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Saronni Colnago Critrium Frame set
#1
I am getting ready to start a build up on this rather odd frame by Colnago(?). "Aero" tubing frame ("oval" top and down tubes) with "Saronni" badging. If anyone has some info regarding its manufacture I would be pleased to hear it. I cannot find an example of it in any Colnago catalogue; it may have been a contract build by another frame maker; Colnago did this with some of their bikes. It has "Saronni" pantographs and rear dropouts (front dropouts are Campagnolo), but no Colnago markings anywhere other than the decals which are not original. I have seen the slotted bottom bracket on other Colnagos (specifically their cyclo-cross bike). It is not a super lightweight, and I do not know who the tubing manufacturer is. The decal "SLX" is not correct since l physically checked the seat tube, which has a visible seam ("SL"/"SLX" is seamless); possibly "ZETA". Photos are stock from the seller (credit: velosaloon) and don't show the tubing profile very well. I bought it about 5 months ago. I had taken a couple photos of it, but I cannot seem to find them, or they somehow got inadvertently deleted from my database. It would seem that it is early '80s based on the fact the "aero" frames kind of started around then, and Saronni had a couple bikes made by Colnago in his honor at that time after riding to the Worlds Championship in '82 on a first generation Nuovo Mexico; although the bike with his markings on it was a "Super" (also, a different model "Giro d'Italia" honoring '79 & '83 victories) built by Colnago in '83 and was not a "Mexico" variant as one would expect. I have seen a couple examples of this bike, one stating 1982 (with the same frame decals, except "CRITERIUM" on the top tube); but I don't know if it was a frame built for only one year. The fork crown on my frame is similar to the "Giro d'Italia"/Super Profil/Superissimo fork crowns of the early 80s, unlike the "Saronni Super" which utilized the crown found on late '60s- very early '70s "Super" models. Also, the paint is not original; it could be that is was blue as shown in the complete bike photo (credit: belky87 on LFGSS). I never got a reply from that individual. I purchased it from an Austrian dealer who had no information about it's history. It was obviously made in a wide range of sizes based on the 48 cm blue frame, and mine at 60.5 cm c-c. To be quite honest, the tubing merely seems to have been shaped by using a press/vice, and not a special tube manufactured for that specific purpose; I believe I could take a lower end straight gauge tubing an do the same, even with the frame already assembled. It does need some work on the fork bearing seats. I would like to build it with a single front chain ring (53t-55t), with wide range rear cluster (12t-30t or so); so no front derailleur needed here, and maybe only a rear brake to boot. It's a longer term project since it will need some machine shop work.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
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#2
Colnago made Saronni bikes after he won his first Giro d Italia tour and points classification back in 1979. I remember Colnago's Saronni bike in light paint; those were definitely manufactured by Colnago. But then there are others, just like yours in Saronni signature red paint, most likely made by some third party manufacturer.

https://www.procyclingstats.com/rider/giuseppe-saronni
Autobahn
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#3
(06-23-2020, 06:30 AM)G_M Wrote:  Colnago made Saronni bikes after he won his first Giro d Italia tour and points classification back in 1979. I remember Colnago's Saronni bike in light paint; those were definitely manufactured by Colnago. But then there are others, just like yours in Saronni signature red paint, most likely made by some third party manufacturer.

https://www.procyclingstats.com/rider/giuseppe-saronni

Thanks G_M,
It is a mystery frame! I have seen no official reference to it. It is definitely not one of the Tecnotrat frames. It has all/most of the characteristics of the Colnago made "Saronni" except lug cut-outs. Being that I found the seat tube to be of seamed construction, I think it may be Zeta (Columbus) tubing and custom shaped by the frame builders, since Zeta was never (to my knowledge) made in a drawn shaped tube form. I do think it may be of Colnago "marketing", but not manufactured by their factory. That is what I would really like to know, who actually manufactured these odd and seemingly rare frames; even though made at the time with a lower to midrange tubing and custom shaped. I am fairly intimately familiar with the "standard" "Saronni" variants made by Colnago, as well as, Saronni's accomplishments, but this frame still "falls through the cracks". The Colnago "Giro" variant, I believe, was made in '80 given the limited edition Campagnolo 4 hole front derailleur shown in the Colnago catalogue (no year reference), but definitely pre '82. I can't even imagine Saronni riding a frame of this construction considering the options available to him during his heyday. I personally think that it was made to take the last bit of marketing advantage using his name; but was not, at the time of introduction, well received and thus, was never produced in any quantity. Of course, that was then and this is now. I have only found 3 other examples of this same frame, the others having different decals for the tubing (Columbus, yet not visible enough to ID it), but the same frame decals and frame embellishments. Also, no good reference as to the original (believing it to be sold as a complete bike) components, leaving me the option to do what I want for a build. I did find a couple of my own photos showing the top view of the tubing making the "aero" aspect more easily seen, but I need to do some "file flipping" to be able to upload them.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#4
After a long pause I am just now getting back to dealing with this frame since it would appear someone is interested in it. I have yet to find out anymore info on it, nor have I really looked. After trying to fit the head set I have found that the lower race is loose fitting (as I believed there was an issue at the onset, but unknown as to what). I may shim the race and see if it provides a solid fit (press race over a brass shim); if not have it machined down and put a sleeve to fit the race on it.
Still would like to hear if anyone knows more about this weird frame (definitely not Columbus SLX!) and its origins as to whether it was made by Colnago or another builder. It might help determine what I sell it for.

Thanks all!
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply


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