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Why are some vintage Italian bicycles labelled "Super?”

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Why are some vintage Italian bicycles labelled "Super?”

Old 10-20-20, 08:57 PM
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TLaurent 
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Why are some vintage Italian bicycles labelled "Super?”

Thanks to COVID and being an empty nester, I’ve dusted off my interest in bikes and have begun a couple 70s and 80s Italian builds because those old rides are beautiful and are an important part of bicycle history. I’m learning a lot and realize how little I know and am enjoying the ride. I keep coming across the word “Super” and am hoping that the forum can educate me. There are many frames for sale on the internet for Super versions including Colnago Super, Tommassini Super Prestige, Bianchi Super Corsa, and several less popular brands that seem to have gone by the wayside but deemed including the word Super on the frames to establish a higher level of quality. Does this mean that they were originally equipped with Campagnolo Super Record group sets or does it have to do with the material that the frames were made from? Is it just a marketing ploy or is there real value to Super frames?

Last edited by TLaurent; 10-21-20 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 10-20-20, 09:02 PM
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jet sanchEz
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Marketing ploy would be my guess.

Also, "super' is an easy word to say in any language.

I have a Cinelli Super Corsa, a Tommasini Super Prestige and a Cervelo Super Prodigy.

Super Prodigy is my favourite to say, it just kind of rolls off the tongue
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Old 10-20-20, 09:18 PM
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Marketing goes back a long way....

“This is a really super apple, Adam.”
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Old 10-20-20, 10:01 PM
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Because they are Better.

when I get to use one of the Colnago Supers, they are are that, one with Super Record.
when Nuovo is not enough.

I always liked Superlegerra, Superleggero

of course there is always Strada Fantastica
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Old 10-20-20, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Because they are Better.
“super” means “eleven” in Iti-talk.
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Old 10-20-20, 10:27 PM
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Because 'a little bit better but twice the price' didn't quite have the same ring to it.
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Old 10-20-20, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
“super” means “eleven” in Iti-talk.
So, "Super" is "one better"? Only one?
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Old 10-20-20, 11:52 PM
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Bianchi's Super of ~1980 was merely an upper mid-level bike, and made in Japan, but they really made it perform like a top-level Italian bike and reasonably light as well considering it had clinchers.
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Old 10-21-20, 12:40 AM
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For some reason, the word seemed to have been used more by the Euro bike companies when naming their bikes and components.......
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Old 10-21-20, 02:49 AM
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In my mind, the word Super does not define a bike of quality. Some might be a cut above, but most, like the Canadian Tire Super Cycle are a perfect example of don't buy by name. Learn about what makes a good bike a good bike...


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Old 10-21-20, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie View Post
So, "Super" is "one better"? Only one?
The "super" scale is exponential, not linear.
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Old 10-21-20, 04:54 AM
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Let's not forget Raleigh's Super Course, which may be the most ubiquitous Super model, though it was more Middling Course.
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Old 10-21-20, 06:10 AM
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While the marketing aspect is always relevant, there are others factors that come into play, if you look at the particular cases.

Colnago Superissmo: I've always maintained that this was the manifestation of Colnago's ego. He always believed that his bicycles were the best and he very grudgingly gave any respect to very few other Italian builders. This model was available several years prior to Campagnolo Super Record components

Tommasini Super Prestige: In this case, the model name indicates it's a higher model developed from the Prestige.

Bianchi Super Corsa: The name indicates that it was Bianchi's top road model. Similarly, Super Pista was used for Bianchi's top track model.
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Old 10-21-20, 06:16 AM
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Sort of like "Turbo" on everything in the 80s. Or "Pro" on everything in the 2000s.
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Old 10-21-20, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by CargoDane View Post
Sort of like "Turbo" on everything in the 80s. Or "Pro" on everything in the 2000s.
That’s what I initially thought but as I learn about the different tubing materials, (Columbus SL/SLX/Gilco, chromoly, etc) I started to wonder if there was more to it. There is a “Paletti Super Prestige with Columbus SLX Super butted steel” for sale right now - could they be trying to take this to twelve? Appreciate all of the super responses!
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Old 10-21-20, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by TLaurent View Post
That’s what I initially thought but as I learn about the different tubing materials, (Columbus SL/SLX/Gilco, chromoly, etc) I started to wonder if there was more to it. There is a “Paletti Super Prestige with Columbus SLX Super butted steel” for sale right now - could they be trying to take this to twelve? Appreciate all of the super responses!
It's still a word merely trying to convey something is "better". And with these things, inflation happens pretty quickly, so everything takes on the superlative in vogue. Hell, the "turbo" monicker is used by Porsche today. On a frigging electric car.
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Old 10-21-20, 07:18 AM
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In many things Italian "super" = "extra" - Super leggera = "extra lightweight" not "better lightweight" - so not always indicative of a boast about quality (well, still a boast I suppose!).
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Old 10-21-20, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie View Post
So, "Super" is "one better"? Only one?
That one is so "Super" they couldn't get the decal straight.
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Old 10-21-20, 07:38 AM
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Extra emphasis.
"We're going to see my mother."
"Super. That's just super."
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Old 10-21-20, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
That one is so "Super" they couldn't get the decal straight.
It's not linear, it's exponential.
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Old 10-21-20, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
It's not linear, it's exponential.
Crooked works as well.
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Old 10-21-20, 09:10 AM
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Yea , The Americans got in on the action as well with the Super LeTour and Super lite(that wasn't!)
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Old 10-21-20, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by CargoDane View Post
Sort of like "Turbo" on everything in the 80s. Or "Pro" on everything in the 2000s.
Or Spec Ops on everything else ?🤣🤣🤣🤣
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Old 10-21-20, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
The Swiss can be super as well

Dang that is nice !! I have a fully restored Speciale, love Mondias
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Old 10-21-20, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
That one is so "Super" they couldn't get the decal straight.
That was the first thing my eyes focused on.
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