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  1. #1
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    colnago question

    i have been looking for a colnago frameset, and have noticed the mid 70's super frames sell for a pretty low price. is there a reason for that? i'm looking right now at a 74 and also a 75 super frameset. are these less desirable frames? thanks

  2. #2
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    Colnago frames from '74-5, with the long Campagnolo dropouts, are indeed quite desirable and collectible, and usually go for good money. From where do you get the impression that they "sell for a pretty low price?"
    Last edited by Picchio Special; 02-04-12 at 06:48 AM.

  3. #3
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    1974 was when Marco Rossin left Colnago and established his own company. The earlier, Rossin built frames are more desirable for most people.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    1974 was when Marco Rossin left Colnago and established his own company. The earlier, Rossin built frames are more desirable for most people.
    I'm not sure about that. '74's are generally considered to be "early" examples, and I don't know anyone who makes a strict 73/4 cutoff. And I don't see '74's selling for low prices. Indeed, '74 was one of the "pantografata" years. I'm also pretty sure that while Rossin oversaw the shop, he didn't build all the frames. I don't know anyone who makes a major monetary distinction between Rossin and post-Rossin Supers - indeed, I think a lot of the pricing in the collector marker was established before Rossin's involvement was widely known. A more common cutoff for Colnago desirablity would be between '71/2, when the "playing card" graphics were superceded by the later ones, and there were geometry changes as well, apparently. The argument can be made that the transition between cutouts in all the lugs and just the lower headlug makes a difference for some collectors, and this may have happened circa the '73-4 cutoff per the various Super timelines (and I question whether this didn't happen earlier), but I haven't observed this to have a huge market impact. That usually comes right around the '75-6 transition to the shorter Campy dropouts, which coincided also with some of Colnago's oft-discussed QC woes. And even the mid-late-70's Supers have been getting stronger in the market as the earlier ones become more scarce. I just don't see many cheap Colnago Super frames out there, period.
    Last edited by Picchio Special; 02-04-12 at 06:55 AM.

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    I have no issues with most of your statements, but it's all relative. Even though he didin't necessarily build it, a Colnago frame from the Rossin era will typically fetch more than an equivalent condition and level frame from shortly after he left.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    I have no issues with most of your statements, but it's all relative. Even though he didin't necessarily build it, a Colnago frame from the Rossin era will typically fetch more than an equivalent condition and level frame from shortly after he left.
    But a slightly earlier Colnago frame will usually, on average, sell for more than a later one, because of the way the quality generally went and because of all the running changes. A '71 is generally more valuable than a '72 is generally more valuable than a '73 is generally more valuable than a '74 etc. But that's within the context of a relatively unstable marketplace, and I don't think it has much to do with Rossin. As I say, I don't know any Colnago collector - and I know a few - who has ever said they place more value on a Rossin-era frame because of Rossin's involvement or value one less from a slightly later time period. Such a distinction would never occur to me, and never has until your post, and I've owned some nice Colnagos. I'm looking bike-by-bike - it's the inconsistencies that creep in that are the problematical part. If I saw a nice '73 that lacked all the cutouts and an equivalent '74, I wouldn't make any distinction based on Rossin's involvement or non-involvement, and I doubt many other collectors do, either.
    In any case, the OP is asking about "low" prices for '74-5, and that's something I just don't see. Surely, prices don't plummet to low levels for post-Rossin-era frames? I need some examples to have an idea of what the OP is driving at. I don't see the "Rossin theory" as having sufficient (if any) explanatory power in this context.
    Last edited by Picchio Special; 02-04-12 at 08:26 AM.

  7. #7
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    i seen a 75 super sell at 375.. i thought that was kinda cheap. 56cm....looked like it was in nice condition.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloar View Post
    i seen a 75 super sell at 375.. i thought that was kinda cheap. 56cm....looked like it was in nice condition.
    That is a bit cheap. But that's one frame. Prices can be all over the map, for all kinds of reasons (non-original paint, etc.). Other thing to keep in mind is that lots of Colnagos are mis-dated, including by their sellers.

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    how do you date them? i had heard the older ones didnt have serial numbers, is that true? i'm really interested in this, i'm looking for a frameset to build and i just dont know enough about them. thanks

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloar View Post
    how do you date them? i had heard the older ones didnt have serial numbers, is that true? i'm really interested in this, i'm looking for a frameset to build and i just dont know enough about them. thanks
    True - 70's Colnagos lack serial numbers. You have to go by the frame details. A '74 or '75 will both have the longer 1010A Campagnolo dropouts and only a club in the top of the fork crown (and not "Colnago" beneath the club as with later frames). They will have different graphics from '74 to '75. Both will likely have downtube shifter braze-ons. Neither will likely have top tube cable guides brazed-on, though this could be ordered at one point. The best timeline so far is Chuck Schmidt's, which can be found here - but you have to scroll down for it, it's different from the one at the top of the page:

    http://www.43bikes.com/colnago-70s-details.html

    It should be taken with a grain of salt - Colnago dating is rarely if ever exact.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloar View Post
    i seen a 75 super sell at 375.. i thought that was kinda cheap. 56cm....looked like it was in nice condition.
    There are outliers on the high end as well. I was offered almost five times that for my 1977/78 Super by a forum member.

    Do I think it's worth that?

    Apparently it is, because that's what a person is willing to pay.

    FYI I sold a early 1980s Super in average condition a year ago for several times that $375. While I would much rather have a 1975 Super than an early 80s model, I think a $375 price tag is a bargain.

    I would not sell a decent condition Super frameset for that low amount.

  12. #12
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    I would consider a '73 or earlier.
    Then skip to after 1983.
    For me the period between 1975 and 1982 are the discount years.
    Volume in 1975 really cranked up, quality was really variable.
    Not to say they don't ride well, just not what I want in a vintage bike.

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