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Help Identifying a Colnago

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Help Identifying a Colnago

Old 04-07-24, 02:02 AM
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Help Identifying a Colnago

Hi Guys,

I am looking to buy a Colnago frame and fork and need some help identifying the model and year. Seller says its a Colnago Super but it has all sorts of confusing things to me. Firstly, the sticker says Columbus Genius which I am not sure they ever made this era super from? The downtube seems to be crimped, I am unsure if the top tube is as well still going ask the seller. Was there a year where Super tubes were crimped? If this is a super, I was thinking it might be an 88 based on the fork but then it has the "Colnago" on the chainstay which the 88 in the catalog does not. The crimped tubes make me think this could be a repainted Mexico or Super Profil? Most details match a 2nd gen Super Profil except for the BB Colnago over the logo and cable routing guides. Seller is asking for 800 USD for frame and fork. Do you think this is a decent price? I am only interested in the frame and fork since I have no use for the other parts. I have uploaded photos below, any help is appreciated.









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Old 04-07-24, 03:17 AM
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Good question, but it is a lovely frame!
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Old 04-07-24, 04:46 AM
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My first guess would be a Super...
BTW, I noticed something strange going on with the lower headset near the fork crown.
There's a weird gap between the race and the cup. On pretty much all my bikes that gap isn't there and the race should be flush against the bottom edge of the cup to keep dirt from getting into it. You can actually see some dirt sneaking into the gap already. Either the two are a mismatch or caged bearings were put in upsidown or maybe wrong bearing size? There could also be a plastic seal missing that would have sealed off that gap.

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Old 04-07-24, 05:51 AM
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Gorgeous bike!
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Old 04-07-24, 06:04 AM
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Nice frame . I know nothing about the later years of Super but one thing , this looks as though it could be repainted. If so , the Columbus decal could be different than original. The paint finish just looks too shiny to be original , as if it has clear coat.
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Old 04-07-24, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1
My first guess would be a Super...
BTW, I noticed something strange going on with the lower headset near the fork crown.
There's a weird gap between the race and the cup. On pretty much all my bikes that gap isn't there athethe race should be flush against the bottom of the cup to keep dirt from getting into it. You can actually see some dirt sneaking into the gap already. Either the two are a mismatch or caged bearings were put in upsidown or maybe wrong bearing size? There could also be a plastic seal missing that would have sealed off that gap.
Good catch! Something I will inspect when we go see the frame. Care to take a guess at what year Super?

Originally Posted by Kabuki12
Nice frame . I know nothing about the later years of Super but one thing , this looks as though it could be repainted. If so , the Columbus decal could be different than original. The paint finish just looks too shiny to be original , as if it has clear coat.
Yea that's what I was thinking too. Not enough patina with chop suey parts. If the guy kept it mint I'm guessing the parts would not be so random. Any opinions on the price?
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Old 04-07-24, 12:15 PM
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100% repaint, Genius decal is just something they thought looked good but it is from much later than this bike.
I don't think I can recall any Genius tubed Colnagos. I believe they jumped from Brain straight to EL and Tecnos tubing.

Likely a mid 80s Super or possibly Super Profil (hard to tell from the pictures).

Where I am repaints of any kind are a hard sell, definitely nowhere near what the guy's asking
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Old 04-07-24, 02:43 PM
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Looks like a Super to me also, I see Colnago embossed on seat stays which I think started in 1981. 1982 was year they began the white panel decals covering so much of its beautiful paint, so 82 or later. Don
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Old 04-07-24, 09:32 PM
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I don’t know the the value , but that paint job wasn’t cheap. When I sent mine out it was over 700 with shipping.
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Old 04-07-24, 10:06 PM
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I would offer a lil less

then enjoy the heck out of it.

gorgeous
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Old 04-07-24, 11:16 PM
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+1 to the repaint suggestion, and to the headset having been installed incorrectly or out of order. Perhaps the bottom bearings were installed upside down.

The springs for the rear drop adjustment screws are also on the outside...when they should be inside.

If I had the cash and were looking for something like this, I would either do a close inspection myself or take it to a shop that knows vintage stuff. 3 or more strange things about the build makes me wonder if the BB were installed correctly, among other things.
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Old 04-08-24, 06:23 AM
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I have an '82/83 Superissimo and differs in a number of ways. Being a Superissimo means it has chrome head lugs.
1. Round vs flat seat stay caps
2. Embossed Colnago on the BB shell
3. Crimped tubes
4. Fork crown
5. Embossed Colnago on chain stays moved back toward the DO's

So I agree with newer than '83. Velo-Retro: Colnago Super Timeline More of a list of what it is not.
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Old 04-08-24, 06:32 AM
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[QUOTE=billytwosheds;23208311

The springs for the rear drop adjustment screws are also on the outside...when they should be inside.

[/QUOTE]
I run my springs on the outside of the drop outs on my Colnago to allow the axel to slide further back for a larger cog.
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Old 04-08-24, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
I run my springs on the outside of the drop outs on my Colnago to allow the axel to slide further back for a larger cog.
I get that. In all fairness, that's not what's happening here
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Old 04-08-24, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mackers
100% repaint, Genius decal is just something they thought looked good but it is from much later than this bike.
I don't think I can recall any Genius tubed Colnagos. I believe they jumped from Brain straight to EL and Tecnos tubing.

Likely a mid 80s Super or possibly Super Profil (hard to tell from the pictures).

Where I am repaints of any kind are a hard sell, definitely nowhere near what the guy's asking
Agree on the repaint likelihood. Does look like a good one though so still on the side of buying it. Where I am most Italians are either ridiculous prices or shot gunned with patina and still over priced. Going to go see it in person today, will post updates. Excited at the possibility of it being a Super Profil. Will be checking the crimps to hopefully help date the frame.
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Old 04-09-24, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426
I have an '82/83 Superissimo and differs in a number of ways. Being a Superissimo means it has chrome head lugs.
1. Round vs flat seat stay caps
2. Embossed Colnago on the BB shell
3. Crimped tubes
4. Fork crown
5. Embossed Colnago on chain stays moved back toward the DO's

So I agree with newer than '83. Velo-Retro: Colnago Super Timeline More of a list of what it is not.
Nice! Looking likely to be an 86 or onwards. Features seem to closely match the version 2 Superissimo How to identify a Colnago Superissimo - Cycling Obsession (cycling-obsession.com). Will check for the SLX stamp on the dropout.
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Old 04-09-24, 01:13 AM
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I'd guess at a 1985 or 1986 Superissimo too. The first thing I noticed was the convex rear seat stay caps suggesting this time period. Obviously a repaint and when repainting a frame it is easier to paint over chrome, such as the head tube lugs, especially if it is rough and flaky rather than mask off the lugs in preparation for painting. Chromed head tube lugs were a common feature on Superissimo frames. The paint missing from the RH rear dropout looks like it uncovers a chrome finish. With "COLNAGO" cast into both sides of the bottom bracket would also suggest a Superissimo. On this frame I would pay little credence to the frame decal but, if you get the chance to remove the bottom bracket it would be nice to inspect the seat tube or down tube for signs of any helicoidal reinforcement bands. My guess is that they will be present suggesting Columbus SLX frame tubing.

Oh yeah, those head tube lugs from that era are my all time favourite Colnago lugs - just saying.

The old Campy Veloce gruppo is very nice but I don't really trust those beautifully sculptured seatposts as I have snapped one in the past.

The curved front forks on this bike fit into the '85/'86 timeframe - the Colnago Precisia straight bladed front fork was introduced in on around 1988 from memory (not that this means much at all).

I must admit that I really like this bike and I would be tempted to buy it also. The bottom headset race is a concern though - perhaps the wrong sized balls??

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 04-10-24 at 03:26 AM.
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Old 04-09-24, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain
I'd guess at a 1985 or 1986 Superissimo too. The first thing I noticed was the convex rear seat stay caps suggesting this time period. Obviously a repaint and when repainting a frame it is easier to paint over chrome, such as the head tube lugs, especially if it is rough and flaky rather than mask off the lugs in preparation for painting. Chromed head tube lugs were a common feature on Superissimo frames. The paint missing from the RH rear dropout looks like it uncovers a chrome finish. With "COLNAGO" cast into both sides of the bottom bracket would also suggest a Superissimo. On this frame I would pay little credence to the frame decal but, it you get the chance to remove the bottom bracket it would be nice to inspect the seat tube or down tube for signs of any helicoidal reinforcement bands. My guess is that they will be present suggesting Columbus SLX frame tubing.

Oh yeah, those head tube lugs from that era are my all time favourite Colnago lugs - just saying.

The old Campy Veloce gruppo is very nice but I don't really trust those beautifully sculptured seatposts as I have snapped one in the past.

I must admit that I really like this bike and I would be tempted to buy it also. The bottom headset race is a concern though - perhaps the wrong sized balls??
Or ball cage installed upside down?
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Old 04-11-24, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain
I'd guess at a 1985 or 1986 Superissimo too. The first thing I noticed was the convex rear seat stay caps suggesting this time period. . .
Oh yeah, those head tube lugs from that era are my all time favourite Colnago lugs - just saying.
So my friend bought it since it fit him perfectly. Turns out it was 760 USD for the whole bike as he would not sell it Frame and Fork only. Top tube has a single crimp on either side.Downtube has two crimps a side which rules out Super Profil. I checked the BB section to see if I could find any Helical reinforcement indicating SLX but there was none for all of the tubes which rules out a Superissimo. The crimp count, chainstays make me think this is a Nuovo Mexico. The rounded seatstay caps indicate possibly 85 onwards. Anyone have an idea as to how to get an exact year for the Nuovo Mexico? Here are some photos, let me know if any additional photos are needed to help date it. It is being built up with Super Record. Its definitely a repaint. The paint looks quite nice although I am worried what seem to be some bubbles underneath seen in the dropout and brake bridge photos. Opinions? Headset and seat tube seem rust free though. The only horror outside of what she was wearing is the decals. They look absolutely terrible. To that end my friend will have the decals re-done by a local pro with a good rep. Only downside is he has a 6 month waiting period. Not sure if we should do a full repaint while we are at it (I will be going there for my Nakagawa as well).



Beeeeeeeeaaaaaauuuuutttttiful lugs



Terrible decals

Rounded caps 85 onwards?

Single top tube crimp

Dual offset DT crimps
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Old 04-11-24, 07:12 AM
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Price appears reasonable for the whole bike.
lefthand seat stay has a curious paint issue. Like rust underneath.
Downtube graphic looks a bit truncated, not sure.
no report on the goofy headset lower bearing assembly?

Ride it until the painter is available.
‘I would probably repaint it, that seat stay might be covering trouble.
(clear out the vent hole on that and the other stay, then rap the frame hole down with a plastic/rubber mallet), shaking
over a white paper or sheet, looking for rust to fall out.
been there, done that.
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Old 04-11-24, 07:22 AM
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Headset was wrong sized bearings. Was also missing a rubber component apparently. I was looking at that as well. Scary stuff not knowing about internal rust. Did not think to do that mallet trick. Will make a note to do so before we send it in for re doing the decals. Painter has the option to chemical dip the frame for anti-rust and LBS suggested spraying local evaporust into the tubes for the time being. DT decal is indeed truncated, LBS guy said likely moved during installation and the guy didnt bother to correct it. Luckily the painter seems to be good with decals as well. I feel like a kid at Christmas waiting for Santa for this weekends ride
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Old 04-13-24, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LeSexyFishorse
So my friend bought it since it fit him perfectly. Turns out it was 760 USD for the whole bike as he would not sell it Frame and Fork only. Top tube has a single crimp on either side.Downtube has two crimps a side which rules out Super Profil. I checked the BB section to see if I could find any Helical reinforcement indicating SLX but there was none for all of the tubes which rules out a Superissimo. The crimp count, chainstays make me think this is a Nuovo Mexico. The rounded seatstay caps indicate possibly 85 onwards. Anyone have an idea as to how to get an exact year for the Nuovo Mexico? Here are some photos, let me know if any additional photos are needed to help date it. It is being built up with Super Record. Its definitely a repaint. The paint looks quite nice although I am worried what seem to be some bubbles underneath seen in the dropout and brake bridge photos. Opinions? Headset and seat tube seem rust free though. The only horror outside of what she was wearing is the decals. They look absolutely terrible. To that end my friend will have the decals re-done by a local pro with a good rep. Only downside is he has a 6 month waiting period. Not sure if we should do a full repaint while we are at it (I will be going there for my Nakagawa as well).
With the crimps (now visible) - yes - Nuovo Mexico and probably Columbus SL. Columbus SL is still a great tube set.

This is my favourite Colnago paint scheme as a tribute to Beppe Saronni and his winning bike taking out the 1982 world champs. The down tube decal has the world championship bands.

With those seat stay caps I would still date it as an '85 or '86 build. With Colnago, it's practically impossible to be more accurate than that unless it has a known history. It is only my guess but I don't think Colnago had 2 sets of bottle cage mounts in 1985, I think Colnago only added the extra set of seat tube bottle cage mounts in 1986. I remember thinking, at the time (1985), that Colnago seemed to be a little behind other frame manufacturers in adding a 2nd set of mounts. That, of course, could be that I live in Australia and only a couple of importers actually imported Colnago frames into Australia at the time. For that reason I am 'placing my bet' on a 1985 build date.

Further, I'm unsure as to when Colnago changed to this curved bladed front fork with only the Colnago 'Ace of Flowers' on the sloping front fork crown surfaces and 'COLNAGO' cast below from a very similar front fork where the crown had a 'C' for Colnago cast into the sloping surfaces of the crown that surrounded the Colnago 'Ace of Flowers'? I'm thinking this may have been mid 1985. So I'm still sticking to a 1985 build but, really, being a year out dating a Colnago frame isn't unusual.

Should it be re-painted? I have to defer to your (your friend's) decision. It looks very acceptable now. I think I was correct in thinking the RH rear dropout was chromed under the paint which makes me wonder if other frame features were chromed? I may be wrong but I think a lot of the frame needs to be chrome plated for a frame feature (dropout, lug) to be brought up to an actual high chrome polished finish. The other areas are left rough to accept paint. The dropout doesn't appear to have had the high polished finish 'dulled' to accept paint - hard to see. Perhaps that is why the paint seems to have chipped easily. I wonder if other frame areas that may have been chromed haven't been prepared for paint correctly? I may be completely wrong as it is very hard to judge this from a photo.

This is a lovely, and quite special frame and would suit time being spent on it.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 04-14-24 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 04-16-24, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain
With the crimps (now visible) - yes - Nuovo Mexico and probably Columbus SL. Columbus SL is still a great tube set.

This is my favourite Colnago paint scheme as a tribute to Beppe Saronni and his winning bike taking out the 1982 world champs. The down tube decal has the world championship bands.

With those seat stay caps I would still date it as an '85 or '86 build. With Colnago, it's practically impossible to be more accurate than that unless it has a known history. It is only my guess but I don't think Colnago had 2 sets of bottle cage mounts in 1985, I think Colnago only added the extra set of seat tube bottle cage mounts in 1986. I remember thinking, at the time (1985), that Colnago seemed to be a little behind other frame manufacturers in adding a 2nd set of mounts. That, of course, could be that I live in Australia and only a couple of importers actually imported Colnago frames into Australia at the time. For that reason I am 'placing my bet' on a 1985 build date.

Further, I'm unsure as to when Colnago changed to this curved bladed front fork with only the Colnago 'Ace of Flowers' on the sloping front fork crown surfaces and 'COLNAGO' cast below from a very similar front fork where the crown had a 'C' for Colnago cast into the sloping surfaces of the crown that surrounded the Colnago 'Ace of Flowers'? I'm thinking this may have been mid 1985. So I'm still sticking to a 1985 build but, really, being a year out dating a Colnago frame isn't unusual.
Good info on the frame date! He will likely do a full repaint with proper decals once the painter schedule frees up. I had a ride on it over the weekend. Compared to my SL/Cromor Sprint it is noticeably stiffer under load doing low speed start accelerations. My friend was so stoked about it he kept riding it out of the saddle. Here is how it is currently setup until it can be repainted and re-decalled. Thanks to all who helped ID the frame! Appreciate all the input.
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Old 04-16-24, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by LeSexyFishorse
Good info on the frame date! He will likely do a full repaint with proper decals once the painter schedule frees up. I had a ride on it over the weekend. Compared to my SL/Cromor Sprint it is noticeably stiffer under load doing low speed start accelerations. My friend was so stoked about it he kept riding it out of the saddle. Here is how it is currently setup until it can be repainted and re-decalled. Thanks to all who helped ID the frame! Appreciate all the input.
Basically a Campagnolo old Super Record groupset with a non Super Record (Athena I think) seatpost. I love it. The red brake cable housings look the part (with a cable housing clip to keep the housings tidy) and a great old Brooks B17 saddle. I love it even more. It looks like a Cinelli 1A quill stem and probably Cinelli bars. It looks like the bike has tubulars (with long valves) and I guess the dangly cords from the saddle is for carrying a spare tubular. I can't tell the rims but they look like good quality rims. The 'icing on the cake' looks to be Campagnolo gear lever rubber covers and toe clips and straps.

Wow - I do love this bike and love the way it has been put together. I'd be proud to own it if it was mine.

I have found Colnago's of this era to ride exceptionally well when compared to other frames from this era. I have found them to fit me well (I'm of average build) and have very neutral handling characteristics. Downhill and in corners they are very predictable and uphill they are competent. As you say, out of the saddle peddling is rewarding as the bottom bracket has minimal flex and a lot of peddling effort does go to the back wheel. I have experienced other frames to be overly flexible at the bottom bracket and it is off-putting. I think off-the-peg Colnago's are highly prized for a reason - for an average built rider you can find a comfortable seat on a Colnago.

I have also found Cinelli's, Rossin's and Pinarello's to be similar and, surprisingly, the old aluminium ALAN's aren't too bad either. Closely following are Daccordi, Bianchi and Olmo frames.
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