|This version of the classic Columbus tubing decal would|
likely have been seen on bikes from the mid 1970s.
The history of Columbus goes back to 1919 when Angelo Luigi Colombo (or A.L.) first set up a shop to produce steel tubing. In the 1920s Colombo's tubing was used for aircraft applications, and also, according to their own history page, frames for motorcycles. They first began making double-butted tubing for bicycles in 1930, the same year they created the "Columbus" brand name.
|An early 80s decal.|
|A lot of mid - late '80s decals specify|
if the tubing is SL, SP, etc., signifying
the wall thickness of the tubes.
|The wider-section of the fork blades became a Columbus|
In 1977, Antonio Columbo, son of founder Angelo, turned Columbus Tubing into a separate entity from the A.L. Colombo company. Soon after, the new company purchased Cinelli, gaining access not only to the bicycle manufacturing, but also to Cinelli's lug business -- a perfect complement for the tubing company. Along with Cinelli bars and stems, and the historically close relationship with component giant Campagnolo, Columbus would come to dominate the Italian cycling scene, and also greatly increase market share elsewhere as well.
|With the purchase by Columbus came a logo change|
for Cinelli. The purchase gave the tubing company the
perfect complement in that they could now offer
builders everything they needed to build frames.
|Scanned from a 1986 Bicycle Guide|
story about Columbus.
|1986 Dave Moulton Fuso. Moulton built only|
with Reynolds when he lived in England, but
when he moved to America, he found his U.S.
customers expected Columbus on a high-end
Today, steel obviously isn't nearly as popular as it had once been -- with aluminum and carbon fiber now dominating the industry. Columbus has a hand in that market too, though, offering carbon fiber frames and frame components. But steel has made a bit of a comeback recently, as evidenced by the growing list of participants in the North American Handmade Bicycle Show -- many or most of whom work in steel. But many of today's builders don't use one brand of tubing across the line, or even in a single frame, but rather will custom mix and match tubes from different makers to get a desired quality. And Japanese tubing, from manufacturers like Tange and Kaisei are today considered just as desirable as the classic brands of Reynolds and Columbus. So as often as not, there won't even be a tubing sticker on a top-quality custom frame. Time was, you could hardly find a high-quality bike without one of those little stickers. Funny how things change.
Campagnolo , Cinelli , Columbus Tubing Decals Stickers 19 options on your choice
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Seller:extedy1994✉️(3,455)99.2%, Location:CV, Ships to: Worldwide, Item:173633628846Campagnolo , Cinelli , Columbus Tubing Decals Stickers 19 options on your choice. These high-quality sticers , will help you to restore favourite bike, all our decals are printed by a silk-screen printing method, we will be glad to cooperation with you 19 options, on your choice : # 1 Campagnolo 60X25mm # 2 Campagnolo 75X17mm Gold / Italy # 3 Campagnolo 60X10mm Gold # 4 Campagnolo 60X17mm Black / Gold # 5 Campagnolo 93X35mm World # 6 Campagnolo 35X30mm # 7 Campagnolo 40X27mm Blue # 8 Campagnolo 40X27mm Red # 9 Campagnolo 35X20mm PRODOTTI CPECIALI Gold # 10 Campagnolo 30X25mm GRUPPO RECORD # 11 Campagnolo 32X25mm NAVY GOLD # 12 Campagnolo 30X18mm Prodotti Cpeciali # 13 Campagnolo 35X25mm Gold # 14 Cinelli 35X25mm Speciale Corsa # 15 Campagnolo 30X30mm Yellow # 16 Columbus 97X14mm # 17 Columbus 130X14mm Colnago version # 18 Columbus 90X17mm Black # 19 Columbus 90X17mm Whiteif you need bigger quantity or there are other questions , ask , we with pleasure will answer youbest regardsCondition:silk screen printing , new, Return shipping will be paid by:Buyer, All returns accepted:Returns Accepted, Item must be returned within:30 Days, Refund will be given as:Money Back
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Until relatively recently, all bike frames started life as a box of steel tubes. Like any components, there are expensive, sought after brands and cheaper, generic types. Three frame tube manufacturers stand out; Reynolds from England, Ateliers de la Rive/Vitus of France, and Columbus of Italy. Being Italian, Columbus was the obvious choice for builders like Colnago, Gios and Masi. Reynolds tubed bikes have won the most Tours de France; 27 for their ubiquitous 531 tubing! However many riders claim to prefer the smoother feel of Columbus (see this blind test conducted by Bicycle Magazine in 1987). I ride my Columbus tubed Look weekly, and am in the process of restoring a Columbus SL Coppi.
The goal of this timeline is to help with the dating of Columbus frames based on their decal, or to find the appropriate reproduction decal for a refinished frame (although unlike Reynolds, Columbus does not have an official distributor of repro decals). The date under each decal gives its year of introduction to the best of my knowledge. Until the late seventies all Columbus tubesets shared the same decal; I have not listed all tubesets. For simplicity, I have only listed Italian versions, although English and French versions exist. Original fork decals are very rare prior to 1980.
Columbus tube decal timeline for the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s
The first decal appeared in 1953, red on gold foil. The basic design remained unchanged for two decades, however the colours were updated. The background became gold, there are subtle changes to the colour of the border around the red oval. The final incarnation with the gold dove also appears in oversize versions, about 1.5 times the usual size.
Columbus tube decals of the ’70s
The first major change happened in ’72 with the introduction of a simplified dove logo. The text ACCIAO SPECIALE is in bold on the ’73 version. In ’75 the dove became white for the first time. The 3 Tubi (main tubes only) decal from ’77 is the first time the tubeset was identified on the decal – full Columbus frames continued to use the gold one.
Columbus tube decals of the late ’70s and early ’80s
In 1977 Columbus tubing separated from its parent company and introduced a new single winged dove. Within a year or so a purple border was added to the decal. Columbus then diversified with new high end tubesets: SLX, Air, Record, which got their own decal. Entry level tubesets like Zeta, Aelle and Tretubi (3 tubes) got new decals too, with the mid range tubesets like SL and SP using the generic purple decal. 1988 brought along separate decals for all tubesets, with COLUMBUS now written at the top and a funky ‘80s metallic backround.
All graphics are proprietary. Reposting permitted for non-commercial purposes with credit & link.
For further information on Columbus tubes see the Columbus website for history and current tubesets or the Equus project for info on ’80s/’90s tubesets.
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