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  1. #1
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    Colnago Super 1980s?

    i've been looking to move into vintage italian frames after collecting high end japanese. i got this colnago about a month ago for a very decent price. it looked to be in rough shape but i took a chance on it since i like to refurbish nice old bikes. luckily most of the cleanup was dirt and grime and not rust. the chrome fork and lugs cleaned up very nice. its been completely disassembled and thoroughly cleaned. new bearings, grease and everything well adjusted.

    recently took it to the park slope brooklyn bike jumble swap meet. the general consensus was: this is maybe a colnago super from around the early to mid 1980s. but there was some people who disagreed about the exact model or year.

    it came with complete campy super record / record group. except for the brake levers which are suntour superbe pro. wheels are high flange record laced to mavic open pros. the columbus tubing sticker is almost completely gone.

    i've looked at a lot of 80s colnagos. i haven't seen many with chrome headtube lugs and driveside chainstay. it does have the small drilled holes on the rear dropout for portacatena. the rear derailleur is dated 1984.

    the ride quality is really something amazing. very fast yet very smooth...

    any feedback or information is welcome - thanks.






  2. #2
    Senior Member jet sanchEz's Avatar
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    Nice. Great shots, is the clover in the BB kind of an odd shape or is it just the angle?

    Do you have similar shots of your Japanese bikes?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Drillium Dude's Avatar
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    The particular cutout in the BB shell, under-BB cable routing, fully sloping fork crown, flat vice fluted seatstay caps and the Colnago stampings along the chainstays suggest this is a Super from around 1982.

    Very nicely taken care of if this is the original paint - unfortunately, a lot of these were pretty badly abused back in their racing heyday and few survive in this kind of shape. The chrome on the headlugs is a nice touch, too - normally they were not chromed.

    You also might not know this, but you have a factory Campy triple crankarm on your driveside. It was drilled/threaded to take a Campy-specific 36 tooth proprietary chainring.

    Don't know what you paid for it, but you got a really nice bike there!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
    The particular cutout in the BB shell, under-BB cable routing, fully sloping fork crown, flat vice fluted seatstay caps and the Colnago stampings along the chainstays suggest this is a Super from around 1982.

    Very nicely taken care of if this is the original paint - unfortunately, a lot of these were pretty badly abused back in their racing heyday and few survive in this kind of shape. The chrome on the headlugs is a nice touch, too - normally they were not chromed.
    Will the full sloping crown and flat caps, it's probably a touch later than '82, but not much. I'd peg it right around '83-4, and with the chrome lugs, it could be a Superissimo. The rear derailleur may well indicate it's an '84, and the profile of the brake calipers tends to corroborate that.
    Last edited by Picchio Special; 07-02-09 at 04:33 PM.

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    I raced a Colnago Super from 1982-1985. It was my first of three Colnagos, in some ways my favorite. The bike was stable at speed, and though some of my friends may dispute this, the type of bike that makes you be a better rider. I used mine for climbing, sprinting, training, criteriums, you name it. Yours is beautiful, and makes me yearn for those fun-filled days. Enjoy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
    The particular cutout in the BB shell, under-BB cable routing, fully sloping fork crown, flat vice fluted seatstay caps and the Colnago stampings along the chainstays suggest this is a Super from around 1982.

    Very nicely taken care of if this is the original paint - unfortunately, a lot of these were pretty badly abused back in their racing heyday and few survive in this kind of shape. The chrome on the headlugs is a nice touch, too - normally they were not chromed.

    You also might not know this, but you have a factory Campy triple crankarm on your driveside. It was drilled/threaded to take a Campy-specific 36 tooth proprietary chainring.

    Don't know what you paid for it, but you got a really nice bike there!
    thanks for the info so far. the campy triple crank is a new revelation. and i believe this is possibly the original paint. there's a few small chips to the frame's full chrome underneath and i don't see a secondary paint color - paint doesn't seem overly thick. the pictures don't show it - but there are some scratches here and there...

    i really like the custom drilled / cutout shift levers!

    a couple people have also called it a Superissimo - which is a model i haven't seen much info about?

    jet sanchEz: its just the cast shadow on the BB cutout. has a similar look to other 80s colnagos i've seen.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brooklyn_bike View Post
    a couple people have also called it a Superissimo - which is a model i haven't seen much info about?
    Earlier Superissimos tend to be distinguished by the extra chrome, as with the headlugs on your frame. Later Superissimos were distinguished from plain ole Super by tubing type - i.e. Columbus SLX vs. SL.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Drillium Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brooklyn_bike View Post
    thanks for the info so far. the campy triple crank is a new revelation. and i believe this is possibly the original paint. there's a few small chips to the frame's full chrome underneath and i don't see a secondary paint color - paint doesn't seem overly thick. the pictures don't show it - but there are some scratches here and there...

    i really like the custom drilled / cutout shift levers!

    a couple people have also called it a Superissimo - which is a model i haven't seen much info about?

    jet sanchEz: its just the cast shadow on the BB cutout. has a similar look to other 80s colnagos i've seen.
    Geez, how could a guy like me miss those genuine article drillium shift levers? A bonus there!! And I'm leaning a bit more to 1983 because of the possibility that it could be a Superissimo (because of the chromed headlugs), but certainly not much later as the decals changed from only one on the seat tube to two, down either side as on the downtube.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
    Geez, how could a guy like me miss those genuine article drillium shift levers? A bonus there!! And I'm leaning a bit more to 1983 because of the possibility that it could be a Superissimo (because of the chromed headlugs), but certainly not much later as the decals changed from only one on the seat tube to two, down either side as on the downtube.
    Earlier Superissimos tend to be distinguished by the extra chrome, as with the headlugs on your frame. Later Superissimos were distinguished from plain ole Super by tubing type - i.e. Columbus SLX vs. SL.
    that's good info about the decals changing around 83. too bad the columbus tubing sticker is mostly gone. sounds like it could have pointed to either a Superissimo or a Super. my bathroom scale has this bike at almost exactly 20 lbs with the current setup. looks like i need to do some addtional research on Superissimo to hopefully pin it down.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brooklyn_bike View Post
    that's good info about the decals changing around 83. too bad the columbus tubing sticker is mostly gone. sounds like it could have pointed to either a Superissimo or a Super. my bathroom scale has this bike at almost exactly 20 lbs with the current setup. looks like i need to do some addtional research on Superissimo to hopefully pin it down.
    The "X" series tubing, like SLX, all have "helical reinforcements" while the standard tubes do not. If you pull the bottom bracket and the seat post and shine a flashlight through the seattube you can determine if the bike is SLX or SL.
    If wanting fair bike prices makes me a leftist I don't wanna be right.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by purevl View Post
    The "X" series tubing, like SLX, all have "helical reinforcements" while the standard tubes do not. If you pull the bottom bracket and the seat post and shine a flashlight through the seattube you can determine if the bike is SLX or SL.
    No, you can't, actually. The "helical reinforcements" got their start as a modification to the SL set when braze-on front derailleurs came into vogue. The idea is that they dissipate the heat and help prevent cooking the tube when the derailleur tab was added. So some SL sets will have them. SLX was a marketing move to take advantage of the idea by expanding it to the whole set. You'd have to check more than just the seattube to determine if the frame was actually built with SLX. I'm guessing that the OP's frame is SL - I think it's too early for SLX, and Colnago seems to have moved away from the chrome lugs when they began to distinguish the Superissimo by tubing type.

  12. #12
    CroMosexual purevl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
    No, you can't, actually. The "helical reinforcements" got their start as a modification to the SL set when braze-on front derailleurs came into vogue. The idea is that they dissipate the heat and help prevent cooking the tube when the derailleur tab was added. So some SL sets will have them. SLX was a marketing move to take advantage of the idea by expanding it to the whole set. You'd have to check more than just the seattube to determine if the frame was actually built with SLX. I'm guessing that the OP's frame is SL - I think it's too early for SLX, and Colnago seems to have moved away from the chrome lugs when they began to distinguish the Superissimo by tubing type.
    Alright, if you say so. The Columbus tubing charts that I've seen indicate that the only difference between the two sets is the reinforcements, so I would assume that would be the way to tell. I don't pretend to have any interest in Italian bikes though, I just have one, and it's SLX, so I've done a bit of research on the tubing. Looking for the ridges seems to be a pretty widely accepted method of making the determination. There's a certain point of diminishing returns where one wonders if it's worth it to dwell on the minutia.
    If wanting fair bike prices makes me a leftist I don't wanna be right.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by purevl View Post
    Looking for the ridges seems to be a pretty widely accepted method of making the determination.
    Sure, it's just a good idea to check more than the seattube, especially on a bike with a braze-on front derailleur.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by purevl View Post
    Alright, if you say so. The Columbus tubing charts that I've seen indicate that the only difference between the two sets is the reinforcements, so I would assume that would be the way to tell. I don't pretend to have any interest in Italian bikes though, I just have one, and it's SLX, so I've done a bit of research on the tubing. Looking for the ridges seems to be a pretty widely accepted method of making the determination.
    Quote Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
    The "helical reinforcements" got their start as a modification to the SL set when braze-on front derailleurs came into vogue. The idea is that they dissipate the heat and help prevent cooking the tube when the derailleur tab was added. So some SL sets will have them. SLX was a marketing move to take advantage of the idea by expanding it to the whole set. You'd have to check more than just the seattube to determine if the frame was actually built with SLX. I'm guessing that the OP's frame is SL - I think it's too early for SLX, and Colnago seems to have moved away from the chrome lugs when they began to distinguish the Superissimo by tubing type.
    i'll shine a light and have a look in the tubes next time i'm servicing the BB. thanks for the heads up...

  15. #15
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    I just bought a Superissimo, nearly original, to replace my Le Champion which was destroyed in an auto incounter (3 broken bones - Humerus, Scapula, 12 left rear rib, punctued lung, serious forearm trauma, floater in left eye and of course, road rash. Bike - bent top and down tubes, fork both rims and brake levers ripped off.

    Colnago - Period Mavic wheel set (tubulars), but replaced seat, seat post, cluster and pedals. RD SR is 1983. Columbus tubing is Acciaio, not R or SL. Different decals than on this bike. It is paint abused without dents, small amount of rust. Fork (painted), dropouts (painted), chainstays (painted), head lugs and fork crown are all chromed.

    What was the seat post, seat, cluster and wheel set origanally? Since everthing is Campy SR, I assume post, hubs, pedals and cluster would also be Campy SR?
    Last edited by SJX426; 07-07-09 at 11:36 AM.

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