In 1982 Giuseppe (Beppe) Saronni won the World Championships in Goodwood, England on a new style of Colnago that featured crimped frame tubes. This frame is on display in the Colnago museum if you are lucky enough to visit.
So which Colnago model is it?
Well.. Search online and you will find a lot of conflicting claims as to which model he used to win this race; a Super Profil or Nuovo Mexico? If you look very carefully at the following image, you will see the frame has one crimp in the middle of the top tube and one crimp in the middle of the down tube. Search online and you will find close-up pictures of this frame in the Colnago museum.
Part of this confusion can be attributed to a sign that is attached to Saronni’s bike in the Colnago museum that says ‘SUPER – Acciaio’ which translates as ‘SUPER – Steel’. However, if you visit the Colnago website ‘Hall of Fame’ page, you will see Saronni’s 1982 World Championship bike with a caption saying he won this race on a Mexico. These two pieces of information are conflicting.
So I emailed Colnago with the question: Which bike was it, a Super (Profil) or Nuovo Mexico? I received a reply from Colnago’s Chief Press Officer advising that Saronni’s bike was a ‘New Mexico’, the website it correct, the placard in the museum was incorrect. So ‘case closed’ – you would expect.
However, I was recently contacted by a vintage bike enthusiast (refer comments section below) whom has written a long article discussing this same topic. The premise of his article contradicts the information presented on Colango’s website. The author states that he has confirmed with Mr. Alex Colnago and Mr. Saronni that the bike used to win these world championships was definitely a Super – that featured crimped tubes.
So, like you, I’m a bit puzzled as I would expect Colnago to be an authoritative source about their own cycling history?
I recently came across detailed images of a frame that matches the single crimp down tube of Saronni’s World Championship winning bike. It was listed by Speed Bicycles as a Nuovo Mexico. This particular frame appears to have an original decal that specifically mentions the 1 Hour Record win by Merckx on a Mexico. The sort of decal you could expect to find on a bike like a Nuovo Mexico? Could this actually be the first version?
Images are courtesy of www.speedbicycles.ch
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.