How to identify a Colnago Sport

Colnago Sport bicycle
Colnago Sport (circa 1980’s)

The Colnago Sport was an entry level bicycle manufactured from the late 1970’s to the 1980’s. The lower price point made it more accessible to enthusiasts when compared with the top-tier Colnago racing bikes of the era like the Colnago Super.

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

Whilst the Colnago Sport was not listed in any of the official Colnago literature of that era, online research indicates that it was sold as a complete bicycle, specifically for the German and North American markets.

Interestingly, there is considerable evidence to suggest that Colnago did not actually manufacture this frame. If you look closely at the seat tube decal on this frame shown below, you will notice it says ‘Product of VeloSport’.

Apparently it was quite common in the 70’s and 80’s for Italian bicycle companies to outsource frame building to other manufacturers when demand was exceeding their own manufacturing capacity.

Colnago Sport seat tube decal
Colnago Sport seat tube decal

This frame was built using round tubes. Although there is no Columbus decal on this frame, I found information online that suggests the main triangle of these frames was constructed uisng Columbus Aelle tubing. As expected this tubing was a lower priced product designed for amateur and touring cyclists. It was built of cold-drawn, microalloyed-steel (CMn) with thin wall tubing which reduces weight. The tubes were straight gauge with no butting.

Whilst I don’t have any geometry information for this frame, I expect it probably shared a similar racing geometry to the Colnago Super frame.

There are 2 bikes featured in this identification guide, the first bike is from the 1980’s, the second is from the 1970’s.

Features of an Colnago Sport (Circa 1980’s).

The following images are based on a frame circa 1980’s and you will notice that there are no Colnago or Club stampings on the frame. So the only Colnago branding on this frame is found on the decals.

Images courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com

Features of a Colnago Sport (Circa 1970’s)

Images courtesy of www.steel-vintage.com

You will notice the shift cables are routed in guides mounted on top of the bottom bracket which is very common for 1970’s steel bikes. This model also has a nice chromed fork crown with a heart stamping on either side.

Article References.

I hope you found this article interesting. I have listed the following website pages as general references.

www.steel-vintage.com
www.bikeforums.net
www.bikeforums.net
www.equusbicycle.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.

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.

8 thoughts on “How to identify a Colnago Sport

  • I have a Colgnago sport and wondering how to determine the value. It’s was left to me from my father and I just pulled it down from the ceiling. Here is the info I have on it.

    Colour saronni red
    Columbus
    aelle

    Gears shimano 105

    Modolo sporting

    Handle bars cosmo

    Gears (Gipiemme)

    Suntour cycle

    High speed cycle 657 1070

    • To be honest Leo, I’m not really sure. Best way to find out is list it on eBay and let the buyers decide. All the best.

  • If this can help, i just saw a Colnago sport with a decal saying Riverniciato Colombus
    the seller was asking for 700 CAD

    Wheels: Mavic CXP 14
    Headset: Gipiemme
    Crankset: Gipiemme
    Seat: Rols San Marco
    Tires: Huthison Fusion 700 x 23c
    Hubs: Shimano 105
    Pedals: Shimano 600
    Handlebar: Cosmos Manubri

  • Hello,
    I found wonderfull master pieces on your sites as I am addicted for old Italian bikes especialy then for Colnago.
    Few years ago I purchased a Colnago but now a days I have no idea what it is for a model :(. The most simmilar one model is a SPORT but my frame is missing rear stay imprints, missing bottom bracket lug logos as well missing rear brake bridge logo on It and in addition there is internal rear brake cable routing…
    There is a few clear Colnago details present so I dont dout it is a Colnago but the painting is for sure not the original one. The front fork had renewed chroming.
    Here some puctures: https://galy77.rajce.idnes.cz/Colnago_unknown/

    Many thanks for help with identification.
    Roman

    • Hi Roman, yes I had a look at the photos and it is a tricky one. Probably early 80’s, but missing some of the details usually found on most Colnago frames. It looks like the tubes are all round so the Master Olympic decal is incorrect. However it is not uncommon for Colnago frames to have rear brake cable routed internally through top tube on many different frames.

  • Just picked up a Colnago Sport in good shape for a very fair price on eBay. I’ve restored a couple of these. A Galli headset and Gipiemme binder bolt were still hanging on. Chrome front and rear drop-outs and fork crown. No engravings. This one has spade-shaped bottom bracket shell cut-out. Medium metallic blue with yellow brand decals. It will be refinished in more interesting typical Colnago color with repro Colnago Sport decals.

    • Hi Ford, thanks for adding information regarding the cut-out under the bottom bracket. The model I showcased in this article didn’t have a photo of the underside of the BB.

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