Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ernesto Colnago Celebrates 80th Birthday with Limited Edition Bike

Ernesto Colnago is 80 today and has celebrated his birthday with a special limited edition bike that is set to become a collectors’ item. Only 80 will be available globally.

The special bike is called the C59 Ottanta – which means eighty in Italian and has a gold finish. It was inspired by the iconic Colnago bikes of the past that were used so successfully by so many legendary professional riders and loved by thousands of cyclists around the world.

The C59 Ottanta has Master-like arabesque lug decorations and Ernesto Colnago’s signature, yet is made from the best possible carbon fibre and fitted with Campagnolo Super Record EPS 11s electronic components.

Colnago is known for its iconic ace of clubs logo but the C59 Ottanta has a special head badge: the original ‘Eagle and Arrow’ logo that was created in 1954 inspired by a headline in the local newspaper that described Colnago as fast as an arrow when he won a race.

Just 80 examples of this very special limited edition bike will be made and 20 have already been snapped up by collectors around the world.

Despite turning 80, Colnago was busy in his office in Cambiago, preferring to work than celebrate his birthday. He is still the first to arrive at the Colnago offices, just across the street from his home and is always the last to leave. Most people are happily retired at 80 but Colnago does not intend to retire just yet.

“My 80th birthday is an intermediate sprint, it’s the not the finish of my race. I still love to work and create new bikes. I don’t want a cake or a big party, the special bike is my way of sharing my birthday,” he said.

This is the original head badge mentioned:

This is the "The original Colnago logo framed in Ernesto office" (which appears to have slight differences from from the 1950s head badge just above) and is used on the limited edition bike:

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  1. Buon Compleanno Colnago!!! As a guy with no hair, Larry gets a chuckle out of Ernie's anyone really fooled? It's like Berlusconi's spray-paint job, fooling only the man himself it seems.

  2. No mistaking a gold bike for anything but of Italian origin. I remember when I built up an all Campagnolo bike in 2007, I had to skip the Shamal Ultra wheels because they were only offered in gold. Had to go with Mavics until the Shamals were offered in a more reasonable grey the following year.

    will link to a photo of a very unItalian brand name on a gold bike, though the rider certainly is Italian!