March 31, 2012:

Sandy Hook 2012
Photo by Anthony Skorochod.

The 2012 Sandy Hook Time Trial: 40oF, wet and windy.  Not ideal conditions for a race against the clock.  Finished 6th in the event.  One of these years, I am going to get a podium finish on this bike! 

For this year, using something old and something new with a Mavic MA40 Rim and 2012 Mavic Yksion tires.  Also used a PowerTap as the rear wheel (32H hub and the yellow head unit is on the handlebars).  The rear hub just fits into the frame's rear dropouts with a little bit of encouragement.  Eight-speed cassette loads onto the M10 axle and works with the non-indexed downtube shifters and rear dérailleur.

Mavic MA40 Rim and Yksion Tire

April 3, 2011:

Sandy Hook 2011 The Colnago at the 2011 Sandy Hook Time Trial.
6th Place in the Cannibal division (no aero equipment).
Photo by Jan Curran

April 3, 2010:

                      Hook 2010
Photo by Anthony Skorochod.

The Colnago and I returned to the Sandy Hook Time Trial in 2010.  7th Place in the Eddy Category, a division that does not use aerodynamic handlebars or riding position, aero wheels, aero helmet, or any modern wind cheating technologies that were not available to Eddy Merckx, "The Cannibal", during his racing career in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 

Not a bad result for a 30+ year old bicycle!

Full disclosure: I did use a PowerTap rear wheel and the yellow head unit can be seen on the bars.  The hub was laced to a Mavic Open Pro box-style rim, 32 spokes.  No wind cheating here.


April 5, 2008:

Sandy Hook ITT 2008
Photo by Anthony Skorochod.
The Colnago makes its racing (re)debut at the 2008 Sandy Hook Time Trial.

March 31, 2008:

The Sandy Hook Time Trial is just a few days away, and the final parts arrived during the past week to make the bike ready for the event.  As I've been planning since I first obtained the bicycle, I have registered to race in the Cannibal category - no deep section wheels, aero helmet, or other wind-cheating equipment.  The Colnago should be perfect.

Now that it is ready, I snapped these photos for a before-after comparison.  Just with cleaning and replacement of some parts which were well-worn, it is amazing to see the comparison to the bicycle as I received it.

Thanks to Robbie Fellows for the reproduction brake hoods (found through
Classic Rendezvous, of course) and  rusty8857 for the silver Benotto bar tape.  Ray Dobbins documented the best bar wrapping method - thanks.

The Ideale 91 Swallow saddle that came with the bike started to tear through the leather, so I had to stop riding it.  It has been replaced with a more recent San Marco Concor.  The drilled brake levers are installed, and Michelin Pro Race Service Course clincher tires are mounted for the ITT.  Speedplay pedals are also on the bike for practical reasons.

Though it looks great in the photos, it is worth noting that nothing on the bike has been repainted, rechromed, or professionally polished.  It has all been cleaned, but  that is all.  Some of the components were taken off the bike for cleaning and adjustment, but only the bottom bracket and headset have been fully disassembled.

As mentioned, the painted portions of the frame were cleaned with  Meguiar's products: clay, buffed with Fine Cut Cleaner, and polished with Hand Polish.  I took care around the decals so they would not be removed (the clay would take them off immediately).  Carnuba wax finished the painted areas.  A handy method to remove the gunk built up on the rims, spokes, and components was Mr Clean Magic Eraser Sponges.  These were finished with the Hand Polish.  Some rust still remains on the rim eyelets, but they are much better than as I found them.  The chrome fork was also polished with the Hand Polish.  The paint is still very scratched, exposing the primer or some surface rust in several locations.  The chrome fork finish is very pitted.  Only a full repaint and rechrome will address these items.  It would be the next significant step to take if I decide to fully restore the bike.

side view




front hub


September 29, 2007:

Photographer Richard DeLaume was in New York and asked to photograph some members of the team with their bicycles.  I told him about the Colnago project and he was quite excited about it, so I brought it along for the shoot. the images appeared in the April 2008 edition of Velo Magazine.



September 14, 2007 Update:

With further input from the bicycle sages on the
Classic Rendezvous list, all indicators point to a 1980 frame.  The following excerpted from the Colnago checklist, version 6:

Fork crown for recessed brake bolt with shallow triangles cut into back
Short "Colnago" drop-outs
(no notes for this year)
Fluted seat stay caps engraved "Colnago" and straight seat stays, no longer biconical
Brake bridge with cast square boss for recessed brake bolt 
Chain stay bridge is small spool shape, no longer tube
Chain stays stamped "Colnago" on sides 
Cable routing on underside of bottom bracket

The U78 stamped onto the dropout doesn't have any meaning for dating.

September 2007 Update:

Completed the basic fix-up and made it road-worthy, including a new bottom bracket spindle, races + bearings, and a Suntour Winner Pro 12-21 7-speed cassette.  My reaction within the first few miles of riding it: Holy Cow!  This might be one of the best frames I have ever ridden!  Admittedly, I've never been on a really good Italian steel racing bike, but the ride on this Colnago is great.  Very smooth, tight turning response, good jump on the pedals.  My closest comparison would be a steel Serotta (the Coeur d'Acier) that I took on a ride for a few hours.  The Serotta was certainly lighter than this Colnago, but I wouldn't say the Serotta was better.

This Colnago has me rethinking my attitude on steel.  I'm wondering if my next race bike should be an Independent with the new Reynolds 953 tubing... if it can be built solid enough for crits and sprints.

For the Colnago, I've clayed, polished and waxed the frame.  A lot of the yellowed gunk on the frame's paint came off and the basic silver paint is much more visible.  Also did a simple polishing of the fork.  Overall, it looks significantly better.  I also did a test polish of the Mavic rims and they could turn out nicely, though  I need to get a more abrasive polish to get the surface rust off the eyelets.

In cleaning, a big discovery on the date of the frame.  The dropout is stamped "Colnago U78".  I can only guess this indicates 1978.  The components are definitely earlier, stamped "Patent 72" on the rear derailer. 

Rear Dropout

Rear Derail

Suntour Sprint

I'm still  debating whether to leave this frame "as is" or go in for a full restoration with repainting, polishing components, new "proper" Campy wheelset (though I'd likely build it with a contemporary rim), etc, etc.  Full resto was certainly my first reaction and the rust certainly isn't going to get better, though I'm  now hesitant to rinse away the unique patina this bicycle has acquired, for better or worse.

July 2007 Update:

I've bought some new cables, new tires, chain, and cleaned-up the bike a bit.  I'm going to do some basic maintenance to make it ridable again.  I'll see how well it fits and rides before tackling any major restoration efforts.  However, I did pick-up a set of drilled Campagnolo brake levers because... well, they just looked nice.

May 21, 2007 Update:

A few more pieces of information.

I've taken another look and there are no numbers on the frame.  There is no club cutout on the underside of the Bottom Bracket.

The rear derailer has the stamp "Patent-72" on the top.

The crank arm only has a name "Strada" and length "172.5". Around the circumference of the pedal screw-in is marked "9/16x20F"; I'm guessing this is the threading. I did not see any other numbers on the crank, unless they are gunked over and I can't read it.

Thanks to everyone at the Vintage Lightweights Yahoo group (http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/VintageLeightweightsCampagnolo/), the NYCC message board, and Classic Rendezvous who have given some information to date.

From the input I've received at the moment, I am beginning to suspect this is a bike with earlier components (1972), and switched to a later frame (maybe 1978 or 1979).  Why?

1.)  The "72" on the derailer suggests 1972
2.)  Top tube cable guides did not appear until ~1976.
3.)  The bike does not have a white panel on the downtube that was on later bikes
(1980 and beyond)
4.)  "Colnago"  stamp on the dropouts appeared in the late 70's.

For those interested in the frame dimensions:
Seat Tube: 58cm (Center-to-Center)
Top Tube: 57cm (Center-to-Center)
Wheelbase: 99cm (+/- with the horizontal dropouts)
BB Height: 27cm
Rear Spacing: 126mm

Images of other bikes found online:

a suspected 1978 or 1979: note the vertical "Colnago"on the top of the seat stays.  However, the frame has set screws in the dropouts.  (August note: my frame does, too, I just couldn't see them before!  No screws, though)

a 1979: image1 image2

a 1978 that looks very similar: the lettering and striping are almost identical, fork crown is the same, and the chainstay protector is the same silver color with yellow edging near the dropout.  The only difference is at the top of the seat stay; this bike does not have vertical "Colnago" lettering.  This bike also has a club cutout at the bottom bracket underside; mine does not.

Gary Watt's restoration project of a 1983 Colnago before and after (thanks for the insights!).

May 2007

Below are several images of a Colnago that I recently obtained.  I'm guessing this is from the mid or late 1970s, but I don't know for certain.  I'm trying to date this bicycle and find out just what it is.

The frame has a lot of chips and scrapes.  A lot of the discoloring is exposed red primer or a bit of surface rust, though none of the rust looks too bad, fortunately.  Looks like it was sitting in the back of someone's damp garage, without any attention or care.  All the chrome on the fork is pitted, worn, and/or lost its luster.  The area around the bottom bracket and a couple inches up each of the tubes may have been repainted; it is a slightly different color and texture.  All the lettering and striping are just decals - none are clearcoated so they're all coming off or have been partly scraped away.  Components look like they're in reasonable shape, all Campagnolo (even the pedals, except the red clips).  The design just looks really nice.  The hubs are Suntour Sprint with Mavic MA40 rims and DT spokes, so I'm guessing the wheels were a later swap by the prior owner, tires read 700x26.  5-speed cassette is also Suntour.

I would really just like to know what I've got on my hands, since it could be a good size for me.  Might actually be perfect for a Cannibal-style Time Trial with the 54/45 chain rings and tight 5-speed cluster!!  The reality check options:

a.)  Worthy of a $$ investment with repainting, rechroming, and general restoration
b.)  Just recable it, put on new tires, and use it as a neighborhood beater
c.)  Forget it, don't waste the time

Email me directly with any comments or thoughts.

thanks in advance!






rear d2






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