I bought this bike back at the end of November as a gift to myself to celebrate full retirement age. I will keep working but reduce my hours grinding tools and increase my hours riding my bike(s) plus spend more time with my wife . This Colnago came from a fellow Bike Forum member who had two , a 1973 which he restored, and the one I bought. It should be restored at some point as the original paint is showing its age although still somewhat presentable. The mechanics of the bike are very good as , though it was ridden a lot , it was maintained. I am riding the bike the way it came to me and when I am ready to part with it for a few months to let the painter/restorer paint it and reapply the decals then clear coat , I will have that done.
This is the photo from the ad on Bike Forums taken by the previous owner. It is a 62cm frame which is the sweet spot for me. This photo shows it with sew up rims and tires (tubular) which would not work for me.I average 2-3 flats a year and sew ups require carring a spare tire . If you get a flat you have to get the old tire off which is glued on and replace it , usually riding without glue to keep the tire from coming free, so corners are sketchy. I had him change to clinchers where you can patch or replace the tube and continue riding. Sew up tires are said to have a much better ride quality so they are very popular with racers. I had him put some Panaracer tires on the clincher wheels which are period correct for this bike. Gentleman Super Champion wheels with stainless steel spokes laced to Campagnolo Record High Flange hubs. This is my preferred set up for most of my vintage racers.
These are the wheels that are now on the bike and will allow me peace of mind while riding the rural areas of Ventura County. He installed a nice vintage 6 speed Suntour Perfect freewheel with a 28 tooth low to help with the hills. Originally these came with much higher close ratio gears , probably Regina brand , which not only require very strong legs but are not as trouble free as the Suntour FW’s. I had to true the rear wheel when I got the bike unpacked , but the front was nice.
This is an ad for the bike I bought, maybe a few years later 1980 or so , but the same bike. They didn’t change significantly for several years. Ernesto Colnago built a lot of bikes for many racers and sponsored quite a few. He was quite prolific as I am told, and when my bike was made , he had about 8 people producing bicycles . The bikes are not rare at all but they comand high prices because they were such wonderful bikes and many are still on the road. Colnago did not have serial numbers until a few years after mine was made , so getting any exact dating can be tricky. You have to go by subtle frame features like lug cut outs and fork details to get an acurate mfg. date. Due to the fork crown embossing and the club shaped cut outs in the lugs and fork stiffeners,(The bottom bracket has the matching club cut out.) mine is between 1975 and 1976.
The first photo shows the cut out under the bottom bracket shell , the second shows the stiffener cut out inside the fork, and the third shows the cut out on the lower head tube lug and the fork crown detail. These details and the lack of brazed on top tube cable guides helps date the bike. The other nice thing about this bike is that the seat is an early buffalo hyde covered Cinelli seat that, even though old and worn, is quite comfy.
I have enjoyed riding this bike while still making time for my other classsic racers. Colnago’s are worthy of their following and I can see why folks who own or have owned them speak so highly of the ride quality . I just wish I would’ve had this when I was in my twenties and able to put it through its paces, but , for now I will pedal as I am able and enjoy all that it offers. I have introduced this bike to the west coast after spending most of its life on the east coast , from New York to Maryland . This was from my first ride to the beach after unboxing and tuning it for my personal fit. That is Santa Cruz Island in the background and the Ventura Harbor Getty. This is our Winter here in Southern California and I am taking full advantage!