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11 Via Cavour, Cambiago (Milan), Italy

Updated
5.11.2016

      One of the most successful racing bike builders in history! Ernesto was a racer in his earlier years, and later served as a team mechanic for the famous Molteni (sausage!) Team with Eddy Merckx. Colnago bicycles have a current  domination of the Pro team ranks. Always an innovator, arguably sometimes for effect as much as efficiency, Colnago has built a legend. 
(Note: T
he attempt to determine the year of manufacture from existing bike serial numbers has been abandoned as there is no discernable pattern.)

Colnago details timeline through the mid/late 1970s. HERE

Ernesto's early racing

  
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Ernesto and brother prep Merckx bike

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Ernesto Colnago confirms the oldest known Colnago bicycle

       


   
This is an Ernesto Colnago track bike from the period 1957/1958. The lugs were hand cast by the man who subsequently received his appointment as a “Cavaliere del Lavoro” ( Knight Master Artisan ) of the Italian Republic.

    This model bike was known as “La Freccia” (The Arrow). This cycle is distinguished by its cherry red color, used in those years in the automobile industry, as well as by three white stripes on the seat tube and the fork blades.

    The down tube decals have a multi-banded motif with the legend “Amateur Championship of Lombardy-1957, “ signifying a Colnago victory in this event.

   The most particular feature of this model is a very narrow G11 Georg Fischer bottom bracket. This same bottom bracket was used by Faliero Masi on a track bike built for Antonio Maspes.

   The wheels have hand soldered spokes and Clement Colnago team racing tubular tires.

   The complete originality of this cycle has been established by a very detailed examination by Ernesto Colnago.

    According to Colnago himself, as well as many collectors and devotees, this cycle is the oldest preserved example of the Colnago production and a very important landmark in Cambiago's manufacturing history.

Mr. Luca De Ponti, Milan, Italy.
Dr George Hollenberg, translator of the original Italian test.

Greg Softley's controversial Pista bicycle:

      The earliest known Colnago in existence? Said to have been constructed in 1959,
 this bike is somewhat controversial. Some cognoscenti think it may not be genuine, but it has obviously authentic patina and is equipped with era-correct components. Did Colnago make his own brand as early as 1959? This is not yet revealed in the contemporaneous press or literature, nonetheless it is said to be a 1959 or early 1960s bike. In any case, it is handsome machine.

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Click to see 21 image gallery HERE

Greg Softley's early Super restoration:

    "The black and white photo below of the 1971 Polish team bike initiated  the journey. With the able assistance of John Murray (Qld Oz), a 12 month long research project covering several continents and dozens of leads finally resulted in a correct restoration."

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Click to see 28 image gallery HERE

          1971 Team bike with decals of that era and "drillium".
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Bob Freeman's 1971 Super

            
               
           

Late 1970s full pantographed bike

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1978 Colnago Mexico

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Colnago Mexico ORO catalog page

 

Super Record era Colnago

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 Colnago DUALL
Dual down tube (as were the early carbon models) were made by ALAN to
Colnago's  specs... Not just a rebadged ALAN though,  these bikes had unique  details especially an aluminum version of the "anti-vibration" fork.

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"Mexico" style 6 arm crank set

 
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Color theme made famous by Bepe "Saronni

 
                    
           

Gary Richardson's  full chrome  Mexico

  
              
            
                           

Paul Wilczynski's 1980 Colnago Olympic bike
ridden by Sergei Shevchenko

  "...bare frame with headset and BB from a Swedish seller who got it from the Ukraine.
 It's one of the original 2 bikes built for Sergei Shevchenko (1 spec, 1 spare)
 by Ernesto in 1980 for the Moscow Olympics." Last pic is team in action!


     


    

David Poole's Master "Equilateral" circa mid 1980s

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Angel Garcia's Oval CX

        

     

Brendan O'Conner's Oval CX

        

       

            

Mod. "Arabesque"

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A very special TT bike at the 1982 NY Int Bike Show

        

A YouTube video of the Colnago steel frame workshop, perhaps  in the 1990s?

 

The Saronni brand

 3 levels of Saronni bikes were made. The top two models by Colnago and the last by Technotrat

Colnago continues today in a combination
of technology and tradition, and all with a flair for the artistic!

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