Colnago Super Frame Dating

This Colnago dating guide was assembled from archives of the Classic Rendezvous email list.
Mostly, the text was taken from Chuck Schmidt's Colnago Frame Dating message to the CR list from 14-Oct-2007
This page, or something like it should be on the Classic Rendezvous Colnago page. But since it isn't, I'm putting it here for my own use. Possibly, it will be of use to others also.
I hope to add illustrations as available.
1968 First Super (?)
Playing card decal graphics
Fork crown (sand cast) with two holes in each side
Fork tangs wide, no cutouts
Club cutouts in all three lugs
Bottom bracket shell with drilled holes in circular pattern (eight in circle plus one in center)
1970 Fork crown (investment cast semi-sloping) with two holes in each side
"Playing card" club decal graphics (inspired by 1970 Milano - San Remo victory)
1971 Fork tangs narrow, no cutouts (or rarely no tangs)
COLNAGO on down tube
Fork tangs with two holes
Cable guide braze-ons top of bottom bracket shell
Water bottle braze-ons on downtube
1973 Wreath seat tube decal with two Worlds bands
Fork crown with clubs on top but no holes in each side
Fork tangs with club cutouts (or rarely two hole tangs or no tangs)
Club cutout in lower head lug only
1974 Shifter braze-ons on down tube (option before this)
1975 Vertical COLNAGO seat tube decal with diagonal Worlds band at top (and here)
1976 Fork crown with COLNAGO added to clubs on top
Short Campagnolo or COLNAGO dropouts
1977 Top tube cable guide braze-ons (option before this)
1978 Fork crown for recessed brake bolt with shallow triangles cut into back
Brake bridge for recessed brake bolt
1980 Fluted seat stay caps engraved COLNAGO and straight seat stays (no longer biconical)
Brake bridge with cast square boss for recessed brake bolt
Short COLNAGO drop-outs and COLNAGO fork ends (?)
1981 Chain stay bridge is small spool shape, no longer tube
1982 Chain stays stamped COLNAGO on sides
Cable routing on underside of bottom bracket
1983 Aerodynamic fork crown
From Chuck Schmidt's NOTE:
Dates are plus or minus one year; changes in frame details might have occurred the end of one year or the beginning of the next for example or may have been offered as an option before becoming standard. Paint schemes, panels, decals and chrome varied according to how importers spec'd their frames, so this all varied considerably and there are lots of anomalies. Dates and details based on the Classic Rendezvous archives, the Wool Jersey Gallery, and Colnago and Bikcology catalogs.

Chuck Schmidt wrote:

To the subject of clubs on decals and clubs cut into lugs...

Ernesto Colnago has stated that the inspiration for changing his logo to the Ace of Clubs was the result of Michele Dancelli winning the '70 Milano-San Remo for Molteni while riding a Colnago. "La Primavera" (the spring) is the nickname for Milan-San Remo and the Ace of Clubs represents the spring flowers.

Steven Maasland previously elaborated about the club/flower tie in: "The 'asso di fiore' is correctly translated as 'ace of clubs', however there is also a double entendre in Italian that is lost here as 'Fiore' is also 'flower', the symbol of the San Remo area. After the San Remo race win, Colnago spoke to the very well-known Italian sports reporter, Bruno Raschi, who was preparing his race report. He came up with the saying that the 'in fiore' bike won the race. This was a play on the fact that the race known for the 'riviera dei fiori' (flower coast) as well as 'in fiore' (flowering or blooming). That particular race win was very important for Italian cycling because it was the first San Remo race won by an Italian in many years, hence the 'flowering' part in the 'flower' race."

Okay, so that would explain the "playing card" club logo decals used later in 1970, but what about Colnagos built before that date with the same club shape cut in the lugs?

It has been mentioned before that the club cut in the lugs of the Colnago Super was a tribute to Gloria where Ernesto Colnago first apprenticed at 13 years of age and worked for almost a decade. Gloria used a large lily at the sides of the lugs and bottom bracket; the three petals of the club echo the three petals of the lily.

Return to My Bikes
Return to My bike page
Return to My main page