Colnago Bike Company - the beginning.
The Colnago Cycle Company was founded by Ernesto Colnago in 1953 in a town called Cambiago near Milan. The Colnago family was a farming clan but early on the boy Colnago had made cycling his dream. Ernesto took his first cycling related job in a cycle factory which he later turned into a tiny bicycle shop where he serviced and worked on the local's bikes and bike parts.
Colnago Tries his hand at Racing!
Ernesto Colnago wanted to be a pro but after an accident (a broken leg) he gave up racing and concentrated on the parts and components themselves. The next best thing Colnago could do to racing was to become a racing bike mechanic under the mech-master Faliero Masi's supervision. It was here that he learned the basics and the more intricate side of bike mechanics and componentry. Even at this early stage he was always positive and optimistic about his cycling future - getting himself everywhere he could in the cycling scene - especially in front of cameras! These sepia snaps would go on to become prized material, pefect for marketing in later years.
Colnago in the 1960's.
By the 60's Colnago has gained a position in the Molteni (a sausage company!) Racing Team as their chief mechanic and supplier of bike parts and frames. It was at this time that the worlds greatest cyclist - Eddy Merckx would join the team to make the ultimate partnership. The superstar bike builder though was not disclosed since the bikes still bore the name of Molteni! Many people would wonder who the bicycle frame builder was creating legends in the cycling world but Ernesto Colnago eventually made it known it was him who made Eddy Merckx's bikes.
Columbus Tubing's diamond tube design has been utilised for years on Colnago racing bicycles to Ernesto's specs, creating super light and rigid racing frames that give fantastic ride quality at the same time. Some of the "flat" tubing frame designs (to minimise pedal flex) were to go on to become the Colnago bike stamp.
Merckx was unhappy with certain design aspects of the Colnago frames and he soon went about fixing the problems that were appearing. "The Colnago frame is not stiff enough" said Eddy compared to other designs. The problem didn't last long and Colnago came up with more refined tubing and framsets. "It's all about keeping the frame as light and stiff as possible" said Colnago.
Colnago - the test of time.
Colnago bikes have stood the time test to become not just the Rolls Royce of Italian bikes but all bicycles and the company's production of bikes though not huge - has grown and grown.
Colnago has, it seems, an unquenchable thirst for cycling and a desire to out-pace all other cycle manufacturers and product makers in sheer design quality. Superb bicycles built by the same bike builders that made bikes for Rabobank and Mapei. This old time designer still has no fear of the future and builds rocket technology (carbon fiber frames and parts) bikes that make other brands look like kids toys.
Not only building Carbon Fibre framesets, Colnago uses the super material Titanium (normally reserved for planes) to make his masterpeices. Utilising varying tube sizes and widths for top tubes and down tubes he creates the optimum frame weight verses flex ratio.
All Colnago logos and patterns are painted onto the bikes. This was brought about to get around the increasing amount fake Colnago bikes that began surfacing in the nineteen eigties.
(text source: Bonthrone Bikes)
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