Desire: Colnago Arabesque

At some point during the mid 1980s a box of lugs was deposited in the basement of the Colnago factory in Cambiago, near Milan.


They had been sculpted for the Arabesque, a sumptuous display of the Italian firm’s master craftsmanship that was commissioned to celebrate its 30th birthday in 1984.


Paired with a special edition Campagnolo Super Record groupset, the resulting machine has since become one of the most sought after collector’s items on the vintage bike market.


Curiously, the basement was where the box remained. It gathered dust for over 30 years until one day in 2015, a Colnago employee stumbled across it by accident.


Quite how such a haul could escape notice for three decades is a question for another time.


However, presented with this accidental time capsule, Colnago decided to make another run of bikes from them. Well of course you would, wouldn’t you?


Colnago kept on building until the lugs ran out.


Using the star-shaped tubes of the current day signature steel frame, the Master, the new Arabesque has been built to similar specifications to the original 1980s model.


The new frames now number between 400 and 600, resurrecting the decorative, ornate flames of those classic lugs for the 21st Century.


An instant classic.



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