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On this page: Colnago history. No Colnago bikes or frames are for sale at this time.

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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 1970s American bike boom 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.