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.
Columbus EL-OS tubing or Columbus Technos tubing?
According to this forum discussion, the early Colnago Technos frames were constructed from Columbus EL oversized (EL-OS) tubing which was designed for professional competition. EL-OS was built with Nivacrom steel designed to be light weight and oversized for greater rigidity. Colnago later changed to it’s own spec tube set called as Columbus Technos.
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.
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.