1975 Colnago Super

Merckx Molteni

56cm center-to-center

Frame material:  Columbus SL

Seat tube: 56cm. center-to-center

Top tube: 56cm. center-to-center

Head tube: 14.2cm. end-to-end

Stand-over: 81.5cm. to top of top tube (with narrower tires the stand-over will be less)

Stem: 120mm

Bar: 40cm outside to outside


The inspiration for this bike was this Colnago brochure from 1973:

Here is an enlargement of the side-view shot:

And here is an enlargement of the frontal shot:

And here is my version of this iconic bike:

The paint and chrome was done by Jack Trumbull at Franklin Frames.  I asked Jack to keep the paint very thin and to give it a low-gloss finish.  He also mixed the Molteni Orange paint a little darker than what we normally see, which is correct but uncommon because most modern Molteni restorations tend to go with a brighter orange color.  The bright orange is also correct (there were many shades on orange during the Molteni years), but I am very happy that this bike has the dark orange because it is unusual, elegant, and very "vintagey" looking.

With regard to the decals, it was not my intention to create an identical replica of the brochure bike.  Instead I wanted to recreate the look of one of the many Colnago bikes that Eddy raced on while he was on the Molteni team.  His Molteni bikes had many different decal configurations, and the one I chose is based on this former Eddy race bike:

This is a photo of the frameset just before I built it up two months ago:

The decals I used are from Greg Softley of Cyclomondo (nobody else has the quality and selection that he has).  I selected the decals and I also applied them myself.

I got the idea for this bike about 7 years ago, when I first saw the Colnago brochure.  Since then I've been accumulating all the unusual and hard to find components that I would need, such as the gold-anodized Mavic Record rims and the Clement Campionato del Mondo Seta tires.  In the case of the drilled Campy ring, finding an original one proved impossible, so I had one custom made for me by Jon Williams of Drillium Revival last year (Jon does amazing work; check out his site). 

Some of the components are NOS while others are used but in very good to excellent condition, and all are in perfect working order.

I think the bike looks fantastic.  I'm very proud of how it came out.  But I have to say that the real beauty of this bike is in its ride.  With different pedals and a different saddle, and with a clincher wheelset, I have ridden this bike approximately 250 miles.  I instantly fell in love with the ride.  I would go so far as to say it is the best riding bike I have ever experienced (including carbon fiber).  The reputation of 70s Colnago Supers for having a superb ride, is well deserved.   The wheelset shown on the bike, with the amazing Clement Campionato del Mondo Seta tubular tires, would make the ride even better, but there was no way I was going to ride those irreplaceable tires.

This bike is my longest project ever, and it represents a huge investment in planning, patience and execution (and not an insignificant amount of money as well), but ultimately it was a labor of love and I really enjoyed building it.  I hope you like it too, and as always, I welcome any questions and comments you may have.

Thanks for looking.







The saddle is NOS.  The Nuovo Record seat post is original, not a modern recreation.  Very hard to find, but if you send a plain NR post to Jon Williams at Drillium Revival, he will make you an exact copy, or any variation you prefer, such as narrower or wider flutes.




The cable clamps are the early chrome plated ones, not the later stainless steel version.

The Cinelli 1A stem (120mm) is also original, not a modern recreation.  Not exactly the same as the one in the brochure, but very close, and it is one of the styles that Eddy had on his bikes.  This is another component that is very hard to find, but Jon at Drillium Revival can make you a perfect replica.

The cotton tape is a modern version which is wider and thicker.  It looks correct and it provides a little more cushion than the traditional cotton tape.




Nuovo Record headset in beautiful condition.  I picked my nicest one for this project.

The gum hoods are the excellent reproductions made by Robbie Fellowes.

The brake levers are the second generation, oval-hole, "long reach" version, which are period correct for this 1975 frame.

I chose not to polish the brake levers because I wanted the bike to have a stock look, as much as possible.

Correct early version of the Cinelli bar end caps.


Greg Softley's decals are excellent quality reproductions.






Cinelli Giro d'Italia bars, 40cm. outside to outside.




The ultimate tubulars, Clement Campionato del Mondo Seta, with a 26mm cross section.  They are NOS, never glued, and they are in AMAZING condition.  Truly, it's like time has not passed for these particular tires.  I cannot get over how well preserved they are.  You have to see them and feel them to appreciate their unbelievable condition.  They are most definitely rideable, but I could never...


Here you see where a touch-up was required after I unfortunately knicked the paint.  In person the touch-up is nowhere near as noticeable as in this extreme closeup image.



Regina Oro freewheel, 5 speed, 14-24.  The rear spacing on the frame is 120mm.



Regina Oro chain, NOS.

I gave Jon Williams of Drillium Revival an NOS 52T Nuovo Record ring, and he drilled it for me in the pattern known as "Colnago Merckx drilled."

Notice Jon's attention to detai; he did not put a hole over the 52.

Notice the precision of Jon's drilling.  Perfect uniform spacing and depth.

Also note how new the teeth are.  Originally installed NOS, the ring now has no more than 250 or 300 miles on it.

Proper Campagnolo crank fixing bolts.  No generic black bolts here.

Early Record pedals with built-in strap loops and metal dust caps.

The Christophe toe clips are XL, suitable for my size 11 (45/46) shoes.

These cool toe straps are my one indulgence in the build.  They are from the 80s, so they are not period correct, but they are just too cool not to use them, even with the rusty buckles (and they are NOS).  On the brochure the strap ends are riveted, but I didn't want to do that in case I needed to swap the straps.  So instead I used these yellow REG toe strap buttons that are period correct.








Early shifters with raised letters.

The chrome on the fork crown was redone when the frame was painted, and it is perfect.




Check out the tread on the Clements.


It took a long time to find this REG cage...

Front tire.  Perfect condition.

Rear tire.  Perfect condition.

The rims, were a key part of the build.  With their light gold anodized finish, they are difficult to find, especially NOS.  They are Mavic Record Serie Professional Hd 120.  I removed the decals which were coming unglued.  They are the same finish rims which are in the brochure bike, and which Eddy rode on many of his bikes over the years.




You can sort-of appreciate the finish of the rims in the photos, but they look prettier in person.  They look much better with the orange paint than silver rims, in my opinion.

Proper straight levers on the quick releases.






A small, almost invisible, embellishment









This is the only other touched-up nick in the paint - the paint color is much closer in person and it is really not noticeable.



















And there you have it.  The best riding bike I have ever owned, and a real cycling icon to boot.

I hope you enjoyed the presentation.


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Created  8/1/2013