Colnago Mystery (yes, another!)

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Jesper

Finally riding a big boys bike
I had gotten this as a parts frame set for the fork to use on another frame, and didn't use the frame due to overall paint/decal condition, as well as some rust damage on the driveside seat stay. Stay was not in a non-functional state, but it is brazed with brass at the damaged area and I did not want to sell the frame to someone with myself already knowing its condition; but it is still fine for me. New paint could hide the issue, but I would still know the truth. Original paint before fading looks "Saronni red" in color being of a darker hue than their standard red paint.

The main issue is determining if it is a "Super" or "Mexico" model. I never really looked at its features since the fork was all that interested me at the time. The frame feels quite lightweight (for its size) but I have not hung it on the scale. 27.2mm seat post fit. It has features of early 80s to mid 80s. Decals are more mid 80s, fluted stay caps are more early 80s; Prugnat lugs. Later and smaller BB cut-out presumably allowing for bottom mounted cable guide braze-ons. Down tube only bottle mounts. It has a "COLNAGO SUPER" decal on the left chain stay, but although I believe it to be original, I do not think it is correct to the actual model. "Super" models of this time had chain stay indents both on the wheel sides and chainring side; the "Mexico" models did not. The fact that it has no "COLNAGO" stamped into the chain stay would indicate an early 80s (pre 82-83?) model frame. Brake mounting is recessed, brake bridge is the same "GPM" model as used on late 70s to early 80s models.

Any ideas? Did Colnago put the wrong decals on it? Pretty sure that "Mexicos" had a different seat tube design with the record date on it (at least pre "Nuovo" models). I don't know if the weight will provide an answer as to it being a Columbus "SL" (Super) or "Record" (Mexico) tubed frame.

I do not know when Colnago changed the BB cut-out, but I know the early style still was in use through circa 1981. Latter 80s BBs had "COLNAGO" stamped above or below the cut-out. I don't know how long this style BB design was used. I had an '86 "Mexico", but cannot remember the BB design; I'll see if I can dig out an old photo or ask my friend to whom I sold it to for some input as to its design.

My thought was to build it up into a beater Colnago. There is an old Campy decal on it, but I would use non-Campy Italian parts.

Photos to follow shortly when I grab it from my store room.
 
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Jesper

Finally riding a big boys bike
You tell me what it is. I have/had Colnago "Supers", "Nuovo Mexico", "Saronni Criterium", "Super Piu", et al. so I figured this would be easy for me to identify. Fork was identical to a late 70s to early 80s fork ("clubs" and "COLNAGO" panto on crown shoulder).

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Jesper

Finally riding a big boys bike
"GPM" Brake bridge from a late 70s to early 80s "Super" (photo credit: HPL)
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Bottom bracket shell (Cinelli IC part?) and drop-out (Colnago) from very late 80s (?) to early 90s (bike was estimated as a 92 "Super Piu") (photo credit: Jake1)
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Bottom bracket shell (Cinelli IC part?) from very late 80s (?) to early 90s (?) (frame year and model not specified) (photo credit: MattTuck)
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Bottom bracket shell and drop-out (Campy w/portactena mounting holes) from "Super" circa 80/81 (used from early 70s to early 80s?) (photo credit: HPL)
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Jesper

Finally riding a big boys bike
I located an example of a presumed "Super"; but it could be a "Mexico" (repainted, decals could be incorrect) that was stated as being circa 1986 with the same BB cut-out, Colnago drop-outs, single bottle mounting, and no apparent chainstay stamp or indents; but having flat stay caps instead of fluted, and using a tab mounted front derailleur. I'm not sure if any "Mexicos" were made at that time that had standard round tubes ("Nuovo Mexicos" had grooved top and down tubes from at least 84-86).

Really doesn't solve the identification problem, but at least shows that the same BB shell was used for a couple years while other features were changed. Of course my frame could be a custom build, but no way to determine that either.

I'm leaning towards my frame being circa 1982 for the year, and possibly a "Mexico". If I can verify "Record" frame tubing (.5mm wall thickness, straight gauge main tubes; .8mm head tube) it would verify it as a "Mexico" model predating the "Nuovo Mexico" "Profil" tubing variant.

All photo credits: steel-vintage.com
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Jesper

Finally riding a big boys bike
I suspect the actual year of the light blue bike to be a year or 2 earlier. Here is an example BB shell from a known 1986 "Nuovo Mexico" (I previously owned it). What I do not know about the "Nuovo Mexico" is if it was built in 1985 for the 1986 model year, or if it was actually built in the same year as it appeared in the catalogue. It has the 3rd incarnation of the Colnago BB shell design which was modified slightly in later years (how many?) to exclude the "BREV." part of the stamp, different DT nozzle cut-out, and no cable guide tunnel on the driveside nozzle.

At least this example puts the unknown frame no later than 1985 if Colnago was using the same parts for "Super" and "Mexico" variants during that time frame. Plently of other feature differences placing it before the 86 "Nuovo Mexico" which does share some of, but not all of, the features of the light blue frame.

Thanks Howard for forwarding the photo.


1986 "Nuovo Mexico" (Cinelli IC part?) Photo credit: HPL
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cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Interesting thread.
I’ve had/have a couple of Colnagos over the years, but never paid much attention to the details.
My first bike was bought new in the early 80’s that looked like the red frame.
I just remember the model being called, Superissimo.
It had a Campagnolo Record group set.
I still have a project bike, that is also from the 80’s, but I suspect it is a Mexico model.
I haven’t done much with it in years, so I don’t remember the subtle details, but I will refer back to the wonderful reference you have provided the next time I get the frame down from the rafters.
Thank you!
 

Jesper

Finally riding a big boys bike
Another oddity that has been confirmed: my frame has the "Colnago" stamped drop-out (same as on the light blue frame; definitely not a Campy d-o); but the presumed later year brown "Nuovo Mexico" still is using Campy d-o's. So Colnago was mixing up d-o's (rear only?) during the 80s, but I think that by the 90s they only used their own proprietary d-o's; at least on the examples where I was able to discern the d-o type. Early 80s frames only had Campy d-o's front and rear (Super Record type with the portacatena holes) to my knowledge, but I don't know when did they actually started to use "Colnago" d-o's (who actually manufactured the d-o's?).
 
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Jesper

Finally riding a big boys bike
Interesting thread.
I’ve had/have a couple of Colnagos over the years, but never paid much attention to the details.
My first bike was bought new in the early 80’s that looked like the red frame.
I just remember the model being called, Superissimo.
It had a Campagnolo Record group set.
I still have a project bike, that is also from the 80’s, but I suspect it is a Mexico model.
I haven’t done much with it in years, so I don’t remember the subtle details, but I will refer back to the wonderful reference you have provided the next time I get the frame down from the rafters.
Thank you!
I never meant to become an amateur Colnago "expert"; but it seems I'm starting to earn the title. I still haven't figured out the double slotted BB shells that occurred on some Colnago models. I have seen them on cyclocross, "Saronni Criterium", and "Super" models. I was thinking that they may have been from out-sourced contract builders, but there are still other definitive Colnago features to identify them as actual Colnagos.

Quick estimated BB drain hole years run down for steel Colnagos (at least "Super" and "Mexico" models:(
-68 to 70/71: 9 round holes (8 in a circle with one in the center); the "clubs"/ fiori logo was not adopted until after the Dancelli Milan-San Remo victory on a Colnago in March 1970. The exact date is unknown except that it came about sometime in 1970. I have no idea if the BB hole design was immediately modified at the time of the "club" logo inception. It may have come in 1971, but was definitely in use by 1972.
-71/72 to 82/83: weird early "clubs" design
-82/83 to 85: well defined "clubs" logo design
-86 to very late 80s/very early 90s: same as previous, but with "BREV. COLNAGO" above the hole
very late 80s/very early 90s to ?: same as previous, but with "COLNAGO" above the hole
and,
early 80s to mid 80s: double slotted

Again, all years are estimates, and there is more than likely the use of 2 versions in the same year. I doubt that Ernesto could even give a definitive answer.
 

Jesper

Finally riding a big boys bike
It would also seem that the integral BB shell gusset between the chainstay nozzles was also a factor in determining the year. I am not sure if this was specific to the year of a new design, or of a new supplier (Cinelli).
 
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