COLnago ERnesto

Updated 5.17.2012

COLNER bikes go back to at least 1978, a brand said to be devised to get around the UCI rules that only allowed a sponsor to have 1 cycling team. In addition, this brand could be sold to dealers in a region where there already was a protected Colnago dealer. Colner supplied the Italian pro team “Vibor” that year with green colored bikes and raced in the Giro d’Italia. Vladimiro Panizza was their main rider. These frames feature a spade shaped cutout, not clubs (“flowers”) as in Colnago.

“…Ernesto Colnago marketed a “down-market” brand called Colner. I visited the company’s stand at various Cologne and Milan exhibitions.. The idea was to have a subsidiary brand that could be produced in larger quantities and sold to a wider range of agents and retail shops, thereby leaving the COLNAGO dealerships more exclusive.
“I started negotiations to import the frames into England but withdrew from the deal when I found out the quantities they required per month, the range of frames to be handled – all models, no choice involved! The final nail in the coffin was that irrevocable orders for the next twelve months had to be placed at the time of signing the contract.”
” The frames were very attractive and no doubt very roadworthy but less elaborate than the Colnago CX, Arabesques etc of that time. Colners could be compared with good brands such as Ciocc, Pinarellos. Olmos etc in their looks and build quality – good Italian workhorses. From the front they were readily recognizable by their head transfer- a black Ace of Spades.”
“As for the name Colner well, just think of it ERnesto COLNago.. There is no doubt whatsoever that the frames were bought in and not manufactured by Colnago. Firms like TechoTube, Romani, Simonsini often acted as large subcontractors. It is likely that the brand was phased out gradually as the main brand became probably the world’s best known and sought after one. I might have a catalogue somewhere. Hope the above proves useful”

Norris Lockley

Niall McCart's road bike