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  1. #1
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    Colnago Master Piu dating help

    Hi all,

    I so pleased with myself at the moment it is almost rude! I hardly post on here but have enjoyed reading many of the postings and sometimes feel jealous when reading about people's outrageous finds. My find isn't exactly outrageous but maybe someone will enjoy reading my tale of trans-oceanic bike hunting with help from the natives in a far away country. Or at least provide a little help with dating my find.

    I live the USA but am from the Netherlands. Like many Crusty&Vintage junkies I can't help myself & surf some of the Dutch websites which are similar to ebay. I've lusted after a Colnago shortly after finding this forum, especially those with a straight bladed chrome fork and the beautiful manipulated tubing framesets. Yesterday I came across a Colnago Master Piu in my size with the equivalent of a "Best Offer" asking price on a Dutch website.

    My folks live in the Netherlands and have been retired for a while now so it was time to get them out of retirement and put them to work Neither was ever a cyclist although my mum has always been a fan of the TdF (influenced by her dad), remembers the excitement of Eddie Merckx winning when she was young, and knows lots of the other big names.

    I asked my dad to call the seller, make a lowball offer if the conditions seemed right, check it out and buy it if the frameset isn't damaged and the seat post wasn't rusted to the frame - even if all the other components looked like they lived in the bottom of the ocean. The seller told my dad everything worked great, the frameset was fine and she was ready to ride as is and all it needs was newer tires as the current ones are about worn out. He also said someone had offered him 180euros for the frame but dad was able to talk the seller into not selling the frame until 3pm while they drove the 100km to go check it out.

    When the folks got there the seller tried back pedaling on the deal but stayed true to his word once my dad told him he just drove 100km to get there based on the price they agreed on earlier in the day and he was buying it for his son in the USA. At that point the seller became very friendly and proudly showed of his Masi frame he bought in the USA many years ago. Apparently he used to be a racer & bought the Colnago new as his race bike (note the number hanger on the frame) but couldn't ride any more because of back problems. By the sound of it his wife was probably fed up with all the bikes cluttering up their place as he had about 10 frames/bikes scattered around.

    Dad mentioned he put the rear wheel back in & tried to ride it but something was rubbing so only "rode" it a few dozen meters Hopefully he didn't hurt anything & it was just the brakes rubbing but i didn't have the heart to quiz him about it. It must have been a funny sight - picture a respectable looking, well dressed 66 year old in his jacket, driving cap, slacks & street shoes wobbling down the drive with his knees sticking way out. Bless his young heart - maybe I can turn him into a cyclist yet and I'm so proud of him anyway!

    Looks like it has some sort of Suntour components although the original ad said Dia-Compe? Is Dia-Compe a Suntour model line? I only know Shimano and whatever Campy stuff on my Pinarello. Can someone outline Suntour's line up with comparable Shimano levels to me or provide a link? Have asked him to shoot a bunch more and will post them when available. Any ideas which year it is and if the fork is original? Thought they came with a chromed fork? Don't see it in the Colnago catalog scans on bulgier.net

    Either way, the link shows the pics my dad took. He promised to take lots more.
    http://new.photos.yahoo.com/jeroenpr...804215742473/1

    I'm so excited to own a Colnago Master! Although I'll probably leave it there till the next time i go on vacation so won't get to see it in person or ride it for 6-8 months

    Thanks in advance everyone. I'm just going to sit here and daydream for a while now

  2. #2
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    The crankset is SunTour Radius and the front derailleur appears to be Radius also, though the rear hub appears to be something else. Radius was introduced in 1990 and was 4th from the top of the SunTour groups and intended for bicycles around $550 US. It was roughly equivalent to Shimano's RX100 group. SunTour merged with SR around 1995, totally revamping the components, so assuming the components were bought at the same time as the frame, it is likely early 1990s.

  3. #3
    Senior Member divineAndbright's Avatar
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    Great looking ride, I like the paint! A rather interesting way to pick up a new ride not to mention, great story! Hopefully the long wait to finally get to take 'er for a spin won't be too hard on you.. ah I know the feeling.

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    Depending on what you paid, I'd say you did good!

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    T-Mar: Thanks for the component and dating info. That component spec seem a little odd or low end for a Master but as long as it works well I'm happy. Figured it would originally have come with higher end Campy or Shimano stuff. I was expecting the bike to be mid 80s so maybe the suntour stuff replaced worn original equipment?

    dANDb: Supposedly the paint looks decent with nominal wear. The red is a decent shade which is a relief as the original photos made the red look like very faded 80's pink.

    TBart: The seller claimed he had an offer for 180euros for the frame. When my dad picked it up the seller said another buyer offered to beat whatever my dad offered. Dad was able to remind the guy he had given his word over the phone so we got it for 200euros which works out to about US$260. Plus dinner at a decent restaurant for the folks as a thank you. Still a bargain in my eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FstrMnky
    T-Mar: Thanks for the component and dating info. That component spec seem a little odd or low end for a Master but as long as it works well I'm happy. Figured it would originally have come with higher end Campy or Shimano stuff. I was expecting the bike to be mid 80s so maybe the suntour stuff replaced worn original equipment?

    dANDb: Supposedly the paint looks decent with nominal wear. The red is a decent shade which is a relief as the original photos made the red look like very faded 80's pink.

    TBart: The seller claimed he had an offer for 180euros for the frame. When my dad picked it up the seller said another buyer offered to beat whatever my dad offered. Dad was able to remind the guy he had given his word over the phone so we got it for 200euros which works out to about US$260. Plus dinner at a decent restaurant for the folks as a thank you. Still a bargain in my eyes.
    I'd say a good deal then & your DAD be the man! I'd be pleased with both your DAD & the bike!
    Last edited by TBART; 02-04-07 at 05:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TBART
    I'd say a good deal then & your DAD be the man! I'd be pleased with both your DAD & the bike!
    I am indeed pleased with both the bike and especially me old dad. He's always been my friend but the older i get the more i admire him!

  8. #8
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    don't you just love marktplaats?
    Kapaza?

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

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FstrMnky
    That component spec seem a little odd or low end for a Master but as long as it works well I'm happy. Figured it would originally have come with higher end Campy or Shimano stuff. I was expecting the bike to be mid 80s so maybe the suntour stuff replaced worn original equipment?
    While I would normally expect higher end Cmapagnolo or Shimano, I'm not suprised at the components, given the European origin. Europeans, in my experience, take a slightly different approach to cycling. North Americans tend to buy the entire package and put more emphasis on components than Europeans. A European is more likely to invest what money he has into the best possible frame and sacrifice some on the components, with the view that they will eventually be replaced and upgraded.

    Just looking at the relative condition for the frame and components, I'd say that they are from the same time period. If the original components had been worn out, I would expect the frame to look much worse, unless it's a repaint.

    I do have some Colnago literature lying around. I'll take a look and see if I can come with anything on the frame. I just thought that there would have been some Colnago expert who would have posted a definitve answer by now.

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    lotek: Definitely!

    Got more info & a few pics from my dad today which are up. The previous owner was allegedly a pro and this was one of his race bikes. It wouldn't surprise me if the componentry was swapped out at some point to a different frame or replaced due to wear although, as T-mar mentioned, the paint looks really good and there was no mention of a repaint.

    T-mar, if you find anything in your catalogs it would be cool if you could post or send a scan? I was hoping to find a website with some info about their manipulated tubing but haven't found much. Anyone know when that was introduced and what the claimed benefits were? Less filling with the same great taste & strength!

    Like i said before, as long as it works it's all good given it was a reasonable deal. Even with low end components the bike will always be more capable than my broken down body.

    EDIT: forgot to ask if there is supposed to be a serial # somewhere. The bottom bracket shows "Brev. Colnago" but no serial #.
    Last edited by FstrMnky; 02-05-07 at 07:35 PM.

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    The Master, with the formed tubing, was introduced in 1983. The straight forks came out in 1987, but traditional forks werer still optional, so that doesn't help.

    I've found a note from 1988 dealer catalog refering to the "new" chromed head lugs, implying that prior to this they were painted. I've also got a 1991 dealer catalog showing one with chrome lugs. They also have chorme forks and chrome stays (but different amounts). The really curious thing is that they both only have one set of water bottle bosses. The OP's appears to have two. Does this indicate it is more modern than 1991? Or does it indicate a custom, pro model? Teams would often eschew chrome on the basis of extra weight and causing brittleness. It would also expalin the number tab and extra bottles bosses. Or maybe the European models were just different than the North American models? There are more questions than answers. Doesn't the original owner have an idea on the age, even if it's only approximate?

    I don't know if a serial number will be much help. Classic Rendezvous tried compiling Colnago numbers but couldn't establish any correlation. Sounds like Colnago themselves are unresponsive to enquiries, but I'd try, if you can find it.

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    Forgot to mention to check the rear dropouts for the serial number.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    The Master, with the formed tubing, was introduced in 1983. The straight forks came out in 1987, but traditional forks werer still optional, so that doesn't help.

    I've found a note from 1988 dealer catalog refering to the "new" chromed head lugs, implying that prior to this they were painted. I've also got a 1991 dealer catalog showing one with chrome lugs. They also have chorme forks and chrome stays (but different amounts). The really curious thing is that they both only have one set of water bottle bosses. The OP's appears to have two. Does this indicate it is more modern than 1991? Or does it indicate a custom, pro model? Teams would often eschew chrome on the basis of extra weight and causing brittleness. It would also expalin the number tab and extra bottles bosses. Or maybe the European models were just different than the North American models? There are more questions than answers. Doesn't the original owner have an idea on the age, even if it's only approximate?

    I don't know if a serial number will be much help. Classic Rendezvous tried compiling Colnago numbers but couldn't establish any correlation. Sounds like Colnago themselves are unresponsive to enquiries, but I'd try, if you can find it.
    I have an ex-team Colnago Master Competition, fully chromed under the paint with chrome lugs, number hanger, and bosses for two water bottles. It's a European model, year unknown.

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    Dad said he could faintly make out "723" on the bottom bracket but he did not respond with any serial #s on the drop outs. Maybe he meant the drop outs. In one of the photos showing the inside of the right drop out i can faintly what look like some numbers. From previous responses it sounds like serial numbers are not that helpful on these bikes anyway.

    Supposedly the original owner said he was a pro cyclist but i didn't give that much weight as who knows what he meant by that (was it his career or did he just have a certain pro cycling racing license) and a brief search of his name didn't turn up anything. Maybe i got a killer dear on a pro model although i'm happy to have the bike either way.

    Ziemas: lets see some piccys of that beauty!

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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    I have an ex-team Colnago Master Competition, fully chromed under the paint with chrome lugs, number hanger, and bosses for two water bottles. It's a European model, year unknown.

    Seeing the pics, I'd hazard a guess that it's 1988 model. That serial number format is fairly common in the bicycle industry. Typically the first number represents the year, the letter represents the month and the remaining numbers are the sequence. So, the 79th frame of May 1988 would be my educated guess.

    I really like the seat cluster. Very nice. Definitely not what was being used on the Master Piu at the time.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar
    Seeing the pics, I'd hazard a guess that it's 1988 model. That serial number format is fairly common in the bicycle industry. Typically the first number represents the year, the letter represents the month and the remaining numbers are the sequence. So, the 79th frame of May 1988 would be my educated guess.

    I really like the seat cluster. Very nice. Definitely not what was being used on the Master Piu at the time.
    Thanks for the info. The place I bought it from had several; I bought one and my friend another. It's a wonderful ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    In that post your wrote "My wife talked me into buying a Colnago Competition frame and fork today". Although I already have a Colnago, does your wife have any single sisters? How lucky are you!!!

    Oh yeah, very nice bike too, loving the chromed lugs & stays.

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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FstrMnky
    In that post your wrote "My wife talked me into buying a Colnago Competition frame and fork today". Although I already have a Colnago, does your wife have any single sisters? How lucky are you!!!

    Oh yeah, very nice bike too, loving the chromed lugs & stays.
    She's a keeper. She even doesn't mind that the Colnago is kept in the house. Sadly, she's also an only child.

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    Finally got around to posting some higher resolution pics on photobucket if anyone is interested in more detail:

    http://s151.photobucket.com/albums/s142/jeroenprive/


    jeroen

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    In case anyone was still curious about the master piu i found and bought in holland - i finally had a chance to ride it while on vacation in holland and it was nice! The frame looks almost new with hardly any of the usual 'rash' on it from normal, careful use. Such a shame most of my rides have included rain/drizzle. the condition of the frame just amazes me. First time riding suntour components and so far they work very well - first downtube shifters that i actually like, probablz because they are indexed. or at least the rear is indexed and the front is also indexed but has several indexes so zou can trim the position - not sure how to explain it. brakes arent the greatest though. was grinning like a school boy the first few rides. Left my camera in kansas by mistake so now new pics to add to the ride thread

    replaced the very worn rear tires with some cheapy ones, wore out my spindly arms pumping & pumping & pumping them up with my little frame pump, at 80psi we tossed them in the trunk and took them to a bike shop to use their air while we were running errands. the stem has to go but havent had a chance to get another one yet - lowered the bars as much as possible and its not too bad, especially as i still have back problems from being hit by a phone talker in suv while out riding a few months ago.

    the bike is surprisingly heavy but the wheelset has a lot to do with that and the stem probably does too. one hub is some sort of shimano rx100 and the other is not labelled. the rims are both "wolber" or something like that - can' see the bike right now as i'm visiting a friend in germany at the moment (their kezboards are different so please excuse the tzpos - their y and z are swapped as well as a bunch of other kezs). had to get both wheels trued after finding loose spokes rattling around in the rims. other than that just been riding it around the beautiful countryside around Almen in holland - pitz nobodz who reads this lives near there. what a fantastic country for cycling - every year on vacation i'm again amazed at that and how much i miss the culture - so started looking for a job so i can move back to holland! had enough of being knocked of mz bike bz the drivers in kansas. looking forward to few more days riding before mz vacation is over.

    ride on!

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    Si se Puede!!!....Ahuevo! gr23932's Avatar
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    Good to hear that you like your bike. Are you taking it back with you to the states on the plane? Just wondering since I know how expensive it is to ship back a bike to the states. I can probably help you out with the shipping if you care for it. Pm me if you are interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr23932 View Post
    Good to hear that you like your bike. Are you taking it back with you to the states on the plane? Just wondering since I know how expensive it is to ship back a bike to the states. I can probably help you out with the shipping if you care for it. Pm me if you are interested.
    gr23932: Sorry for not replying sooner, only just got computer access again. Thank you for the kind offer but at the moment I'm planning on keeping it in my parents garage as my fun, holiday bike although it is veeeery tempting to take it back to the USA with me. But since I'm looking to move back to Europe it makes more sense for me to leave it here for now. In fact, I'm tempted to buy a number of used bicycles i've come across here in Europe - would love to buy and then flip them on ebay in the US. someday maybe....

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    Senior Member RK1963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FstrMnky View Post
    Hi all,

    I so pleased with myself at the moment it is almost rude! I hardly post on here but have enjoyed reading many of the postings and sometimes feel jealous when reading about people's outrageous finds. My find isn't exactly outrageous but maybe someone will enjoy reading my tale of trans-oceanic bike hunting with help from the natives in a far away country. Or at least provide a little help with dating my find.

    I live the USA but am from the Netherlands. Like many Crusty&Vintage junkies I can't help myself & surf some of the Dutch websites which are similar to ebay. I've lusted after a Colnago shortly after finding this forum, especially those with a straight bladed chrome fork and the beautiful manipulated tubing framesets. Yesterday I came across a Colnago Master Piu in my size with the equivalent of a "Best Offer" asking price on a Dutch website.

    My folks live in the Netherlands and have been retired for a while now so it was time to get them out of retirement and put them to work Neither was ever a cyclist although my mum has always been a fan of the TdF (influenced by her dad), remembers the excitement of Eddie Merckx winning when she was young, and knows lots of the other big names.

    I asked my dad to call the seller, make a lowball offer if the conditions seemed right, check it out and buy it if the frameset isn't damaged and the seat post wasn't rusted to the frame - even if all the other components looked like they lived in the bottom of the ocean. The seller told my dad everything worked great, the frameset was fine and she was ready to ride as is and all it needs was newer tires as the current ones are about worn out. He also said someone had offered him 180euros for the frame but dad was able to talk the seller into not selling the frame until 3pm while they drove the 100km to go check it out.

    When the folks got there the seller tried back pedaling on the deal but stayed true to his word once my dad told him he just drove 100km to get there based on the price they agreed on earlier in the day and he was buying it for his son in the USA. At that point the seller became very friendly and proudly showed of his Masi frame he bought in the USA many years ago. Apparently he used to be a racer & bought the Colnago new as his race bike (note the number hanger on the frame) but couldn't ride any more because of back problems. By the sound of it his wife was probably fed up with all the bikes cluttering up their place as he had about 10 frames/bikes scattered around.

    Dad mentioned he put the rear wheel back in & tried to ride it but something was rubbing so only "rode" it a few dozen meters Hopefully he didn't hurt anything & it was just the brakes rubbing but i didn't have the heart to quiz him about it. It must have been a funny sight - picture a respectable looking, well dressed 66 year old in his jacket, driving cap, slacks & street shoes wobbling down the drive with his knees sticking way out. Bless his young heart - maybe I can turn him into a cyclist yet and I'm so proud of him anyway!

    Looks like it has some sort of Suntour components although the original ad said Dia-Compe? Is Dia-Compe a Suntour model line? I only know Shimano and whatever Campy stuff on my Pinarello. Can someone outline Suntour's line up with comparable Shimano levels to me or provide a link? Have asked him to shoot a bunch more and will post them when available. Any ideas which year it is and if the fork is original? Thought they came with a chromed fork? Don't see it in the Colnago catalog scans on bulgier.net

    Either way, the link shows the pics my dad took. He promised to take lots more.
    http://new.photos.yahoo.com/jeroenpr...804215742473/1

    I'm so excited to own a Colnago Master! Although I'll probably leave it there till the next time i go on vacation so won't get to see it in person or ride it for 6-8 months

    Thanks in advance everyone. I'm just going to sit here and daydream for a while now
    I understand why the ad read "Dia-Compe" components----your levers appear to be the same as the Dia-Compes I recently bought (new) online.

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    Si se Puede!!!....Ahuevo! gr23932's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FstrMnky View Post
    gr23932: Sorry for not replying sooner, only just got computer access again. Thank you for the kind offer but at the moment I'm planning on keeping it in my parents garage as my fun, holiday bike although it is veeeery tempting to take it back to the USA with me. But since I'm looking to move back to Europe it makes more sense for me to leave it here for now. In fact, I'm tempted to buy a number of used bicycles i've come across here in Europe - would love to buy and then flip them on ebay in the US. someday maybe....
    No problem. It sounds like you have a good plan.

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