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The big three Cinelli Colnago Derosa Versus less expensive frames

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The big three Cinelli Colnago Derosa Versus less expensive frames

Old 11-26-12, 12:57 PM
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The big three Cinelli Colnago Derosa Versus less expensive frames

Hello all,

I am interested in purchasing an Italian vintage bike , after years of reading the great reviews they recieve. Unfortunately The prices of Colnago, Masi, De rosa are above my budget, So my question is; Are the "lesser" priced brands ( Faggin, Olmo, Bennoto, Moser) as good in terms of ride quality? Durability?
Are the higher prices of Colnagos and de rosa because of their prestige?

BTW, this whole post is because I found a Moser slx full vintage Super Record group., for 1200$.
I would appreciate any feedback Thanks
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Old 11-26-12, 01:07 PM
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If the Moser is in great shape and your size... (stem length does not count, as those can be exchanged)
And you like it. And if it has tubulars, you know about them or are interested in learning, Go.
There are plenty of less recognized brands out there that are good.
Durability is not the issue.
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Old 11-26-12, 01:15 PM
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You'll hear a lot of guys that don't like the "Big 3". They will even urge you to buy an off-Italian brand by a small, but very good, Italian artisan. I'm actually going through a similar situation.

I have an 85 Basso Gap, and it is a seriously nice ride. Quick and agile and more that my aging legs really need. But I really have the itch for a Colnago. Many guys are trying to talk me out of it, saying that there are better Italian builders out there. But I still want to go to the top of the food chain so-to-speak, so I still want the ultimate, a Colnago. I say it's the ultimate, because I believe that Ernesto Colnago is one of only a handful of Italian craftsman that have given us what we now know as the famous "passioni Italiano". He delivers a great bike, but he also delivers a whole lifestyle and a history of great riders and wins along with it. Sort of like what a Ferrari or a Harley does. You can find a bike better than a Harley or a car faster than a Ferrari, but there just not a Harley or Ferrari. Now my Basso may ride as nice as a Colnago, but it can't give me the rest of what the Colnago can.

So yeah, there are alot of very good Italian makers out there that aren't in the Big 3. But there is still something about those Big 3, at least to me...
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Old 11-26-12, 01:27 PM
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Go do research. There are any number of very fine Italian builders (a large number), from one man small shop operations to far bigger concerns, that make beautiful bikes. Some of them, like Wilier, have substantial followings. Some have a "prime period" where their stuff is really nice; even better than the big boys. Of course you pay a premium for the big boys, just the way it is. Never underestimate the power of the brand.

I've had my eighties Viner next to several period Colnagos and would not do an even up trade. I don't think I'd trade the Bonanno for all three. But I am cranky and idiosyncratic, so feel free to discount what I say. Now if I found one of the big three within my cheapskate budget, I'd probably buy it.
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Old 11-26-12, 01:32 PM
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are you buying it because you want people to see the name and be impressed or because you want a great ride? Both? Ideally i'd ibuy based on what gave me the best ride, but if you're buying a frame, know your size and get the "nicest" frame that is your size and fits your budget.
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Old 11-26-12, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
are you buying it because you want people to see the name and be impressed or because you want a great ride?
I hear a lot of people say that if you want a Colnago, you just want it to impress people. I'm not sure that's really fair.

Brand recognition is real and it happens for a reason. Usually it's because it's a darned good product and the reputation has been earned. It doesn't just happen on it's own and it's not just given out for no good reason. So I believe one can certainly desire a Colnago because it is known as a great bike...
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Old 11-26-12, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
I hear a lot of people say that if you want a Colnago, you just want it to impress people. I'm not sure that's really fair.

Brand recognition is real and it happens for a reason. Usually it's because it's a darned good product and the reputation has been earned. It doesn't just happen on it's own and it's not just given out for no good reason. So I believe one can certainly desire a Colnago because it is known as a great bike...
I'm just asking the OP's reasoning on the purchase. I don't doubt what you say, however to help him it helps to understand where he's coming from. Note that I'm not judging one way or the other re: brand.
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Old 11-26-12, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
I'm just asking the OP's reasoning on the purchase. I don't doubt what you say, however to help him it helps to understand where he's coming from. Note that I'm not judging one way or the other re: brand.
I got you!

I guess I'm a bit sensitive because I want a Colnago, and more than a few people think it's because of the name. Believe me, I have nobody to impress because I ride alone and don't know any local C&V'ers...
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Old 11-26-12, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
I got you!

I guess I'm a bit sensitive because I want a Colnago, and more than a few people think it's because of the name. Believe me, I have nobody to impress because I ride alone and don't know any local C&V'ers...

cool.
I'll throw in from experience though, and having owned a Colnago, if you're solely interested in ride limiting yourself to one brand isn't the best way to go about it.

If you want to own a Colnago because it's a Colnago, that's a different story.
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Old 11-26-12, 02:01 PM
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Those are 3 very different riding bikes, IME.
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Old 11-26-12, 02:01 PM
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If this 1200 dollar bicycle is local, and you can see,touch,testdrive it seriously consider it.
the groupset is worth 5-600 alone in good condition-so you are paying 600 for the frame,seat,handlebars,stem and wheels.

Every time you buy something online that is used you take a risk, if it is from another country it is a risk even if small.

Sometimes a purchase that is fair market value that can be inspected is a better deal then online.
postage cost money also
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Old 11-26-12, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
.... But I really have the itch for a Colnago. Many guys are trying to talk me out of it, saying that there are better Italian builders out there. But I still want to go to the top of the food chain so-to-speak, so I still want the ultimate, a Colnago. I say it's the ultimate, because I believe that Ernesto Colnago is one of only a handful of Italian craftsman that have given us what we now know as the famous "passioni Italiano". He delivers a great bike, but he also delivers a whole lifestyle and a history of great riders and wins along with it. Sort of like what a Ferrari or a Harley does. You can find a bike better than a Harley or a car faster than a Ferrari, but there just not a Harley or Ferrari. Now my Basso may ride as nice as a Colnago, but it can't give me the rest of what the Colnago can.

So yeah, there are alot of very good Italian makers out there that aren't in the Big 3. But there is still something about those Big 3, at least to me...
I don't know about a lifestyle, but over the weekend, while out the number of middle aged guys who noticed the Colnago I was on was impressive. This is while the bike was parked. Maybe liking good coffee and Colnagos goes together?
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Old 11-26-12, 02:15 PM
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This is a thread that I started quite awhile back when I was really naive towards Italian bikes. But I got a real schooling in this thread and it really helped me understand them. I think it could help the OP as well -

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...e+the+italians

I bought my Basso with the help of that thread!

By-the-way, I think you could buy a pretty nice Big 3 for $1200, if that's what the OP desires...
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Old 11-26-12, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I don't know about a lifestyle, but over the weekend, while out the number of middle aged guys who noticed the Colnago I was on was impressive. This is while the bike was parked.
Well, there you go!

Brand recognition that was earned over the years comes to fruition at times like that. Colnago's just speak to the better things in life!
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Old 11-26-12, 02:45 PM
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$1200 should buy you one of the three if you are patient. If you really want a cinelli, colnago or De Rosa you won't feel satisfied until you get it. The good thing is that if you do get it, and then realize it is not what you expected, you can always sell it again for a good price since they hold their value. I have been very lucky to get 2 Merckx, 2 Cinellis, 2 Paramounts, 1 Concorde and a Pinarello within 3 years. I didn't keep them all but I lost no money when I sold the ones that had to go.

Good luck.
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Old 11-26-12, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post

By-the-way, I think you could buy a pretty nice Big 3 for $1200, if that's what the OP desires...
Maybe, it depends on the size and what you want age wise, with a bit of variation as to models from the 80's on. For a while, the top Italian race bike builders only had one model. This later changed, and from observation, functionally there was often little difference.
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Old 11-26-12, 03:23 PM
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Sooner or later, you or your surviving family members will sell the bicycle. A more prestigious brand will depreciate less. In my opinion, it's the only factor where they have a tangible advantage.
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Old 11-26-12, 04:20 PM
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I think it is almost entirely a matter of personal preference, so if your preference is a Colnago/Masi/De Rosa, then get one. Although they are the most prestigious, there are lots of them around and you shouldn't have to wait long.
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Old 11-26-12, 04:35 PM
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I have owned many Italian bikes over many years and, really, I have liked them all - although I have never owned a De Rosa much is the pity. I really liked the Olmo I owned as I thought it rode very much like a Colnago. Daccordi was another bike I rode for a number of years with complete satisfaction. Viner bike was absolutely fine. Benotto (most probably Mexican built) had a low bottom bracket but was very stable and a great ride. Bianchi's, I've had a few but for some reason they have all been slightly small for me but I am in the process of getting another one. ALAN - love my ALAN's ride - I just love it. My Rossin is just superb to ride as it is has a completely neutral ride position and suitable for any type of race or recreation activity. Saronni (Colnago) rode like a Colnago but the paint technique was second rate. It rode well though. I have a Cinelli Supercorsa that has 'criterium' geometry and is a bit twitchy so it takes concentration to ride. It is just a magnificent bike though and I will never sell it. I have had it for about 25 years and have commuted on it (sparingly) and I simply 'love it to bits'. I have owned a number of Pinarello's over the years and still have a couple (my son has taken over one of them) and they have all been fantastic bikes. I have noticed that 2 of them developed cracks in the right rear dropout. I was able to repair them myself using bronze welding. My son now has one of them that I repaired and he is 6' 4" and can put strain on the frame. The weld has held without any problems. I can't show you a photo as he lives about 2000 miles from me at the moment.

I have 5 Colnago's now and love them all. I desperately wanted a Colnago when I was young but could never afford one. I was not satisfied until I finally had one. I find that they fit me like a glove. Their geometry is well sorted and give you a very neutral riding position and are very predictable. They all descend like a dream and I can ride them for mile after mile. I do have an aluminium framed Colnago that I am extremely happy with. It's geometry is similar to the other Colnago's I own but it's bottom bracket is very stiff - effort into the pedal stroke seems to go straight to the back wheel. It is not as compliant as the steel framed Colnago's I own but it's ride is much better than I thought it was going to be.

All the Italian bikes I have owned have been built with various grades of Columbus tubing. I have been very pleased with all of them. I think that if you are after any Italian built steel framed bike you will be happy with it. Your only problem could be that you might lust after a Cinelli, Colnago or a De Rosa and will always have that 'ticking away' in the back of your mind if you don't get one.
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Old 11-26-12, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Fountain View Post
Your only problem could be that you might lust after a Cinelli, Colnago or a De Rosa and will always have that 'ticking away' in the back of your mind if you don't get one.
You hit it on the head Gary!

Like I said, I love my Basso, and I'm not even sure the Colnago can improve on what this bike gives me, but yet I have to scratch that Colnago itch and get one, so get one I will!
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Old 11-26-12, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
You hit it on the head Gary!

Like I said, I love my Basso, and I'm not even sure the Colnago can improve on what this bike gives me, but yet I have to scratch that Colnago itch and get one, so get one I will!
Basso's have really established such an enviable reputation for finish and build quality.

It took me about 10 years of telling myself that my current Italian bike was fine (which they were) before I just had to scratch the Colnago itch. The good thing about waiting is that you really know what you want and the size you want it in. (To be perfectly honest, I have had some very minor finish issues with Colnago's but that is easily overlooked when you swing your leg over the top bar and go for a ride.)

Best of luck in your search,

Gary.

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Old 11-26-12, 05:38 PM
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I think some of the nicest Colnago ever built were the C 92-97 s. They are usually available at low prices. I have 2 Saronnis, 2 Superisimos, a 77 Super, 90's Mexico 80's DDR national team bike and a C 93. I bought the C 93 the C 93 this spring NOS for $200 its the nicest Colnago I own. Ed
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Old 11-26-12, 06:07 PM
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I had never ridden an Italian bike 'till I rode my 84 Grandis. It rode so good I had to have it. I paid $1400 with engraved parts and super record. My appreciation for the bike has only grown. It's really a fantastic bike.

My UK build Roberts is also freaky good.

Grandis.


6 017 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
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Old 11-26-12, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
I had never ridden an Italian bike 'till I rode my 84 Grandis. It rode so good I had to have it. I paid $1400 with engraved parts and super record. My appreciation for the bike has only grown. It's really a fantastic bike.

My UK build Roberts is also freaky good.

Grandis.
My Grandis is almost a clone of my Colnago geometry of the near age. I like the down tube graphics on your Blue one Frank. If Grandis could be faulted it was that for a time they did not place equal effort into the graphics and paint compared to a number of other Italian brands.
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Old 11-26-12, 06:47 PM
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Certain bikes just "speak to you" and there's nothing you can do about it except buy one. As a young man (and somewhat enamored by all things Italian... starting with that cute Italian girl in junior high) I always lusted after an Italian bike and the ones most seen were Colnago's and Masi's. So naturally that's what "speaks to me"! For some it's English or French bikes but, although they are beautiful machines, they "say" nothing to me and I just wouldn't be satisfied by one; I'd always be tempted by a lovely Italian.

Now that I have my Colnago I would love to have other, lesser known Italians. That Moser sounds like a nice bike that should ride wonderfully; if priced right (for Israel) and it fits I think the OP would be very happy with it. He can (and likely will) look for a Conago, Cinelli or De Rosa at a later date.
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