This bicycle Eddy Merckx’s very own Colnago Super Team Molteni from 1971, on this actual bike, Eddy Merckx raced and won the 1971 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Eddy Merckx’s signature is visible on the top tube of the frame and it is still in the original paintwork that Eddy Merckx and his team would have ridden in. The frame itself was manufactured with the highest quality Columbus SL steel tubes. The Colnago Super was manufactured with a shorter, stiffer, and lighter frame. It was designed for high-performance and really helped Merckx surpass his competition, cementing him as one of the greatest of all time. Since its launch, most racing bicycles have actually been built with a geometry inspired by the Super. However, the 1971 team bikes were a bit more special since they were built using a stronger fork crown. A bike of this magnitude has to come equipped with some great components, the crankset and derailleurs on this bicycle are all Campagnolo Nuovo Record, which was probably the best groupset of its time which is attached to a 5-speed Regina Cassette.
The bicycle that we have here belonged to none other than Fausto Coppi, one that he rode and competed with, in 1946. This frame that we have here has the serial number. 91267 and was the first of six frames built by Bianchi’s Reparto Corse for Fausto Coppi in 1946. This batch included three track and three road frames. This particular model that we have here is a beautiful pista track bicycle that has a frame size of 59cm. The craftsman for this frame is said to be Luigi Valsassina and the frame is manufactured to his usual standard of precision. The geometry of the frame was very innovative for the time in comparison to other track models. The frame was much more compact, for example, the length of the chainstay was reduced from 43cm to 42cm and the distance between the forks and the center of the bottom bracket is 59 cm instead of 59,8 cm, an previously unseen set of measurements for a bicycle with a 59cm frame. Furthermore, the crank arms are only 165mm long which would have facilitated Coppi in his sprints.
This bike was Francesco Moser's personal training bike from 1984, the bicycle design took full advantage of the scientific developments of the time. The innovative frame forced the rider's body into an aerodynamic position and the machine rolled on disc wheels whilst featuring these iconic bull horn handlebars. These aerodynamic improvements earned Francesco Moser the eagerly anticipated record, which he was able to raise in a second attempt to 51151 meters! he bike that played such a big part in this triumph became the iconic paragon for all-time trial and pursuit bikes of the following years. Everybody rode with bullhorn bars, low profile frames, small front wheels, disc wheels. Some riders longed so much for this bike, that they got one from the Moser manufacturer. But since the price for such a Replica was immense, there were just a handful made. Unfortunately, it is not the bike that he used for the record in Mexico, but it sure is the closest you will ever get to that. And it has even been signed by Cecco!
The team Splendor / Hitachi that we have here belonged to Claude Criquielion it is his time trial bike from 1989. The frame pushes the body into an aerodynamic position which is necessary for such time trial bicycles. As for the material used in this dazzling frame, it has been made with Reynolds 753 tubing. The general consensus is that this tubing was considered to be one of the very best, it was the strongest steel that could be drawn into super-thin tubes. Not to mention that it was much lighter than a lot of the other tubing on the market at the time which made it perfect for time trial bicycles such as this one. As for the parts, we find rather rare set components this is due to the fact that Team Hitachi made use of French Mavic components rather than more commonly used Italian or Japanese groupsets. A good choice certainly especially considering that the bearings were the finest you could get. In fact, Mavic made some of the best-engineered stuff you could get hold of and would have contributed greatly to the success of Criquielion and the Splendor/Hitachi Team.
The team Banesto bike here belonged to Miguel Indurain, the Banesto Team were traditionally produced by Pinarello and the frames were built by Dario Pegoretti who is widely considered to be one of the best frame builders of his era. Pegoretti was inspired by the aerodynamic shapes used in airplane designs and this led to the unique look, with the headtube protruding forward like the blade of a knife. This innovative design proved to not only be aerodynamic but it was also comparably stronger. This type of frame proved to become Indurains favorite and he used it on several occasions between 1992 and 1996. This bike here is the 1995 version that Indurain used in the last time trial of the Tour de France. The penultimate 19th stage was a time trial at the Lac de Vassivière, he dominated this time trial and won the 1995 edition of the Tour de France making this bicycle here a stage-winning bike, a tour-winning bike, and a piece of history.
Perhaps one of their most innovative designs ever produced by the Cinelli was the Cinelli Laser, Since 1981 the Laser has represented the pinnacle of made-to-measure custom Italian frame-building, winning more track world championship and Olympic gold medals than any other bicycle in the history of the sport. The Cinelli Laser is in no doubt one of the most iconic and influential bikes of all time. Andrea Pesenti claims to have only produced 200 frames and are nowadays some of the most sought-after collectible bikes in the world. This is not only due to the limited number of models but also because they unite a captivating sleek and aerodynamic design with numerous victories in competitions. In fact, the Cinelli Laser was one of the first bicycles to incorporate the science of aerodynamics into its frame, this was realised with the drop-shape pipes and an elliptical section that allowed for greater speed. This was an innovative and complex manufacturing method that was facilitated by the cooperation of world-renowned tubing manufacturer, Columbus. The Laser combined futuristic forms with highly pleasing aesthetics, turning them into aggressive sports machines as well as pieces of art.
When it comes to classic bicycles, the Colnago Arabesque is undoubtedly the must-have for any collector. Very hard to find, the Arabesque is probably the most well-finished bicycle that Colnago has ever manufactured. It was produced between 1984 and 1985 to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the company: Ernesto Colnago wanted to create a bicycle which would be a milestone, both for himself and for the bicycle industry. By looking at the lugs, it is simple to understand where the name "Arabesque" comes from. This Colnago Arabesque is simply a breath-taking beauty. Like many of the roughly 2000 Arabesque, this one is built with a special Colnago tubing. What makes this Colnago stand out, even more, are the fine Campagnolo Super Record parts, many of which are beautifully pantographed. Just take a look at this amazing seat post! There is nothing more to say about this masterpiece. One of the rarest serial bicycles ever produced: for true collectors!
Roger de Vlaeminck is a member of an elite group, only three riders in cycling history who were able to win all five of the Monuments, the big classic one-day races. In fact, Roger de Vlaeminck was one of the most versatile riders of his era. His impressive palmarès include a cyclo-cross world championship, as well as dozens of stage wins in grand tours. The bike that we have here is from 1981, a time when he was racing for Belgian-based pro team D.A.F.-Trucks-Côte d'Or-Gazelle (Team DAF). It was an interesting year for de Vlaeminck which included winning the Belgian road championships as well as podium places in numerous classics. This bike is a special version of the Gazelle Champion Mondial. The base of these frames had always been Reynolds tubes and Bocama lugs, however, this particular model was built using Reynolds 753 tubing. This legendary heat-treated tube set offered a tensile strength that had been unheard of before. It was possible to draw the tubes to a wall thickness of only 3mm in the thinnest section. This resulted in lightweight, yet strong frames.
In 1953 Giovanni 'Nani' Pinarello was able to make his dream come true by setting up a bicycle shop in his hometown Treviso. This was a company that grew exponentially and in 1975 the company achieved its first Giro d'Italia victory. Today there are not many brands with a similar number of triumphs in big races. One of the best bikes produced by the renowned Italian manufacturer Pinarello was the Prestige. As the name suggests it is the top model, a rare piece with fully internally routed cables. It is one of the greatest racing bicycles to leave the prestigious factory in Treviso. It is even rarer in its 24K gold-plated version. And to be honest, it is the only 1970s gold-plated Pinarello we have seen in the flesh, so far. This elegant Pinarello arrived at Steel Vintage Bikes in original condition. but after a close inspection of the decals and gold plating, we decided that due to numerous small flaws and rub-offs, we would refurbish the frame. Here it is in all its glory. Manufactured with light Columbus tubes it has also been equipped with the original Campagnolo Super Record components, with pantographed details and lots of titanium.
The Colnago Super Oro perfectly embodies Ernesto Colnago's vision: 'be creative and stay in public focus.' In 1979, he reportedly manufactured roughly 100 exemplars of a 24 Karot gold-plated version of his masterpieces, the Super and the Mexico. Then he donated frame number one to nobody less than Pope John Paul II. Since then, these bicycles have become an icon within the history of cycling and have appealed to avid collectors worldwide. This particular Colnago Oro that we have here has received a fresh gold plating and is fitted with original Campagnolo Record parts including the original beautiful pantographs. A visual highlight is certainly the rare Ambrosio 6-Arm crankset. The frame includes a special cable internal routing for the shifting cables, which are running inside of the down tube and right through the bottom bracket, a fine touch. A monument of Colnago's glorious history. The perfect bicycle to complete a serious collection.