The Colnago Nuovo Mexico was released approximately 1983 and available for only a few short years. It was 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). As a result of the crimping applied to the down tube, the Nuovo Mexico was the first frame to feature Colnago’s iconic club shaped down tube. This frame is easy to identify and well documented in Colnago’s literature (below).
These frame tubes were also used to manufacture some of the most collectible early Colnago Arabesque frames. The Arabesque was in production at a similar time as the Nuovo Mexico. The Arabesque however, was built with more decorative lugs.
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.
Predecessor’s to the Nuovo Mexico.
There were several earlier crimped frames that preceded this Nuovo Mexico frame. Both of these earlier frames featured a single crimp on either side of the top tube like the Nuovo Mexico, but the differences being that one frame had no crimps on the down tube, and the other frame had 2 crimps on the down tube. The Nuovo Mexico was clearly documented in Colnago’s catalogue has having 4 crimps on the down tube.
Interestingly, the frame with only 2 crimps on the down tube is often referred to by many as a Nuovo Mexico as well, however it still remains unclear if this is accurate. You can read more about those early crimped frames in my How to Identify a Colnago Super Profil article.
Before you start with the identification process, you should start here;
How to identify a Colnago vintage bike.
The original Colnago Mexico (released in the 1970’s) was built using only Columbus Record tubes which are thinner and lighter than the Columbus SL tubes used to build the Colnago Super frames. Unlike the Nuovo Mexico, it did not have crimped top or down tubes.
The Colnago Nuovo Mexico however was built using a combination of Columbus SL and Columbus Record tubing. But, it is not clear as to which frame tubes were SL and which were Record. The following chart provides specifications for both types of tubes. Ultimately a Nuovo Mexico should be a little lighter than a Super for the same frame size and era.
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.
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..
Check Out My Bike Build Project
I recently restored a Colnago Nuovo Mexico frame. Read more about the project including the wheel build, Campagnolo Super Record components and finishing kit choices.
The following websites have a large selection scanned Colnago literature including reviews, catalogues and brochures.
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 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.
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.