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Colnago Superissimo SLX late 80s

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Colnago Superissimo SLX late 80s

Old 08-16-22, 02:45 AM
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Peroni
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Colnago Superissimo SLX late 80s

Maybe it is, I've got a tracking number and it should be delivered on Thursday. I guessed what it might be a little bit from commercial photos, and looking at the auction pictures with a small magnifier.
These pictures aren't very good with the dark blue, and frame won't be see very well unless I can get setup to photograph it better, and some closeups are needed.





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Old 08-16-22, 07:33 AM
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Congratultions on yet another topic about the same bike.
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Old 08-16-22, 08:44 AM
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Is there a question here? Maybe I'm missing something. Anyway, beautiful bike. Looks like a 56 square to me.
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Old 08-16-22, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Is there a question here? Maybe I'm missing something. Anyway, beautiful bike. Looks like a 56 square to me.
It was listed as 56cm, and that would be the correct size for me. It looks larger to me, I can ride up to 58cm if it is larger.

The seller might be the original owner, and spoke to me on the phone about the tracking number. And mentioned that it wasn't competitive for him with down-tube shift levers, and said it's been hanging up unused, I believe he was telling the truth, but I don't have exact details.
I think the bicycle is what it appears to be in the pictures, the down tube decals appear odd with the large C that DD noticed, compared to the green frame, and a black club trademark appears to be inside the large C.
I should've waited until I can provide better pictures of the frame and decals before posting this thread.

Maybe this frame isn't very interesting, and I remember reading that they're a bit heavier.
I'm expecting shipping to turn out well, and I'll be extra happy if it's a little smaller than 58cm, because I'm thinking of actually riding this one a little bit.
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Old 08-17-22, 02:13 AM
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It'll be a nice bike to ride and own (love SLX). My guess - I think it will be smaller than 58cm c to c seat tube. Another guess - with those 'COLNAGO' seat stay caps I would say a mid 80's build.

Some nice components too - what looks to be a round C-Record seatpost, Campy socket headed seat binder nut and bolt, Cinelli XA stem and a couple of Elite Ciussi Inox tubular stainless steel bottle cages.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 08-17-22 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 08-17-22, 07:03 AM
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Love it

Paint looks perfect from here

Black Turbo saddle with white bar tape and you're golden
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Old 08-18-22, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jet sanchEz View Post
Love it

Paint looks perfect from here

Black Turbo saddle with white bar tape and you're golden
This is a catalog page from 1988 for standard colors, it downloaded tiny and unreadable. I would guess number 02 Transparent Bleu, the website is 2Velo vintage steel bicycle wonderland.
Also, I did see a decal set for sale $50, with down tube decals appearing identical, for the most part. The seller listed it as late 80s, and I'm just assuming that. I don't know how it was originally purchased, or built up from a frame, for that matter.
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Old 08-18-22, 06:16 AM
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The seat stay caps showed up about 1982/1983. The graphics were panels at that time. The decals look 1970's. The fork is later than early 80's.
Not sure what you have there. The chrome/paint interface is interesting too.

My 1983ish Superissimo.
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Old 08-18-22, 06:22 AM
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Whatever it is, it's interesting. I like how the pedals match the paint.
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Old 08-18-22, 09:46 PM
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Still have no idea if this is a Super or Superissimo.





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Old 08-19-22, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
Still have no idea if this is a Super or Superissimo.


I'm going to guess a Superissimo of around a 1990 vintage. Why?.....

1 - The seat stay caps first appeared around 1988 (e.g. Conic Total Spiral frames). These seat stay caps could still found on models such as the Tecnos of the late 90's and early 2000's. The later versions on the Superissimo had the seat stays directly 'welded' to the seat tube without seat stay caps.

2 - The front curved bladed fork pre-dated the 1989 Precisa straight bladed front fork. The curved bladed fork was still available after 1989 and had a single 'ace of clubs (flowers)' cast into the crown on either side which superseded the crown with the 'ace of clubs' surrounded by the 'C' of Colnago as seen on earlier front forks.

3 - The front steerer tube lugs with the 'apostrophe' cut-outs and a single point (instead of the Master variants and later 1995 Superissimo variants with the tri-points) were used on the Superissimo's of the circa.1990 era.

4 - I am only guessing, as I can't see very well, that the rear dropouts are Colnago's short version.

5 - I would say that your frame has been re-painted with decals used that suited the previous owner.

I think the key to identifying this frame are the steerer tube lugs and the seat stay caps. It would be interesting next time you remove the bottom bracket and feel around the tubes (or perhaps use a mirror) to see if you can see some internal spirals that would suggest Columbus SLX tubes like a Superissimo would have had around the 1990 vintage.

Unfortunately dating and identifying Colnago's is not an exact science. Around this general era the actual frame shop that built the frame cannot be identified to my knowledge and the serial numbers aren't reliable.

It's a vey nice bike what ever Colnago model it is.

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Old 08-19-22, 04:41 AM
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@Gary Fountain - Nice list of details. good to know them.
WRT seat stay caps. How are the seat caps different from the example from 1983ish?
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Old 08-19-22, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
Still have no idea if this is a Super or Superissimo.


Originally Posted by Gary Fountain View Post
I'm going to guess a Superissimo of around a 1990 vintage. Why?.....
I'm not able to provide the level of detailed analysis that Gary Fountain had, but as a comparison, here is my bike that's been identified as a 1989 Colnago Super (I think Super Piu as I've been told that all Colnagos of that era that had internal top tube routing of rear brakes like yours and mine do have Piu added to the end of their name).

(saddle has been leveled - and changed - along with a few other positional changes like bars slightly rotated since that picture, which was from an initial shakedown ride)

As you can see mine has the C around the Club on the fork crown that Gary mentions and lacks the "comma" cutout in the head tube lug that yours has.

Mine also appears to be made of Columbus SP tubing due to the size (no helical reinforcements of SLX or SPX but fits a 27.0 seatpost - it would probably prefer a 27.1 as the 27.0 slips a bit even with carbon paste but a 27.2 won't fit).

The differences is our paint schemes may or may not indicate a different year. I think I've seen a similar scheme to yours in 1988 catalogs online (but I could be misremembering the year), but have not seen a 1989 catalog to see if it is in there as well or to verify mine - and I don't remember where that catalog was, so I could be thinking of a different year.

The clover engraving on your seat stay cap is painted white, while mine is black; don't know if that means anything or if that's just the paint scheme differences. I wish mine were white like yours as it would "pop" more.

Mine has what appears to be a moveable race number hanger (2 different threaded holes to screw it in that are maybe an inch or 2 apart with the hanger screwed into one of them), which yours does not, but I haven't seen that on any other Colnago, so I don't know what that means.

Yours has the brake cable entering the internal routing on the bottom and exiting on the top, which I always sort of thought came after the "both top entry" that mine had (once manufacturers started realizing that the top entry was leading to sweat entry and corrosion), but that might also be a model difference or a different contract builder.

Last edited by himespau; 08-19-22 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain View Post
It'll be a nice bike to ride and own (love SLX). My guess - I think it will be smaller than 58cm c to c seat tube. Another guess - with those 'COLNAGO' seat stay caps I would say a mid 80's build.

Some nice components too - what looks to be a round C-Record seatpost, Campy socket headed seat binder nut and bolt, Cinelli XA stem and a couple of Elite Ciussi Inox tubular stainless steel bottle cages.
It was delivered yesterday, and was packaged well. no shipping damage.
And it is a bit smaller than 58cm, about 57cm seat tube, I need to measure the top tube carefully to see if it's also 57cm.

DD was correct from the beginning, the frame has been refinished, a logo trademark is on the left chain stay, Fresh Frame Grade A Finish. It seems like a very nice refinish to me, and I like the blue pearl, I haven't seen it outside in the daytime.
Patented 84 on the derailleur with Ti bolts, and alloy headset, not a Ti BB, or replaced. Some drivetrain wear, but maintained and not ruined, chain is replaced. The BB shell is the same as the orange type in the commercial photo.
I moved the QR enough to see part of the SLX stamped into dropout. It will need fresh grease, brake cables, tires, the wheels seem good.

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Old 08-19-22, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
@Gary Fountain - Nice list of details. good to know them.
WRT seat stay caps. How are the seat caps different from the example from 1983ish?
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I think you're right SJX 426. It's your absolutely lovely Superissimo and most probably a 1883 build as you say. These seat stay caps appeared on the first version of the Superissimo and I think that was in 1983? They also appeared on the early versions of the Masters. I think they look great.

The second version seat stay cap had a convex shape and matches the roundness on the seat stay tube. It also had 'COLNAGO' cast vertically into the cap. I think it appeared for a few years around the mid 1980's. It looked like this although my photo is a little hard to see:



I like the look of these caps too.

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Old 08-19-22, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I'm not able to provide the level of detailed analysis that Gary Fountain had, but as a comparison, here is my bike that's been identified as a 1989 Colnago Super (I think Super Piu as I've been told that all Colnagos of that era that had internal top tube routing of rear brakes like yours and mine do have Piu added to the end of their name).

(saddle has been leveled - and changed - along with a few other positional changes like bars slightly rotated since that picture, which was from an initial shakedown ride)

As you can see mine has the C around the Club on the fork crown that Gary mentions and lacks the "comma" cutout in the head tube lug that yours has.

Mine also appears to be made of Columbus SP tubing due to the size (no helical reinforcements of SLX or SPX but fits a 27.0 seatpost - it would probably prefer a 27.1 as the 27.0 slips a bit even with carbon paste but a 27.2 won't fit).

The differences is our paint schemes may or may not indicate a different year. I think I've seen a similar scheme to yours in 1988 catalogs online (but I could be misremembering the year), but have not seen a 1989 catalog to see if it is in there as well or to verify mine - and I don't remember where that catalog was, so I could be thinking of a different year.

The clover engraving on your seat stay cap is painted white, while mine is black; don't know if that means anything or if that's just the paint scheme differences. I wish mine were white like yours as it would "pop" more.

Mine has what appears to be a moveable race number hanger (2 different threaded holes to screw it in that are maybe an inch or 2 apart with the hanger screwed into one of them), which yours does not, but I haven't seen that on any other Colnago, so I don't know what that means.

Yours has the brake cable entering the internal routing on the bottom and exiting on the top, which I always sort of thought came after the "both top entry" that mine had (once manufacturers started realizing that the top entry was leading to sweat entry and corrosion), but that might also be a model difference or a different contract builder.
This is another lovely Super/Superissimo. I think you have the third edition of the Superissimo seat stay cap. I also think it appeared around 1990 - give or take. I don't think the clover leaf being painted white of black has any meaning but I think I have only seen white?? It is so easy to paint them any colour you desire.

I think the race number lugs could have been the result of a customer order to the Colnago factory or perhaps added after by an owner. I have never seen your style of race number attachment either. I wonder if your frame has been re-painted? It doesn't have a tubing decal as far as I can see? I haven't seen this paint scheme on a Super/Superissimo but that doesn't mean all that much. I have a Colnago Conic SLX that I know was factory ordered and has a paint scheme I have only seen on one other Colnago (different model) - and I have been looking since I bought it in the early 1990's.

If it is a big Superissimo with long tubes I would probably expect to see Coumbus SPX tubes but I can imagine SP being used on a Super. I have a 1985 58cm Cinelli Supercorsa that was built with SPX. The SP / SPX gives a thicker wall and adds to the stiffness of a bigger frame. My SPX does take the normal dia. 27.2 seat post though.

(It would be a relatively easy task for a framebuilder to run a 27.2 plus reamer through the top of the seat tube to increase the diameter of the tubing to take a more standard size 27.2 seatpost.)

Your tubing internal diameter does tend to indicate a Super with SP tubes.

I also agree that your front fork may be the first version available on the latter Supers (much earlier model) and Superissimo's first version / second version (without the 'C') - I think it means little. When I purchased my Colnago Conic SLX ( my only new frame purchase) I was offered my choice of front fork.

The head tube lugs on your frame are what I associate with the latter Supers and Superissimo's. the Superissimo's only having the apostrophe/comma cutouts. I love your frame lugs simplicity. But both versions did appear on the Superissimo's.

The 'Piu' does refer to the internal cable routing on the top tube like referred to on the Masters but I haven't heard the 'Piu' being used to describe the Superissimo's with internal top tube cable routing. I am probably wrong. I have seen the 'Piu' being used to describe the Super's though.

Much of the Colnago timeline stuff is only from old recollections or examination of old photos and how reliable is that? I try to recall as much as I can from my own experience and I must admit it an 'unhealthy' obsession with Colnago (and Campagnolo) from that classic era - but - memories can be a little unreliable and, living in Australia, I certainly haven't seen everything.

Is it a Super or Superissimo? It's most probably a lovely Super model. It's a really lovely Colnago. Yours is a great bike and I bet it's a really nice bike to ride - typical Colnago rider centred geometry.

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Old 08-20-22, 12:57 AM
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The green frame is from a catalog page and is said to be (circa 1985) Also, a transition step to possibly help with painting and polishing is under the chrome, on both the fork and right chain stay, in the same pattern as the blue Superissimo SLX was refinished.
I'm not sure if it might be 86 or which year, but it seems to be the second version, comparing it to pictures of the orange frame. I was disappointed at first to find the frame had been refinish, but I like it cosmetically, and it would be costly today, the paint seems durable, like polyurethane, maybe.
I've not found evidence of much corrosion, but I need to dig into it fairly completely. This frame looks like it will accept tires wider than 23cm, but I'm not certain of the size limit. This orange frame seems to match all parts of the blue refinished bicycle, except the paint layout for whichever year it is.
This orange frame is from the Cycling Obsession website. I posted the first pictures in the wrong order, and should have posted all of them, I assume the green frame is the same with nicer paint.

Superissimo SLX (mid to late 80s)

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Old 08-20-22, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Peroni View Post
The green frame is from a catalog page and is said to be (circa 1985) Also, a transition step to possibly help with painting and polishing is under the chrome, on both the fork and right chain stay, in the same pattern as the blue Superissimo SLX was refinished.
I'm not sure if it might be 86 or which year, but it seems to be the second version, comparing it to pictures of the orange frame. I was disappointed at first to find the frame had been refinish, but I like it cosmetically, and it would be costly today, the paint seems durable, like polyurethane, maybe.
I've not found evidence of much corrosion, but I need to dig into it fairly completely. This frame looks like it will accept tires wider than 23cm, but I'm not certain of the size limit. This orange frame seems to match all parts of the blue refinished bicycle, except the paint layout for whichever year it is.
This orange frame is from the Cycling Obsession website. I posted the first pictures in the wrong order, and should have posted all of them, I assume the green frame is the same with nicer paint.

Superissimo SLX (mid to late 80s)
Hi Peroni, I do like this orange frame and it does have my favourite steerer tube lugs. It is disappointing to find a frame is re-finished but, sometimes it is unavoidable to save a frame. I have a couple of Colnago frames that have been re-painted and I am now comfortable with that. I would, however, I would rather have a frame with original but a not too damaged finish.

As you can see from all the catalogue photos, paint/chrome finishes can vary from what is commonly believed, i.e. that Superissimos only had chromed steerer tube lugs but, as you can see, they could also be purchased without a chrome finish. I know that during that classic era, finish could be tailored to the customers requirements within limits. I suppose many of the international customers were the frame suppliers/importers who probably standardised their orders or just went with the factory recommendations.

I have often heard, and do believe, that a Colnago bike/frame was so sort after in the classic era that Colnago had to farm out framebuilding to other framebuilders. I suppose this would lead to inevitable variations in models. I can imagine that, for instance, one frame shop might start building frames with the newly designed seat stay caps while another shop may still have a supply of the older design seat stay caps and continue building with those. And, to make it more confusing, the serial numbers don't seem to be decipherable - although I have read that some guys believe this is now possible.

I used to want to zero in on a frame build date but I have come to realise that that is pretty impossible with Colnago frames - unless a reliable first purchase date or first owner is still able to help.

As for tyre width and frame compatibility - I have no real idea. Being old, I did ride a skinny tyres for less rolling resistance - black top only. Yes, I did have puncture issues and I did ride tubulars most of the time but speed was my goal even though I commuted.

Now, I am just glad to have a Colnago from that era and I am pleased that the Colnago frames suit my average body dimensions. I do have a few models and they all ride beautifully for me - although my age is now against me, haha.

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Old 08-20-22, 05:16 AM
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According to Velo-Retro: Colnago Super Timeline, the Superissimo was introduced in 1982 with new decals and chrome head lugs.
My one example does not have a stamped brake bridge. The only reason I believe mine is a 1983 is the PAT date on the RD. It could be a 1982.
The ND rear DO is stamped "USA"
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DS is stamped "53." Since the ST measures 56.5 ctc, it is not the frame size. Unfortunately, the frame is a bit on the small side for me as can be seen from the picture above. I prefer a 59 ST ctc.
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Old 08-20-22, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
According to Velo-Retro: Colnago Super Timeline, the Superissimo was introduced in 1982 with new decals and chrome head lugs.
My one example does not have a stamped brake bridge. The only reason I believe mine is a 1983 is the PAT date on the RD. It could be a 1982.
The ND rear DO is stamped "USA"
P8011015 on Flickr

DS is stamped "53." Since the ST measures 56.5 ctc, it is not the frame size. Unfortunately, the frame is a bit on the small side for me as can be seen from the picture above. I prefer a 59 ST ctc.
P8011012 on Flickr
Hi SJX426, I've read lots of your posts. I didn't know what you meant by the stamped brake bridge, at first, stamped with the flower. I measured the blue refinished SLX again, it might be 56x56, I need to measure it carefully with the crank pulled. A bike shop once sold a 58x58 to me with about 33" standover, I can ride it, I guess.
I haven't completely removed the rear wheel yet, I moved it looking to see part of the SLX, and saw part of the frame number. I didn't actually know what model it is when I bid on it, and was trying to judge drivetrain wear with a magnifier. DD noticed the downtube decal was incorrect for 80s when I posted over in "what's it" but that was post auction.
The refinish is so nice that it's a little bit hard for me not to like it, it looks better than in the auction photos. Fresh Frame and grade A finish, a city in PA, but the spelling in the logo is tiny, and it was hangin up unused for a long time. The polished alloy headset fooled me in the photos, I thought it was chrome steel, it's not indented that I can tell. The patent date on the RD is 84 on the SLX, with Ti bolts, no other Ti that I know of. I'm hoping to get something going to post photos soon. The correct phone is probably easiest, but I don't want to pay for a contract.
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Old 08-20-22, 08:55 AM
  #21  
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Here is my brake bridge.
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Old 08-20-22, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain View Post
I'm going to guess a Superissimo of around a 1990 vintage. Why?.....

1 - The seat stay caps first appeared around 1988 (e.g. Conic Total Spiral frames). These seat stay caps could still found on models such as the Tecnos of the late 90's and early 2000's. The later versions on the Superissimo had the seat stays directly 'welded' to the seat tube without seat stay caps.

2 - The front curved bladed fork pre-dated the 1989 Precisa straight bladed front fork. The curved bladed fork was still available after 1989 and had a single 'ace of clubs (flowers)' cast into the crown on either side which superseded the crown with the 'ace of clubs' surrounded by the 'C' of Colnago as seen on earlier front forks.

3 - The front steerer tube lugs with the 'apostrophe' cut-outs and a single point (instead of the Master variants and later 1995 Superissimo variants with the tri-points) were used on the Superissimo's of the circa.1990 era.

4 - I am only guessing, as I can't see very well, that the rear dropouts are Colnago's short version.

5 - I would say that your frame has been re-painted with decals used that suited the previous owner.

I think the key to identifying this frame are the steerer tube lugs and the seat stay caps. It would be interesting next time you remove the bottom bracket and feel around the tubes (or perhaps use a mirror) to see if you can see some internal spirals that would suggest Columbus SLX tubes like a Superissimo would have had around the 1990 vintage.

Unfortunately dating and identifying Colnago's is not an exact science. Around this general era the actual frame shop that built the frame cannot be identified to my knowledge and the serial numbers aren't reliable.

It's a vey nice bike what ever Colnago model it is.
Thanks. The decal says SLX, but they could be replacements.

The paint is very likely original, unless it was a complete strip, as the paint defects “look” the part, The cross-hatching / fish scaling was on some models, but again, on Colnago forums, complete repaints seem to be a staple, so the defects could be in the repaint and just old.

Given the carbon-look paint, I used the crankset and wheels shown, have replaced the cages with Colnago branded versions, and am seriously considering a 1” threadless Colnago carbon fork. Of course, the post would have to be carbon (or Thomson black).

The frame came from Sweden, just tossed in a box and shipped. The fork was sticking out of the box when it arrived.
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Old 08-20-22, 07:11 PM
  #23  
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Hi Bamboobike4,

I think your bike looks very good and from the photos it looks very attractive. Please don't get me wrong but I do think your bike has been re-painted. A couple of reasons: 1 - I have never seen a Colnago from that classic era with black paint. Later on - yes, but not from that era without being re-painted. 2 - The carbon look was to emulate a carbon framed bike (e.g. ALAN Carbino, Giant Cadex, Vitus Plus) but they were few and far between when your bike frame was made. I do have a bike built in the early 90's with a front fork that emulated Carbon - perhaps I'm wrong thinking that the carbon look paint finish was very rare back then but I have never seen a factory round tubed Colnago with this finish around that era. Colnago did develop the C35 carbon monocoque in 1989 (a completely different frame) and they did re-brand an ALAN frame with Colnago decals and engraving but I think that was just an aluminium frame. 3 - the decals look to be part of a readily available replacement set and perhaps based on an earlier 80's bike such as the 'Colnago Export' (Cyclemondo has a wide variety of decal sets for refurbished bikes). A Columbus SLX decal is easy to obtain too although I can't see yours. I do, however believe that your tubed may very well be Columbus SLX - it's a really great frame.

I have re-painted quite a few frames in the past and I usually burn the original finish off completely and re-paint from bare tubes. Many use chemical strippers to do this as well. It takes a little time but is quite easy to do. A paint scheme like yours is very effective and quite easy to achieve - it looks great and I would tend to keep it.

Should you convert the front fork to Carbon? Entirely your decision but keep the original fork for a little while just incase you change your mind.

It's very hard to read that this frame came to you with such poor packaging - some people have no idea!
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