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Colnago bicycle & frames

On this page: 59cm Colnago Super bicycle

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Ernesto Colnago has been building high-performance bicycle frames since 1952. He was initially apprenticed at thirteen to the legendary Milan bicycle builder Gloria. He took up racing, but a bad crash sent him back to the torch and file. He opened his own shop in 1952, working as a subcontractor for Gloria.

His gifts as a race mechanic were quickly evident and he became a team mechanic for the Nivea team, working under the guidance of the great Faliero Masi. In 1963 he became the head mechanic of the Molteni team, which led to his becoming Gianni Motta's and Eddy Merckx's frame builder.

Starting in the mid-1960s, Colnago's steel frames earned a reputation as among the finest in the world. When the American bike boom in the '70s created a giant demand for Colnago frames and bikes, Colnago was willing to farm out his orders and allowed his decals to be put on bikes that weren't up the the reputation he had earned.

Barring that short-term glitch, the Colnago name on a bike is justly synonymous with performance, quality and innovation. He has experimented with titanium, aluminum, carbon fiber and frames using a mixture of different materials. The Colnago C40 of the 1990s was ridden to five Paris-Roubaix victories in six years. Great riders want to ride his bikes.

Colnago still creates masterpieces in steel, the material he first used to build frames.


59cm Colnago Super complete bicycle. Used, repainted, $2,000.00

59cm seat tube (so stamped on the bottom bracket shell), 58cm top tube, 41cm chainstays. Rear dropouts are 120mm apart.

We believe this framset was built about 1973.

Paul Schwhart of Painting Specialities painted the frameset around 1980. At that time the the top tube brake housing guides were added as well as single bottle braze-ons on the downtube.

  • Wheels: Campagnolo Nuovo Record 36-hole hubs are laced to Rigida 27” 13-20 rims. A SunTour Winner-S Ultra-6 13-24 freewheel is mounted on the rear wheel. The wheels have Specialized Turbo S 27x1” tires
  • Rear derailleur: ’73 Nuovo Record with Bullseye pulley wheels.
  • Front derailleur: Nuovo Record with no cut-outs in the cage.
  • Nuovo Record steel headset.
  • SR 170mm crankset with 42/52 drillium chainrings.
  • SR brake levers with World hoods.
  • Campagnolo Record brake calipers, nutted, with flat blades on the quick release.
  • Campagnolo SL (black) pedals with Campagnolo large alloy toe clips.
  • Toutan synthetic toestraps, made in France.
  • Colnago wing nuts for the downtube Record shifters.
  • 3T Record Colnago-engraved stem, 11cm.
  • Cinelli-badged 64 handlebar, 40cm center-to-center.
  • Colnago pantographed Nuovo Record seatpost with black flutes.
  • Avocet Racing II saddle.
  • OEM bottle cage.
  • Silca-frame-fit pump with Campagnolo steel head

Colnago Super bicycle

Here's the super-bike in profile

Colnago Super bicycle

Front view

Colnago Super bicycle

And here's a head-on view.

Colnagopanto brake lever

One of the drilled brake levers.

Colnago Super stem

Close-up of the front of the pantographed stem

Colnago Super stem

Side view of the pantographed stem

Colnago stem

Another shot of the classic 3T Colnago pantographed stem.

Colnago Super bicycle

Of course, the fork crown is pantographed with the famous Colnago "Club" insignia

Colnago Super bicycle

And we have the pantographed shifter wing nuts.

Colnago Super bicycle

The only derailleur you could put on this bike, a Campagnolo Nuovo Record. This one is dated 1973 and has Bullseye pulleys.

Colnago crankset

The crankset has had some serious work done. Note the three holes near each chainring fixing bolt that mimics the Colnago club trademark.

Colango crankset

The back of the crankset

Colnago 59cm Super

Close-up of the Club cutout in the bottom bracket shell. The size "59" can be seen stamped in the shell.

Water bottle cage

Here's the alloy water bottle cage.

Colnago Super bicycle

Campagnolo Super-Light black pedal with Campagnolo toe clip and Touton synthetic toe strap. Nice.

Campagnolo super-light pedal

The bottom of the pedal. It has a small scrape, as you can see.

Colnago Pantographed seat post

Of course, a Colnago pantographed seat post.

Colnago Super racing bike

And attached to that seat post is an Avocet Racing II saddle with alloy rails.

Campagnolo Steel Pumphead

And attached to the Silca framefit pump is a rare Campagnolo steel pumphead that still has its rubber feet.

Campagnolo steel pumphead

And here's another shot of the Campagnolo pumphead.