NOS 1983 Colnago Master Arabesque: 58cm - Campagnolo Super Record 50th - Internal Routing - Top Mount Shift - Chrome - Top Spec Build! Low Frame Number
Absolutely stunning one of a kind Master Arabesque built with a full Campagnolo Super Record 50 gruppo and a suite of top level components—plus some unique frame features found on no other Arabesque. It's also the only fully chromed Arabesque I've ever seen. These features include top-mount aero downtube shifters and fully internal shift/brake cable routing. I've been unable to find documentation of this frame, but its 266 frame number identifies it as a first year Master or at latest 2nd year 1984. This is a future bike show winner!
The bike was assembled by ex-Pro Tour mechanic & owner of HiFi Wheels Bre Rue. Bre (who used to race for Colnago) showed this to Alex Colnago who confirms this would have been a special custom build for somebody, and his father Ernesto Colnago was doing all the special orders in this era. Of course, I can't prove this, and there's no consensus on if/how many frames Ernesto even built—but it's a nice story and the closest thing to documentation I've found on it.
The top mount shifters are attached to a Gipiemme plate that allows the shifters to be adjustable position—and to get the shifters forward of the internal cable holes. They're currently set at the furthest forward point, leaving you two holes of adjustment backward. Or you can remove the plate and mount the Gipiemme aero mount (black piece) directly to the frame (I'm not sure how well the cable routing will play out this way).
The frame and parts were acquired separately and assembled. The theme of the parts selection was Italian period correct (or close) top of range components plus a bit of whimsy (purple housing, polka dot Ambrosio Excellence rims) and gold/bronze accents to match the 50th's gold emblems (saddle badges, cable end caps) The 50th group (#3839) was NIB, the rare Campy 50th Anniversary pantographed 1R came with it. 3ttt Superleggero-E bars, 1st gen Continental Super Sport Ultra tires, and an exotic and luxurious Iscaselle Giro D' Italia saddle round out the build.
The Arabesque was introduced in 1983, along with the Master's introduction. The Arabesque was available in three versions—this Master Arabesque version being the most elaborate with the highly shaped Gilco tubing, Mexico Arabesque with two crimps top tube and 4 downtube, or Super Profil with just two crimps both top and downtube. The original run of Arabesque frames ended sometime in the mid to late 80's, and a reproduction of the Master Arabesque was made in 2018 when a box of lugs were found. These used the straight Precisa fork, non-Campagnolo dropouts, a second set of bottle cage mounts on the seat tube, and a few other differences.
Frame and parts were all new old stock never ridden before assembly. The bike is in glorious condition with nearly zero flaws. The frame/fork don't have any significant imperfections worth noting. Zero rust, zero pitting, zero dents/cracks/bends. If I had to point SOMETHING out, there's the slightest decal wear near the bottom of the seat tube decals, a few TINY marks on the painted BB shell and the BB to driveside chainstay intersection has some odd cloudiness on the chrome. Components are equally as clean. The few things to note include 1) tire tread has the SLIGHTEST spots of micro-cracking, 2) non-driveside crank arm has a faint scratch across its width between pedal and logos, 3) original gum hoods, right is supple and near mint w/ a slight tear on the outside rear by tape & left's outside face has a big dry/cracking section though rest of hood is supple.
- Frame number: 266, driveside dropout
- Top tube: 58cm
- Seat tube: 57cm c-c, 58.5cm c-t
- Headtube: 157mm
- Head angle: 75 degree
- Seat angle: 74 degree
- Campagnolo Super Record 50th gruppo #3839, complete & matching numbers
- Wheelset: 32H, Ambrosio Excellence TQB polka dot finish (clincher)
- Crankset: 170mm x 53/42t
- Stem: Cinelli 1R Campagnolo 50th anniversary pantograph, 105mm
- Handlebar: 3ttt Mod Superleggero E Racing Team, 43cm (end to end), Benotto cello tape
- Saddle: Iscaselle Giro D' Italia
- Tires: Continental Super Sport Ultra 700x20c
- Pedals: Super Record 50th, titanium spindles + SR 50th toe clips (no toe straps)
- Freewheel: Regina America 7sp: 13-21t
- Chain: Sachs Sedis Pro SC-R80