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  1. #1
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Questions about a parts bin Colnago.

    Hey guys, I have a few questions about a 57cm Colnago Super I might be buying.

    If you could help me pin down some details on this frame and it's valuation, I would be most grateful.

    I want to make sure this is what I want before I get it.

    What I want:

    - A high quality criterium geometry frameset that handles exquisitely and can corner very well and has good feedback.
    - Something that, once dialed in, I will own and use aggressively until I need a walker.
    - In my experience, the more aggressive the geometry, the better. I favor bikes that have a lot of turn in, it seems.

    The guy wants ~$500

    My hesitations are:

    - I don't know a whole lot about Colnagos so I am not sure exactly what I am looking at: A Super is one step down from Mexico, right?

    - I'm not certain of the geometry and whether it meets my needs.

    - This Super was definitely a parts bin build.

    Here's what it has on it right now, component-wise:

    - wheelset is an early Shimano 105 freewheel hub set laced to semi-aero Matrix (Trek?) brand rims.

    - freewheel is a Sachs 7 speed

    - has Campy friction DT shifters (older, the kind that you have to tighten every ride).

    - rear derailleur is Campy. No markings on it, but I'm thinking Athena (wasn't there an early version?) The pulley cage has a streamlined aero design similar to the Dura Ace AX RD. Wouldn't that make it around an '82?

    - The crank set and BB are Campy Chorus, I believe 9 speed era. The BB is a cartridge type which appears to have square taper, but it might be ISIS. Not sure.

    - The FD looks to be contemporary with the frame. It kind of looks like a 980 or something nicer from that era.

    - the brakes are single pivot Dia-Compe Royal Compe II (I think that's what they are called...)

    - The brake levers are much newer Dia-Compe aero levers. I daresay, cheap replacements.

    - bar is a Cinelli 64-42 and stem is a Cinelli quill stem

    - the headset seems to be a more modern Campagnolo threaded headset. Has a sleek, high tech look that reminds me of the Stronglight A9 a bit. I'm thinking Chorus(?)

    - the seatpost is a Dura Ace 7400 era with a fluted shaft. The flutes are painted in a few different colors

    - pedals are early Look compatible Shimano 105

    - Avocet saddle

    - the frame looks like this one:



    - same color

    - same seat lug attatchment, except there's no logo on the seat stay caps

    - same top tube brake cable bosses

    - fork had a painted crown

    - I think the geometry on the one I looked at was steeper than the one pictured, (maybe it's an illusion?)


    So... what do you guys think?







    -Joe
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  2. #2
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    If I recall correctly the export model was a lower end model.
    The Super is the most widely known Colnago (imho).
    Do you have any idea of the age of the frame? Does it have Clover cut outs
    on the head tube lugs? upper? lower? both? what is engraved on the fork crown?
    Clover in a C? just a clover?
    depending on the age of the frame you're either getting anywhere from a good deal to an excellent deal.
    Colnagos are racing bikes, they don't have a relaxed geometry, there were no touring colnagos (that I'm aware of).
    The components sound like a hodge podge of whatever the owner had on hand, but my opinion is your not buying
    the components, you're buying the frame.
    I'm sure some of the heavy hitters will be here shortly to chime in, but I'd say thats not a bad deal.

    Marty
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  3. #3
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Hmm. If memory serves me correctly, the fork crown is flat on top and has The word Colnago spelled out in a half circle. I might be imagining that, though... I did notice the clover cutouts on the head lug, but I don't totally remember how many. I believe it was two. The only place on the bike that said, "Super", was the chain stay.

    The guy had a 56cm Pinarello Treviso too. I rode both bikes and the Pinarello seemed to handle better and corner tighter. (read: the best handling bike I have ever ridden!) I'm thinking it might have been a function of the tires and/or wheels, or maybe even the size difference (56 instead of 57), but the Pinarello DID corner tighter on the same turns! Note: that either bike seemed to easily have been the best frames I have ever rode. Lightning fast acceleration, snappy handling, fluid ride, and confidence inspiring all around. FWIW: the Pinarello had a saddle that fit me better and Vredestein Fortezza tires while the Colnago was still wearing a set of 20+ year old Continentals. That alone might have made up for the handling differences between the two bikes and my psychological perception of them, due to how "sure footed" the Pinarello felt.

    Any other ideas? I'm thinking that this might be one of my 'santo grals'.
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  4. #4
    sultan of schwinn EjustE's Avatar
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    You are basically buying the frame with about $200-250 worth of mismatched components on it. Is the frame worth $250-300? Maybe, but it will be in the very high end of value, so it better be in great shape without any rust. Eventually you might want to strip and rebuild it and depending what group you will put on it, even if you keep the wheels the BB and the headset and sell the rest to recover the cost, you are probably looking to another $300 or so if you are going with something like Dura Ace 74xx (highly recommended with that 7sp set up you have). So you are looking at an $800 or so bike. Add tires, tubes, cables, etc, you are looking closer to $900.

    Your call, but I think that you could do better with that amount....
    -E

    still stuck in the '80s; '70s were good as well, but i severely dislike tubulars.
    I tri...

  5. #5
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    After some research, I think I narrowed the build date down to the '76 - '78 period:

    - scalloped seat stay caps
    - Colnago + club logo on flat fork crown
    - very little chrome (Can't remember, but I think it didn't even have chromed stays)
    - cables routed over BB
    - drilled to accept recessed brake calipers.

    The frame is in good condition over all, but a 6-7 out of ten cosmetically. The paint has chipped some and, at one time, was touched up in a few places with nail polish. The components are nearly new in terms of wear. This bike doesn't appear to have been ridden much, which is consistent with the seller's story. In fact, the rims have no break wear and the gears are clean and without scarring. The patina is most likely a result of careless storage.
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  6. #6
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Any Colnago experts out there?
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  7. #7
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    One more bump.
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  8. #8
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Just consider you are really just buying the frameset. If it is what you want, great. A Frankenbike rarely has any value above the frame itself, unless it has some sweet high end parts. If those Franken-parts are exactly what you want, then I would put some value to them.

    Price is high for just a frameset IMHO.

    As far as geometry, take a tape measure to it, and compare it to bikes you really like. Sounds like you liked the Pinarello a lot better. If it is the same seller, just swap the wheels to see if the wheel/tire combo makes that much of a difference. Sounds to me like the Colnago is not what you are looking for, based on your riding critique. Your personal riding experience on that bike FAR outweighs any internet feedback you could possibly receive. Bike feel and fit are very personal.

  9. #9
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    I might try the wheel swap technique. After giving it some thought, I think I know what was going on: Whatever minor differences I perceived in handling were likely a result of:

    FIT - I didn't fit either bike to me before I rode them. The Pinarello is the sellers personal bike and was setup for him, the Colnago was a bike his brother just gave him that had been sitting in storage. The saddle on the Pinarello (a modern Serfas), felt better and gave more positive control than the one on the 'Nago, (an Avocet).

    TUNING/PARTS - The Colnago needs a tune-up. Part of the reason the Pinarello felt so good, probably had to do with the fact that it was in exquisite working order and had better parts (irrelevant, since I will be building it with a modern group). The full Super Record group with Simplex Retrofriction shifters, (that combination is, without a doubt, the smoooooooothest shifting I've ever experienced), and C-record hubs laced to Wolber clinchers WITH high quality tires (Vredestein Fortezza) probably made up for the rest of the difference between the two bikes.

    Case in point:

    When I customized my Univega (again):



    I changed the groupset to new Ultegra, got a new seatpost, new Deda cockpit, different wheels, and changed nearly every part except the frameset. When I took it on my first few rides, I seemed to have a different level of control over the bike. I couldn't seem to corner as sharply, I felt slower and heavier, and I felt uneasy doing fast runs on downhill runs that I normally felt pretty comfortable on and often rode very aggressively on.
    The fit was good. I wasn't getting any pain or discomfort. It just felt off... maybe it was the wrong size for me. Discouraged, I thought about selling the bike and getting something different.

    Then one day, I decided to play with the fit some more... I don't remember what I did, but you know what? It cured it! Immediately, the bike fit me perfect, I felt comfortable and confident at all speeds, the bike cornered like a demon, and the new parts, (especially the cockpit), made a noticeable improvement. I couldn't be happier with the setup on that bike, (except for the wheels), for all around riding/racing. Now I just want something a little twitchier than the geometry of the Super Strada frame will ever really allow...

    After having thought about it: I'm confident that this Colnago will do what I want it to do, probably even better than the Pinarello. Best of all, I wont have to feel guilty, in any way, for personalizing it to meet my expectations (Shimano group, modern componentry, etc.)
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  10. #10
    Senior Member jet sanchEz's Avatar
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    Is this Colnago in Toronto? If it is I think I know this bike.

    Nice Univega.

  11. #11
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Whats the chainstay bridge look like? Completely straight or concave? If you have an iphone there's a few apps with levels. I use mine to check head tube/seat tube angles which comes in handy more often than youd think.

    $500 seems about right mix-n-match mid level component Colnago. Its parted out value is all in the frameset.
    Last edited by miamijim; 02-12-10 at 07:46 AM.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  12. #12
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet sanchEz View Post
    Is this Colnago in Toronto? If it is I think I know this bike.

    Nice Univega.
    No, it is in Southern California.

    Thanks for the comment about my Univega. I'm very fond of it.


    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    Whats the chainstay bridge look like? Completely straight or concave? If you have an iphone there's a few apps with levels. I use mine to check head tube/seat tube angles which comes in handy more often than youd think.

    $500 seems about right mix-n-match mid level component Colnago. Its parted out value is all in the frameset.
    Chainstay bridge? That's the part right behind the BB, right? I'm pretty sure it's concave (kind of hourglass shaped). If I get an Iphone someday, I will have to remember that trick. Sounds good.

    Here's a few more details I confirmed:

    The chain stays are painted, as opposed to chromed.
    The rear dropouts are the short Campagnolo version
    The club logo only appears on the bottom head lug, (the part that connects to the down tube)
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  13. #13
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rat fink View Post
    Chainstay bridge? That's the part right behind the BB, right? I'm pretty sure it's concave (kind of hourglass shaped). If I get an Iphone someday, I will have to remember that trick. Sounds good.

    Here's a few more details I confirmed:

    The chain stays are painted, as opposed to chromed.
    The rear dropouts are the short Campagnolo version
    The club logo only appears on the bottom head lug, (the part that connects to the down tube)
    Dont worry about chroming, my Colnago Mexico has almost none. A drum/concave chainstay bridge means its ~1980 or newer.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

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