Colnago is an Italian brand founded in 1952 by Ernesto Colnago, one of the pioneers and most innovative manufacturers in cycling history. He once stated that he ”was born to build bicycles”, and worked with many of the greatest cyclists of the 20th Century in his early career – including Fiorenzo Magni and Fausto Coppi. This paved the way for him to achieve greatness during the 1970s with his partnership with ‘The Cannibal’. Eddy Merckx.
After the Milan-San Remo of 1970, where Michele Dancelli won astride a Colnago bicycle, some of the most beautiful creations of Ernesto’s factory would rise to legendary status in the hands of Eddy Merckx, including the super-light frame ridden to the hour record in 1972. Amongst these successes came a series of exquisite bicycles, each made with the intention of creating not only a bicycle, but a part of history.
Colnago Mexico - Colnago began production of the Mexico as a celebration of Eddy Merckx’s world hour record in 1972, built with thin Columbus tubes for less weight and responsive handling. The Mexico was always equipped with the best components available – traditionally a Campagnolo groupset and finely made Italian finishing kit.
Colnago Super - During a period when the bicycles of the Giro and Le Tour were heavyweights with extended riding positions, Colnago released the Super – compact top tubes and low head tubes for a low, aerodynamic position. A frame which soon became the landmark for all racing bikes.
Colnago Master - The Master had completely different lugs and drastically changed tubing to the Mexico, including a unique ‘crimped’ design to increase stiffness and power transfer. Avid collectors are quick to purchase original Master’s, either as a piece of art to display or an example of mechanical craft to ride.
Colnago Oval CX - The Oval CX represents the genesis of aerodynamic bicycle design. Modern superbikes in mass production like the Specialized Venge, Giant Propel and Scott Foil all owe their design to the Oval CX.
Colnago Mexico Oro - Many Colnago Mexico’s were produced, but some were particularly special. Some were chromed and a few were gold plated (one of these was presented to the Pope).
Colnago Arabeqsque - It was produced between 1984 and 1985 to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the company: Ernesto Colnago wanted to create a bicycle which would become milestone in the bicycle industry.
Only the most beautiful examples of Ernesto’s brand – like the C60 – are still made in Italy to this day. Embodied in their design is the spirit of previous great bicycles like the Mexico and the Master, and any knowledgeable collector knows the attraction of owning a fine example of Italian craft such as these.