianchi cursive script painted by hand in gold.
Campagnolo C record road pedals were available in four different version in 1987 and 1988. Thes pedals are the "second" version. Campagnolo described this version as "“The second pedal, ergonomically designed, is ideal for cyclists used to pedalling ‘round’ where the ball of the foot exerts the maximum force of the push. The two plates, equidistant from the central axle, guarantee minimum stress to the foot."
Campagnolo C record road pedals were available in four different version in 1987 and 1988. Thes pedals are the "second" version. Campagnolo described this version as "“The second pedal, ergonomically designed, is ideal for cyclists used to pedalling ‘round’ where the ball of the foot exerts the maximum force of the push. The two plates, equidistant from the central axle, guarantee minimum stress to the foot."
Pristine Gen 2 C Record Campagnolo rear derailleur.
Pristine Gen 2 C Record Campagnolo rear derailleur.
Campagnolo Gen 2 C Record 172.5 cranks.
Campagnolo Gen 2 C Record 172.5 cranks.
Gen 2 Campagnolo C Record cranks with printed shield logo.
Gen 2 Campagnolo C Record cranks with printed shield logo.
#BAAW Bianchi X4
#BAAW Bianchi X4
Pushies Galore 2015 road bike, bragging rights only bike. The Cologne Bianchi X4.
Pushies Galore 2015 road bike, bragging rights only bike. The Cologne Bianchi X4.

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