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Got a Colnago Super

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Got a Colnago Super

Old 01-20-24, 03:00 PM
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Got a Colnago Super

I was looking for a Colnago Super with Campagnolo Record at least groupset, and came upon it on ebay a few days before Christmas. I was taken by the dark non-metallic Nuovo Blue — I have a thing for that color apparently as one of my long term projects is an Adriatic Blue 1972 Porsche 914. With the original paint, and it generally needing love, it seemed like my kind of bike. It also was not priced at over $1500 which was my budget.

With Campagnolo Record hubs, brakes, pulls, seatpost, pedals, and front and rear deraillurs, and what seems like correct/original Fiamme tubular wheels (with orange Michelin Club 22 x 700's) it was exactly what I was looking for. Wearing a well-worn Brooks Professional saddle, and dirty yellow Cinelli cork bar tape, it was pretty cruddy looking, chipped paint around the rear dropouts and top of the seat post, and a few random chips here and there, I kind of went back and forth whether it could be made presentable while I waited eagerly through the holidays for it to arrive.


Colnago Super ebay pic 1
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Old 01-20-24, 03:09 PM
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It looks pretty good there in the first ebay shot, but some of the other ebay pics, I have to hand it to the seller, Bruce (bruces_bikes) that they are honest about its condition.

I wonder Seems like a basic build with the chrome sticker vs having any real chrome around the rear dropouts


I thought, "how rusty are the spokes on it?"

I wish it had chrome dropouts like I've seen on some Supers. Cool original Campagnolo dropout adjusters

Chipped paint

Most of the decals are really good except the chain stay chrome and the Columbus on the seat tube

The pump bracket messing up the Columbus decal
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Old 01-20-24, 03:15 PM
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Nice. From the features, I'm guessing '79 or '80? What are the date codes on the crank and RD?
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Old 01-20-24, 03:16 PM
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The seller, Bruce (bruces_bikes) from Florida told me some of the history of the bike. It belonged to a gentleman from Poland who had immigrated to the US in the 70's who had purchased the bike new in Chicago. This matches its store sticker for Sportif Importer, ltd. on 5225 W Lawrence Ave Chicago, IL 60630.


The original store sticker on the seat tube


I saw them listed on Yelp and there are some pics, and did some research. With a supreme court decision that's allowed government to take property from owners to "give to developers and corporations under the supposed justification that the new owners will do something with the property that is better for the community", the store closed in 2018 after 50 years in business. The owner retired, and the building has now been torn down. There's an interesting article about it here https://windypundit.com/2005/09/sportif_importer_ltd

Anyway, Bruce who is very enthusiastic about bikes wrote back and forth with me about the bike and how the original owner had retired and moved to Florida to a retirement home and was trying to sell it through a friend, when he met him and fell in love with the bike. The frame was a bit big for him or he said he'd be riding it himself. He considered taking the groupo, but felt that the bike should "retain its spirit and make it to a new owner the way it is". It was displayed a for a little while at a bike shop, Sunshine Rides in Gulfport FL, but Bruce said that their clientele more were the type to want just transportation rather than something special like this, and so listed it on ebay. I saw a ****** post from about a year earlier, Bruce asking about dating the bike, and arriving at 1981 as the probable date of the build.
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Old 01-20-24, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine
Nice. From the features, I'm guessing '79 or '80? What are the date codes on the crank and RD?
It's pretty interesting trying to date Colnago Supers I've found. 1981 maybe? Though maybe it could be earlier. It has the spindle-shaped chainstay bridge, but the rear derailluer is dated 79. Oddly, the crank arms' dates don't match, the drive side is dated 79 but the nds is 78 — possibly a replacement at some point.
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Old 01-20-24, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wildOG
It's pretty interesting trying to date Colnago Supers I've found. 1981 maybe? Though maybe it could be earlier. It has the spindle-shaped chainstay bridge, but the rear derailluer is dated 79. Oddly, the crank arms' dates don't match, the drive side is dated 79 but the nds is 78 — possibly a replacement at some point.
Or possibly what was in the bin when it was time to get it out the door, just like Schwinn, Raleigh and so many more.
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Old 01-20-24, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Or possibly what was in the bin when it was time to get it out the door, just like Schwinn, Raleigh and so many more.
Yeah, could be. The cranks and chain rings are in great shape, almost no rash anywhere, and they cleaned up really nice.

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Old 01-20-24, 03:41 PM
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I was really excited to get the bike, in pieces, just after New Years.


Thanks for packing this up, Bruce
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Old 01-20-24, 03:44 PM
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I put it together eagerly, still worried about how it would fit me.


Too much fun to get to put this together

​​​​​​​
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Old 01-20-24, 03:54 PM
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A lot of going-through and decrudding generally as I put it together

sparing use of black Kiwi polish, rubbed off the excess and followed with Proofide. Rivets I polished with Nevr Dull

I used a paint brush in a small tub of paint thinner

Crazy the brakes still had these packaging bits of paper


the paint thinner/paintbrush worked wonders on the fork crud. I thought it was oxidation but it came off pretty well.

I sprayed it with Gibbs wax oil after.

So satisfying, these Campagnolo components are so nice

Kind of getting there at this point
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Old 01-20-24, 04:02 PM
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The chain and freewheel aren't original, the chain is a French-made Sedis and the frewheel is what appears to be a Suntour Ultra 6 13-21.


Suntour Ultra 6 I think
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Old 01-20-24, 04:14 PM
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I went through the wheel bearings, headset bearings, and derailleurs before initially putting it together, and then went back to do the bottom bracket, and it all went pretty smoothly I think.


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Old 01-20-24, 04:35 PM
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@wildOG

All looks great, good job and while a little late, I would encourage you to take a mill bastid file to the brake block to square them up and mainly expose a new layer of rubber that will work much better.
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Old 01-20-24, 04:36 PM
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The bike came with a set of Speedlight pedals as well as the original Campagnolo Record pedals with Cristophe toe clips. I tried out the Speedlights, I then put some MKS pedals that I have, Sylvan Touring Nexts, just for shake down runs. It seemed a bit not-right having touring pedals on it for something with this pedigree, and I decided to run the original Campagnolos. The left one however was pretty rough, I guess from being put down on that side. I found another left pedal with cages in much better shape. I also got a set of toe straps


The left pedal that came with the bike looking pretty rough.


The right Pedal was nice though




Replacement on the Sinistro side
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Old 01-20-24, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wildOG
Yeah, could be. The cranks and chain rings are in great shape, almost no rash anywhere, and they cleaned up really nice.
Anything is possible this far down the line and another afterthought, you check for cracking on the back of the crank arms?

Would also have been a good time to radius the web with a file too.
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Old 01-20-24, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
@wildOG

All looks great, good job and while a little late, I would encourage you to take a mill bastid file to the brake block to square them up and mainly expose a new layer of rubber that will work much better.
Mmm good tip, I noted the brakes do not work amazingly well lol. I'm still in the process of dialing the bike in, so not too late. I will give it a go and see how it feels.
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Old 01-20-24, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wildOG
The bike came with a set of Speedlight pedals as well as the original Campagnolo Record pedals with Cristophe toe clips. I tried out the Speedlights, I then put some MKS pedals that I have, Sylvan Touring Nexts, just for shake down runs. It seemed a bit not-right having touring pedals on it for something with this pedigree, and I decided to run the original Campagnolos. The left one however was pretty rough, I guess from being put down on that side. I found another left pedal with cages in much better shape. I also got a set of toe straps


The left pedal that came with the bike looking pretty rough.


The right Pedal was nice though


Replacement on the Sinistro side
My favorite pedals for a classic build, I have MKS on most of my riders though.

except this one.



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Old 01-20-24, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wildOG
Mmm good tip, I noted the brakes do not work amazingly well lol. I'm still in the process of dialing the bike in, so not too late. I will give it a go and see how it feels.
It will help some, usually nothing earth shaking though.
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Old 01-20-24, 05:43 PM
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Sportif Importer was the worst bike shop in Chicago. The owner was very rude and didn’t seem to care if you bought a bike or not. You went there once and never went back. I don’t know how he stayed in business. He finally closed about 10 years or so ago.
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Old 01-20-24, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by wildOG
Mmm good tip, I noted the brakes do not work amazingly well lol. I'm still in the process of dialing the bike in, so not too late. I will give it a go and see how it feels.
Disassemble the brake calipers, then clean and grease the pivot points, replace the dried pads with Kool Stop pads, and replace the cables and housing. After this the brakes will work just fine.
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Old 01-20-24, 06:11 PM
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Note how @merziac routed his straps- he does have wide feet but, the way you have them routed may or may not be the easiest to engage. You may or may not Need the twist.

great color, we called it Electric Blue, I first saw it in early 1973 on a 1971 Colnago. I have one but a 1973.

I fully understand the urgency of wanting to get it on the road. Good you repacked the BB. The spacer ring that was probably used under the fixed cup… maybe the BB was aggressively faced? Be sure to check the chainline, spindle overall length and drive side crank year.

rebuilding the calipers completely I think is a good near course Idea. Consider trimming the front brake cable housing if it is long enough, looks a bit beat near the lever.

get the saddle adjusted and review the reach to the bars.

Last edited by repechage; 01-20-24 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 01-20-24, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
My favorite pedals for a classic build, I have MKS on most of my riders though.

except this one.



LoL, have been cycling for 50 years and have never seen pedal axle extenders before. Interesting.

I always had trouble with toestrap (and heel) rub on my Campy cranks, these would have solved that problem at the cost of some cornering clearance.

Last edited by 1970bikes; 01-20-24 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Poor wording
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Old 01-20-24, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 1970bikes
LoL, have been cycling for 50 years and have never seen pedal axle extenders before. Interesting.

I always had trouble with toestrap (and heel) rub on my Campy cranks, these would have solved that problem at the cost of some cornering clearance.
I broke my tibia 3/4in from the end of the bone when I was 14, snapped like a 4x4 when my foot slipped off the pedal, rolled my ankle and snapped, sounded like a gunshot.

On a Sunday, drunk Dr. shows up and doesn't set it, just puts on a cast.

Healed very crooked so can't do clipless, which is fine, can't stand clipless on any C+V.

Those are really long ones but work just fine.
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Old 01-20-24, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad L
Disassemble the brake calipers, then clean and grease the pivot points, replace the dried pads with Kool Stop pads, and replace the cables and housing. After this the brakes will work just fine.
Yep, full monty, scorched earth is really the way to go, I got the impression the OP was trying to use everything it came to him with.
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Old 01-20-24, 07:16 PM
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Nice bike! Once all this rain stops it will be time to take it for a spin. I have some very nice bikes that I ride in rotation but my 1975 Colnago Super is simply my favorite. You may want to trim down the brake cables.

Last edited by Kabuki12; 01-20-24 at 07:25 PM.
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