How to identify a Colnago International or Super Sprint

Colnago International
Colnago International circa 1986.
Image courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com

The Colnago International bicycle was first listed in a circa 1986 Colnago catalogue. It was sold as a complete bike fitted with a Ofmega Premier group and just like the Colnago Super, it was built using Columbus SL tubes (according to the catalogue).

The following year (1987 catalogue), it appears the International was renamed as the Colnago Classic International and was now offered as a complete bike or as a frameset. However, the frame was now built using a mix of Columbus SL tubes and slightly heavier Columbus Cromor tubes. Presumably this was done to create a lower price point for the Colnago Classic International. I presume it probably shared similar geometry to the Colnago Super.

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

Features of a Colnago International.

These images are a mix of two mid 1980’s International bikes to show the general features of the Colnago International.
Images courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com

Colnago International catalogue page (circa 1987)
Colnago International catalogue page (circa 1987)

What about the Colnago Super Sprint?

The Colnago Classic International was dropped from the 1988 catalogue and appears to have been reborn as the Colnago Super Sprint (definitely a more catchy name). Like the Colnago Classic International, this model was built from a mix of Columbus SL and Columbus Cromor tubing. One year later in Colnago’s 1989 catalogue, the Colnago Super Sprint was pictured with chrome plated head tube lugs.

Colnago Super Sprint catalogue page (circa 1988)
Colnago Super Sprint catalogue page (circa 1988)

If you want to see detailed images of a Super Sprint frame, please refer to this article on the LFGSS website.

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.steel-vintage.com
Columbus tubing chart

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.

About Me.

I have been riding and working on my own bikes for many years now. I wanted to share my experiences, knowledge and research with others. My aim is to inspire people to get involved in all aspects of this amazing sport. Cheers.

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.

6 thoughts on “How to identify a Colnago International or Super Sprint

  • Would an International ever have Colnago lettering stamped on the non-chromed chainstay? I’m looking at a frame that I want to buy that seems to have all the hallmarks of an International with this additional lettering, the seller doesn’t seem to know what model it is exactly.

    • I suspect that if it has the lettering on the RHS chain stay that it is a Colnago Super. Unfortunately, I don’t have lots of the data on the Colnago International which was a Super in 1986 and then in 1987 it was changed to slightly heavier gauge tubes and sold as a cheaper frameset.

  • Hi guys,posted another comment under the Super section. Trying to identify the model of Colnago I have is causing me to lose precious sleep…The model I have has the exact same bottom bracket and fork as the International but all other aspects point to a Super. The rear stays are stamped at the seatpost as well as the chain stays. Here’s where it gets weird though,the bike does not appear to be resprayed but it had super decals on the down tube. Upon closer inspection I noticed another decal at the bottom. After carefully removing it,it has what looks like an original Colnago Sport decal. At this point it might be easier to email Colnago and ask if I can create my own line: Colnago Super International Sport! Hoping to get some insight from you guys on this one. Cheers

    • Hi Bradley. Catchy name or maybe the Colnago International Super Sport! According to my research the Colnago Sport has no Colnago club or brand markings, so I think you can eliminate that model. According to the catalogues, I believe the primary difference between the Super & (International / Sprint) was the Super was built from all Columbus SL tubes, the (International / Sprint) were built using a mix of Columbus SL and Cromor tubing. If the Super decals look original, that’s most likely what it is, they were sold in large numbers. Only a few models have forks that were specifically built for that model. Many models share the same forks which have different crown markings according to the era of manufacture.

      • Hi Rouleur,
        Thanks for insight and info. I done a bit more researching as I’m trying to find a decal set to match as I’m likely going to refurb the frame. Interestingly I came across a post on steel vintage (https://steel-vintage.com/colnago-super-mexico-1986-saronni-red-130212-detail)
        Which helps in identifying the frame and eliminating the guess work…although I did like the possibility of a new name!
        Next question,which is the best decal sets/manufacturer of decals you’ve come across?
        Rgds
        Brad

        • Hi Brad,
          Glad to hear you have found the mid 1980’s Super as a match for your frame. I purchased my decals from an Australian based supplier https://www.cyclomondo.net/. Greg can mix’n’match decals from any set and he can also replicate decals that are not currently in his library. There are plenty of decal options for the Colnago Super depending on your preference and how period correct you want it to be.

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