Updated 11.6.2017

One of the most successful racing bike builders in history! Ernesto was a racer in his earlier years, and later served as a team mechanic for the famous Molteni Team which included Eddy Merckx. Colnago bicycles are still very active in the Pro team ranks. Always an innovator, arguably sometimes for effect as much as efficiency, Colnago has built a legend.

(Note: The attempt to determine the year of manufacture from existing bike serial numbers has been abandoned as there is no discernable pattern.)

Colnago details timeline through the late 1970s. HERE

Ernesto Colnago confirms the oldest known Colnago bicycle

   This is an Ernesto Colnago track bike from the period 1957/1958. The lugs were hand cast by the man who subsequently received his appointment as a “Cavaliere del Lavoro” ( Knight Master Artisan ) of the Italian Republic.

    This model bike was known as “La Freccia” (The Arrow). This cycle is distinguished by its cherry red color, used in those years in the automobile industry, as well as by three white stripes on the seat tube and the fork blades.

    The down tube decals have a multi-banded motif with the legend “Amateur Championship of Lombardy-1957, “ signifying a Colnago victory in this event.

   The most particular feature of this model is a very narrow G11 Georg Fischer bottom bracket. This same bottom bracket was used by Faliero Masi on a track bike built for Antonio Maspes.

   The wheels have hand soldered spokes and Clement Colnago team racing tubular tires.

   The complete originality of this cycle has been established by a very detailed examination by Ernesto Colnago.

    According to Colnago himself, as well as many collectors and devotees, this cycle is the oldest preserved example of the Colnago production and a very important landmark in Cambiago’s manufacturing history.

Mr. Luca De Ponti, Milan, Italy.

Dr George Hollenberg, translator of the original Italian test.

Greg Softley's controversial Pista bicycle:

The earliest known Colnago in existence? Said to have been constructed in 1959, this bike is somewhat controversial. Some cognoscenti think it may not be genuine, but it has obviously authentic patina and is equipped with era-correct components. Did Colnago make his own brand as early as 1959? This is not yet revealed in the contemporaneous press or literature, nonetheless it is said to be a 1959 or early 1960s bike. In any case, it is handsome machine.

Greg Softley's early Super restoration:

“The black and white photo below of the 1971 Polish team bike initiated the journey. With the able assistance of John Murray (Qld Oz), a 12 month long research project covering several continents and dozens of leads finally resulted in a correct restoration.”

Bikes as seen at the New York International Bike Show, late 1970s

Late 1970s full pantographed bike

Dual down tube (as were the early carbon models) were made by ALAN to Colnago’s specs… Not just a rebadged ALAN though, these bikes had unique details especially an aluminum version of the “anti-vibration” fork.

"Mexico" style 6 arm crank set

Color theme made famous by Bepe "Saronni

Paul Wilczynski's 1980 Colnago Olympic bike ridden by Sergei Shevchenko

“…bare frame with headset and BB from a Swedish seller who got it from the Ukraine. It’s one of the original 2 bikes built for Sergei Shevchenko (1 spec, 1 spare) by Ernesto in 1980 for the Moscow Olympics.” Last pic is team in action!

David Poole's Master "Equilateral" circa mid 1980s

Angel Garcia's Oval CX

Brendan O'Conner's Oval CX

Mod. "Arabesque"

A very special TT bike at the 1982 NY Int Bike Show

A very special TT bike at the 1982 NY Int Bike Show

The Saronni brand

3 levels of Saronni bikes were made.
The top two models by Colnago and the last by Technotrat

Colnago continues today in a combination of technology and tradition, and all with a flair for the artistic!