Retro_s.gif (10919 bytes)

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

Members of the Classic Rendezvous email list cooperated in collecting features observed in Colnago bicycles to help ascertain the time of manufacture. Eric Elman assembled and submitted the following:

    "Outlined below is the most comprehensive (to date) Colnago Super timeline beginning in ~1969 and going up through the mid/late 1970s.  There are still numerous blanks and some conflicting thoughts - all are presented below. I've done the best I could based on all the snippets of info provided so please, no flames if you disagree or if I got something wrong; a simple note to me with your info will get it added/included to the info below.  I will update the list and send out as appropriate.  Also, do keep in mind that "dates" are subject to variation, no one believes that Colnago made these changes on January 1st of each new year and therefore use them as a guide to the year of manufacture or availability."

   "Keep in mind that this is not definitive and is based solely on the inputs from numerous list members with varying degrees of experience and/or ownership (original owner vs. subsequent owner, restorers, and enthusiasts like me that have been looking at them for years but still await the right one to come along)."

   "A few CR members have wrote to advise that the standard production bikes were fairly consistent but that Colnago frames could be special-ordered at any time and thus could include any number of details that might seem atypical... graphics, custom paint, chrome, etc."

Lugs:
1969: Cutouts in all 3 lugs, all clubs are the same size.  Note however that one experienced member recalls differently "I've never seen a Super with
cutouts all the same size.  That would be physically impossible anyway,based on the sizes of the lug tangs."
1970: Cutouts in all 3 lugs, but club in bottom head lug is now larger than the other lugs.
1971: Cutouts in all 3 lugs, but club in bottom head lug is now larger than the other lugs.
1972: 3 lugs cutout, all same size.
1973: 3 lugs cutout, all same size.  There is general consensus on this too but note again that an experienced member believes the single cut-out came
earlier; may have been as early as 1972.
1974: Cutout in bottom headlug only.
1975: Cutout in bottom headlug only.

General comments: the "fluffier/bulbous" club cutouts appear on the earlier bikes.  The smaller/leaner cutouts began to show up, give or take, sometime after 1975.


Fork Crown:

1969: Two holes in each side of crown, crown itself is a sand cast type crown. Some may also have Vagner forged crown, two holes in sides.
1970: First use of investment cast semi-sloping crown, two holes in each side.
1971: IC crown, two holes in each side of crown
1972: IC crown, two holes in sides and club in top of each side of crown for the first time.

1973: IC crown, club on top of each side of crown.
1974:
IC crown, club in top of each side of crown.
1975: IC crown, club and "COLNAGO" on top of each side of crown. There were numerous contributions supporting this but again, an experienced member took the time to write "this is too early for the *Colnago* in the crown. I think that came in by 1977 or so. 

The first generation Mexico's had no "Colnago" in the crown, and their first year was 1975...earliest possible year for the Colnago stamp in the crown would be 1976, but I'm betting it was later than that.

Fork Tangs:
1969: Fork tangs are blank.
1970: Fork tang can be blank and a wide tang as opposed to the typical narrower ones.
1971: Often blank narrow tangs.
1972: Narrow tangs with two holes, upper hole larger than lower hole.
1973: Some narrow tangs with two holes but now usually with club in them.
1974: Tangs with clubs.
1975: Tangs with clubs


Seat Stay Caps:
Years??: Plain fluted, ??" length
Years??: Plain fluted, ??" length (I think the length changed)
Years:??: Fluted with "COLNAGO" cast along the flute length.

Rear Brake Bridge:
Years??: Round tube w/brazed on washer (facing the brake caliper), reinforced at seat stays, for nutted brake bolts.
Years??: Round with square/cube area that accepts recessed brake bolt, (did this have a club in the top?)


Bottom Bracket:
1969: Circular drilled holes pattern in BB shell.
1970: Club cutout in BB shell.
1972: Club cutout in BB shell.
1973: Club cutout in BB shell.
1974: Club cutout in BB shell.
1975: Club cutout in BB shell.


Drop-out's:
1974/75: Sometime between '74 & '75 there should be a change from long Campag drop-outs to the shorter ones.


Braze On's:
197? & earlier: none except chain stay derailleur cable stop
197? - 197?: Above plus over BB cable guides
197? - 197?: Above plus shift lever mounts
197? - 197?: Above plus one set DT water bottle mounts
19?? - 19??: Above plus ST water bottle mounts
1976/77: Above plus first appearance of two TT brake cable guides (note that the "Colnago" cast into the fork crowns definitely happened before the addition of TT brake cable braze-ons).


Decals:
1968/69: The playing-card-style decals appeared on frames imported to North America in 1968 or 1969.
1969 -1971: Playing card graphics?
1972: Graphics change, now just Colnago on DT and first appearance of head decal just a club with Colnago underneath.
1973: First appearance of "wreath" decal on seat tube, between the bands.
1975: Another graphics change?
1977/78: Another graphics change?


Chrome:
Crowns generally   are chromed.
Dropouts are sometimes chromed on these early bikes but varies. 
Head-lugs were also sometimes chromed, nearly always on show bikes... but not confined to them.


Known Original Standard Colors:
1972/73: Turquoise/baby blue

Early/mid 70's: Candy green, candy red, candy blue, Molteni orange, yellow, mauve metallic, black, silver, white, pearl white, electric blue, salmon-metallic (similar to Cinelli Rose, but lighter), light purple metallic.
General comments: some wrote to advise you could get a Colnago painted nearly any color you can imagine.

Known variations:
With Colnago in the earlier years there are a few slight variations possible, mainly in the fork tangs.
- One list member has a '74 with no fork tangs at all.  He also had a '74 that had a club in the bottom head lug and the SEAT lug only, none in top head lug (he suspects a stray leftover cutout seat lug). 
- nother member also knows of an original '72 track bike with road blades in a Vagner crown and no chrome. 
- Finally two list members have/had ~1975 frames where the crowns were painted, not chromed.


Mexico notes:
Early first-generation Mexico's looked just like older Supers, except for the thinner tubing.

Submitted by Eric Elman

Back to Italian Classics