Colnago Super

peetee

Senior Retro Guru
Some 5 years ago I broke the habit of a lifetime and bought a bike that didn’t have Reynolds tubing. Much as I love British bikes I needed something to compare them to and put this obsession into some perspective. What better then than the mainstay of budding Continental wannabes; the Colnago Super?
It sat around for a while as I gathered together as much top-end Campagnolo as I could find. Then it sat around some more while work took over. Now, with a fair bit of time in my hands it’s roadworthy and been out for a jaunt. 25 miles later I returned with a huge smile on my face. What an amazing machine; it rides like a dream and as silent as a sleeping cat. The only issue is a notchy headset that made for interesting high-speed steering adjustments. Shame I had to put a 28t freewheel on there but round here I wouldn’t get far without it. The SL tubing is definitely better than 531 frames I have owned when giving some beans out of the saddle but the ride quality is as good as 531pro in my opinion.
 

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colnagophiliac

Dirt Disciple
Supers are well named. It is the model that established Colnago commercially. The later Masters ride well too but
it is the "vitality" in a Super that makes them so delightful. There is an almost imperceptible development in the 10 years of their evolution ( subsequently via the "Mexico" onto the "Nuovo Mexico" ) to demonstrate Ernesto's energies, achievements ( as in frame geometry) and direction as to where he was heading - tube profiling etc.
You don't need to convince me about Colnago Supers - see my topic "Italian Stable" on the "Readers Road Bike" forum.
 

peetee

Senior Retro Guru
colnagophiliac":nzh4tl0z said:
Supers are well named. It is the model that established Colnago commercially.

Have you ever seen another Super with chrome on the forks and whole of the rear stays?
 

colnagophiliac

Dirt Disciple
Come to think of it I haven't. There are fully chromed Supers ( which IMHO look awful) so perhaps yours was half price. Yours looks fine by the way. My Nuovo Mexico has a HALF chromed rear end.
The plot thickens!
 

peetee

Senior Retro Guru
Re:

Cheers. Neither have I - not that I’m an expert mind. were they off-the-peg only or was customised finish an option?
I can’t wait for some decent weather to take it out again. Although it’s dry, the roads round here get covered in debris and field run-off last for days at this time of year.
 

HPL

Dirt Disciple
Re: Re:

peetee said:
Cheers. Neither have I - not that I’m an expert mind. were they off-the-peg only or was customised finish an option?
I can’t wait for some decent weather to take it out again. Although it’s dry, the roads round here get covered in debris and field run-off last for days at this time of year.

You could order as much or as little chrome as you wanted; same with braze-ons. Custom frame finishes are much more common in the European market than in the export market. My friend went to the factory to order his frame when we were in Italy; he sold me his Super which he was replacing with the new frame.
I just picked another (yes, guilty) Super about 2 weeks ago after buying my first Super (circa '77 model) in the mid '80s (my friend's old bike, I still have it!). This "new" Super seems to be about 1980-81, no chrome, original paint and decals; bought from original owner. Will be shedding the rack, "comfort" saddle, and foam bar grip before I ride on it; I would feel foolish otherwise. The frame looks to have less than 1000 km, maybe less than 500. Decals matching or nearly matching a Colnago '83 catalog Super, but frame details are prior to '83 and definitely post '76. Campy crank date codes do not match ('80 & '83), rear mech is Athena so no help on dating it via Campy patent date. It has a melange parts: Campy mix drivetrain and brakes (Super Record/Record/Gran Sport/Triomphe/Athena), 3t bar/stem, OFMEGA (small chain ring replaced), Shimano "Arabesque" headset, and a fairly modern Weinmann wheel set. Mavic/Campy Record wheel set already built. Just need some dark green cloth bar tape and waiting for previous owner to send toe cages and straps which were found after the sale.

Everyone please be safe out there.

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colnagophiliac

Dirt Disciple
I like seeing the rack on that bike. I've sold off several Colnagos over the last 10 years or so - trying to rationalize the collection and keep the quality up ( and attempt - unsuccessfully - to keep the numbers down). I wish I had kept one for using as a shopping bike, even better fit one with a front rack as a "Porteur" ( not sure what that would be in Italian.) Of course, one can always be added to the N+1 waiting list.
 

HPL

Dirt Disciple
colnagophiliac said:
I like seeing the rack on that bike. I've sold off several Colnagos over the last 10 years or so - trying to rationalize the collection and keep the quality up ( and attempt - unsuccessfully - to keep the numbers down). I wish I had kept one for using as a shopping bike, even better fit one with a front rack as a "Porteur" ( not sure what that would be in Italian.) Of course, one can always be added to the N+1 waiting list.

My Italian is rusty; porteur = portari or vettori (?); cannot remember; it has been awhile since I was there.
I am not against racks in general, but not on that particular bike which I do not expect to be taking runs to the store on; got the Raleigh sports for that. I would also be careful with adding racks to some of these older racing bikes since the weight load might not be prudent (I definitely would not do it with a 753 frame); although for myself at 10 stone I do not think it would affect the frame integrity; but someone about 1 1/4 times my weight/13 stone or more with racks loaded might be stressing the frame. I do not know since I have only damaged bikes in crashes.
I have yet to sell a Colnago since they hold are dear place in my heart as being the first true racing bike I owned when I first bought a '70s Super. Now, still with that bike after 40 years, and adding another Super to the mix; I have a couple Supers, Nuovo Mexico, Saronni Criterium (looking for information on this one), Super Piu, Carbitubo, and Asso.

Previous owner kindly sent me the toe cages and straps; some nice Campy Superleggeri cages and Binda straps.

I found a Modolo gold anodized brakeset in my stash so it will replace the Campy Gran Sport that is presently installed; and Nuovo Record derailleurs to replace the Athena and Triomphe mechs. Mavic GP4's with Campy Record hubs will replace the more modern Weinmann wheelset.
 
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