In the early 1980’s Colnago began experimenting with crimping main frame tubes to increase stiffness. Colnago referred to these crimps as ‘ribs’ in their early brochures. They also experimented with ways to reduce aerodynamic drag. The Colnago Profil CX bicycle is an early example of this experimentation. Unfortunately I was unable to find any mention of the Colnago Profil CX in any old Colnago catalogues.
Special features of a Colnago Profil CX
I believe the Colnago Profil CX was released around 1985, not long after the release of the second edition of the Colnago Nuovo Mexico, as it shares the same crimp configuration ie. a single crimp on either side the top tube and a single crimp on either side of the down tube.
Based on the images presented, the front triangle is the same as a second edition Colnago Nuovo Mexico whilst the rear triangle is more like a 1980’s Colnago Super with a central crimp on the inside of the chain stays and a spool shaped chain stay bridge. These features were not found in the second edition Colnago Nuovo Mexico.
Aero features of the Colnago Profil CX.
The most notable feature of this frame is the shift levers are mounted on top of the down tube. The shift cables are then routed inside the down tube and exit near the bottom bracket. Commonly the fork also appears to have a slightly different profile and the crown is marked with ‘CX’ lettering.
Interestingly, the frame pictured features a braze-on front derailleur mount, however, the first version of the Colnago Profil CX didn’t have one, so either this was an ordering option or there was a design change between these two editions.
Cromovelato paint finish.
Many of these frames were also 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 are of a second edition Colnago Profil CX to show some of the design features. There may also be other variations in existence.
Images courtesy of purgatorio.de
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.
2 thoughts on “How to identify a Colnago Profil CX (Second Edition)”
Checking catalogues and online info I realised this is the first Colnago Profil CX, because of the rounded ending of the seat stay that is similar to the colnago super 1980-1981, etc. My opinion is that this is the first attempt of colnago internal cable routing + crimped tubing (and I own one custom made for an italian cyclist with internal cable routing in tot tube too). The one that you posted as the first edition is actually the second edition because it has the flat ending of the seat stay as the colnago nuovo mexico from the 1983 catalogue (wich also has only one crimp on downtube and the bottom brachet with no colnago panto on the little wings as the commercial edition of the nuovo mexico and later first edition of the master 1984). So this frame came arround 1981-1982 (father of the oval cx) and the second edition is in your other post wich is around 1982-1983, built in the same period with the oval cx (same crown fork).
I hope this is accurate information.
Hi Mido, thanks for posting your thoughts. To be honest I can’t be sure either way. The frame I labelled as the second edition does have flutes on the top of the seat stays which featured on older frames, so this could have been the first, but the reason I figured this was the second version, was due to the Nuovo Mexico style down tube (with 4 offset crimps). This type of down tube appeared is more modern. Earlier crimped Colnago frames had only one crimp on either side of the down tube. However the frame I labelled as the first version does have seat stay caps found on more modern frames as you mentioned. Additionally, there is still debate as to whether there was actually a first version of the Nuovo Mexico frame (with one crimp on either side of the down tube). Some people call this frame a Super Profil and I have labelled it as such in my blog due to considerable evidence presented. I will be interested to see what others have to say.