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Requesting Colnago Info Please

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Requesting Colnago Info Please

Old 04-08-10, 02:13 PM
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cpsqlrwn
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Requesting Colnago Info Please

I really know very little about Colnago bikes except for the excessive bling many of them possess. Can you Colnago experts out there give me a quick schooling on some of the better Colnago models from a ride perspective in the early 80's to early 90's time frame? Interested in performance, not appearance. Thanks!
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Old 04-08-10, 03:13 PM
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The more bling, the better the ride! Oops, not an expert.
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Old 04-08-10, 06:41 PM
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He's right. The more bling the better. I have one but couldn't tell you anything about performance compared to other euro made steel frames. I had a Trek 660 prior to my Colnago and still would have a hard time describing the difference. The Trek was great. It had what I would describe as a very solid ride which may equate to heavy, even though it wasn't. The Colnago (Super) was what I would describe as light and squirrelly, but it wasn't significantly lighter than my previous ride. This is probably due to the aggressive frame angles. I would think most euro build frames of the same time period and tube would all ride very similarly. You would have to ride a lot of different frames with identical setup (including spokes, cross, dish, etc. as one model may ride poorly due to components and assembly and not because of the brand of frame) to have a solid comparison. And considering the price tags on those bikes...not many mortals have ridden them with all identical components. I think it's psychological. Colnagos look cool. Thus you feel cool.
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Old 04-08-10, 09:53 PM
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Maybe I need to put this another way. I know several people who tend to put down Colnago and claim that they are overrated, particularly in terms of ride quality when compared with DeRosa, Pinarello, Merckx, etc. I am interested in hearing from Colnago owners who also have other steel Italian bikes and can draw a comparison among them. I have never ridden a Colnago, and I occassionally come across one that catches my eye, and I always pass on them because of this reputation of being second tier to the top end Italian manufacturers. Is this true or not? How do Colnagos stack up against other high end vintage Italian bikes?
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Old 04-08-10, 10:16 PM
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Jealousy. No different than high end autos. lol
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Old 04-09-10, 09:49 AM
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+1 If I could afford it, I would get one of each Italian brand, De Rosa, Bianchi, Cinelli, Pinarello, etc. and Merckx. I don't think Colnago really makes a bottom end bike. They are all near the top. Overpriced? Yes, like many others and that is the price of admission. If they weren't desirable, they would be like the French bikes in price!

I would argue that Colnago did a terrific job marketing too. But the history supports many of the claims and it does have its shares of winning noteriety including Eddie. Read this for more info:
http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/spons...o/?id=colnago1
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Old 04-09-10, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cpsqlrwn View Post
Maybe I need to put this another way. I know several people who tend to put down Colnago and claim that they are overrated, particularly in terms of ride quality when compared with DeRosa, Pinarello, Merckx, etc.
I noticed that too, when I was studying Colnagos. From what I can tell, back in the 70's-80's, Colnagos were considered to be a 'run-of-the-mill' Italian race bike. In racing, they were ubiquitous, not unlike a Cannondale CAAD 9 or Specialized Tarmac is today. Since Colnagos didn't have the wow factor, (in those days), that De Rosa and Pinarello were known for. I've actually heard racers from those days speak of Colnagos as if they weren't of the same pedigree as the others; which I noticed two reasons for, in particular. First, despite their effective marketing and high volume sales, Colnago didn't seem trump up their features or the aesthetics on the bikes. Many high end Colnagos are actually quite plain when compared to some of the flashier bikes of the day. This seemed to further solidify the notion many racers had, that Colnagos were a tool to be used up, rather than a historically relevant example of quality and prestige that they were stewards of. To a similar extent, I believe that the aesthetics of the bike hurt it's reputation today. The understated looks of a Colnago can be subtle enough to come across as underwhelming; it had that effect on me, when I first saw mine, to the where I thought, "that's it?" Not surprising, since they say, "you buy a Colnago for the angles", (as opposed to buying it to hang on the wall and show your friends). Therein lies the secret to a Colnago's value. I mean to say that the value of a Colnago frame is almost entirely in it's function. I would venture to say that it would be hard to appreciate any Colnago you don't ride. Does that set it apart from any other high end race bike? That's for you to decide, but I will say that, set up properly, my Colnago is the best handling bike I have ever ridden.

(Disclaimer: This post mostly makes reference to Colnagos of the 70's and early 80's. I am well aware that they made some exquisitely detailed models, but on the whole, these Colnagos were comparatively plain looking.)
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Old 04-09-10, 01:48 PM
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I used to really like Colnago for putting out nice "no nonsense" bikes in the early 80's. My friend raced a very plain looking red NR equipped Colnago back then and it gave me the impression of a true "warhorse" that easily brushed off the crashes and bumping around that happens in the criteriums he competed in. The the mid 80's and 90's came and Colnago started making these elaborate "peacocks" with a lot of chroming, pantographing, fancy schmanzy air brushed looking painjtjobs and all sorts of fluted tubing profiles. My image of Colnago changed into that of more of a "boutique" bike maker and not the every racing man's choice it had been before. I still remember seeing a guy everyday when I went for my 25 mile morning rides, and he was always seated every morning in summer on this park bench staring at his Colnago Arabesque and he was always still there when I got back towards the end my ride loop, still staring at his golden bike. This went on for quite a few summers........I got to think if Colnago would rather have their customers fawn and stare at their "peacocks" instead of training on or racing them. Kinda left a strange feeling on the brand for me and struck off Colnago from my dream bike list from then on....that's why I like 3 Rensho so much better than Colnago these days. 3 Renshos are kinda like the way Colnago was for me but kept the same no nonesense approach on their bikes through the years........although they are hard to find these days
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Old 04-09-10, 02:03 PM
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I'm certainly no expert, and I agree that it's nearly impossible to truly judge two bikes unless identical, but for what it's worth...I never especially enjoyed the Colnagos I'd borrow from friends in the late 80s. I also found them gaudy. I ended up buying a Colnago Master Olympic...which absolutely defines excessive peacocks like Chombi mentioned; chrome, lots of clovers, signatures, crimped tubing, lots of colors, because it was cheap and I got a good deal. I've still yet to build it up and I can only say that were this a De Rosa or a Masi...it would have been built long ago. It just doesn't excite me. It's onstentatious. I found a buyer recently at a price I can live with and it will end up funding something that does excite me.

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Old 04-09-10, 04:09 PM
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I love the "eye catching" paint on my Master Extra Light. It's fun to go out on group rides. The bike always brings comments.

Some of which are pro and some are con.

I also happen to like the way the bike rides, as I've enjoyed it immensely.

I've also decided to say good bye to her this summer. Yep, she's going up on the block.

I have a new Master "Saronni" that will take her place in a year or two. Bought the frame in a very weak moment a year ago.

My son has a very nice early 80's Super that I'll get to ride in the interim.



Time to give someone else a chance at a screaming yellow Master Extra Light.
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Old 04-09-10, 05:32 PM
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+10 I love the paint, the crimped tubing, the chrome lugs, chrome stays, the cutouts, just about everything.

I have a 2003 Master Light myself. Does it ride any better than other bikes I have? I don't know. But does it have a look that cannot be duplicated? H*#%$ Yeah.


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