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Colnago ID and YEAR... Frame only and fork search begins

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Colnago ID and YEAR... Frame only and fork search begins

Old 07-05-20, 05:37 PM
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Colnago ID and YEAR... Frame only and fork search begins

I picked up the frame only earlier today for a great price. Normally I dont buy without forks but I think this is worth the search. After all I did want a colorful frame and a Colnago paint job will more than do.

Ive Google searched and came up with Colnago C40 Master Professional from an old LetGo sold listing but im not 100% sure. Hoping to get frame ID and year help.

Much appreciate in advance. Now pictures








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Old 07-05-20, 05:54 PM
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First of all, can you add a photo of the top of the top tube including both lugs, as well as the top of the downtube lug.

Do you see any clovers in lug cutouts our "Colnago" script anywhere on the bike?

I've learned never to say never with Colnago. But, I'm not convinced that is actually a Colnago. If it is a Colnago, it wouldn't be a top of the line offering from them. However, it does have some features of at least a fairly good frame.

For dating the frame, the semi-vertical short dropouts were only used for a couple of years and should be able to give you a very close date.
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Old 07-05-20, 06:33 PM
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If this isn't a Colnago im definitely returning it to the seller.


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Old 07-05-20, 06:53 PM
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I think I found the original Letgo listing page

Same paint chips and all. Touch ups line up with this one.. Wonder where the fork went. Top tube sticker was applied to hide paint scrape.




https://www.letgo.com/en-us/i/classi...a-33580359d827
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Old 07-05-20, 08:24 PM
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A lot of people are good at identifying frames in the Classic and Vintage Bicycles: Whats it Worth? Appraisals subforum. They would be good for a second opinion. Click on the red circle to get your post moved.

What I can say about your Offer-Up ad...

That frame IS NOT a C-40 (carbon fiber)
That frame IS NOT a Master (Diamond shaped tubes).

So the model remains a mystery.

I'm not getting high res photos on the Offer-Up page. I do see a clover on the fork, so it is probably a genuine Colnago fork. So, where the fork disappeared to... someone probably realized they had a genuine Colnago fork, and probably a fake Frame. Thus the fork was worth more separate than with the frame.

How much did you end up paying?
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Old 07-05-20, 08:27 PM
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Your photo makes it look like there is an extra curve to the top headtube lug. Something just isn't quite right about that. But, it might also indicate a homebuilt frame rather than a factory frame. Someone trying to force angles that shouldn't be there.

Can you get a better view of the signature on the side of the frame?
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Old 07-05-20, 08:34 PM
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Sorry to say that the only thing Colnago about that frame is the transfer set. Not a single signature detail. I hope you can get a refund on this...

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Old 07-05-20, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Sorry to say that the only thing Colnago about that frame is the transfer set.
And even that is from the wrong era.

Edit: There looks to be a serial number on the inside of the NDS dropout. Colnago put their serial numbers on the outside of the DS dropout. Anyway sounds like the OP is getting a refund.

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Old 07-05-20, 09:00 PM
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I couldn't find a single frame to match this one on Google images and that shouldve raised a red flag. I knew very little about colnage frame characteristics and that alone shouldve kept me from buying it.

I was star struck when I saw it so I purchased it. First time for everything and this was the first mistake I've made like this.

I spoke over the phone with the seller and he's agreed to refund me the cash tomorrow.
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Old 07-05-20, 09:42 PM
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Looking at the photo in ad again, I noted something else: the top tube is not level, even though both tires appear fully inflated. That tells me the frame was not designed for the straight-blade fork it is wearing in the LetGo ad.

Glad the seller is going to give you a refund

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Old 07-05-20, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Your photo makes it look like there is an extra curve to the top headtube lug. Something just isn't quite right about that. But, it might also indicate a homebuilt frame rather than a factory frame. Someone trying to force angles that shouldn't be there.

Can you get a better view of the signature on the side of the frame?
Unusual impact damage perhaps, which might account for the top tube slope?
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Old 07-06-20, 12:09 PM
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If it's the same bike from "Letgo" it looks like it had a real Colnago fork. Worth upwards of $200 alone, so guessing it was sold separately.
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Old 07-06-20, 12:23 PM
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Yes the paint chips match up perfectly. The person I bought it from was surprised I found the Letgo ad
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Old 07-06-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
If it's the same bike from "Letgo" it looks like it had a real Colnago fork. Worth upwards of $200 alone, so guessing it was sold separately.
This means that someone in the loop realized the frame was a fake, and stripped it for parts, then sold the frame as-is.

The forkless frame is probably worth $50, or maybe $100 even if it isn't a Colnago. One would have to look at the construction carefully though. Personally, it wouldn't be my choice to ride a "fake", but it could have the decals removed, or perhaps could be repainted.
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Old 07-06-20, 02:30 PM
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As far as what to look at for steel Colnago frames.
.
  1. Look for Clovers on the frame. Typically on the top of the main tube lugs, fork crown, seat stay caps, and the bottom bracket.
    - Exception would be the "Colnago Sport" from the 70's. Junior? Perhaps a couple of Colnago built, other branded frames.
  2. "Colnago" script may be on the bottom of the bottom bracket, seat stay caps, chainstays, and fork crown. It can be somewhat variable.
  3. Seat stay caps for the earliest bikes have an unmarked concave end. Later bikes typically have either a clover or Colnago script. I don't think I've noted the integrated seat stay cap/seat tube lug on Colnagos, although it wouldn't necessarily be out of the question.
  4. Colnago typically uses either "Colnago" marked or "Campagnolo" marked dropouts. Never Japanese or French branded.
  5. Early Colnagos used a round straight rear brake bridge. Later ones used a straight bridge plus a square bolt surface marked with a clover.
  6. The Colnago Master used a very much of a diamond shaped tube. The Super and related bikes used round tubes, and a few other shaped tubes were used. The spiral conic had a tapered octagonal downtube. The Mexico had a couple of more creased tubes.
  7. Many Colnago frames had the tube ends near the rear lugs cut off, and filled with filler and a concave end profile.
  8. I don't believe Colnago uses pump pegs. Nor are rack mounts common on dropouts.
  9. If top tube cable routing is used, it is usually full cable guides with TWO split tubing shaped guides (not stops). Earliest Colnagos used Campagnolo clips without braze-on guides.
  10. There is some variability, as well as a general evolution to the "arte decor" style of paint. Earlier frames, of course, just had plain paint. One feature of many of the late 90's arte decor frames was a armor helmet on the top tube. It will vary a bit, but it isn't simply masked airbrused lines.
.
Of course lots of variability between models, years, and paint jobs.

There are a few other things to look at, including the shape of the clovers. If the clover is made of 4 round balls, it is probably not a Colnago.

Perhaps I'll try to put together a photo documentary, although there are good ones online.

https://saarf.london/2013/02/19/how-...-fake-colnago/
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Old 07-06-20, 02:37 PM
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CliffordK Nice summary! My 83ish Superissimo does not have a clover on the brake bridge square, 5. above. Does this make my Colnago much more valuable? HA! It may have rotated before drilling the hole and it was lost!
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Old 07-06-20, 06:23 PM
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CliffordK Thanks a bazillion for the colnago checklist.

I'm happy to report I got a full refund for the frame.
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