Colnago or not?

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Colnago or not?

Postby Basters » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:53 pm

Hi. Can anyone please help identify the bike that I've bought? It is stickered as a Colnago. Stickers are old and cracked aswell as the paint which is original Molteni orange with yellow hand painted pinstriping. Paint colour and stickers appear to be consistent with the frames age. It has Brev Campagnolo stamped on rear dropouts and no other serial numbers to be found anywhere! It's driving me crazy. The forks and crankset (shimano rx100) that came on it are not original, however it came with dura-ace components (crane dérailleur) 3ttt stem, cinelli bars, galli top crit singles with shimano 600 hubs, Zeus seat post and Kyo Kuto top run pedals with Christophe toe clips. These components are in good nic and im lead to believe are consistent with colnago builds from early to mid 70's. The shifters are clamp on, not brazed, which I'm also led to believe was an option at the time, as was the dura ace instead of Campagnolo. The issue is no colnago logo on bottom tube/headstem lug and nothing drilled or cut into bottom bracket! Any info on this frame would be awesome, or if anyone knows who I could take it to to identify it? I'm new to this site and haven't worked out how to attach photos yet but I'll try to get some on soon, cheers in advance!
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by BNA » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:06 pm

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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:06 pm

G'Day Basters welcome outside.

Not my area of expertise but I know where to find it, I'll shoot your thread over there for you.

Posting pics can be found HERE.

Shaun
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby ironhanglider » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:09 pm

Basters wrote:Hi. Can anyone please help identify the bike that I've bought? It is stickered as a Colnago. Stickers are old and cracked aswell as the paint which is original Molteni orange with yellow hand painted pinstriping. Paint colour and stickers appear to be consistent with the frames age. It has Brev Campagnolo stamped on rear dropouts and no other serial numbers to be found anywhere! It's driving me crazy. The forks and crankset (shimano rx100) that came on it are not original, however it came with dura-ace components (crane dérailleur) 3ttt stem, cinelli bars, galli top crit singles with shimano 600 hubs, Zeus seat post and Kyo Kuto top run pedals with Christophe toe clips. These components are in good nic and im lead to believe are consistent with colnago builds from early to mid 70's. The shifters are clamp on, not brazed, which I'm also led to believe was an option at the time, as was the dura ace instead of Campagnolo. The issue is no colnago logo on bottom tube/headstem lug and nothing drilled or cut into bottom bracket! Any info on this frame would be awesome, or if anyone knows who I could take it to to identify it? I'm new to this site and haven't worked out how to attach photos yet but I'll try to get some on soon, cheers in advance!


I can't comment on the frame as the only Colnagos I've looked at up close are from the 80's and later, it is not one of them. I do have concern about the bars and stem though. In the 70's Cinelli bars were 26.4mm in diameter, but I'm pretty sure that 3TTT stems were 26.0mm. I remember that this bar and stem combination resulted in stems that cracked and was one of the no no's of building bikes (and vice versa).

It is also possible that these were a later replacement along with the forks.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:21 pm

Colnago frames will usually have ace of clubs cutouts in the lugs.
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby morini » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:34 pm

Have you done a google yet? There's quite a lot of info out there to help you. Identifying old frames without any obvious features or serial numbers is needle in a haystack territory. Here's one of the many sites you can start your research. Post some pictures when you can so we can have a sticky beak.

http://saarf.net/2013/02/19/how-to-spot-a-fake-colnago/
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby GaryF » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:46 pm

You've raised an interesting question regarding old Colnago frames without any identifying markings. I think the very early Colnago frames were not engraved with the usual Colnago markings. A really excellent web page to see old Colnago's belongs to Greg Softley who has the Cyclemondo decal business. He has what may be the oldest known Colnago bicycle worldwide.

Hopefully this link will get you to his site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyclomondo/sets/

You could further your investigation there.

Personally, I am a little sceptical as to the originality of your frame but, then again, you never know. Good luck.
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby Mark Kelly » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:59 pm

For some unknown reason there were a lot of gaspipe frames with Colnago stickers on them around in the '80s, very clumsy fakes, they looked nothing like a real one. IIRC the easiest giveaway was the seat cluster which had ugly thick borders.

Most of the ones I saw were blue with yellow stickers, might have been some orange ones too.
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby jonbays » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:12 pm

The reproduction decal business that Greg is in is actually helping the passing off of a lot of old gaspipe bikes as Colnago or with Reynolds 531 tubing.

I have used his stickers myself and am grateful they are good quality and well priced but for the uninitiated I can see problems with a lot more fakes out there in the next few years and these fakes then being genuinely resold or otherwise by the duped owners in a pass it round fashion.

I am all for a gaspipe fixie in orange with Merckx decals as a tribute bike but people could be taken advantage of.

My guess would be the bike probably isn't a real Colnago.

GaryF wrote:You've raised an interesting question regarding old Colnago frames without any identifying markings. I think the very early Colnago frames were not engraved with the usual Colnago markings. A really excellent web page to see old Colnago's belongs to Greg Softley who has the Cyclemondo decal business. He has what may be the oldest known Colnago bicycle worldwide.

Hopefully this link will get you to his site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyclomondo/sets/

You could further your investigation there.

Personally, I am a little sceptical as to the originality of your frame but, then again, you never know. Good luck.
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby jonbays » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:27 pm

If you want to buy a real one look here

http://www.steel-vintage.com/bicycles/colnago/
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby Jean » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:59 pm

jonbays wrote:The reproduction decal business that Greg is in is actually helping the passing off of a lot of old gaspipe bikes as Colnago or with Reynolds 531 tubing.

I have used his stickers myself and am grateful they are good quality and well priced but for the uninitiated I can see problems with a lot more fakes out there in the next few years and these fakes then being genuinely resold or otherwise by the duped owners in a pass it round fashion.

I am all for a gaspipe fixie in orange with Merckx decals as a tribute bike but people could be taken advantage of.

My guess would be the bike probably isn't a real Colnago.



Re-badged steel frames are an old problem. I remember a friend buying a 'Kenevans' in the early 90s, but it was pretty unlikely it was real Kenevans. I also recall another friend agonizing over whether the Gios he was looking at was real or not (we were all pretty new to riding then). The similarity of many steel tubed bikes was, and remains, something that the unscrupulous have exploited. With carbon bikes the rip-off merchants have simply moved up the food chain to live closer to some factory in China that can create a lookalike.
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby rkelsen » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:09 am

There are a few giveaways:

Clover (or club) shaped cutouts in the lugs,
Colnago stampings on stays,
2 cable guides on the top tube, not 3.

If your frame doesn't have any of these, then the chances are slim.
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby bicyclepassion » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:47 pm

Are the 'campagnolo' rear dropouts the long or short type. The short type were phased in from about 1974, some slightly later Colnago's will have the long type, say until 1976.
If yours has the short Campagnolo ends, and no Colnago markings, it will definitely not be a Colnago, as by the time they went to short ends, they all had clover leaves in the lugs and BB shell, 'Colnago' in the seat stay tops, sometimes 'Colnago' in the fork ends.
If it has long Campagnolo ends, there is an extemely small chance that it is a very early Colnago.
A Colnago with that eclectic mix of components, especially Japanese, would be a very unusual item back then.
The Dura ace Crane derailleur is 1972/4. The rest of the parts sound later than that.
Does the frame have Italian Bottom Bracket threading? If unsure, or if they are unmarked, measure the width, Italian is 70mm, English 68mm (nominal)
You could buy fake Colnago decal sets at your local milkbar in the 1980's along with repro Malvern Star decals. People used them on everything, including, in the case of my children, their billy carts.
Hope this helps.
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby Basters » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:46 pm

Hey everyone, thanks heaps for your comments. Unfortunately I'm still unable to attach photos coz I've just moved house and renovating so I havn't connected Internet yet! Getting by with my iPhone. Your feed back has been awesome however I'm still no closer to working out what this weird bike is?!!! It has 2 cable guides on top tube, the Campagnolo dropouts are the old long type, lower cable guides are brazed onto the top of the bottom bracket, the seat stays are cupped at the top where joined to seat post lug, and the bottom bracket is 68 mm and not Italian 70 mm. I'm now just as confused as ever! if this frame had the club cutouts there would be no doubt it is colnago (obviously), but the cutouts seem to be all that is missing!!!. I've read that there are a couple of different types of colombus tubing and one of them are a different gauge of steel, thought that club cutouts may jeopardize the strength of the frame? Any body have any thoughts? I'm kind of inclined to take it to someone who could possibly identify it in the Melbourne area, can anyone suggest where I might go? Again thanks for you help
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby ironhanglider » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:49 pm

Basters wrote:Hey everyone, thanks heaps for your comments. Unfortunately I'm still unable to attach photos coz I've just moved house and renovating so I havn't connected Internet yet! Getting by with my iPhone. Your feed back has been awesome however I'm still no closer to working out what this weird bike is?!!! It has 2 cable guides on top tube, the Campagnolo dropouts are the old long type, lower cable guides are brazed onto the top of the bottom bracket, the seat stays are cupped at the top where joined to seat post lug, and the bottom bracket is 68 mm and not Italian 70 mm. I'm now just as confused as ever! if this frame had the club cutouts there would be no doubt it is colnago (obviously), but the cutouts seem to be all that is missing!!!. I've read that there are a couple of different types of colombus tubing and one of them are a different gauge of steel, thought that club cutouts may jeopardize the strength of the frame? Any body have any thoughts? I'm kind of inclined to take it to someone who could possibly identify it in the Melbourne area, can anyone suggest where I might go? Again thanks for you help


Apart from the width, what about the diameter and threading? (although 2mm is a lot of facing)

I would be astounded if there was ever a steel Colnago made that didn't have an Italian BB.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Colnago or not?

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:04 pm

I bet it's an Aussie built frame with a repaint. Definitely not gas pipe, as stated by others. Gas pipe frames are not built with Campagnolo tips.

Another pointer is the a 68mm BB shell and the use of early Japanese parts.

Aussie builders seemed to be more embracing of the new Japanese components from Shimano and Suntour in the early 70's. They may not of had the cache of Campagnolo, but Shimano's Crane/dura-ace and Suntour's Cyclone derailleurs certainly shifted better and were 1/2 the cost.

Remember most Aussie cyclists in the 70's were lower, middle class, blue collar workers. They didn't have the cash to splash around for parts like todays MAMILS, or access to the WWW. :lol:
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