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  1. #1
    Sensuous Man Devotion's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Breuckelen, NYC
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    Calling on the Colnago Cognoscenti!

    Time for the bi-monthly "help me date this Colnago" thread! Woo-hoo!
    I am trying to date (and identify model of) a Colnago frame with the following build characteristics. There are no decals on this bike.
    - Columbus SL tubing
    - "short" Campagnolo dropouts
    - "tapered" Colnago lettering on seat stay caps
    - 2 top tube brake cable braze ons
    - under BB cable routing
    - Club on lower headlug only
    - lugged, semi-sloping crown with club in the middle of a "C"
    - shifter boss braze ons
    - COLNAGO stamped into both chainstays
    - chrome fork
    - crome dropouts and drive-side stay
    - club on top of rear brake bridge
    - braze-on front der. tab
    - water bottle bosses on downtube only
    - "0258" stamped on right rear dropout


  2. #2
    Si se Puede!!!....Ahuevo! gr23932's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Sepa la chingad....
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    Pics please.
    Ese dicho que me han dicho que tú has dicho que yo he dicho, ese dicho no lo he dicho, porque si lo hubiera dicho, ese dicho estaría bien dicho por haberlo dicho yo.

  3. #3
    Sensuous Man Devotion's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Breuckelen, NYC
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    Will post pics shortly. JUST got the thing home and haven't had a chance to get out the camera yet!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    From CR:

    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.

    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
    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.

    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).

    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?

    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
    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

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


    To the subject of clubs on decals and clubs cut into lugs...

    Ernesto Colnago has stated that the inspiration for changing his logo
    to the Ace of Clubs was the result of Michele Dancelli winning the
    '70 Milano-San Remo for Molteni while riding a Colnago. "La
    Primavera" (the spring) is the nickname for Milan-San Remo and the
    Ace of Clubs represents the spring flowers.

    Steven Maasland previously elaborated about the club/flower tie in:
    "The 'asso di fiore' is correctly translated as 'ace of clubs',
    however there is also a double entendre in Italian that is lost here
    as 'Fiore' is also 'flower', the symbol of the San Remo area. After
    the San Remo race win, Colnago spoke to the very well-known Italian
    sports reporter, Bruno Raschi, who was preparing his race report.
    He came up with the saying that the 'in fiore' bike won the race.
    This was a play on the fact that the race known for the 'riviera dei
    fiori' (flower coast) as well as 'in fiore' (flowering or blooming).
    That particular race win was very important for Italian cycling
    because it was the first San Remo race won by an Italian in many
    years, hence the 'flowering' part in the 'flower' race."

    Okay, so that would explain the "playing card" club logo decals used
    later in 1970, but what about Colnagos built before that date with
    the same club shape cut in the lugs?

    It has been mentioned before that the club cut in the lugs of the
    Colnago Super was a tribute to Gloria where Ernesto Colnago first
    apprenticed at 13 years of age and worked for almost a decade.
    Gloria used a large lily at the sides of the lugs and bottom bracket;
    the three petals of the club echo the three petals of the lily.

    Here's the latest version of the frame dating (some dates plus or
    minus a year):

    Colnago Super Frame Dating (10.14.07)

    1968 -- First Super(?)
    1968 -- Fork crown (sand cast) with two holes in each side
    1968 -- Fork tangs wide, no cutouts
    1968 -- Club cutouts in all three lugs
    1968 -- Bottom bracket shell with drilled holes (eight in circle plus
    one in center)
    1970 -- Fork crown (investment cast semi-sloping) with two holes in
    each side
    1970 -- "Playing card" club decal graphics (inspired by 1970 Milano-
    San Remo victory)
    1971 -- Fork crown with clubs in top and two holes in each side
    1971 -- Fork tangs narrow, no cutouts (or rarely no tangs)
    1971 -- Club cutouts in all three lugs but club in lower head lug is
    now larger
    1971 -- Bottom bracket shell with club cutout
    1972 -- Club/COLNAGO decal on head tube/seat tube (two seat tube
    Worlds bands) and COLNAGO on down tube
    1972 -- Fork tangs with two holes (or very rarely three holes tangs
    or no tangs)
    1972 -- Cable guide braze-ons top of bottom bracket shell
    1972 -- Water bottle braze-ons on downtube
    1973 -- Wreath seat tube decal with Worlds band at top and bottom
    1973 -- Fork crown with clubs on top but no holes in each side
    1973 -- Fork tangs with club cutouts (or rarely two hole tangs or no
    1973 -- Club cutout in lower head lug only
    1974 -- Shifter braze-ons on down tube (option before this)
    1975 -- Vertical COLNAGO seat tube decal with diagonal Worlds band at
    1976 -- Fork crown with COLNAGO added to clubs on top
    1976 -- Short Campagnolo or COLNAGO dropouts
    1977 -- Top tube cable guide braze-ons (option before this)
    1978 -- Fork crown for recessed brake bolt with shallow triangles cut
    into back
    1978 -- Brake bridge for recessed brake bolt
    1980 -- Fluted seat stay caps engraved COLNAGO and straight seat
    stays (no longer biconical)
    1980 -- Brake bridge with cast square boss for recessed brake bolt
    1981 -- Chain stay bridge is small spool shape (no longer tube)
    1982 -- Chain stays stamped COLNAGO on sides
    1982 -- Cable routing on underside of bottom bracket
    1983 -- Aerodynamic fork crown

    Dates are plus or minus one year; changes in frame details might have
    occurred the end of one year or the beginning of the next for example
    or may have been offered as an option before becoming standard.
    Paint schemes, panels, decals and chrome varied according to how
    importers spec'd their frames, so this all varied considerably and
    there are lots of anomalies. ALL CORRECTIONS WELCOMED AND ENCOURAGED!

    Chuck Schmidt
    South Pasadena

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    I do not think you can nail down an exact year for any of the late 70's-early 80's bikes, unless you bought it new.

    Same with the '75-'78 bikes, you just have to live with an "about".

    Yours sounds like a 1980-'83 or so?

  6. #6
    Sensuous Man Devotion's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Breuckelen, NYC
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    Thanks for the info, gang.
    Does this sound like a Super or a Mexico?

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