Bike of the Month – October 2023

Before you contact us to say this is not a bicycle please read what we have to say!

Bicycle Make:           Bianchi

Bicycle model:          Lusso

Date of Manufacture:    1951

The Bianchi Lusso (or luxury for those who don’t speak Italian) was the ‘top of the range’ Bianchi City bike, the choice of those who cycled in the city by choice not necessity. It was a lot more expensive than the others in their range but the standard of finish was also a lot better.

The ‘Lusso’ we see here has a few noticeable additions, a Garelli Mosquito engine and a Springer style front fork. This bike has the original Mosquito 38cc motor without the centrifugal clutch, which (the manufactures claim!) could be fitted to any standard bicycle by a competent mechanic in under an hour. The drive was transferred to the rear wheel by friction, starting was relatively easy but stopping with the ‘rod’ brakes was on occasion terrifying, particularly in the rain. Later versions of Mosquito motor were 48cc.

Another addition you will notice is the ‘Springer’ style front fork. This was a later addition as earlier models were prone to failure of the down tubes. Getting the rod brakes to work with the Springer fork required a bit of ingenuity. Have a look at the images below and see if you can figure out how the rod/cable works,

So, have a look at the slide show below and you can decide if this is a worthy winner of our ‘Bike of the Month’! We would like to thank Fintan Foley for bringing this bike to our Concours d’Elegance in Waterford and offering to look after the Longford Tractor Spares trophy for another year.

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