- Founder: Ernesto Colnago
- Country: Italy
- Year of foundation: 1954
Colnago produced vintage bicycle frames
Colnago is one of our favourite brands! The history of this brand begins with Ernesto Colnago, who mainatains he ‘was born to build bicycles’. Following a bike accident in 1951 where he broke his leg, Colnago, who, at that time was working at Gloria Bicycles, decided to build his own parts and sell them to other bicycle companies. In 1954 he began to build his own frames. He also worked as a mechanic in this time. Three days before the Giro d’Italia of 1954, the famous professional cyclist Fiorenzo Magni told Colnago about his painful leg. Colnago understood that his leg hurt because of the cranksets, which at the time could be angled differently. Colnago fixed the problem and Magni asked him to accompany him at the Giro.
Custom made bicycles
This was the beginning of Colnago’s career. He sees his motto as ‘always thinking outside the box without copying anyone. Colnago was the first company to build custom made bicycles, beginning with steel, later making silver, titanium and finally carbon frames, which is when he started working together with famous Italian car manufacturer Ferrari. Most people were sceptical, as they didn’t believe the new material would withstand the mechanical stress which occures during cycling races.
The Colnago-Merckx partnership
Carbon was accepted as a material only once it had achieved success in the competitive world of racing, including success in the Giro d’Italia. This once again proved that Colnago’s visionary thinking was right. Colnago also worked together with Eddy Merckx. One of the outcomes of this partnership was the super-light steel frameMerckx rode in 1972, which broke the world one hour record, driving 55.291 km. Ernsto Colnago is still the head of his own compay today. He no longer sponsors any UCI ProTour teams but Colnago concentrates on smaller teams like Team Europcar or Colnago-CSF Inox.
Click here to visit Colnago’s official website.