How to identify a Colnago Nuovo Mexico

Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version
Colnago Nuovo Mexico
Image courtesy of premium-cycling.com

The Colnago Nuovo Mexico was produced in two different versions. The primary difference between these versions was the crimping on the down tube.

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.

The first edition of the Nuovo Mexico featured one central crimp on either side of the down tube. The second edition of the Colnago Nuovo Mexico featured two offset crimps on either side of the down tube which gave it a ‘clover’ like aesthetic.

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

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).

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 www.classicsteelbikes.com
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 www.classicsteelbikes.com

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 catalogue page (circa 1983)

Whilst the above Colnago brochure does mention crimps (ribs), it doesn’t specify how many or their location on the frame, however I am able to identify this frame as a Nuovo Mexico with a high degree of certainty because it is identical to the frame Saronni rode to win the 1982 World Championships.

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..

Colnago Nuovo Mexico (2nd Edition)

I believe the second edition Colnago Nuovo Mexico frame was released around 1984, not long after the first edition of the Colnago Nuovo Mexico. It was the third frame to be built using crimped tubes and is easily identified by a single crimp on either side the top tube and two offset crimps on each side the down tube (total of 4 crimps on down tube). It seems the second edition of the Colnago Nuovo Mexico did not feature crimped chain stays.

Colnago Nuovo Mexico second version diagram
The red lines in this diagram represents the crimp in the top tube and dual offset crimps in the down tube.
Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version top tube crimp
Single crimp in top tube.
Image courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com
Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version Down tube
Excellent picture of the offset crimped down tube with bottle cage mount.
Image courtesy of premium-cycling.com
Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version Top Tube
‘Colnago’ lettering in flat seat stay caps (in earlier versions).
Image courtesy of premium-cycling.com
Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version seat stays
‘Colnago’ lettering in rounded seat stay caps (in later versions).
Image courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com
Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version chain stays no crimp
No crimp on inside of the chain stays.
Image courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com
Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version Head Tube
Club symbol on lower head tube lug.
Sloping fork crown with ‘Colnago’ lettering and club symbol
Image courtesy of premium-cycling.com
Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version Bottom Bracket top
Dual offset crimps on downtube.
Club symbol on top of bottom bracket.
Image courtesy of premium-cycling.com
Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version Chain stays
‘Colnago’ lettering on chainstays.
I don’t think the Mexico decal was standard on this model.
Image courtesy of premium-cycling.com
Colnago Nuovo Mexico Second Version Bottom Bracket underside
Shift cable guides under bottom bracket.
No chain stay bridge.
Image courtesy of premium-cycling.com

The following extract from a Colnago catalogue (circa 1985) specifies the number of crimps (ribs) on the top tube (2) as well as the down tube (4) and the tube diameters. Interestingly this brochure also refers to the model as a Mexico rather than a Nuovo Mexico.

Colnago Nuovo Mexico catalogue page (circa 1985)

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.steel-vintage.com
www.classiccyclists.com
premium-cycling.com
www.pezcyclingnews.com

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.

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