Re: [Classicrendezvous] Mexico vs Super (was: Colnago quality)

(Example: Production Builders:Tonard)

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 10:54:01 -0700
From: "Marc Boral" <>
Subject: Re: [Classicrendezvous] Mexico vs Super (was: Colnago quality)
References: <> <>

I forgot to add that Supers were constructed of all SL tubes, or some SP tubes in larger sizes.

Marc Boral

Marc Boral wrote:
> Hi Dale and CR,
> Most of my knowledge about earlier Colnagos comes from older Colnago literature,
> but some comes from having 25-30 Colnagos in my collection :-). So assuming the
> literature is correct, here is little info about Mexico vs. Super.
> Mexico framesets first appeared in '75/'76. They were constructed of Columbus
> Record & SL tubing. My early catalog refers to "4/10 Record". This refers to
> the 10 tubes used to make a frameset, not including the steerer. I assume it
> means that four tubes are Record, and the rest are SL. The problem is that the
> catalog doesn't refer to which tubes are the Record tubes. Columbus catalogs
> spec the Record tube set to have all different tubes from the SL set, except for
> the fork blades, those are the same 0.9 mm. So this means that there can
> potentially be eight Record tubes in a frame. Did Colnago use four Record tubes
> to make up the main triangle/head, or was Record used for all the stays? I don't
> know. I do know that many people complain about the whippiness of Mexico frames
> in larger sizes. But that is the sacrifice one must expect from using ultra
> light tubing. Columbus intended Record tubing to used in record attempts on the
> track, not in a road bike. By the way, here are the weights of a complete Record
> tubeset (1650 gr.) and complete SL tubeset (2065 gr.) On a personal note, one of
> reasons I love to collect Colnagos is because Ernesto put out so many different
> professional models, primarily in the '80s.
> Mexicos and Supers of this vintage are virtually impossible to tell apart. They
> both received the same lugwork and details. The only cosmetic distinguishing
> feature was the chainstay decal. Mexicos got the "Colnago Mexico" decal, while
> the Super got the "Colnago Super" decal.
> In the early '80s, the Mexico incorporated a drawn top tube and down tube. This
> Mexico is refereed to as the Nuovo Mexico. Not everyone attaches the "Nuovo" to
> this Mexico. Even Colnago literature is inconsistent with using "Nuovo" every
> time. That is why there is a lot of confusion when attempting to read/talk about
> Mexicos in general.
> According to Colnago literature, some of the models that came with the blend of
> Record & SL tubing are: Mexico, Nuovo Mexico, Profile CX, Profile, Arabesque.
> Marc Boral
> wrote:
> > In a message dated 10/16/00 7:36:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> > writes:
> >
> > << I meant to say that there were some called the "Mexico" that were of
> > questionable quality. I guess some of the "Supers" were also poorly made. I
> > wonder why they varied so much? >>
> >
> > I think that in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Ernesto Colnago's genius for
> > marketing and sales pushed him to farm out a lot of production and some was
> > shoddy.
> >
> > I think that the Super was the model most likely to be loose in quality.
> > Those came in the USA in droves to the mail order houses and to any start-up
> > importer with money. This is the same time frame in which serial numbers
> > were not even used ... De la Rosa and Kolin referred to this "farming out"
> > situation by Colnago in the preface of The Custom Bicycle Book, using that as
> > a reason to eliminate him from the book.
> >
> > Genuine "Mexico" models, alleged to be made of super light Columbus "Record"
> > (straight gauge!) and "KL" (butted), were most likely built in Ernesto's
> > workshop. These "real" Mexico bikes were usually very good. Also confusing
> > this issue was Colnago's tendency to slap decals on any Colnago with
> > references to the Mexico Hour Record. It is sometimes tough to know which
> > model Colnago you actually have.
> >
> > I would bet Marc Boral knows a lot about this. What do you say, Marc......?
> >
> > Dale Brown