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Colnago super unknown year saved from life of mediocrity

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Colnago super unknown year saved from life of mediocrity

Old 12-29-20, 01:22 PM
  #26  
HPL
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More research regarding year of frame. Collected from multiple sources with disclaimers as to accuracy. Even the Colnago catalogs cannot be trusted and are a guideline, but not always a factual representation in description and/or photo/image.
I am only trying to determine when features that would generally not be added or deleted for custom builds (paint, chrome, braze-ons) were introduced or modified . Nothing can account for changes made during a model year which was not shown in a catalog, use of old and/or new stock for wrong model, and/or a builder's whims; none of which is an uncommon occurrence for bikes of this era.

If I listed a feature as "definitely" for a given year, it is because multiple sources agree as to that feature being on a bike for a given year. That being said, the "year in agreement" could be related to the year of purchase, actual model year, or actual year of manufacture: impossible to tell since references are often not given, or are unsure; certainly purchase year, model year, and year of manufacture could all be the same for a given frame; and yet all be different . E.g. frame built in late 1976 but for model year 1977 catalog description, sold in 1978. A purchaser may go on to think that they bought a 1978, but actually bought a model that predates their year of purchase and where the manufacturer might have already made changes mid-model year.

Feature changes and year(s) estimated it was introduced:

-Fork crown with "clubs" logo and "COLNAGO"
1974: possible, especially for frames made late in the year that were made as 1975 models.
1975: probable: possible mid-model year feature change, or frames made late in the year that were 1976 models
1976: definitely

-Recessed brake mount:
1976: possible
1977: probable
1978: definitely

-"COLNAGO" fluted seat stay caps:
1976: possible
1977: probable
1978: probable (have seen an assumed '78 with feature)
1979: definitely

-Hourglass/Spool shaped chainstay bridge:
1980: possible
1981: probable (have seen an assumed '81 frame with feature)
1982: definitely
1983: catalog example

-BB shell cut out "club" shape changes:
1980: possible
1981: probable (have seen an assumed '81 frame with feature)
1982: definitely

-"COLNAGO" stamped into chainstay:
1980: possible
1981: probable (have seen an assumed '81 frame with feature)
1982: definitely
1983: catalog example

-Cable routing under BB shell:
1980: possible
1981: probable ((have seen an assumed '81 frame with feature)
1982: definitely
1983: catalog example

Green Super
Now taking all of that information and applying it to a new frame that was purchased no earlier than 1981(latter half of year), and no later than 1983; it would seem using definite features tied to years that the bike could only be from 1979-1981. I will at this time call it a circa '80 model given that it was purchased as a frameset only, and a very small one at that, so demand would have been very limited for that frame causing it to linger in stock for awhile. Also, if the 1981 example is accurately dated, then the bike would have to be 1980 or earlier due to features changes. This does not take into account the decals which I cannot properly date except that the 1983 catalog example has the same decals (for what the accuracy of the catalogs are, I suspect they used a stock photo from the previous year and maybe even earlier years). Nearly all features mentioned were definitive by 1982 and possibly earlier.

Blue Super
Even with the one year revised history of this frame it seems to fall into a grey area of possible to probable to definite when dating features. If I assume the brake mounting is exposed nut brake mounting it falls into the '75-'77 range of possibility; if verified as recessed mounting than '76-'78. All is again based on the now verified and established time of purchase in late '76 of a custom ordered frameset. Given the other fact that all dated components were from 1974 bears more evidence that it is of an earlier and not later vintage. I believe that it is essentially a '77 model frame built in '76. Could it have features from '78, very plausible; I do not know what was specified in conversation when the frame was built so if newer features were available, but not yet being used for stock builds, who knows what a frame may look like. I am about done with anymore dating of this frame except for verifying brake caliper mounting which does not change the year of manufacture obviously, but only the model year by one; '76 exposed mount or '77 recessed mount.

Whew! At least my '86 Mexico (2nd gen. Nuovo Mexico with "PROFIL" tubing, round tube style Mexico still made in '86) was only made for about 5 years with only one change except paint which was very limited to specific models and years. That bike matches 100% perfectly with the catalog description and photo.

If there is one thing consistent about Colnagos (and many other bikes of that style and era; '70s-mid '80s) is that they are consistently inconsistent with their builds; aside from custom jobs it is mostly due to features demands, design changes, technological advances and the constantly fluid market place that needs to be satisfied at any given moment; now more than ever. Who cares what time of year a change is needed for whatever reason, on with business. Why most catalogs explicitly state that changes made be made at any time.

Last edited by HPL; 12-30-20 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 01-03-21, 11:18 AM
  #27  
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I have removed the fork and bottom bracket assy. Fork steerer shows no sign of any chroming or other paint colors; dropouts show no signs of chrome or other paint color. BB shell interior shows no sign of another paint color. This would seem to be one of those Colnago frames that had no chrome treatment from the factory. Yes, they exist, but are rare; usually due to dealer and/or custom orders (such as my friend's new frame).

That is all I have been able to determine from this frame.

Waiting on toe cages and straps to arrive;
the previous owner found them after purchase was completed. Would hope that they are Campy, or ALE brand of the correct period.

Last edited by HPL; 01-03-21 at 11:47 PM.
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