The legendary Colnago museum – (Part 3)

12 Mar
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When visiting Colnago, it is an absolute must to check out the legendary museum. This is a living archive of Colnago cycles from the past to the present. Unfortunately, the museum is not open to the general public as its situated within the private complex and there is no ready access for visitors arriving unannounced. However, if you are fortunate enough to be invited into the museum, then I would suggest you grab the offer with both hands! You will not regret the experience. I was very lucky to get a personal tour with Mr Colnago. It was really interesting to hear him speak about these individual bikes and their riders with such pride and emotion. 

The museum has a great feel about it and as you enter, nothing can prepare your eyes for what they are about to see. I can only liken it to an ancient Egyptian archaeologist finding a treasure trove within a pyramid, its that amazing! As your eyes begin to take onboard this fantastic collection, you then think to yourself, where do I start? Funny, one of the Colnago guys said to me, ” you look like a kid in a candy shop”. He was right, having the opportunity to look and assess these bikes close up was a real treat.     

As you walk through the door, you are greeted  by a gold Colnago bicycle which was personally given to Pope John Paul II. I understand that the Pope would ride his Colnago around the Vatican City. However, after the death of the Pope, the bicycle along with other precious artifacts were going to be auctioned off by the Vatican. Mr Colnago realising that this unique and historical bicycle could be lost forever, purchased it back. It now can be enjoyed by all when visiting the museum.
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Before we start talking about the bikes, I would like to bring your attention to the magnificent art work which adorns the pillars and walls of the museum. Its the same artist that hand painted the magnificent ‘Colngao Forever’ bicycle which is also displayed in the museum. The theme also continues within Mr Colnago’s office and if you go back to my first post regarding the visit, you will see the intricate art work which has been painted along the top of the walls.
 

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As you can imagine, the museum displays every bike and frame Colnago have made through the years. At the far end, you can take a walk past bikes which were once ridden by the great Eddie Merckx, Gianni Motta, Baronchelli, Enrico Paolini, Giovanni Battaglin, Johan Museeuw, Maurizio Fondriest, Moreno Argentin, Beppe Saronni (Goodwood spectacular) Miro Panizza, Joop Zoetemelk, Yaroslav Popovych, Michele Bartoli, Paolo Bettini, Andrea Tafi, Tony Rominger, Oscar Freire, Erik Dekker, Erik Zabel and Alessandro Petacchi. Also, with the recent addition of Anthony Charteau’s polka dot King of the Mountain Colnago C59. I have only named a few, the list goes on. There are also other bikes on display which have been hand made and given as gifts to Mr Colnago over the years. A very thought provoking experience! 
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Every frame Colnago has made is displayed in the museum. Its a great reference library which you could just view for hours. Although Colnago have indeed an illustrious past which would make any bicycle manufacture envious, Colnago is very much focused on the coming years. As we witnessed in the 2010 season, the EPS, CX1 and C59 were used to devastating effect against the opposition in the various races. Now, with the arrival of the M10, the lightest and one of the most cutting edge frames within the Colnago range. Made from a monocoque design, the M10 is already cutting the mustard on the professional circuit ! Colnago’s thoughts are very much in the future. Just speaking with the R&D guys confirms my feelings. They are constantly striving for perfection and to offer their customers and teams the very best in Carbon fibre frame technology and design. The future looks impressive! 
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I would like to take this opportunity to thank my lovely Wife for taking these photographs. As you can imagine, I was completely away looking at the bikes and forgot to take some photos. However, she very kindly took a few shots for us! 🙂

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