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Colnago Super Piu?
#1
Here is a bike I recently purchased; the most I have spent on a single bike as a whole thus far, but I had some spare cash and the deal seemed good.

I believe it to be a Super Piu circa '92-'93. I could not find a Colnago catalog image for '93, '95, or '96. I only think that it may be from '92-'93 because it seems to match (as best as I can tell) the '92 catalog image. Unfortunately, after looking at some Colnago catalogs I find them hard to trust. In the '94 catalog it shows a Super Piu which fits the general features of the frame, but in the description it states Tange tubing while in the photo there is clearly a Columbus decal on the frame! The C94 is Columbus tubing, but frame features do not match. So how do I really know what is accurate; could be erroneous in description or photo. In the '91 catalog the Super Piu has the rear brake cable entering and exiting from the top of the top tube; the '92 catalog shows it routing in the same manner as on my bike (entering at the bottom of the tube in front and exiting from the top of the tube in the rear). The '97 catalog shows no Super model at all so I assume it to be '92-'96 without having access to the rest of the catalogs during that time period. I assume it was bought as a frame since it has what appears to be Campagnolo Record shifters/brake levers and pedals, but essentially Chorus everywhere else (new and old parts). I purchased it without wheels, but test rode it with a set from another bike to verify that there was no significant frame problems that were not visible. The headset has a spacer which may indicate a fork replacement (longer steerer tube than original?), or stack height wrong for that fork. No sign of any damage on the frame other than minor scuffs and chips. It rides just fine, and I am waiting for a wheelset (Campagnolo Vento full wheelset w/cassette, and a spare Shamal wheel). Seller was asking $700 for the bike; paid $550. Wheels total $275. I would be curious if anyone has a similar model and knows what year/model they have.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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#2
Couple more photos:

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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#3
I'm not too familiar with the post 80s Colnagos, but pretty sure the first model variant with "Piu" tagged on it was a late 80s Master (marked by internal cable routing). Those headlugs definitely look post 80s. I find it odd that the Columbus decal doesn't specify the type of tubing other than showing it's butted. I would assume "SL" since it seems they were pretty clear about labelling their newer stuff (Cromor, Thron, etc.). With all the detailing and chrome I would place it has a high end model so a Super, whether it was tagged as a Piu variant or not, is a good bet.

Campy parts appear to be early 90s. The cranks should have a date code on them; my set has "93" and "A3" in rectangles for 1993. They are essentially late model Croce d'Aune that Campy renamed with the Chorus badge when the CdA group was removed from the line-up in the very early 90s. Those pedals (SGR-1 Record/C-Record) cost a pretty penny even as used ones ($150+) if in good functional condition; they are self-levelling (but heavy). They were available only for a couple years (late 80s-early 90s) so that might help date the frame to the early 90s more than anything else. Aero seat post is also a plus, they run about $100 used. The Vento wheels are great and usually go for $200+ per wheel nevermind the Shamals which are about $100 more so if in good condition you easily grabbed $600+ of wheels. I would place your frame/parts at about $750 given the battle scars; the touch-up paint work can probably be redone with a better aesthetic result. You did well to get everything under $900. Regularly see similar bikes fetching over $1000 with lesser wheelsets. I would have had no problem paying $550 for that frame and parts. Those monoplanar brakes are outstanding in my opinion; both in looks and function. As far as frame feel you should enjoy the ride. Smaller Colnagos were quite stiff due to the shorter tubing. I still have my circa 1980 Super with "SL" tubing, but it was a 57cm and I was in peak riding condition averaging +23mph on long rides, and I felt that the frame was a bit flexible when cranking hard in high gears or out of the saddle. I doubt it would feel that way now with less strength in the legs. The "SP" tubed versions were stiffer, but I think they were made for 58cm frames or larger unless custom ordered on smaller bikes.

Good catch on the Tange/Columbus tubing error in the 94 catalog. I had to look just to see. You are correct about Colnago catalog inaccuracies; 80s catalogs have them also, many used stock photos for multiple years making them not the best method for identifying a frame. You would have thought by the 90s that they would have at least hired a proper proofreader to ensure there were no errors before printing; not like they couldn't afford it.

Note: the serial on the rear d/o should be able to be checked by Colnago for a newer bike. Send them a message; it can't hurt to try.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#4
I have decided to use the Shamal 12 spoke front wheel instead of the 16 spoke Vento. They look very similar so I don't think it will look mismatched. The hubs date to 1996.The 8 speed cassette should work perfectly with the present shifting set-up. I guess I'll know in about 3 to 4 months when the roads are less precarious.

   
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#5
Without knowing the history of the bike, it is possible that your frame was custom built. I only say this because by the late 80s the Columbus decals had the tubing grade shown on them aside from the possibility of the finisher using up old stock decals. The decal style on your bike was definitely in use prior to the late 80s. If a mixed tube frame (not uncommon for a custom build) the generic decal without tubing type was regularly used in lieu of using a specific tube designation decal as was commom for larger frames which often had mixed tubes stock from the builder. I would expect that to be a more common case with 58cm+ sized frames and not yours (appears 52-53cm) unless customer specified. That could also explain the taller fork steerer which would allow for a higher bar position without extending the stem too far out.
You definitely scored a very nice wheelset for the money.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#6
Quick note on the frame: the cut-outs on those lugs were used in the late 80s, but still the cable routing would be 90s. Those engraved stay caps also debuted in the late 80s on a couple Colnago models, by the 90s they seemed to be a regular feature on the higher end frames.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#7
Any idea as to year of the cranks? I was told the 31 shown in a box was a date code. What does it mean?
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#8
There is an online entry of date codes: 11, 21, 31, 41, 51 equating to 1985, 86, 87, 88, 89 respectively; but I am sure my cranks are a later model than 1987. I also saw a reference of a 1991 crank having the code of 91 in a box.
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#9
Colnago has replied back to me and requested photos. Hope they can shed some light on the subject.
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#10
(01-07-2022, 02:06 AM)Jake1 Wrote:  Colnago has replied back to me and requested photos. Hope they can shed some light on the subject.

That should be a nice ride! I have not seen those lugs before so definitely past my knowledge.

What contact "address" did you use to get in touch with Colnago? I want to ask some questions about my frame.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
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#11
(01-08-2022, 04:06 AM)Criminal Wrote:  What contact "address" did you use to get in touch with Colnago? I want to ask some questions about my frame.

Here is the Colnago address:
customercare@colnago.com

They provided no specifics as to what views were required.
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#12
(01-08-2022, 11:37 PM)Jake1 Wrote:  
(01-08-2022, 04:06 AM)Criminal Wrote:  What contact "address" did you use to get in touch with Colnago? I want to ask some questions about my frame.

Here is the Colnago address:
customercare@colnago.com

They provided no specifics as to what views were required.

Thanks; I thought I had tried using their contact via the website, but there was no means to include photos. I'll give it a try and see what happens.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
  Reply
#13
I have now seen crank date codes: 31, 32, A2, A3, and 93; but no one knows what years they correspond with. I believe that the previous post with A3 and 93 cranks are an unmatched pair since I saw a set of matched A2 cranks. No response from Campagnolo yet.
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