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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:07 pm 
Pumpy's Bear
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:03 pm
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Location: Hereford
For me, there’s always been a real cachet around Colnago and it’s certainly a highly prized brand if secondhand prices are anything to go by. But I’ve often been told that the quality of construction isn’t that good and it’s mostly the name and pretty paint that does it.

I’d be interested in what others think – absolute class or all fur coat and no knickers?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:21 pm 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:41 pm
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Location: Plymouth, UK
They do nothing for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:35 pm 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:44 pm
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I have had very good business ties to Colnago and know all three generations of the family very well (Ernesto and his brother, their children and their grandchildren). I purchased my first Colnago in the late 70's and have had over a dozen pass through my hands since that first purchase. I have not however ever kept a single one for more than 2 years and would not dream of paying market price either for a new or even vintage one. I simply don't see the value. Compare this to multiple De Rosa bikes in my garage, multiple Cinelli's, as well as many others... all of which I have kept long-term and will continue to keep long-term. In my view, Colnago is a safe item for beginner collectors. The prices are well-known, the quality control is sufficient to severely limits the "dogs" and a collector can get satisfaction from knowing that other collectors, no matter how serious, will "recognise" them as like-minded spirits. Try that with some obscure master-builder! Take for example the Marastoni bike I have offered up in this month's RBotM; I can assure you that it is superior in every way to any Colnago that I have ever owned: in ride, in geometry, in workmanship, in finish... however put it in front of people without serious knowledge and it will pass almost unnoticed, just the opposite of a Colnago.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:42 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
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Location: new forest
well, i used to really like them when i didn't know much more about them than their nice paint work.

in recent years i realised (and i'm talking about the steel stuff here) that they weren't actually THAT special. even more recently some things on them have been pointed out to me that makes them even less special to me.

for example, i have 2 terry dolan cougars, lovely bikes both of them and they are both custom, but lugged custom, meaning the lugs are bought in, the tubes are cut and the frame is built, so other than the differing lengths of the tubes they are no different to the standard sizes, so in essence it's the least custom you can get if that makes sense.

but the lugs are generic or cinelli or whatever so to a certain extent they are not that special and i now see a similar thing with colnago, their lugs are effectively standard but with their logo in it so in my opinion they are no more special than most other steel frames of similar pedigree.

for the record, i like them, but i don't think they are any better than for example my cougar bikes. good quality, well made but by todays custom frame builders standards not as special as i used to consider them to be.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:53 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:46 pm
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Location: Montpellier, France
They do a lot for me because as a skint teenager in the late '80s when I first discovered cycling, an exotic psychedelically-painted steel Colnago was my dream bike, but as unattainable then as Samantha Fox. I still lust after one and one day I'll find one. I still lust after Samantha Fox too but I'm a bit more realistic about that now. :roll:

I'm not sure that a Colnago is "better" than a hand made British lightweight or any of the rival but lesser-known Italian names. There is no doubt that it's one of the most magical and evocative names in cycling though, and I never get tired of seeing one.

Absolute class, in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:59 pm 
PoTM Winner
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:21 pm
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Perhaps a poll on the most desirable brands would be interesting, what brands would be short listed?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:00 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:46 am
Posts: 50
Location: San Francisco, CA USA
I had an early 80's super and the geometry was amazing, felt really good to ride.

While I do like Colnago's, the buzz about them and prices as of late are a bit much. What's more is that they fell victim to the bike boom and some of the 80's models, even the nicer ones, were poorly constructed and pumped out.

Seems like they got back on track during the late 80's though.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:11 pm 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:28 pm
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Location: Mansfield Woodhouse, Nott's.
I've found in the past Colgate is really good in making your teeth look clean! Sorry I'll get my coat...............


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 774
I have a CT1 in polished titanium - it is still a great bike to ride - I cherished one for years and it doesn't disappoint and for a 12 year old bike it still looks pretty fresh.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:13 pm
Posts: 362
Location: Depends on the weather
I could well be the wrong and unqualified person to comment but...
I have now owned one of the cheapest Colnago's (Colnago SL Cromor Sprint) on the market since 1988 and I am still immensely satisfied with the bike. It was raced for a short period in the late 80's and has since served as an excellent sportive steed. For a lengthy period (1995 - 2006) it just stood in the shed and when I gave it some light again, just to get on and ride was like finding an old, well worn jacket that just drops in to place when one puts it on!

I wouldn't trade my good old Colnago for any of the carbon fibre wonders that are out there. I don't need to or have to compete with Contador, Schleck or Cancellara so the ride and other details are fine...but then I'm a lot older than the bike is - and compared to previously (pre '88) owned steel racing bikes (Motobecanes and Raleighs), the Sprint was just in a different league.

I can't compare with custom builds (but Colnago has never - I believe - claimed to be custom built), Pinarellos, Rossins, Olmos, Olagneros, Cinellis and other wonderful Italian steel bikes. But Colnago can't be too bad - Rabobank (and all of its predecessors back as far as '87), Mape-Clas and other top teams/riders (notably Saronni) were happy to have Colnago sponsored steeds so my question is - Are Pinarellos, Rossins et al better than or worth more than comparable Colnago products?

I'll leave it there!


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