How to identify a Colnago Mexico

1979 Colnago Mexico Oro
1979 Colnago Mexico Oro
Image courtesy of speedbicycles.ch

The Colnago Mexico bicycle was released in the early 1970’s to celebrate the 1972 Eddy Merckx world hour record. Whilst it is difficult to determine exactly how long the Colnago Mexico was in production, but there is a gold plated Colnago Mexico Oro still advertised in an early 1980’s Colnago brochure.

Before you start with the identification process, you should start here;
How to identify a Colnago vintage bike.

Special features of a Colnago Mexico.

The Colnago Mexico is almost identical to the Colnago Super in appearance, but the Mexico was built using thinner Columbus Record tubing which resulted in a lighter frame. According to the chart below, a 58cm Colnago Mexico frame & fork was 170 grams (6 ounces) lighter than a smaller 57cm Colnago Super frame.

Colnago Columbus Tube Chart
Type and weight of tubing used in Colnago Super and Mexico frames (circa 1981).

Visually the main difference between the Colnago Mexico and the Colnago Super (of the same era), is the Colnago Mexico has round/oval chain stays, whereas the Colnago Super has indentations in the chain stay tubing for both tyre clearance and chainring clearance. As you can see in the following images, both the Colnago Super and Colnago Mexico featured a chain stay bridge.

Images courtesy of speedbicycles.ch

Chain stay indentations of a 1970’s Colnago Super.

In the following image you can see the indentations that were present in the chain stays of a Colnago Super of the same era. Image courtesy of vintagevelo.co.uk

Catalogue Pages.

Colnago Mexico advertisement (circa 1973)
Colnago Mexio catalogue page (circa 1981)

The following excerpt below is from a USA Colnago dealer catalogue (1981).

Colnago Mexico and Super pricing in USD (1981)

Colnago Mexico Oro.

The Colnago Mexico was produced in both regular painted colours as well as a limited edition, fully gold-plated version known as the Colnago Mexico Oro. One of the first Colnago Mexico Oro’s was presented to Pope John Paul II by Ernesto Colnago. The bike was later returned to Colnago and added to the Colnago Museum. You can read more about that on rouleur.cc

Colnago Mexio Oro catalogue page (circa 1981)

Colnago Literature.

The following websites have a large selection scanned Colnago literature including reviews, catalogues and brochures.

bulgier.net
2velo.com

Article References.

I hope you found this article interesting. I have listed the following website pages as general references.

www.bikeforums.net
en.wikipedia.org

Disclaimer!

Please remember that this information is only to be used as a guide.
I consider myself an enthusiast, not an expert. The information I have presented in this article is based on my many hours of online research.

In addition, there will always be frames that don’t quite match the characteristics of a particular model as they could have been a custom build, prototype etc. Note: forks can also be swapped between different frames.

Comments.

I welcome reader feedback in the comments section. Should you wish to suggest an amendment, please include a note advising the source of your information so that myself and other readers can ascertain the accuracy of your information. Note: Trolling or argumentative comments will be removed as they are counter-productive.

4 thoughts on “How to identify a Colnago Mexico

  • Hi,

    Do you know if Mexico from early 80s have crimps inside the chain stays?

    I have a Super of 1981 which have long crimps inside each stays, while I recently have got a frame set that was presented to me like a Super of 1981 but the chain stays does not present crimps, the rest is the same (round tube shape). That makes me wonder that it’s Actually a Mexico but I could not verify the weight.

    Thanks

    • It is a good question. For it to be an original Mexico, the frame would need to feature older characteristics in terms of the above BB cable routing configuration, bottom bracket club shape cut-out as shown in picture, tube shaped chain stay bridge and no crimps in the chain stays (as I understand). Things I doubt you will find on an original Mexico frame are a below BB cable routing and either no chain stay bridge or a spool shaped chain stay bridge. Those are the hallmarks of a late model Super assuming the frame has all round tubes with no crimping in the 3 main tubes.

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