Vintage Colnago Frame Size Chart

Colnago Steel Frame Size Chart
Colnago Steel Frame Size Chart (2020)

History

Colnago have been manufacturing high performance steel frame bicycles since the release of the ‘Super’ back in 1968. They continue that tradition of frame building today with the Colnago Master and Colnago Arabesque framesets. These frames are still built using ‘Traditional’ frame geometry meaning the top tube of the frame runs parallel to the ground. ‘Traditional’ geometry was used for vintage steel road bikes.

Modern road bikes however are based on ‘Compact’ geometry, which features a downward sloping top tube. ‘Compact’ geometry provides more stand-over clearance than ‘Traditional’ geometry. When buying a frame with ‘Traditional’ geometry, the stand-over clearance needs to be carefully considered when determining your correct frame size.

Unfortunately, I have not yet found an original size chart for Colnago frames manufactured back in the 1970’s & 1980’s, however Colnago do publish a detailed frame size chart on their website for their modern Master and Arabesque steel frames.

Has the Geometry Changed – Maybe Not.

After measuring my 1983 Colnago Nuovo Mexico frame I think the geometry of these modern steel frames may be the same as the original frames. I discovered that my vintage Nuovo Mexcio frame perfectly matched the dimensions of a size 57 frame on the modern ‘traditional’ steel frame size chart that is published on the Colnago website. As my 1984 Colnago Master is identical in size to the Nuovo Mexico, it also matches this chart.

Whilst this may be pure coincidence, I speculate that Colnago possibly haven’t varied their steel frame geometry since the 1980’s for a couple of reasons.

1. Colnago respect their heritage and tradition. For example in 2020, they are still making premium steel road bike frames, as they were doing 30 years ago.
2. Colnago were always known for great handling road bikes, so they probably didn’t need to change the traditional geometry of their steel bikes. Of course their modern road bikes would have seen changes in geometry.

When I measured the ‘front center’ (A) of the Nuovo Mexico with it’s curved forks, I found the measurement matched the modern Master / Arabesque frames fitted with the Precisa straight blade fork. This ensured the handling remained consistent even though there was a change in fork design.

Custom Frame Geometry

When measuring your frame, don’t forget that there would have been frames ordered with custom geometry which won’t match the measurements in this chart. However, I would expect the majority of frames were sold in standard sizes, so perhaps this chart could be a good reference if you are trying to work out the size of a vintage Colnago steel road bike frame.

Quick-Start Measuring Tip

Most people will probably start with seat tube measurement (P), but that can be a little tricky to measure precisely, so I went with this strategy instead;

  • Measure the length of the head tube (Hs). This can be done very accurately and easily. Do not include the headset in your measurement.
  • Now look at (part 2 of) the chart below in the column ‘Hs’ to see if any frames match this measurement. If it closely matches, you now have a frame size starting point.
  • Compare all the remaining measurements of your frame with the chart against the frame size you identified. If they don’t match, you my have a custom frame or different geometry to this chart.

Colnago Size Chart

The following information is simply transcribed from the Colnago website and you can find the original size charts for the modern Colnago Master and Colnago Arabesque which both seem to have identical geometry.

You will notice the frame sizes below are based on the seat tube ‘centre to top’ (C-T) measurement which is measured from the centre of bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube (labelled as P on the schematic).

I have split the Colnago size chart into 2 parts below.

Colnago Steel Frame Size Chart
Colnago Traditional Steel Frame Size Chart (Part 1)

Size
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65

P
490
500
510
520
530
540
550
560
570
580
590
600
610
620
630
640
650

O
518
523
527
530
535
540
545
550
557
565
572
580
586
590
594
597
600

Pccs
470
480
490
500
510
520
530
540
550
560
570
570
583
583
586
595
605

Scs
121
125
128
133
140
143
146
153
161
165
169
169
173
173
174
177
180

Colnago Steel Frame Size Chart
Colnago Traditional Steel Frame Size Chart (Part 2)

Size
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65

Sc
75°
75°
74.8°
74.6°
74.1°
74°
74°
74°
73.5°
73°
73°
72.75°
72.75°
72.75°
72.75°
72.75°
72.75°

A
585
587
587
588
589
591
594
595
595
597
600
608
612
615
618
622
624

C
400
401
402
403
404
405
406
408
410
411
412
413
413
414
415
416
416

Hs
80
83
91
99
108
117
126
135
143
151
160
162
171
182
182
195
203

Notes:
1. Measurement (A) should be similar regardless of straight or curved forks.
2. Measurement (C) can vary on vintage frames as the rear wheel can be positioned differently in the horizontal rear drop-outs.
3. Frame sizes are in cm. All other measurements are in mm.

Leave a comment if your frame does or doesn’t match the chart. Please try to include the approximate year and model of the frame as well for others.

How to Identify a Colnago Vintage Bike

Once you have worked out the frame size of the bike, you may want to learn how to identify the model of your Colnago vintage bike.

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.

2 thoughts on “Vintage Colnago Frame Size Chart

  • Thank you for sharing your research and information on classic Colnago frame sets. I am the proud owner of a 1978-80 Colnago Super that I have owned since 1985. I purchased the frame and fork used for $150, then built it back up as close to original as possible. The original owner had repainted the frame, so about 5 years ago I had it striped, and repainted again. I’m still looking to complete the rebuild with all stock components, so I appreciate your attention to detail.

    • Hi Jeff, thanks for your kind remarks. Your Colnago Super sounds like it has been a wonderful project over the years. Glad to hear that bike is in such a good home! Post a link to some pics, we would love to see it.

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