The Bike of the Month – Colnago Mexico
Friday, 27 April 2018

The Bike of the Month – Colnago Mexico

by Andrea Fossati

The Colnago Mexico is a racing bicycle with a deep connection to the golden age of cycling. To the sport which was the daily debate in many Italian bars and the headline of "La Gazzetta dello Sport" – the Italian pink sport newspaper – at a time when frames were meticulously handmade by master frame builders.

The inception of this glorious model dates back to 25 October 1972. At the Olympic Velodrome "Augustin Melgar" in Mexico City Eddy Merckx rides 49,431 km and sets the new World Hour Record which would last until 1984, when Francesco Moser completes 51.151km in one hour  – this new World Hour Record eventually would be cancelled by the UCI in 2000.

In 1972 “The Cannibal” is the captain of the famous Molteni Team and achieves an epic double winning at the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. To complete this extraordinary season, Eddy Merckx wants to be the fastest on a track bicycle. To do so, the Belgian Champion profits from the expertise of Ernesto Colnago who have manufactured a custom made track bicycle for his rider. With finely filled lugs and a very lightweight tubing, Merckx World Hour Record bicycle weighs in at only 5,750 kg.

Expert mechanic and eccentric frame builder, Ernesto Colnago has always had a commercial intuition like a few others in the Italian bicycle industry. The relationship with Eddy Merckx is solid and mature – the Belgian has won everything on Colnago bikes – and the Mexico City Record turns into a chance to launch a new bicycle: The Colnago Mexico.
Dedicated to Eddy Merckx World Hour Record, the Colnago Mexico is a lightweight, performing racing bicycle which immediately appeals to enthusiasts worldwide. The geometry is basically the same of the Super model, widely known for its short, light and stiff frameset made of Columbus SL tubes.

The Mexico is instead manufactured with Columbus KL Record 4/10 tubes with thinner walls, thus lighter than the SL ones. The two models look very similar: The Mexico only differs for the lack of indents at the chainstays for the chainring and tyre clearance.
This particular Colnago Mexico dates back to the early 1980s and has been fully refurbished and painted with a very typical Colnago red of the period. Regarding the components, the bike is fully fitted with a Campagnolo Super Record groupset – with many pantographed details – Regina Oro freewheel, 3ttt stem and bars, and Mavic GP4 tubular rims.

The Mexico would remain in the Colnago catalogue until 1982 when the Nuovo Mexico model is introduced – the distinctive framset with crimped tubes which Giuseppe Saronni brings to the victory at 1982 Goodwood World Championship.