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A Most Unusual Colnago Oval CX on eBay

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A Most Unusual Colnago Oval CX on eBay

Old 11-30-22, 04:48 PM
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A Most Unusual Colnago Oval CX on eBay

Hi,

There is a unique Colnago Oval CX on eBay.

The seller is from Italy (of course) and describes the bike as “Super Rare, mint condition Colnago Oval CX Gentleman in a "retinato" blue and grey paint scheme. Colnago started the production of this bicycle in 1983 from just a small number of pieces, using the Aerodynamic Columbus Oval CX tubes.
“

I am sure someone here on the great C&V sub forum has seen this before, either from Colnago or from another framebuilder. But Colnago even did the chain guard in the same Retinato pattern as the Frameset! There‘ s even a matching rear rack and fenders. Unbelievable. No wonder the seller is asking about $3400 for it.

This bicycle leads me to ask many, many questions. First, was it Ernesto Colnago’s personal bike (probably not, but I have to ask)? Who owned it previously? Has anyone else seen a bike like this? Either way, it’s a fun piece of cycling history; beautiful, practical, and unmistakably Italian.
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Old 11-30-22, 06:21 PM
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Moe Zhoost
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Nice bike, but you are right: many unanswered questions
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Old 11-30-22, 07:01 PM
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Fenders protect you from tire splatter. Mudguards protect you from tyre splatter.







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Old 11-30-22, 07:22 PM
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I have an Oval CX, so I've been a little bit interested in these over the last few years. What is in the eBay ad is what they refer to as a "Gentleman's Oval CX" and I honestly think the bike did not sell well and unsold models were disposed of as such. They sell for far less than that, the "Gentleman's model." The typical Oval CX was built with panto Super Record and aero components such as ovalized 3ttt bars, and "Profil" components, like the Profil Concor saddle. It was Colnagos entry in the 1982ish Aero Bike Sweepstakes that came and then went just as quickly. Interestingly, the bike is sort of "bladed", being 20mm wide at the seatpost, and with teardropped shaped tubes throughout the bike, most noticably on the headtube and seattube. I think the Gentleman's Oval CX goes for about half that from time to time.
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Old 11-30-22, 07:27 PM
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The first question which comes to my mind is: where are the detailed shots showing how the chain guard (a super-special feature in this particular auction) is attached?

I think someone is playing fast and loose here. The fenders and rack are definitely attached using clamp-on pieces. I suspect the guard is, too.

DD
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Old 11-30-22, 07:29 PM
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Sporty looking frame for a town bike build; it's funny that cafe bars look more aero than drops would in that profile pic, I want to see it without the rack fenders and chainguard (gasp!)
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Old 12-01-22, 02:02 AM
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Condorino is the style of this bike. I know in Italian it translates to "little condor" which makes no sense.

Nothing fast and loose about this bike except I have seen different rear racks, but many Colnagos were using a mixture of anyone except Cinelli at this stage. Campy derailleurs but GIPIMME cranks? An obvious attempt to save money.

When in Milano last Christmas, I saw several of these. If you look closer, you can see a braze-on on the down tube holding the chain-guard in place. There is also a braze-on above the FD for the top. The rear is a simple barrel brazed to the bottom of the chain stay. Look at the image from the non-crank side. Its all there.

What is funny to me: When Ernie heard the Pope wanted a bike, (1978) he called a press conference and announced "HE was building a bike for the Pope" with such authority, others shrug their shoulders and let him do his thing without competition. Its not like there was a papal RFP sent out.

Anyway, upon receiving the bike, with all the press around, the pope asked if it was possible to get "mustache handlebars" because it would be easier for him to ride around.

Ernesto replied, "NO, I make RACING bikes!"

Who says no to a simple request, from the POPE???!!!

The Pope acquiesced in the bars, but he did ask for a kick-stand, which Colnago agreed to. [and the origin of my sign-off]. The rumor is the Pope rarely rode the thing, and eventually it was returned to Colnago where it is displayed in their museum. Without the kick-stand, I might add.

Because the Pope asked for the mustache bars, in ITALY they are forever known as "POPE" bars, if you were wondering why eBay-Italy advertises them as such. Go ahead, google/image Pope Handlebars, you'll see what I mean.

2 years later, hearing the Pope never rode his bike, Colnago made a white with yellow (Official pope colors I think) and POPE handlebars and gave it to him. That bike resides in the PJP2 museum
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Old 12-01-22, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz View Post
What is funny to me: When Ernie heard the Pope wanted a bike, (1978) he called a press conference and announced "HE was building a bike for the Pope" with such authority, others shrug their shoulders and let him do his thing without competition. Its not like there was a papal RFP sent out.

Anyway, upon receiving the bike, with all the press around, the pope asked if it was possible to get "mustache handlebars" because it would be easier for him to ride around.

Ernesto replied, "NO, I make RACING bikes!"

Who says no to a simple request, from the POPE???!!!

The Pope acquiesced in the bars, but he did ask for a kick-stand, which Colnago agreed to. [and the origin of my sign-off]. The rumor is the Pope rarely rode the thing, and eventually it was returned to Colnago where it is displayed in their museum. Without the kick-stand, I might add.

Because the Pope asked for the mustache bars, in ITALY they are forever known as "POPE" bars, if you were wondering why eBay-Italy advertises them as such. Go ahead, google/image Pope Handlebars, you'll see what I mean.

2 years later, hearing the Pope never rode his bike, Colnago made a white with yellow (Official pope colors I think) and POPE handlebars and gave it to him. That bike resides in the PJP2 museum
Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.

Without the flourishes: https://www.rouleur.cc/blogs/the-rou...he-golden-bike

Do you mean Priest bars? https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.a...b6f3c&Enum=112
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Old 12-01-22, 09:45 AM
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from Rouler
"The papal pushbike has gone full circle. “It is in our Colnago museum in Cambiago,” says Colnago. “It has been returned because the Pope was using the white flat-bar bicycle that I gave him later; that’s now in the museum dedicated to him in Krakow, Poland.”"

From Velo-base

The flat bar Cinelli Priest, designed 1980 on demand of Pope John Paul II for his white Colnago. Very rare item."

From BikeForums
https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespe...pope-bars.html

From Portland"s own: https://www.ahearnecycles.com/shop/ahearnemap-handlebar

"The design is based on a the old Cinelli "Pope" bar, and has been adapted to fit modern mountain bike."

From CORK GRIPS https://cork-grips.com/2011/03/10/cinelli-pope/
"
Rumor has it the bar was made by Cinelli in the 80’s for Pope John Paul II’s white Colnago and generally referred as the Pope or Priest bar for that reason. "
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Last edited by Robvolz; 12-01-22 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 12-01-22, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
The first question which comes to my mind is: where are the detailed shots showing how the chain guard (a super-special feature in this particular auction) is attached?

I think someone is playing fast and loose here. The fenders and rack are definitely attached using clamp-on pieces. I suspect the guard is, too.

DD
Gosh, man, I don’t know…I looked at the photos pretty closely on eBay, and it looked like braze ons for the fenders and rear rack. I can’t imagine Colnago doing this on a race frame. It’s pure speculation, but maybe Colnago wanted to use up the lugs and tubing from the Oval CX line? It’s hard to say. Currently, I know Tommasini is now making a city bike version of the Tecno, called the Libera. But I am only saying this knowing Tommasini quite well, since I own two. As for this Colnago, the Oval CX came out around 1982, right?

Now, many Italian marques had historically manufactured city bikes; Legnano, Bianchi, just to name two. What seems unusual, to me at least, is the Oval CX was used as a canvas not as a race bike, but a city bike. I suppose you could turn almost any frameset into a city bike, of course. Again; more questions than I am sure the seller is reluctant to answer.

Last edited by Writenride; 12-01-22 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 12-02-22, 01:35 AM
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I wouldn't put it past 'Nago to do this, but man is that chainguard position a kludge, and the rack not far behind. I know the FD has to be cleared, but I suspect the guard is placed that high so as not to interfere with the chainline, especially given the short wheelbase. Doesn't excuse the curvature though.

Given the fit and intended purpose, I'm surprised they didn't just accept a 1X drivetrain. After all, a 1X5 or 1X6 was a standard city bike arrangement of eras prior. But if you're leading the charge with excess and blind exclusivity over sensibility or aesthetics, I guess this is what comes out.

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Old 12-06-22, 02:02 PM
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I did a similar thing to my old bottecchia. Voodoo scorcher bars, mtb shifters. You sit up straight and. Comfy. Rode it along the beach. Called it my ferrari bike. Fast. The mtb was the truck. Could carry and work but not so fast.....😁
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