You’re looking at a dead technology. Not because of the twin down-tube design. And not because of the aluminum tubes screwed and glued together. This is a dead technology because there is no way to attach the billboard-sized brand names that grace the modern racing frame.
Here’s the owner of Klunk’s Bicycles & Repair, Karl Kimbel. His latest project (when I visited his shop last fall) is in the stand behind him. It’s been said that he has quite the personal bicycle collection, in addition to the shop’s inventory of veteran machines.
Gotta love that Walz cap.
Colnago did its best to promote the brand on this cyclocross bike built by ALAN back in the 1980s. Seat tube decal? Sure, we’ve got one of those–and the necessary clearance for an off-road tire. Note the cables running over the top tube–makes it a lot more comfortable to carry the bike on your shoulder when you’re jumping over logs or running up a step incline.
It’s an interesting design, and here you can see what the main goal was: to reduce frame flex by bracing the ends of the bottom bracket with the twin down tubes.
Of course you have to throw in a little bracing just to give yourself a spot to attach the water bottle cage.
These days it’s not unusual to find a Colnago that was designed in Europe and built in Asia (the alternative: spend a lot more money to get a machine bolted together in Repubblica italiana). But this bike was built in Italy (though not by Colnago itself) when makers everywhere were taking their first steps away from steel frames.
Today this old cyclocrosser is reassembled in the United States by a bike shop owner who steps between old and new as easily as Colnago (and Trek and Cervelo) order up larger decals for their carbon wunderbikes.
And everyone seems to be sticking the landing.