How to identify a Colnago Nuovo Mexico (First Edition)

Colnago Nuovo Mexico first Edition frame
Frame with easily visible single crimp on each side of top tube and down tube.
Image courtesy of

The Colnago Nuovo Mexico bicycle was one of the early crimped frame designs from Colnago. In the early 1980’s Colnago began experimenting with crimping main frame tubes to increase stiffness. Colnago referred to these crimps as ‘ribs’ in their early brochures. Whilst I doubt the paint scheme on this bike is original, it shows the crimped frame tubing very clearly.

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

Special features of a Colnago Nuovo Mexico 1st Edition

I believe this frame was released in 1982 not long after the Colnago Super Profil. It was the second frame to be built using crimped tubes and is easily identified by a single crimp on either side of both the top tube and the down tube.

Colnago Nuovo Mexico first version diagram
The red line in this diagram represents the crimp in the top tube and down tube.
Colnago Nuovo Mexico First Edition Top Tube
You can clearly see the crimp in the top tube.
Image courtesy of

The word PROFIL is often associated with frames that have crimped tubes. Based on my research, it seems that all varieties of these crimped frames were essentially either Colnago Super’s or Colnago Nuovo Mexico’s. The main distinguishing feature of these 2 models is the tubing used in their construction. The Colnago Super was built using (slightly heavier) Columbus SL tubes. The Colnago Nuovo Mexico was built using a combination of Columbus SL as well as (slightly lighter) Columbus Record tubing.

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

Whilst there is not much information presented in Colnago brochures of that era regarding the number of crimps and where they were located in their frames. However I am able to identify this frame with a high degree of certainty because it is identical to the frame Saronni rode to win the 1982 World Championships (find out more in the next paragraph).

Saronni’s 1982 World Championship Bike.

In 1982 Giuseppe (Beppe) Saronni won the World Championships in Goodwood, England on a bike with crimped frame tubes. This bike is on display in the Colnago museum. Read more..

It seems that the Colnago Nuovo Mexico frames did not have a chain stay bridge like all the early 1980’s Super frames did. But in the first edition of the Colnago Nuovo Mexico, the chain stays were still crimped.

Colnago Nuovo Mexico first Edition chain stays
View of the crimped chain stays with no chain stay bridge.
‘Colnago’ lettering on chain stay.
Brazed-on front derailleur mount.
3 Images courtesy of
Colnago Nuovo Mexico catalogue page (circa 1983)

Colnago Literature.

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

Article References.

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


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.


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.

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