How to identify a Colnago Tecnos

Colnago Tecnos
Colnago Catalog 1996

The Colnago Tecnos bicycle frame first appeared in their 1996 catalogue and was still in production until the early 2000’s. This frame featured a new tube profile design and was manufactured from Nivacrom steel based on Colnago’s exclusive specification.

Originally I specified the date range of my ‘How to identify a Colnago Vintage bike’ series of articles as 1970’s to 1980’s. However I decided to include the Tecnos as it was sometimes being confused with other older Colnago frames. This page should help to identify this frame.

Special frame features of a Colnago Tecnos.

The Colnago Tecnos is easily identified by the tubing used in the top tube and down tube. The catalogue specifies the measurements of each as;

Down tube: biconical square tubing starting with 28.6mm diameter at the head tube increasing to 35mm diameter in the center, ending with 32mm diameter at the bottom bracket shell.

Top tube: biconical diameter of 25.4mm at either end, 28.6mm diameter in the centre.

This image clearly highlights the special profile of the steel tubing used for the Tecnos frame. It is described as having 5 external ribs to provide higher stiffness and stability under torsional flex stresses.

General frame features

The Colnago catalog also mentions the following features of the frame.

  • Inner rear brake cable guide on top tube.
  • Fittings for second water bottle cage on seat tube.
  • Fork crown and lugs from Colnago Master.
  • Investment cast bottom bracket shell, fork crown and drop-outs.
  • Chrome plated front fork, head lugs and rear seat stays.
  • Supplied with Precisa front fork (straight legs).

First Version of the Frame?

I was contacted by someone who had purchased an old Tecnos frame that had some different features to the frame pictured in the 1996 Colnago catalog. The seat tube lug on his frame was completely different.

After a quick search online, I discovered a similar frame for sale on eBay from Art-Bikes in Torino, Italy. I have included images of this frame below and suspect that it may be a very early version of the Tecnos as the rounded seat stay caps are more similar to bikes from the 1980’s than the 1990’s-2000’s which more commonly featured a completely different seat tube lug design which was marked with a club in a C (as shown at the top of the page). However this assumption is purely speculative at present.

The following images are courtesy of Art-Bikes

Colnago Literature.

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


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.

11 thoughts on “How to identify a Colnago Tecnos

  • I have a Tecnos, blue with purple trim, Record gear, Cinelli Ti stem and Aluminium 225 mm bars. Love, love, love this bike, which I found in NZ for $2300 NZD including two saddles, and two sets of wheels (race set and commuter set).

  • Ciao avrei bisogno di un consiglio, ho una colnago tecnos in acciaio del 1996,cambio Shimano ultegra. La comprò mio padre alla cifra di 4/ 4.5 milioni di lire(non ricorda con precisione). Sapreste dirmi piu o meno l attuale valore di mercato volendo rivenderla? Grazie.

    Google Translation:
    Hi I need some advice, I have a 1996 steel colnago tecnos, Shimano ultegra gearbox. My father bought it for 4 / 4.5 million lire (he doesn’t remember exactly). Could you tell me more or less the current market value if you want to resell it? Thank you.

    • Hi Claudio, unfortunately I do not know. Your options are to take it to a vintage bike shop for a valuation, search on eBay for similar bikes or list it on eBay and see how much you get. Obviously prices will vary based on it’s condition, components, frame size and colour.

  • Hey there. Great site, congrats. A real shrine to Colnago! I picked up a Tecnos a few years back, lightly restored it and greatly enjoy riding it (and looking at it 😉). Mine’s a AD10-SP10 “soft paint” version. Interestingly slightly different to your brochure image, without “Colnago” on the top tube. I’m guessing mine’s a 97, but who knows for sure.

    • Thanks Alex for your comments. Great to hear you have been enjoying riding your Colnago Tecnos. I checked out your photos. Love the classic blue Colnago paint work, but I would go with a black saddle..

      Interesting to see a triple chain ring on the front. Perfect for a big day out in the Dolomites!

  • Early Tecnos do indeed have the old style seat lug “cluster” when the Master changed to a different seat lug the Tecnos did too, around ‘97.

    Earlier Tecnos also have three point fork lug , no sure when this came in.

    Great bicycles for sure and a bit more rare than the delightful Master.

  • I have a 59cm Tecnos with a feature I have not seen on other Tecnos. The seat tube extends 43mm above the top tube and the Head tube 25mm. Is this a special version or was it done because of frame size?

    • Hi, I believe larger size frames had FREULER geometry which means the head tube and seat tube extend higher above the top tube than a regular sized frame to reduce stand-over clearance on large frames.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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