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Old 01-23-12, 11:32 AM   #1
Turbort88
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Colnago Mexico Project

I have a problem…….I know I should have walked away from this frame when I saw it but my vision got the better of me and I bought it. Probably paid too much but I don’t own a Colnago and have been perusing ebay/craigslist for some time. My goal is to keep the cost down on this restomod and under the wifedar, it will be used regularly.

My research indicates it to be an 84’ or later due to the creased top and down tubes, Colnago stamped chainstays, and under the bottom bracket cable routing. The frame was in okay shape with a fugly respray and some aftermarket unicrown fork.

Seller’s pics (sorry can’t seem to find the ones I took)










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Old 01-23-12, 11:37 AM   #2
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Colnago Mexico Project con't

My plan was to send of the frame to the powder coaters without stripping the paint off myself but one thing lead to another and I ended up taking the paint off for a closer look. In the process somehow one of the top tube cable guides broke so I ended up just taking them off and will use Dia-Compe clamp on cable guides instead. I really didn't want to do this but didn't want to pay to have another one brazed on either. The bike also strangely came with a braze on chain holder on the seat stay so I shaved that off as well.

Progress pics:


Chain Holder.


Oops.




Braze-on Braze-off


Naked









Last edited by Turbort88; 01-23-12 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 01-23-12, 11:37 AM   #3
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Spoke too soon....
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Old 01-23-12, 11:40 AM   #4
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Colnago Mexico Project con't

My biggest issue thus far is the rear alignment. The rear wheel is slightly cocked to the left as you look from the rear brake bridge. I had my local bike shop check the drop out alignment and it required no adjustment. If any one has any ideas about how to correct this I would be grateful.





I will update this thread as I go.
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Old 01-23-12, 11:47 AM   #5
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My guess would be '83, and unlikely to be much later based on the concave seatstay top eyes.
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Old 01-23-12, 12:19 PM   #6
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The frames probably spaced at 126mm whereas your wheels looks to be 130mm.

1. Check your wheels dish. There's a chance it's off. Install a wheel with a known correct dish
2. Dropout alighnment is only a start. Is the triangle itslef centered? Either can be centered with the other being out.

An easy way to check triangle alignment is to 'string' the frame. Tie a piece of string to the dropout and run it around the headtube to the other dropout. Mkae sure its tight and make sure the the string is tied the same on both sides...i.e inside/inside outside/outside center/center. Then, with a precise measuring gauge measure the distance from the string to the top tube.
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Old 01-23-12, 02:22 PM   #7
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The frames probably spaced at 126mm whereas your wheels looks to be 130mm.

1. Check your wheels dish. There's a chance it's off. Install a wheel with a known correct dish
2. Dropout alighnment is only a start. Is the triangle itslef centered? Either can be centered with the other being out.

An easy way to check triangle alignment is to 'string' the frame. Tie a piece of string to the dropout and run it around the headtube to the other dropout. Mkae sure its tight and make sure the the string is tied the same on both sides...i.e inside/inside outside/outside center/center. Then, with a precise measuring gauge measure the distance from the string to the top tube.
The rear drop outs are spaced at 130mm and this is the second wheel I have used so I'm certain the dish is correct. I'll remeasure with the string and can adjust if required.

Thanks.
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Old 01-23-12, 02:27 PM   #8
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out of general curiousity......why get rid the the chain holder? ymmv but I have found them helpful (I would put one on if I every get custom bike helpful)
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Old 01-23-12, 02:30 PM   #9
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If the wheel is just off slightly you can use the dropout adjuster screws to force it to be straight in there. Of course the frame could be out of wack too, in which case it might be good to figure out how off it is while it's apart.
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Old 01-23-12, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
Flip the wheel over and that will tell you if it's the wheel or the frame (if it's the wheel, the offset will move to the other side).
If it's the frame, use Sheldon Brown's technique for spreading the rear to center the stays to move the dropouts over.

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.
.
I'm so waiting for someone to crimp a ST doing that. And flipping the wheel doesnt always work, if one of the dropouts is more open the wheel can sit canted in the dropout.
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Old 01-23-12, 04:10 PM   #11
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Glad you're saving Bob Marley's former Colnago. Nice.

Did you snag this locally? I, too, am constantly searching DC CL for Colnagos.. me and half the other cycling enthusiasts in the dc area I'm sure.
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Old 01-23-12, 04:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Flip the wheel over and that will tell you if it's the wheel or the frame (if it's the wheel, the offset will move to the other side).
If it's the frame, use Sheldon Brown's technique for spreading the rear to center the stays to move the dropouts over.

Flipping the wheel is not fool proof, but it might make you want to investigate further.
Do not assume that the wheel all the way back in the drops will result in the wheel being aligned between the chainstays, I would float it forward, or better yet, install some adjuster screws provisionally and have a final answer before you go squirting paint, I would not powder coat this frame, unless you are willing to hide its Colnago identity. Something is up, but Colnago was not perfect, I have seen other bikes with the rear brake mount off side before. Also, no guarantee the stays take the most direct path to the seat lug.

The crude shop method of muscling a rear triangle into position is not foolproof, on really light tubing I have covered an angle iron segment with leather and used it to disperse the load.


Before you commit to paint try a cable clip and cable housing on the raw tube, you may not like how it works and or appears.
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Old 01-23-12, 07:46 PM   #13
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.
.
.
.
I'm so waiting for someone to crimp a ST doing that. And flipping the wheel doesnt always work, if one of the dropouts is more open the wheel can sit canted in the dropout.
What method do you recommend for rear triangle alignment?
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Old 01-23-12, 08:09 PM   #14
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I have an 83 and it does not have the concave stay caps but the flat ones. It is a Superissimo which I believe means that it has chrome head lugs, forks and rear drop outs - maybe the chain stays.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:14 PM   #15
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It is not mid 80s. More like late 80 or early 90s Colnago.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:29 PM   #16
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It is not mid 80s. More like late 80 or early 90s Colnago.
Why do you say that?

I'm curious, as we thought Picchio nailed the date when we looked at these pics at the shop after work.
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Old 01-23-12, 10:33 PM   #17
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SJX426 makes a good observation of the concave seatstay caps. Note also the difference in the BB cable tunnels; the below pic is from my '83 Mexico:



Probably an '82; that seems about the time the crimped tubes were coming into play and Colnago was phasing out the concave seatstay caps - my '83 has flat caps, crimped top and down tubes, but lacks the chain-hanger peg.

In fact, I find the chain-hanger peg somewhat strange; I've never seen a 70s or early 80s Colnago that had one. Interesting.

Finding a fork for that bad boy is going to be sorta difficult - and expensive - if you're going to want to restore to original spec. If not, run what you brung

A worthy project frame, for sure. Have fun with the rust on the headlugs!

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Old 01-24-12, 04:56 AM   #18
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What method do you recommend for rear triangle alignment?
Either by hand or with the proper Park tools or a combination of both.


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Old 01-24-12, 01:25 PM   #19
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SJX426 Probably an '82; that seems about the time the crimped tubes were coming into play and Colnago was phasing out the concave seatstay caps - my '83 has flat caps, crimped top and down tubes, but lacks the chain-hanger peg.
DD
There are two ways to go with this. I think '82 is plausible, but I'd be very surprised if Colnago was marketing that design before Sarroni's World's victory on a similar bike. Which would mean very late in '82. Also, I've never seen a Nuovo Mexico with the semi-sloping crown in use in '82, only the sloping one that kicked in circa '83, though of course Sarroni's bike had the sloping fork, arguing for it's debut earlier than '83. I also don't recall seeing the concave caps with the sloping crown combo. While the '83's do seem to have the flat caps, Colnago didn't necessarily make sharp model year cutoffs for that sort of thing. So a bit of a tweener - I think both '82 and '83 are plausible. I lean toward '83, with the concave caps having carried over a bit- they're plugs, so it's not like the flat caps saved labor.
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Old 01-24-12, 01:28 PM   #20
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It is not mid 80s. More like late 80 or early 90s Colnago.
Yeah, no chance. But thanks for playing.
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Old 01-24-12, 02:00 PM   #21
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If the wheel is just off slightly you can use the dropout adjuster screws to force it to be straight in there. Of course the frame could be out of wack too, in which case it might be good to figure out how off it is while it's apart.
Tweaking the adjuster screws will angle the wheel so tire is centered between the chainstays but if the dropouts themselves are not centered with the frame, then the rear wheel will not track directly behind the front, bike will ride down the road angled like an old truck (or dog) in need of a rear end alignment. The fact that the rear end is likely out of alignment is shown by the offsett at the brake boss. Playing with the dropout adjuster screws has little effect on offsett at the brake boss. If it were a bit closer and didnt want to align the frame (or rode a alu or CF frame) , you might re-dish the wheel offset to match the offsett of the frame so that wheel is aligned. I dont think I would want to put that much tension on the DS spokes of this wheel however, too far out. If it is out in opposite direction, this can actually work to your benefit to help equalize spoke tension, just makes the wheel more of a hassle to build/dish and in incompatable with other correctly dished wheels.
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Old 01-24-12, 06:01 PM   #22
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There are two ways to go with this. I think '82 is plausible, but I'd be very surprised if Colnago was marketing that design before Sarroni's World's victory on a similar bike. Which would mean very late in '82. Also, I've never seen a Nuovo Mexico with the semi-sloping crown in use in '82, only the sloping one that kicked in circa '83, though of course Sarroni's bike had the sloping fork, arguing for it's debut earlier than '83. I also don't recall seeing the concave caps with the sloping crown combo. While the '83's do seem to have the flat caps, Colnago didn't necessarily make sharp model year cutoffs for that sort of thing. So a bit of a tweener - I think both '82 and '83 are plausible. I lean toward '83, with the concave caps having carried over a bit- they're plugs, so it's not like the flat caps saved labor.
Agree on most points, with a couple grey areas. Note the OP states his fork is an aftermarket unicrown; this may well have had the flat/semi-sloping crown with the C, clover and "Colnago" lettering. The other main reason I think this may be an '82 and thus the earliest version of the crimped tubing frame is the difference in BB shells (my '83 has integral cable guide "posts" while the OP's has brazed-on tunnels) and the OP's has the chainstay "spool" buttress. My '83 has no chainstay buttress whatsoever.

Oh, and the flat seatstay caps are actually plugs as well - just not as nice as the earlier fluted caps, IMHO. And I'm still very, very surprised to see the chain hanger peg!

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Old 01-24-12, 06:22 PM   #23
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Agree on most points, with a couple grey areas. Note the OP states his fork is an aftermarket unicrown; this may well have had the flat/semi-sloping crown with the C, clover and "Colnago" lettering. The other main reason I think this may be an '82 and thus the earliest version of the crimped tubing frame is the difference in BB shells (my '83 has integral cable guide "posts" while the OP's has brazed-on tunnels) and the OP's has the chainstay "spool" buttress. My '83 has no chainstay buttress whatsoever.

Oh, and the flat seatstay caps are actually plugs as well - just not as nice as the earlier fluted caps, IMHO. And I'm still very, very surprised to see the chain hanger peg!

DD
Yeah - I knew they were both plugs. Was making the point that they could easily have switched plugs with no change in the build process - so why not use up the old ones.
The bottom bracket point is a good one. Just hard to tell when the changeover took place, or whether there was overlap. With Colnago in this era, it's tough to say where the frames were made, and I doubt they were tossing out older versions of frame bits rather than using them up.
Yes, I realize we don't have the original fork to go by. But I would be really surprised if there were Nuovo Mexico's with the semi-sloping crown. That's a pretty major design change that points to the "Nuovo" touches like the fairly radical tubing channels. In other words, I suspect that the grooved tubes and full sloping fork were important elements of the redesign, while the seatstay caps have, by comparison, nothing to do with the frames performance (like the BB guides).
I do think it could be late '82, as I said, and Sarroni's bike from late '82 certainly has the concave caps, full sloping crown, and channeled tubing. But on balance, I lean toward '83. And a semi-sloping crown on a Nuovo Mexico would be a real shocker - never seen such an animal, and I've looked at a ton of Colnagos.
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Old 01-24-12, 06:35 PM   #24
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SJX426

Probably an '82; that seems about the time the crimped tubes were coming into play and Colnago was phasing out the concave seatstay caps - my '83 has flat caps, crimped top and down tubes, but lacks the chain-hanger peg.
DD
This raises another pertinent question. The flat caps do seem to appear circa '83, along with the full-sloping crown. The crimped tubing is another matter. If it was indeed "coming into play" in '82, then that increases the likelihood that the OP's frame is an 82. But the cramped/channeled tubing is closely associated with Sarroni's World's victory at the end of that season. I think it's more likely that some team frames were built using that tubing, possibly just for the World's, which subsequently gave Ernesto the opportunity (one he was ever alert to) to parlay that win on the crimped tubes into a whole new model of bicycle. I don't personally think the channeled tubes so much "came into play" as arrived with a bang, leading to a new model that may have been introduced in late '82 or '83. It's possible my take is wrong and the channeled tubes were already on the market in '82 before Goodwood, but I'd be very surprised. It's even possible that Sarroni had a personal affinity for full sloping crowns (vs. Gimondi's personal dislike of them) and this launched Colnago's use of them. There are so few good, datable photos of the Del Tongo team bikes from 1982 that it's tough to add to the data and move far beyond mere speculation.
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Old 01-24-12, 07:19 PM   #25
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But the cramped/channeled tubing is closely associated with Sarroni's World's victory at the end of that season. I think it's more likely that some team frames were built using that tubing, possibly just for the World's, which subsequently gave Ernesto the opportunity (one he was ever alert to) to parlay that win on the crimped tubes into a whole new model of bicycle.
100% agree on this - Ernesto was never one to pass up an opportunity to hype something just that little bit different into the next "gotta have" idiosyncrasy

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I don't personally think the channeled tubes so much "came into play" as arrived with a bang, leading to a new model that may have been introduced in late '82 or '83.
Interesting - and I'd like to know more about this, because from my research there seems precious little information regarding the first of Colnago's "shaped" tubing. For instance, I have a goodly number of Bicycling magazines from '81 through '84 and not once do I see the Nuovo Mexico mentioned - not even in the Colnago ads themselves. In fact, in said ads the two bikes most presented are the early Profil CX and the Superissimo.

Any links you can share? I'd like to know a little more about the birth of the crimped-tube frames.

And for the OP: seems late '82 or any time in '83 dates your particular frame

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