ca. 1978 - 1980 ?

Colnago Catalog


These scans are from Mark Bulgier's site.  I ran them through Photoshop to lighten them a little, and I resized them to fit the page.  I also reorganized the order of the pages - I grouped the Mexicos and Supers and I put them before all the other pages.

I think the catalog is from no earlier than 1977 because:

1.  All of the frames use the newer style of head tube decal, which combined the "Asso di Fiori" (Ace of Clubs) with World Championship stripes.  It is my understanding that this style of decal came out around 1977 or 78; and

2.  All but one of the frames have the more modern recessed-nut brake mounting (I don't think Colnago used recess-mounting before 1977).

I also think this catalog is from no later than 1981 because:

1.  All of the frames except one use clamp-on front derailleurs (braze-on front derailleurs were introduced in 1982 according to Chuck's Campy Timeline); and

2.  Six of the nine frames still use over-the-bb cable routing (this catalog seems to be from a period of transition as to gear cable routing).

If anybody has a fix on the date of this catalog, or can narrow it down some more, please let me know, because this is very important stuff :)

UPDATE:  I've been told that the Colnago stamping on the chainstays, seen on two of the frames here, dates to circa 1981.  If correct, that would make this catalog no earlier than 1981.

The Mexicos


Note the "through the chainstay" gear cable routing above.

I'm not sure if this helps in dating the catalog, but this is the same kind of bike that was presented to the Pope in 1979.  Also, this bike, like several of the others in this catalog, has a 4-hole front derailleur, which was introduced in 1978 (according to the Campy Timeline).


Neither of the two Mexicos above have crimped tubes.

This black and gold Super has a front derailleur with a straight band clamp, dating it, and probably the catalog, to no earlier than 1978 (again, according to the Campy Timeline - thanks Chuck).


This Nuovo Mexico Profil may be the "missing link."  It's hard to tell because of the white pinstriping, but I enlarged the image to inspect it, and I'm pretty sure the top and down tubes are crimped.

The decals on the chainstays only identify this frame as a Mexico (not a Nuovo Mexico Profil), which may be the reason why some of us noticed that the "early" Mexicos (like the first two above), did not have crimped tubing, while the "later" Mexicos (like this one), did have crimped tubing.

Notice that the fork crown on this frameset is fully sloping; the gear cable routing is under-the-bb; and there is a braze-on tab for the front derailleur.  I believe that the Mexico bike on which Giuseppe Saronni won the 1982 World Championship Road Race was in fact a Nuovo Mexico Profil - check it out below.


My Mexico - not a part of the catalog :)

I've always called it a Mexico Oro, but judging from this catalog, I guess I should just call it a Mexico, as the Oro name is used only for the fully gold plated frames like the one given to the Pope.

I thought my frame was a 1978 (don't go by the components as they are not original to the frame), but now I'm thinking it is a later original Mexico.  Like the two gold-plated Mexicos in the catalog, my frame does not have any crimped tubes and takes a clamp-on front derailleur.  But unlike them, it has under-the-bb cable routing (like the Nuovo Mexico Profil).  Assuming that the catalog is from 1978, I would say my frame is probably a 1979 or 1980.

UPDATE:  The chainstays on my frame are not stamped Colnago, so going by the comment I received that the stampings date to circa 1981, my guesstimate as to 1979 or 1980 seems correct (so far).

Anyway, back to the catalog...

The Supers


Well, there it is, a Super with crimped tubing!  (That is crimping along the top and down tubes, isn't it?)  I always thought that only later Mexicos had it, but I was wrong.

This Super has the same paint/decal scheme as Saronni's WC Mexico.  Take the "Super" chainstay decals away, and good luck trying to figure out if you have a Super or a Mexico!

This Super has the traditional Colnago flat fork crown and uses a clamp-on front derailleur, while the Nuovo Mexico Profil has a sloping fork crown and takes a braze-on front derailleur.  The fork tangs are also different.  I guess these are things to look at when trying to distinguish between a Super and a Mexico of this vintage.  (It used to be so much easier when I thought that only Mexicos had crimped) tubing!

UPDATE:  Not surprisingly, a couple of people wrote to say that to their eyes, this Super does not have crimped tubing, that it is simply the a dark reflection.  I admit that I considered this, and went back and forth many times on my conclusion.  In the end I decided it was not just a dark reflection.  There is a dark reflection, but there is also a lighter stripe below which seems to be the result of the crimping.  But it's a tough call and I can see how someone can come to the conclusion that none of the tubes are crimped.


This is a more traditional Super, without crimped tubing, with over-the-bb cable routing, and with no chrome other than the fork crown - the chrome-like decal on the chainstay doesn't count.  It also has the paint/decal scheme which I generally associate with Supers (although it was clearly also used on Mexicos).


The Other Models






The Cover Page



The Last Page