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

(Example: Framebuilders:Chris Pauley)

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 17:57:54 -0700
From: "Marc Boral" <>
Subject: Re: [Classicrendezvous] Mexico vs Super (was: Colnago quality)
References: <>

Hi Richard and CR,

Please don't get me wrong. I too agree that no manufacturer, including Colnago, could claim to use any tube with a thickness of 0.4 mm. Which is another reason I still think the "4/10" refers to the # of Record tubes within the Record/SL tubeset used on the Mexico. I think if they wanted to refer to the Record wall thickness, they would have expressed it in decimal form (0.5) like the rest of the Italian bike industry did. If they had written "5/10" instead of "4/10", I might be slightly more inclined to agree with you. But since there was never any 0.4 tube in the Columbus production, I believe the "4" refers to the number of Record tubes. I believe the backslash was not meant to infer a fraction, and the "10" does not mean tenths.

While I tend to believe you about them not even using Record tubing at all, I do find it hard to believe that Colnago could claim for 10 years to use Record tubes in number of their frames, and not come under attack from their colleagues, their trade, and their distributors, for false advertising. Certainly other prominent Italian framebuilders would know this and expose them.

I also found documentation regarding the NUOVO Mexico's tubeset. It states that Record tubes are used in all the stays and the top tube. The remainder were SL. Now this constitutes 5 record tubes out of 10. However these specs are for the Nuovo, not original Mexico which I allude to .

I am aware you know way more than me about all aspects of frame construction. I do value your opinion. However, I am still not convinced you are correct regarding the Colnago Mexico tubeset. I mean no offense, I hope you don't take any.


Marc Boral

"Richard M. Sachs" wrote:
> marc...
> here's my explanation: without question, the 4/10 thing
> refers to wall thickness. just as my example of a butted
> SL tube could be stated: 9/10x6/10x9/10, (.09x.06x.09), OR
> a butted SP tube could be: 1.0x.07x1.0. to me, there is no
> dispute regarding what the aforementioned '4/10ths'
> means. what i do not agree with, having explained the
> above, is that colnago (or anyone then), was using any
> tubes, anyplace, that were .04mm in thickness, either as
> straight guage tubes, or as the center guage in butted
> tubes. in other words, those mexico specs say 4/10 record
> tubes (by the way, i have those catalogs here, too), but
> neither are they that guage, nor that tubing.
> i will agree that when the mexico model itself begat??
> it's updates, it resembled it's predecessors less and less.
> i may appear cynical about this, but i'm not. i recall
> that all these changes occurred during the 70's at the
> height of the bike boom, when colnago was beginning
> the ramp up from frame shop to major bicycle industry
> player. few of his peers, then, notched it up at his rate
> of speed. i believe it all came down to presentation;
> prior to all this, all colnago had was the one model,
> the super. by the late 70's he (they) added the international,
> the mexico, the export, the mexico, the mexico oro,
> the neuvo mexico, frames with saronni decals, frames
> with de vlaeminck, those atrocious colners with the
> spade, rather than the club, logo..
> my point is that the mexico model initially was
> a gussied up, updated version of the super, a model
> which had run its course, marketing-wise. eventually,
> the features i site in my last shapes, plating,
> graphics, etc., would more easily distinguish mexicos
> from supers. but this tie-in with the record tubing or the
> 4/10ths thing just doesn't cut it with me. i don't care
> what the catalogs say...all the descriptions say, 'specially
> hand made and refined finish...' too! and i didn't
> take that passage literally either.
> get ernie on the phone, that's the only way to get
> to 3rd base here...kinda' reminds me of woody allen
> in 'annie hall', when he mysteriously pulls marshall
> macluhan out of the wings to address some so-called
> expert on marshall macluhan who was popping off
> about the man while all involved in the scene were
> waiting for movie tickets. have i lost everyone here?
> On Mon, 16 Oct 2000 13:56:12 -0700 Marc Boral <>
> writes:
> >Chuck and Richard seem to be of the opinion that "4/10 Record" refers
> >to the
> >guage/thickness. However I do not see the logic. Record tubes are
> >0.5 mm. for
> >triangle tubes and all stays, and 0.8 for the head tube. How do you
> >derive at the "4"
> >in "4/10" pertaining to thickness? I was also told by Colnago that
> >Record tubing was
> >specked in only certain tubes on the frame, not throughout. So this
> >is why I believe
> >that "4/10" refers to how many Record tubes were used. Please submit
> >your input,
> >because I certainly do not want to share incorrect info.
> >
> >Marc Boral
> >
> >Chuck Schmidt wrote:
> >
> >> Hi Marc,
> >>
> >> "4/10 Record" refers to the thickness of the tubing, not the number
> >of
> >> tubes in the frame...
> >>
> >> Chuck Schmidt
> >> South Pasadena, California
> >> (list of t-shirts on site)
> >>
> >> 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.
> >(snip)