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Old 04-12-11, 11:50 PM   #1
EhGiOeS
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Curious Colnago

I bought this Colnago off Ebay. No description black blob for a picture. When it arrived it
was a pleasant surprise. Mid 90's build NOS looks like it was never on the road. Just what
looks like shop wear. But it doesn't look like any Colnago I've ever seen. 126mm rear,
Cromado tubing, 26.6mm seat post, no cutout in the BB and Shimano BB cable guide.
Pictures here http://www.flickr.com/photos/9ehgioes/ the red frame.
Ed
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Old 04-13-11, 01:49 AM   #2
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It is strange - I initially thought an early Master Piu but it can't be. It looks like a lower end frame with lower end tubing but with high end head lugs and internal rear brake cable routing - and no 'ace of flowers/clubs' cutout in the BB.

Are you sure it is a 26.6 dia. seat tube?

I'm really interested to find out what model it is. Someone will know - just not me.
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Old 04-13-11, 06:33 AM   #3
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Are both rear stays chromed? If it is just the drive side, it might be a Superissimo.

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Old 04-13-11, 11:18 AM   #4
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Colnago

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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain View Post
It is strange - I initially thought an early Master Piu but it can't be. It looks like a lower end frame with lower end tubing but with high end head lugs and internal rear brake cable routing - and no 'ace of flowers/clubs' cutout in the BB.

Are you sure it is a 26.6 dia. seat tube?

I'm really interested to find out what model it is. Someone will know - just not me.
Yes 26.6 mm. They must been using enough Cromado tubing to have the tubing sticker
made up. Ed

Last edited by EhGiOeS; 04-14-11 at 05:44 AM. Reason: Misspelling my nit was picked
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Old 04-13-11, 11:22 AM   #5
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The frame is completely chrome plated.
Ed
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Old 04-13-11, 12:24 PM   #6
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Yes 26.6 mm. They must been using enough Cromardo tubing to have the tubing sticker
made up. Ed
"Cromado"? The sticker I see says Colnago and 25 Cr Mo 4, which to me says it's chrome-moly steel.
If it's 26.6 internal diameter, what's the external diameter of the seat tube? Long shot that it might be metric dimension.
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Old 04-13-11, 12:48 PM   #7
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Columbus calls the tubing Cromardo. Seat tube OD 28.9mm , Top tube OD 26.0mm ,and Down tube 28.90
Ed
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Old 04-13-11, 01:08 PM   #8
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Chromado translates as chrome plated, not the tubing name or manufacturer.
25CrMo4 is standard Chrome-Moly steel (AKA 4130 steel). Same generic alloy composition such as used in vintage columbus SL/SP/Cromor tubesets. Probably indicates a pretty low end bike for colnago with cost savings from using generic tube supplier or mixing tubes from various suppliers. External tube diameter is most likely 28.6mm (1-1/8") for a wall thickness of 1.0mm. Usually the seattube is only butted larger on the bottom end and the top has same thin diamater at middle of the tube. Might be that they used a tube butted on both ends so 1.0mm wall thickness where tube meets lug, about the same end deminsion as columbus SP tubeset uses.

Odd that it is 126mm dropouts, may indicate that it is even older or was slighlty damaged in shipping. I would really expect most any decent 90's bike to have 130mm width.
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Old 04-13-11, 06:19 PM   #9
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is there "rifling" in the inside, butt end of the steerer? At least that might tell us if it used some Columbus product (like a steering column). I tend to agree with GJ that it's a lower-cost tube set that's been given the royal treatment: full chrome plating...bling on a budget!
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Old 04-13-11, 06:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Chromado translates as chrome plated, not the tubing name or manufacturer.
25CrMo4 is standard Chrome-Moly steel (AKA 4130 steel). Same generic alloy composition such as used in vintage columbus SL/SP/Cromor tubesets. Probably indicates a pretty low end bike for colnago with cost savings from using generic tube supplier or mixing tubes from various suppliers. External tube diameter is most likely 28.6mm (1-1/8") for a wall thickness of 1.0mm. Usually the seattube is only butted larger on the bottom end and the top has same thin diamater at middle of the tube. Might be that they used a tube butted on both ends so 1.0mm wall thickness where tube meets lug, about the same end deminsion as columbus SP tubeset uses.

Odd that it is 126mm dropouts, may indicate that it is even older or was slighlty damaged in shipping. I would really expect most any decent 90's bike to have 130mm width.
Or, they built the frame seat tube butt section up not down. I have seen that before on a bike that should be 27.2 but was not...
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Old 04-13-11, 06:54 PM   #11
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Just looking at your photos I have these observations:

Paint seems thick for a Colnago - possibly to cover the chrome underneath - possibly a re-paint.

I have not seen Colnago internal cable routing with an entry hole underneath the top tube (usually on top). This entry hole is 'lugged' unlike the exit hole which is curious. Perhaps this was changed. Is there evidence of an entry hole on the top of the top tube?

Top of the line headset lugs (as mentioned) and no other 'Colnago' identifying castings anywhere else on the frame.

The headset bottom cup is an odd shape for Campagnolo. Looking through the catalogues most alloy bottom cups have a tapered side wall with very little radius on the bottom edge. Yours has a pronounced radius on the bottom edge. The '94 Spare Parts Catalogue has an Athena headset that looks similar to yours (I think). Perhaps this may give you a small clue to the frame's vintage although the 126mm rear spacing tells another story.

I really like this frame: 1 - because it is unusual; 2 - because it's a Colnago.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 04-13-11 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 04-14-11, 05:48 AM   #12
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No rifling. Do you think I should demand my $170.00 back?
Ed
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Old 04-14-11, 05:53 AM   #13
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No rifling. Do you think I should demand my $170.00 back?
Ed
$170?

That's a great price, no matter what.

I'd ride and enjoy!
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Old 04-14-11, 06:02 AM   #14
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I am glad you like the frame. I think its great and I have big money invested US 170.00. The frame was painted white then masked off for
all the doodads and sprayed Saronni red. I just assumed the headset was Super Record because its Al. You probably cant tell from my lousy
photos but its dull grey century finish. Anyways the headset is trashed it looks like it was installed with a sledge hammer someone over
tightened it and the lower race is cracked. I think the frame is all original the seller was a well known pro in the 70's and probably well
connected. I think this was a custom build. Ed
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Old 04-14-11, 07:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EhGiOeS View Post
Columbus calls the tubing Cromardo. Seat tube OD 28.9mm , Top tube OD 26.0mm ,and Down tube 28.90
Ed
Odd mix of tubing dimensions. Imperial ST and DT with a metric TT (most imperial are 25.4)
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Old 04-14-11, 09:57 AM   #16
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The headset has to be replaced so it doesn't matter what it was, but it wasn't a Super Record headset. The white under the red may be a primer coat. $170 makes it a good deal for you.
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Old 04-14-11, 12:04 PM   #17
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No rifling. Do you think I should demand my $170.00 back?
Ed
The rifiling would just be an indication that the steer tube was made by columbus. THere are many other good tubing suppliers besides columbus that could have supplied the tubing. Unless seller specifically represented that the tubing was columbus then I dont see any cause to demand a refund. The 25CrMo4 Colnago tube sticker seems like a bigger indication that it is something other than columbus tubing.
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Old 04-14-11, 04:25 PM   #18
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No the white is a finish coat by masking off the red it provides the decorations. The whole frame is also clear coated.
Ed
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Old 04-14-11, 04:41 PM   #19
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No the white is a finish coat by masking off the red it provides the decorations. The whole frame is also clear coated.
Ed
Thanks. Colnago's were often counterfeited so Colnago (the Company) decided to airbrush their logo onto the frame to make counterfeiting much more difficult. That being said, there is a frame painter in Melbourne, Australia that does a remarkable repaint of any Colnago paint scheme. I'm sure that there are painters in the USA that can produce the Colnago logo and paint schemes too. Cycleart comes to mind.
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Old 04-14-11, 05:19 PM   #20
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I don't think those low rent Colnagos you see Sports,Juniors and Exports were forgeries. In my opinion they were entry level bikes sold by Colnago made by contractors. From what Iv'e seen
the Sports span 25 years and are marked made in Italy. I can't believe Don Ernest would allow some outsider to use his name. The northern Italians aren't into Lupara but they could hire
it done. Ed
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Old 04-14-11, 09:15 PM   #21
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Hi EhGiOeS,

I think I didn't explain myself correctly. Ernesto Colnago changed his method of applying his logo to his bikes because it was too easy to forge his identity onto a bike. That's not to say that there weren't many genuine Colnago's around from all price brackets. Colnago decal sets were very cheap and quite plentiful in the 80's. I still have a set of fake decals from that era. People would re-paint a bike and apply the Colnago decals then advertise the bike as a Colnago. It is still happening to this day. It occurs occasionally on ebay and for people with limited knowledge of Colnago bikes, they can, and do, buy a bike that has been mis-represented. Sometimes this can happen quite innocently where someone buy's a re-identified Colnago and then passes it on after they have had their use of the bike.

Ernesto Colnago decided to apply his logo onto his painted frames to help curb the growth of fake Colnago's. If you produced a world respected product and it was being forged, to any extent, you would want it to stop as you wouldn't want your name on an inferior product (even if that product was of good quality).

There are many more genuine Colnago's out there than fakes but they are still out there.

Don't believe me - ask other members of this forum.

Best regards,

Gary.
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Old 04-17-11, 12:28 PM   #22
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Hi
sorry for the slow reply. I thrashed my computer. I wasn't disagreeing with you abouy fake bikes. It's just that some people call a bike fake just because they have never seen one before. Those low end Colnago seem to have been popular in Europe. They seem to be built up with mid range Campy parts so they can't have been cheap in the day. The blue one I have was built up in the Basque country I think. It's all high end Zeus encluding a Ti RD. Before Spain joined the EU the
Customs on bikes and parts was 105% so even if the frame was cheap in Italy it wasn't in Spain.

Two more strange Colnagos on Spanish Ebay 260770114642. My frame came from Madrid too. Except for the tubing and fork the red frame sure looks like mine.
Ed
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