The Colnago Eddy Merckx bicycle is actually a Colnago Super with special Molteni Team orange paint, Eddy Merckx decals and a selection of high-end components. Here is a photo of the bike in an old Colnago brochure circa 1973.
Who is Eddy Merckx?
Eddy Merckx is considered by many as the greatest cyclist of all time. He competed as a professional cyclist from 1961 to 1978. He recorded 525 victories throughout his career including winning all five one day ‘Monuments of Cycling’ (i.e., Milan–San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, and the Giro di Lombardia). He has won all three grand tours (Giro d’Italia & Tour de France x 5 times each plus the Vuelta a Espana). He has been World Road Champion several times etc. Throughout the 1970’s, he was racing on Colnago bikes, and used a super-light (5.75kg) Colnago bike to break the one hour world record.
Features of a Colnago Eddy Merckx.
If you would like to see a real 1970’s Molteni Team bike click here.
I have used photos of several replica bikes which are very close to the original. Essentially this model would have shared all the features of an early 1970’s Super. Here is help on how to identify a Colnago Super.
As for the components included with this bike, I would presume they were top of the range Campagnolo Nuovo Record. As you can see in the catalogue, the chain rings were drilled to reduce weight and the craftsmanship is beautiful.
These images show some of the features that would probably feature on the Colnago Eddy Merckx model. Images courtesy of www.vintageluxurybicycles.com
This next picture is of a different bike, showing the Eddy Merckx portrait decals on the head tube and seat tube. Image courtesy of premium-cycling.com
Replica decals can be purchased online from a wide variety of suppliers. Here is an example of set for this frame available from Cyclomondo.net.
The following websites have a large selection scanned Colnago literature including reviews, catalogues and brochures.
I hope you found this article interesting. I have listed the following website pages as general references.
Please remember that this information is only to be used as a guide.
I consider myself an enthusiast, not an expert. The information I have presented in this article is based on my many hours of online research.
In addition, there will always be frames that don’t quite match the characteristics of a particular model as they could have been a custom build, prototype etc. Note: forks can also be swapped between different frames.
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.
26 thoughts on “How to identify a Colnago Eddy Merckx”
Hi there, Did Colnago produce any “Mexico”frame for Merckx featuring orange Molteni painting? Or was it just “Super” model?
Speedbicycles website seems to have one but not sure.
Hi Steph, that is a very good question. I don’t know if the Molteni team rode Super’s or Mexico’s, however I would expect that Merckx was provided with a custom frame utilising all the best materials and design. We know how weight conscious they were back then with the production of the 5.75kg super light bike Eddy used to beat the one hour world record.
Hola chicos, muy buenas. Yo tengo una colnago modelo méxico original del equipo molteni. Es de 1974
Hello guys, very good. I have an original Mexican Colnago model from the Molteni team. It’s from 1974
All the best
Sounds nice! Post a link to some images of the bike in the comments section.
I purchased around 4 years ago a 1973 Colnago Super with a Nuovo Record NOS groupset.
The curious part is that the guy who restored it did put a clear coat over the original paint which was orange Molteni and due to aging was “flicking” away if it makes any sense.
I tried to gather any more info but can’t find anything.
Compliments for the blog!
Nice to hear you have a wonderful bike. Did you meant the paint was flaking off. They probably applied the clear coat to try to preserve the original paint. The good thing about original paint is that you can tell the frame’s condition more easily than if the bike had been fully repainted.
What rims were used on the 1972 Colnago Eddy Merckx, NiSi or Fiamme? and what components Cinelli or 3ttt?
Hi Angel, sorry I don’t know, but you can see one of the Molteni team bikes from 1970 which apparently featured Mavic OR-7 rims and Campagnolo components. No mention of the bars & stem, but you could ask them.
Hello! Thank you for the article. My cousin has this model of bike and he wants to restore it or sell it. Do you have any information of prices of these bikes? Or restoration shops?
Hi Ron. Glad to hear the article was of interest to you. Unfortunately I am unable to answer either of those questions, but I can give you some tips. Prices vary a lot based on condition, frame size and the components on the bike. Search E-bay for all kinds of vintage Colnago frames to get some price guesstimates. I would only recommended a full restoration on the basis of keeping the bike to ride and enjoy.
For restoration work, contact a few local bike shops to get the details of some bike frame repairers/painters. More than likely one of these will know a specialist to do the chrome plating work. Chrome plating of bicycle frames should only be done by a specialist as the tubes are very thin. A full restoration will require all the components to be removed from the frame which requires the right tools. Old parts like bottom brackets can be very difficult to remove. But overcoming all the challenges is what makes the whole job so rewarding in the end.
Bonjour, j’ai un vélo super Colnago de 1978. J’ai constaté 2 différences avec les modèles du début des années 70.
1. Passe-gaines de freins brasés dans le cadre.
2. Le dérailleur arrière est un Campagnolo super record et non un nuovo record.
J’ai 2 questions:
Est-ce qu’il y a encore d’autres différences que celles que j’ai constatées ?
Est-il possible de remplacer le dérailleur super record par sa version antérieure le nuovo record sans problèmes ? Il y 6 pignons à l’arrière.
Merci I d’avance
Translated to English:
Hello, I have a 1978 Colnago super bike. I noticed 2 differences with the models from the early 70s.
1. Brake ducts brazed into the frame.
2. The rear derailleur is a Campagnolo super record and not a nuovo record.
I have 2 questions:
Are there still other differences than the ones I noticed?
Is it possible to replace the super record derailleur with its earlier version the nuovo record without problems? There are 6 gears at the rear.
Thanks I in advance
Bonjour Philippe, yes the Colnago Super gradually evolved over the years. One of those changes was a recessed brake mounting nut. There is more information on some of these changes on How to identify a Colnago Super.
The vintage Campagnolo Super Record and Nuovo Record derailleurs can be used interchangeably. They were both designed for use with friction shift levers and a regular 1/2″ x 3/32″ chain which suits both regular 5 or 6 speed freewheels. However, I have read the largest rear cog varies for each rear derailleur; 26t max (NR) and 28t max (SR).
Le dérailleur arrière Campagnolo nuovo record est l’ancêtre du super record.
Est-ce qu’il y a aussi un dérailleur avant nuovo record et super record et si oui quelle sont les différences.
Avez-vous des photos ?
Yes, Campagnolo Nuovo Record was before Super Record. Both group sets have different front and rear derailleurs. The front derailleurs are very similar but the rear derailleurs look different. I haven’t done a lot of research on Nuovo Record, but I have created a detailed Campagnolo Super Record review. I believe the derailleurs can be mixed and matched from either group.
Est-ce que vous savez en quelle année les vélos colnago super avaient des dérailleurs avants à braser et non avec collier ?
Looking at the Colnago catalogues I have on file, I looks like Colnago added a braze-on front derailleur mount to their steel frames around 1983.
J’aurais voulu savoir avec quelle marque de pneus (boyau) roulait Eddy Merckx avec son vélo Colnago.
Translated to English:
I would have liked to know what brand of tires (tubular) Eddy Merckx rode on his Colnago bike.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Philippe, according to Wikipedia, he rode Clément Tyres for some of his racing career. I’m guessing some of his equipment may have been related to various sponsorship deals. Apparently Pirelli bought Clément in the 1980’s.
J’aurais voulu connaître la référence exacte de la couleur orange des vélos molteni les années où ils ont ont utilisé les vélos colnago.
Est-ce la référence 2003 ral ?
Merci d’avance pour votre réponse.
I would have liked to know the exact reference for the orange color of the molteni bikes from the years they used the colnago bikes.
Is this the 2003 benchmark ral?
Hi Philippe, unfortunately I do not know. I don’t have much Colnago literature from that period and the Molteni colour doesn’t appear to be used for later bikes as I guess it was directly associated with that sponsor.
Pouvez-vous me donner la référence des jantes légèrement dorées qu’utilisait Eddy merckx sur le vélo Colnago super en 1972-1973 (voir brochure Colnago et vos photos plus haut.
Translated to English:
Can you give me the reference of the light gold rims that Eddy Merckx used on the Colnago super bike in 1972-1973 (see Colnago brochure and your photos above. Thanks in advance
Hi Philippe. Looking at the decal in the photo, I think they may be Mavic OR10 tubular rims. You can see the original photos on http://www.vintageluxurybicycles.com/colnago-molteni and contact them for confirmation.
Encore une question:
Connaissez-vous la référence du guidon et de la potence (marque, modèle, dimensions) qu’utilisait Eddy Merckx sur son colnago debut 1973 (voir brochure Colnago ci-dessus).
Translated to English:
Do you know the reference of the handlebars and stem (make, model, dimensions) that Eddy Merckx used on his Colnago at the start of 1973 (see Colnago brochure above).
Thanks in advance
Unfortunately I don’t. Maybe someone reading this page will be able to answer that question.
De echte fabrieks frame’s voor het team molteni zijn bijna niet te vinden ,je kan ze herkennen
aan de BB die versterkt zijn in punten bijna niet de vinden alleen enkele hebben er nog . ik stuur u enkele foto’s door van deze zelfzaam frame .
Translated to English:
The real factory frames for the team molteni are almost impossible to find, you can recognize them almost impossible to find on the BB that are reinforced in points, only a few still have them. I will send you some pictures of this rare frame.
Hi Istvan, feel free to post a link to images in the comments using How to share images on Cycling Obsession