March 31, 2012:
Photo by Anthony
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.
April 3, 2011:
Photo by Jan
Colnago at the 2011 Sandy Hook Time Trial.
Place in the Cannibal division (no aero
April 3, 2010:
Photo by Anthony
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!
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:
Colnago makes its racing (re)debut at the
2008 Sandy Hook Time Trial.
March 31, 2008:
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
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)
for the silver Benotto bar tape. Ray Dobbins
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
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.
September 29, 2007:
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
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.
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.
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
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/),
message board, and Classic
Rendezvous who have given some information
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
3.) The bike does not have a white panel on
the downtube that was on later bikes (1980
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:
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,
a 1979: image1
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
Gary Watt's restoration project of a 1983 Colnago
(thanks for the insights!).
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!