How to Identify a Colnago C40 Frame (Second Version)

Colnago C40 Second Version
Colnago C40 Second Version (1997)

This article is only part of my ULTIMATE GUIDE to the Colnago C40 which I recommend you start reading first. This guide includes a lot of information about this legendary frame such as;

  • An overview of the Colnago carbon bikes that preceded the C40.
  • The brief history of the C40 including major race wins.
  • Discussion of the C40 lugs and how the frame was assembled.
  • How to identify the different versions of the C40.
  • The different forks that were supplied with the C40 over the years.
  • Frame geometry and build specifications.


The Colnago C40 was manufactured for approximately 10 years (1994 – 2004) and over that time, 4 different versions of the frame were released. This article discusses the second version of the C40 frame that was sold for about 5 years (1997 to 2001, dates are approximate).

General Features of a C40 Frame

All 4 versions of the C40 frame were made from carbon tubes and carbon lugs. They were not a monocoque design, which has a flowing style – like modern carbon frames. The top tube and down tube featured a distinctive 4 sided Master profile as shown in the images below. The majority of C40 frames were built using traditional geometry (that has a horizontal top tube). However in 2001, their catalog listed sloping geometry for the small frames sizes (46,47,48).

Colnago C40 frame tubes
Colnago C40 frame tubes
Colnago C40 Second Version down tube
Colnago C40 Second Version down tube
Image courtesy of Steel Vintage bikes

The C40 logo was located at the top of the seat tube as shown in the following image.

Colnago C40 Second Version seat tube
Colnago C40 Second Version seat tube
Image courtesy of Steel Vintage bikes

How to Identify the 2nd Version Frame

To quickly identify the second version of the C40 frame, check for these 2 things on the frame;

1. Look at the location of the shift cable stops on the frame. As shown in the below, the cable stops are located on the head tube lug unlike the first version frame which positioned the cable stops lower and on the down tube.

2. Look at the seat stays. They are traditional looking narrow seat stays, not the chunkier B-Stay’s which came later. Please refer to the image below.

Colnago C40 Second Version head tube lug
Colnago C40 Second Version.
Cable stops fitted to the head tube lug.
Image courtesy of Steel Vintage bikes
Colnago C40 Second Version frame
Colnago C40 Second Version.
Thin seat stays, not B-Stays.
Image courtesy of Steel Vintage bikes

New Features of the 2nd Version Frame

The second version of the C40 frame received some notable updates which include;

  • New Ace of Clubs logo carved into the top of the head tube lug (just like their steel bikes).
  • The chain stays have a higher profile than the first version. Presumably to enhance stiffness.
  • Whilst it is not mentioned in the Colnago catalog, I have read that the down tube on the second version C40 flares out wider where it meets the bottom bracket. The first version down tube had a constant diameter. This is a little tricky to see in the photos.
C40 Second Version new features
Colnago Catalog 1997 – C40 Second Version – New Features
Colnago C40 Second Version bottom bracket
Colnago C40 Second Version bottom bracket.
Higher profile chain stays. Non-replaceable rear derailleur hanger.
Image courtesy of Steel Vintage bikes
Colnago C40 Second Version frame with club cut-out
Colnago C40 Second Version frame.
Features Ace of Clubs symbol on top of head tube lug.

Carbon Star Fork is Released

Colnago finally released it’s carbon forks (Star and Force models) somewhere between the late 1990’s to early 2000’s. Up until this point, the second version of the C40 was sold with a steel Precisa fork or possibly a Time ‘Colnago’ carbon fork. Once Colnago released it’s own carbon forks, I believe the customer could order either the Star fork or Force fork, depending on their budget and preference.

Colnago Carbon Star fork
Colnago Carbon Star fork
Image courtesy of Steel Vintage bikes

C40 Gold – Limited Edition Bike

This limited edition bike is built from the second version C40 frame and was listed in a Colnago catalog (circa 2000). In the top paragraph it explains that only 400 were produced. This model was supplied with the new Colnago Star carbon fork.

Colnago C40 Gold limited edition bike
Colnago C40 Gold limited edition bike.

About Me.

I have been riding and working on my own bikes for many years now. I wanted to share my experiences, knowledge and research with others. My aim is to inspire people to get involved in all aspects of this amazing sport. Cheers.


I welcome reader feedback in the comments section. Should you wish to suggest an amendment, please include a note advising the source of your information so that myself and other readers can ascertain the accuracy of your information. Note: Trolling or argumentative comments will be removed as they are counter-productive.

4 thoughts on “How to Identify a Colnago C40 Frame (Second Version)

  • Hi

    Great site – can you confirm if the C40 was produced in ST02 colour scheme.



    • Thanks Jon, I had a look through my collection of Colnago catalogs (up to 2006) and saw no mention of the colour code ST02. I think that paint scheme first appears on the C50 in their 2008 catalog

  • Buonasera sono in possesso di una Colnago c40 prima serie con tubi tondi,acquista di secondo mano, e sta riverniciata essendo stata di proprietà di una squadra corse, qualcuno mi può dare informazioni perché non ha il classico tubo stellare.
    Grazie mille

    Translated to English:

    Good evening I am in possession of a Colnago c40 first series with round tubes, buy it second hand, and it is repainted having been owned by a racing team, someone can give me information because it does not have the classic stellar tube. Thanks so much.

    • I Guiseppe, when researching the C40 on the internet, there is mention of an earlier carbon lugged frame with round carbon tubes rather than the Master profile tubes usually found on the C40. I found not documentation for this early frame.

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