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  1. #1
    N+1 redxj's Avatar
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    early/mid 70's Colnago help

    Well here is another thread to add to the numerous Colnago threads lately. Here is a Colnago I picked up this week. It is decal-less which kind of sucks, and it does need some work. I bought it from someone that was selling it for the original owner so I don't know any real history of it. Things I do know: Pat 72 NR rear derailleur, full Nuovo Record group, date code on non-drive side arm is '73, hubs are high flange with the flat QR skewers (laced to Wolber 700c clinchers), hoods are toast, and the previous owner didn't like decals or real bar tape (foam on a Colnago!!)

    I am going to guess 73/74 based on the derailleur code and the date code on the arm, but I of course defer to the masters here. Also, what model could it be? Super? Mexico?

    Now for the required pictures:













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    looks like a super (mexico model wasn't till later).... nice bike- shame about the decals but there ya go- you could probably get some *nearly* correct (ie-mid to late 70's) decals for her, if the missing logos are an issue

    fwiw, the front derailleur appears to be post cpsc

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gary Fountain's Avatar
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    This may sound stupid - but - I'd get on ebay and look up Cyclemondo and buy a set of Molteni decals to attach to the frame. I would just clean the frame then affix the decals. If there was a paint scrape in the paint, I would try to 'scrap' the decal to match - trying to achieve an original look.

    I've always wanted a Colnago/Merckx/Molteni - I think your frame and groupset (I'd do a bit of drilling of the parts to match a Merckx bike) is perfect for the project.

  4. #4
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    Yellow Jersey has factory Colnago decals for that bike. I have a set for my Mexico.

    Picchio Special hasn't weighed in on this one yet, but it looks to me from what I've learned you have a late '70's Colnago Super/Mexico.

    Edit: After looking over the first photo, and seeing the clamps on the top tube instead of braze-ons, it does appear to be an earlier model. The COLNAGO in the fork crown throws me though. I'm sure the experts will weigh in soon...
    Last edited by satbuilder; 11-22-07 at 07:21 AM.

  5. #5
    juneeaa memba!
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    Do you have clubs cut into both head lugs or one? That is the older style bottom bracket cutout, and the lack of top tube guides say Ernesto...if it is an early 70's, he was still running the torch, and that makes this a real find. I'm with Gary - unless the paint is crap, make it a Molteni.

  6. #6
    N+1 redxj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luker View Post
    Do you have clubs cut into both head lugs or one? That is the older style bottom bracket cutout, and the lack of top tube guides say Ernesto...if it is an early 70's, he was still running the torch, and that makes this a real find. I'm with Gary - unless the paint is crap, make it a Molteni.
    The club cut out is only in the bottom lug of the headtube, and on the inner (wheel side) of the fork up near the crown.

  7. #7
    vjp
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    It has short dropouts, so I would guess mid 70's at the earliest.

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    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vjp View Post
    It has short dropouts, so I would guess mid 70's at the earliest.
    I'd guess even later, plus the braze-on shifters push it into "late" territory, but it does have some features of an earlier vintage, too. Could be a "transition" or could be an early model that's had some torch work(?). Obviously I'm not a 'Nago expert, but based on observations of other Italian marques, it's "different".
    Last edited by unworthy1; 11-22-07 at 11:50 AM.

  9. #9
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    Supposedly the lettering in the fork crown indicates a newer model as well, but maybe it's a replacement, maybe the braze-ons were removed on the top tube... the clover (club) cutout on the bottom bracket matches my Mexico, as do the lugs. Mine's from somewhere between 1975 and 1980. Mine also has a '77' stamped into the drive side rear dropout. You may want to check that as well.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    I'm not a colnago expert but I know a thing or two about campy. The components so far have it dated around 73, but lets look closer. One thing missing that would have help is the front derailleur, looks like we have a GS replacement here (or was it original!?). Lets have a close up of the brakes? do the center bolts say patent or brev. camp? Actually I think I can see the spooned QR lever on the front caliper making them post CPSC, unless they are replacements and the center bolt will determine that. You can take the seatpost out too, does it have a min. insertion line? I think that was added around '74... so it's starting to look like a mixed bag group. That might mean the bike is a bit later build up from what have you parts and not a complete group from a single year. If we assume the components are original that dates the bike about '78 or later.

    Edit: what about the bars and stem? Cinelli? old logo or new?
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    It is earlier than mine, which I guess to be 79-80. The pre-75 ones had clubs in both front lugs. That, plus the fork that matches mine, would make me guess 75-78. There is a bunch of stuff in the archives about early Colnagos at Classic Rendezvous. That range makes it less likely that it is an Ernesto Colnago, but still very possible. Unfortunately, there's no way of telling that I know. Still gonna be an excellent ride.

  12. #12
    N+1 redxj's Avatar
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    Okay, I pulled the seatpost out and it does not have the minimum insertion line. Both f/r brakes have the spooned q/r lever and they say "Patent" across the center bolt (where the springs come out). My '73 P-13 Paramount brakes have the same Patent marking, but they have the flat q/r lever. The Cinelli bar and stem are new logo so I am guessing later than the bike (when did Cinelli change the logos on the bars/stems?). I also checked the pedals. They don't have the extra strap loop, but the dust caps are steel and not the later plastic covers. I haven't taken either hub apart to see what code is stamped on the locknut, but that is next on my agenda.

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    juneeaa memba!
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    I think that Cinelli changed out from the Knight's crest in 1978...I think that there are enough smish-smash parts that they probably aren't totally reliable as to when the bike was built...although there's enough info to support 1978 as a date of production. The serial number's stamped on the rear dropout, probably. Just for my curiosity, what is it?

  14. #14
    N+1 redxj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luker View Post
    The serial number's stamped on the rear dropout, probably. Just for my curiosity, what is it?
    It was hard to read because the q/r skewers have dug into the droupouts, but I think it reads 32.

    Edit: I thought it was 38, but I believe it to be 32.
    Last edited by redxj; 11-22-07 at 11:08 PM.

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    Here's a link on Cinelli bars and stems:
    http://www.43bikes.com/cinelli-bars-stems.html

    Is there anyway you can talk to the original owner?

    The paint, if original, looks to be in fabulous condition. I would think that the frame/fork combo would bring over $600 on eBay, if presented well, even without the decals.

  16. #16
    juneeaa memba!
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    that is an interesting number. The later ones all have Axxx where A is alpha, x is numeric. I have never figured out what the alpha means, although someone thought it indicated frames from particular subcontractors. So, no alpha, no subcontractor? maybe...

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    Would be very cool it it's actually an Ernesto Colnago!

  18. #18
    juneeaa memba!
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    I've looked at a lot of Colnagos, and I don't think I've ever seen one in the, er, flesh.

  19. #19
    N+1 redxj's Avatar
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    I was just looking at Ray Dobbins' site at his '72 Colnago Super and his has 29 stamped on the rear drive side dropout and also on the fork. I will pull the fork on mine and see if it has a # stamped into it. If it does that would at least tell me the fork is original to the frame. Clicky to his as received photos of it

    Edit: I pulled the fork and the fork is stamped 32. I looked at the dropout stamp and instead I misread the last digit and I believe it is also stamped 32 so the fork is original to the frame!
    Last edited by redxj; 11-22-07 at 11:19 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    I think that the frame looks repainted. I mean there are no traces of paint in the cut outs or anything so it is likely that a lot of parts were replaced at that time... who really knows but it seems the RD, seatpost and cranks may be original, given the new serial number info. I have to admit I lost interest in colnagos because everyone drooled over them and I never thought much of the 80s bike, but the early 70s bikes make me drool. Marinonis remind me of early colnagos...
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  21. #21
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    Just recently I was going thru the archives over on the CR list and found a reference to dating older Colnagos. I saved it on my drive at work and will post it up later.

  22. #22
    juneeaa memba!
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    i remember that thread, only vaguely. That would be invaluable to the OP...

  23. #23
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    Taken from the archives at CR, with credits to Eric Elman as noted...moderators, if inappropriate, feel free to mod/delete.

    Outlined below is the most comprehensive (to date) Colnago Super timeline
    beginning in ~1969 and going up through the mid/late 70's. There are still
    numerous blanks and some conflicting thoughts - all are presented below.
    I've done the best I could based on all the snippets of info provided so
    please, no flames if you disagree or if I got something wrong; a simple note
    to me with your info will get it added/included to the info below. I will
    update the list and send out as appropriate. Also, do keep in mind that
    "dates" are subject to variation, no one believes that Colnago made these
    changes on January 1st of each new year and therefore use them as a guide to
    the year of manufacture or availability.

    Keep in mind that this is not definitive and is based solely on the inputs
    from numerous list members with varying degrees of experience and/or
    ownership (original owner vs. subsequent owner, restorers, and enthusiasts
    like me that have been looking at them for years but still await the right
    one to come along).

    A few CR members have wrote to advise that the standard production bikes
    were fairly consistent but that Colnago's could be special-ordered at any
    time and thus could include any number of details that might seem
    atypical... graphics, custom paint, chrome, etc.

    Lugs:
    1969: Cutouts in all 3 lugs, all clubs are the same size. Note however that
    one experienced member recalls differently "I've never seen a Super with
    cutouts all the same size. That would be physically impossible anyway,
    based on the sizes of the lug tangs."
    1970: Cutouts in all 3 lugs, but club in bottom head lug is now larger than
    the other lugs.
    1971: Cutouts in all 3 lugs, but club in bottom head lug is now larger than
    the other lugs.
    1972: 3 lugs cutout, all same size.
    1973: 3 lugs cutout, all same size. There is general consensus on this too
    but note again that an experienced member believes the single cut-out came
    earlier; may have been as early as 1972.
    1974: Cutout in bottom headlug only.
    1975: Cutout in bottom headlug only.
    General comments: the "fluffier/bulbous" club cutouts appear on the earlier
    bikes. The smaller/leaner cutouts began to show up, give or take, sometime
    after 1975.

    Fork Crown:
    1969: Two holes in each side of crown, crown itself is a sand cast type
    crown. Some may also have Vagner forged crown, two holes in sides.
    1970: First use of investment cast semi-sloping crown, two holes in each
    side.
    1971: IC crown, two holes in each side of crown
    1972: IC crown, two holes in sides and club in top of each side of crown for
    the first time.
    1973: IC crown, club on top of each side of crown.
    1974: IC crown, club in top of each side of crown.
    1975: IC crown, club and "COLNAGO" on top of each side of crown. There were
    numerous contributions supporting this but again, a experienced member took
    the time to write "this is too early for the *Colnago* in the crown. I
    think that came in by 1977 or so. The first generation Mexico's had no
    "Colnago" in the crown, and their first year was 1975...earliest possible
    year for the Colnago stamp in the crown would be 1976, but I'm betting it
    was later than that.

    Fork Tangs:
    1969: Fork tangs are blank.
    1970: Fork tang can be blank and a wide tang as opposed to the typical
    narrower ones.
    1971: Often blank narrow tangs.
    1972: Narrow tangs with two holes, upper hole larger than lower hole.
    1973: Some narrow tangs with two holes but now usually with club in them.
    1974: Tangs with clubs.
    1975: Tangs with clubs

    Seat Stay Caps:
    Years??: Plain fluted, ??" length
    Years??: Plain fluted, ??" length (I think the length changed)
    Years:??: Fluted with "COLNAGO" cast along the flute length.

    Rear Brake Bridge:
    Years??: Round tube w/brazed on washer (facing the brake caliper),
    reinforced at seat stays, for nutted brake bolts.
    Years??: Round with square/cube area that accepts recessed brake bolt, (did
    this have a club in the top?).

    Bottom Bracket:
    1969: Circular drilled holes pattern in BB shell.
    1970: Club cutout in BB shell.
    1972: Club cutout in BB shell.
    1973: Club cutout in BB shell.
    1974: Club cutout in BB shell.
    1975: Club cutout in BB shell.

    Drop-out's:
    1974/75: Sometime between '74 & '75 there should be a change from long
    Campag drop-outs to the shorter ones.

    Braze On's:
    197? & earlier: none except chain stay derailleur cable stop
    197? - 197?: Above plus over BB cable guides
    197? - 197?: Above plus shift lever mounts
    197? - 197?: Above plus one set DT water bottle mounts
    19?? - 19??: Above plus ST water bottle mounts
    1976/77: Above plus first appearance of two TT brake cable guides (note that
    the "Colnago" cast into the fork crowns definitely happened before the
    addition of TT brake cable braze-ons).

    Decals:
    1968/69: The playing-card-style decals appeared on frames imported to North
    America in 1968 or 1969.
    1969: Playing card graphics.
    1970: Playing card decals?
    1971: Playing card graphics?
    1972: Graphics change, now just Colnago on DT and first appearance of head
    decal just a club with Colnago underneath.
    1973: First appearance of "wreath" decal on seat tube, between the bands.
    1975: Another graphics change?
    1977/78: Another graphics change?

    Chrome:
    Generally the Colnago crowns are chromed.
    General comments: Sometimes the dropouts are chromed on these early bikes.
    This varies. Head-lugs were chromed sometimes also, nearly always on show
    bikes..but not confined to them.

    Known Original Standard Colors:
    1972/73: Turquoise/baby blue
    Early/mid 70's: Candy green, candy red, candy blue, Molteni orange, yellow,
    mauve metallic, black, silver, white, pearl white, electric blue,
    salmon-metallic (similar to Cinelli Rose, but lighter), light purple
    metallic.
    General comments: some wrote to advise you could get a Colnago painted
    nearly any color you can imagine.

    Known variations:
    With Colnago in the earlier years there are a few slight variations
    possible, mainly in the fork tangs. One list member has a '74 with no fork
    tangs at all. He also had a '74 that had a club in the
    bottom headlug and the SEAT lug only, none in top headlug (he suspects a
    stray leftover cutout seat lug). Another member also knows of an original
    '72 track bike with road blades in a Vagner crown and no chrome. Finally
    two list members have/had ~1975 frames where the crowns were painted, not
    chromed.

    Mexico notes:
    Early first-generation Mexico's looked just like older Supers, except for
    the thinner tubing.


    Respectfully submitted by Eric Elman, Somers, CT

  24. #24
    juneeaa memba!
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    well, there ya go. That'd be, by all evidence, not earlier than 1975 and not later than about 1977. In the early days, like Masi, stock moved through the shop on demand, not as driven by model year as now. The frame may have been partially assembled much earlier than it was finished and sold.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by luker View Post
    The frame may have been partially assembled much earlier than it was finished and sold.
    or more likely, it was originally purchased as a frameset and primarily built up from the components he could transfer from his previous bike.

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