How to identify a Colnago Super Profil

Colnago Super Profil
Colnago Super Profil Bicycle (early 1980s)
Image courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com

The Colnago Super Profil bicycle appears to be the first frame built using crimped tubes by 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.

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

Special features of a Colnago Super Profil.

I believe the Colnago Super Profil was the first frame to be built using crimped tubes. It is easy to identify by a single crimp on either side of the top tube. The rest of the frame had the same tubes and features as a regular early 1980’s Colnago Super. Here is information on How to Identify a Colnago Super.

Super Profil frame diagram
The red line in this diagram represents the crimp in the top tube. One each side.
Colnago Super Profil crimped top tube
This image shows the crimp in the top tube of the frame.
Image courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com

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).

The reason I am unable to identify the Colnago Super Profil with complete certainty is due to the following factors;

  1. There was not much information presented in Colnago brochures of that era regarding the number of crimps and where they were located in their frames. Catalogue pictures were inconclusive and the Colnago Super Profil was never mentioned in the catalogues I saw.
  2. Frame weight was an important distinction between Colnago Super’s and Colnago Mexico’s. This doesn’t help with frame identification without some kind of reference.
  3. Online resellers, bloggers etc. regularly refer to identical frames using different model names.

I also believe that the Colnago Nuovo Mexico frames did not feature a chain stay bridge like all the early 1980’s Super frames did.

Colnago Super Profil Bottom Bracket
Photo of the chain stay bridge which was a typical feature of an early 1980s Super.
Image courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com

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 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

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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