1972 Colnago Super

58 cm. center-to-center

"28" stamped on right dropout and fork steerer

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The chromed head lugs and the Pantografata stem and post had me thinking this was a Super-Pantografata model, but it isn't.  It's a Super with special-order chrome lugs and the panto parts were added later.

The parts I changed are the saddle, the wheels, the bottle cage and the handlebar wrap.  Everything else came with the bike.

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Hon Lee wrote to say that this shot above "has that equine sensation of a gorgeous animal turning its head slightly and pawing the earth, proud and beautiful. "  Great imagery, huh?

 

 

 

 

 

My "research" indicates that this is a second-generation, short version Pantografata seat post.  If you want to see how I reached this conclusion, click here.

The bike came with a beautiful Ideale saddle, but this Unicanitor is a more appropriate saddle, based on the Super-Pantografata brochure.  You can see a low-resolution copy of the brochure here.  (Charles Andrews has the original brochure, but as of 11/7/07, I'm still waiting for the high-quality scan he promised me two months ago - hint, hint.)

That is the original fill paint in the flutes and diamond.  I did not re-fill any of the pantographing on the seat post or stem - or the lug cutouts, for that matter.

Supers with chrome head lugs are very rare, even though they were available as a special-order option.  Super-Pantografatas, on the other hand, all had chrome head lugs - or at least they're supposed to.

Those are REG shifter covers.  They look dowdy compared to the milled/lightened shifters seen on Pantografatas, but they sure are more comfortable and make shifting easier.

 

 

The hoods looked pretty bad when I got the bike.  Fortunately they responded very well to Armor-All Low Gloss treatments.  They are still dry and delicate - they would not survive an attempt to remove them - but they look 100% better.

By the way, those are first generation Nuovo Record brake levers, with the round hole underneath, so, together with the slight battle scars on the blades, I'm sure they are original to the bike.

 

I used Viva cloth bar tape from Jitensha Studio.  Very nice quality with adhesive backing, but I still had to run it through the washer to make it behave properly.  I've found that after it comes out of the washer (in other words, while it is still wet) cotton tape is much more pliable.  It will stretch and conform much better, and it will dry tight.  This trick will work even with adhesive-backed cloth tape.

I also wrapped the bars with the brake lever clamps already on the bar, otherwise the tape would have been too short.  This wrapping technique also saved the old hoods because I didn't have to pull them back to get the tape under them - the hoods are too old for that, they would have split.  If you  are not familiar with this wrapping technique, you can see an explanation here.

From now on I'm going to do what Bob Hovey does - buy cotton twill ribbon in bulk rolls.  It's cheaper, it's just as good, and it's never too short, no matter how wide your bars are.  The only thing it doesn't have is adhesive, but if you wrap it while wet, it will dry tight enough that it won't slip - I know because the cotton tape I used on my Molteni Replica did not have adhesive.

These 1A stems are probably among the last Cinelli stems used by Colnago.  I don't recall ever seeing any Cinelli 1R stems with Colnago pantographing.  Sometime around 1977 Colnago seems to have switched to 3ttt stems exclusively (and then in the mid 80's he also used ITM stems in addition to 3ttt).

 

The five diamond/rhombus design, with the World Championship colors, was used by Colnago exclusively for the Pantografata parts.  The Pantografata brake levers also had the same five diamond design.  If anybody has a set of those for sale, please let me know.

 

The chrome TA cage was borrowed from my 72 Masi.

UPDATE:  My thanks to Kurt Sperry for pointing out that the rear brake shoes are installed backwards.  They came like that, but still, I should have noticed!

I also borrowed these Martano/Pirelli wheels from my Masi.  The wheels that came with the Super were rebuilt clinchers that will be great for worry-free riding, but they really aren't show material.  You can see pics of the bike with the original wheels here.

UPDATE:  Ted Ernst wrote with this great annecdote:

Pirelli tires were made by Clement to Pirelli specs and most agreed were better than the Clement 250gm same competitive model tire. When I was the coach for the American team at the 10 day stage race in San Cristobal, Venezuela, back in '72, the Swiss had brought 50 of the Pirellis as spares, they used a few and panhandled the rest to the other teams. When the race was over they pocketed the $$. Odd how races tear up equipment. They were aged by the Swiss for 2 years before they were brought out to race!

 

These Martano rims have two ridges around the sidewalls.  Were these rims meant for use in rain?

See the touch-up on the top part of the stay?  (I also see two tiny nicks that I missed, next to brake shoe.)  I've discovered that good color matching is the key to successful touch ups.  If you want to see before-and-after pics of the touch-ups I did on the whole frame, check out my  touch-up page.

 

Regina Oro freewheel, and chain - or is it?  The chain has "SC" markings on the plates - does it mean it's not an Oro?

UPDATE:  My thanks to John Jorgensen wrote to explain that the SC stands for Super Corsa.  The SC, with it's beveled side-plate perimeter (not straight stamped, like the Extra), was the top of the line Regina chain at the time.   So it's an SC Oro.

I'm sure that this derailleur is an original component of the bike.

 

The no-date-code crank arms and the Merckx-style drilled ring are probably original components too.

 

I love the drilling and countersinking on this ring.  It is not the most intricate that I've seen (like the one on John Barron's Paramount), but I really like this look.  As much as I like it, however, I would be tempted to swap it for a Pantografata style one, just to turn this bike into a complete Pantografata.  If you have what I need...

Notice the clear housing surrounding the shifter cable.  Shifting is smoother and the underside of the guides are protected.  I have the same housing on both shifter cables, but you can't see it in this photo.

This bike was well cared for - otherwise those chainstay decals would not be there today.

Chrome plated spokes!  I didn't realize they were chromed until I saw some of the plating had come off.  You can see it in a couple of spots in this photo.  By the way, the spoke heads have a sort of Y symbol on them.  What brand that is?

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That's it, now I have to take it for a test ride.  And then start working on my next project, the 83 Bianchi Specialissima.

In case you don't know, I have a couple other pages with photos that document the bike from the time it was on eBay, through the unpacking and then the touch-up process.  You can find links to these other pages in my 72 Super - Main Page.

Thanks for looking and as always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Ray Dobbins

Posted 11/7/07

Updated 11/18/07

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