How to identify a Colnago Oval CX

Colnago Oval CX (circa 1982)
Colnago Oval CX Bicycle (circa 1982)
Image courtesy of

In the early 1980’s Colnago collaborated with Columbus to develop a new oval shaped tube that was designed to decrease aerodynamic drag and enhance overall frame stiffness. This new Columbus tubing was called Colnago Oval CX. Whilst this frame incorporated futuristic aero design, the Colnago Oval CX bicycle was only in available for a few years, making this model a collector’s item. The new oval shaped tubes required a unique set of lugs as you can see in the following image.

Colnago Oval CX top tube
Oval shaped top tube.
Image courtesy of

Whilst Colnago released another aero optimised bike a few years later called the Colnago Profil CX, that model did not feature these special oval shaped tubes.

Aero features of a Colnago Oval CX

More aerodynamic oval shaped tubes and special lugs were created to streamline this frame, however this frame featured several other design changes in the pursuit of aero gains;

  • shift levers mounted on top of the down tube.
  • shift cables are routed inside the down tube.
  • rear brake cable is routed inside top tube (Più style).
  • CX fork has flat side profile to reduce frontal drag.
  • Rear brake reverse mounted (inside the rear triangle).

Images courtesy of

Cromovelato paint finish.

Some of these frames were sold with a Cromovelato finish. This requires the frame to be fully chrome plated and then sprayed with a tinted colour coat (often candy red or blue). This gives the frame a reflective gloss coloured finish and would have been a considerably more expensive process due to the entire frame requiring an intensive polish, followed by a multi-step chrome plating process and then a spray paint application. Unfortunately whilst it is a very beautiful finish, it seems the paint was not particularly durable.

The following images highlight the general features of a Colnago Oval CX.
Images courtesy of

Colnago Oval CX catalogue page (circa 1983)
Colnago Oval CX catalogue page (circa 1983)

Colnago Literature.

The following websites have a large selection scanned Colnago literature including reviews, catalogues and brochures.

Article References.

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.

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.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.