How to identify a Colnago Super

Colnago Super 1975
Image courtesy of www.speedbicycles.ch

The Colnago Super bicycle was the first production model Colnago released back in 1968. It was manufactured using Columbus SL tubing, however larger frame sizes used thicker Columbus SP tubing. You can see in the chart below that a 57cm Colnago Super frame and fork was barely any lighter than a larger 58cm Colnago Super frame and fork.

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

Colnago designed this frame for high performance using a different geometry to other manufacturers of the period. The Colnago Super was also stiffer and lighter. It was extremely popular and remained in production for some 30+ years. For majority of those years, the Colnago Super was built using plain round tubes for the top tube, down tube and seat tube. It also featured crimped chain stays. If you have a Colnago vintage steel frame with 3 round tubes, there is a high likelihood the frame is a Colnago Super.

During all those years of production, the frame received regular updates to it’s design and styling. If you compare a 1970’s Colnago Super frame with a 1980’s model, there are many features that will be different. To add to the complexity, variants of the Colnago Super were released like the Colnago Superissimo and Colnago Super Sprint making it a bit more complicated to determine an exact model.

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

Features of a very early Colnago Super.

These images show some of the features found in an early model Colnago Super.
Images courtesy of www.speedbicycles.ch.

Colnago Super (circa 1968).

The following photos highlight features typical to a frame of this era.
Images courtesy of Art Bikes.

Colnago Super (circa 1971).

The following photos highlight features typical to a frame of this era.
Images courtesy of www.speedbicycles.ch.

Colnago Super (circa 1972).

The following photos highlight features typical to a frame of this era.
Images courtesy of www.speedbicycles.ch.

Colnago Super (circa 1973).

The following photos highlight features typical to a frame of this era.
Images courtesy of www.speedbicycles.ch.

Colnago Super (circa 1974).

The following photos highlight features typical to a frame of this era.
Images courtesy of www.speedbicycles.ch.

Colnago Super (circa 1976).

The following photos highlight features typical to a frame of this era.
Images courtesy of www.speedbicycles.ch.

Colnago Super (circa 1978).

The following photos highlight features typical to a frame of this era.
Images courtesy of www.classicsteelbikes.com.

Colnago Super (circa 1981).

The following photos highlight features typical to a frame of this era.
Images courtesy of premium-cycling.com and www.vintagevelo.co.uk.

Colnago Super Più.

Any model with a Più suffix implies that the rear brake cable is routed internally in the top tube of the frame, instead of on top of the top tube. There was an official Colnago Super Più model released in the early 1990’s. Any versions prior to this were probably built to customer request.

Colnago Super Profil.

Learn how to identify a Colnago Super Profil bike.

Other Colnago Catalogue Variants.

  • ‘Victory’ which was a Colnago Super frame supplied with a Campagnolo Victory group set.

Colnago Super beyond the mid 1980’s

The Colnago Super and similar versions (with different names), continued to be listed in Colnago catalogues up to 2004 with the ‘Classic’ and possibly even beyond. This reference only covers frames manufactured up to the mid 1980’s.

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

Colnago Mexico and Colnago Super pricing in US dollars (1981)
Colnago Super catalogue page (circa 1982)

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.classicvintagecycles.org
www.velo-retro.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.

2 thoughts on “How to identify a Colnago Super

  • Hi, what a brilliant site, very useful. Can I ask if I can send a photo showing a Super frame from around 1977? The seller suggests it is, however, I am not so sure?

    Kind regards

    John

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for posting a comment and your kind words. In regards to your query, unfortunately I don’t consider myself an expert on Colnago frame identification. I simply created this website to be a compilation of all the information I found online. This page contains everything I have learnt about the different versions of the Colnago Super. If the frame you wish to purchase doesn’t match the typical features of a frame depicted here, then you are right to be cautious.

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