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Ernesto Colnago was born in Cambiago, a small rural village twenty kilometers east of Milano on February 9, 1932. Ernesto was just 13 years old, but to start work, he had to be at least 14. He changed the date on his working papers and so was hired as an assistant welder. It was 1954 when Colnago went out on his own in a tiny little workshop, his bicycles have been used by more than 100 professional team, 2,500 professional racers, who have won more than 7,500 wins worldwide. Champion riders of the caliber of Fiorenzo Magni, Gastone Nencini, Eddy Merckx, Giuseppe Saronni, Gianni Motta, Gibì Baronchelli, Michele Dancelli, Gianni Bugno, Oscar Freire, Johan Museeuw, Tony Rominger, Pavel Tonkov, Yaroslaw Popovych, Erik Zabel e Alessandro Petacchi, and many others, have ridden Colnago Bicycles to victory.
As the great researcher and innovator he is, Colnago created the first frameset in carbon fibre in collaboration with Ferrari Engineering in 1986. The next year, the innovative straight-blade “Precisa” was created. In 1989, two years later, the dramatic Colnago “C35” emerged, an innovative monocoque carbon fibre frame in road racing & mountain bike versions. 1994 was a hallmark year when Colnago introduced the ground-breaking “C40” carbon fibre frameset for his 40th anniversary and still a reference point today. No other frame has won as much as the Colnago C40: 5X Paris-Roubaix and many World Championships. In 2000 another remarkable model emerged from Colnago’s atelier: the limited edition CF1, created in collaboration with Ferrari that quickly became a major success. Next was the CF2 dual-suspension mountain bike in 2002. After ten years of success in every segment, Ernesto Colnago launched the “C50” in 2003. It was the Fiftieth Anniversary of his company, a brand that has become synonymous with the best bicycles the world over, synonymous with the best products Made in Italy. This new carbon fibre composite frame quickly found success in both the competition and sales arena. And for 2004, for the official anniversary of Colnago, a special collectors item bicycle was created, the “50th Anniversary”.
Ernesto Colnago continues to dream about and create bicycles appreciated by riders passionate about cycling all over the world. Don’t ask Colnago which of his bicycles is the best: his answer is always the same. “I’ve made a lot of bicycles, but the most beautiful is the one that is yet to come.”
For more info on Colnago please feel free to view Bike Radar's article on them.