Ernesto Colnago presented with gold Arabesque to celebrate 87th birthday

Replica of same bike given to Pope 40 years ago

This article first appeared on Cyclingnews.


The founder of legendary bike brand Colnago has been presented with a gold Colnago Arabesque frame featuring a 50th anniversary Campagnolo groupset and A. Dugast 23mm tubular tyres.

Ernesto Colnago celebrated his 87th birthday at the Old Royal Naval College in London, which is where his company presented the Colnago 87 Oro.

Colnago presented a similar design to Pope John Paul II 40 years ago and the brand says the gift is directly inspired by the 40-year-old design.

The Colnago Arabesque frameset was a special design commissioned in 1984 to celebrate the brand’s 30th anniversary, with ornately designed lugs for the steel-tubed frame. In 2015, a box of the lugs was reportedly found in the basement at a Colnago premises and an additional run of the frames have since been built.

Speaking exclusively to Cyclingnews in 2018, Ernesto Colnago was pushed for his favourite bike from his extensive career but struggled to answer, describing all of his designs as his ‘children’.

He then selected Eddy Merckx’s Hour Record bike, Giuseppe Saronni’s 1982 Goodwood World Championships bike, the Italian aero-bar team time-trial bikes of the 1990s and the famous C40 bikes that dominated Paris-Roubaix.


Click through the gallery above for a closer look at Ernesto Colnago’s Colnago 87 Oro.