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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been searching for weeks about early EPS frames. At some point, Colnago built the EPS with 3PRS (internal ribbed) tubing. The English-language webiverse suggests that there might be an EPS without 3PRS.

I've seen 3 frames in the following color scheme, with various geometries but same lugs, leaf-shaped chainstays and tubing diameters (as best I can tell):
Bicycle frame Infrastructure White Line Font Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel Tire Bicycle wheel rim

They list in good to very good condition for US$800+ on eBay. The framesets are close to 2kg, so they aren't "real" EPS (less than 1.5kg for the EPS framesets).

If it's a real Colnago, I'd guess it's a limited run from 2008 or so.

Does anybody have any clues?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I got some advice from Mike at Maestro-UK. He's never sold that paint scheme. He has me worried (again) that it is fake. Mine is getting built up still. It's the one with Easton wheels above.

The quality of the lugs, stays and paint and the general feel of the frame seems like it could be real. But my research can't confirm.
 

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You should be able to tell if the lugs are real or not. As far as I'm aware the fakes are monocoque or close to it and the lugs are not real. I'd pay very close attention to the lug/tube joints in addition to the rest of the usual suspect areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bicycle part Carmine Bicycle accessory Composite material Carbon

Lugs look good at all the joints. Mine has paint over where the serial number should be. But the other two in this colorway have proper looking serial numbers inside the left dropout.

The derailleur braze-on looks to be top quality, too. The forums about Chinese "EPS" talk about no braze-on and too harsh edges on the lugs.
 

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Fakes- been there

Bicycle frame Infrastructure Red Bicycle Bicycle accessory Ask for the serial # and or copy of their original receipt. I bought a fake EPS in 2012 on EBay, early morning I was asleep buy as I know, there are no bargains on EBay. Most of the EPS' came out of Dongguan, PRC. I've been there when I worked on the mainland and cosmetically, they can make anything look real. I sold it as a fake later and got some of my money back.
 

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Good call on reselling it as a knock-off. I would have done the same thing.

The black one posted by the OP definitely looks like a China frame.
 

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Pay attention to what MMsRep posted. Yours is an obvious fake. Those are not lugs. It is a continuous carbon structure shaped to look like lugs.
 

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ghettocop said:
Pay attention to what MMsRep posted. Yours is an obvious fake. Those are not lugs. It is a continuous carbon structure shaped to look like lugs.


Looks fairly similar to me (considering it's a different frame with different tub shapes).

How can you be sure? This image is from a review of the Colnago C60 on bikeradar...

Colnago C60 released, blending tradition with forward thinking - BikeRadar USA



There is obviously a lot of filling and hand finish work done on those lug joints before they are cleared/painted.


And the actual lugs before assembly.
'

Edit to add: I'm not advocating a position one way or the other regarding whether the OP's bike is fake or not. I don't have enough Colnago experience to be able to give an informed opinion. I'm merely suggesting that those lugs don't definitively suggest 'fake' to me.
 

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They do to me. Very clearly. Particularly the seat tube and down tube. Chain stays aren't as bad, but look closely at the op's photo and then the C-60. I've worked on a fair amount of C-60's, Impecs (though not exactly a lug) and Parlees. Real lugs look like lugs.
 

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From my vantage point, the obvious fail occurs when you compare the insert bonded into each of the frames. Comparing the Colnago bottom bracket assemblies in the first picture:

'

To the bottom bracket of OP's frame below, I cannot see near the same quality in the workmanship in how the alloy insert was bonded into the bottom bracket shell:

'
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The frame is painted matte black. It's carbon underneath, by the weight and sound and rigidity. I haven't looked inside the headtube and seattube for lug joints. I will when I get it back from the shop.

For three frames in this paint scheme, the counterfeiter would've gone to a lot of trouble to create three very different monocoque sizes (ST(c to t) x TT): 59x57cm, 60x58cm and 50x52.5cm.

They are also slight variations in the shape of the red and yellow paint details between the different frames.

The bottom bracket threads are a bit clunky and came with a bit of superficial rust. The real EPS have titanium BB inserts, which shouldn't rust.
 

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And here's the BB insert from the Chinese "EPS":
The real Colnago features an alloy insert bonded to form a near perfect 50/50 carbon/alloy sandwhich, where as the alloy insert in the image above is not even in the ballpark (more like 90%s alloy, 10% carbon)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
At some point, Colnago built the EPS with 3PRS (internal ribbed) tubing. The English-language webiverse suggests that there might be an EPS without 3PRS.
The Polish Colnago website is where I read about the improved EPS. It suggests pretty strongly that at first (probably 2007) there was a more basic EPS version. I hope mine is the early EPS in the production development phase, before they refined it to the EPS we know now:

Lay up optimization:
The structure of Colnago’s EPS frame has been completely re-done, in the tubing and lugs. We have used ultra high and high modulus (HHM-HM) unidirectional composite with a 3K twill finish.
During the development of the EPS, thanks to 3D design & Finite Element Analysis (FEM), Colnago has created an extremely accurate, optimized carbon fibre composite lay-up in the key zones where force is transmitted to the road for an incredible ride & performance to reduce vibration & stress from irregular road surfaces.

Multi shape tubing – 3 PRS System:
Colnago’s new EPS frameset features a unique new 3PRS System of multi-shape tubing which vary from a conical top tube with a 40mm diameter at the head tube that tapers to a 35mm diameter
at the seat tube lug. The Colnago EPS down tube has a constant diameter of 44mm from head tube to bottom bracket, with four 3PRS internal reinforcing ribs of varying widths and thicknesses inside the down tube which confer extraordinary stiffness and power transfer to the new Colnago EPS frame.
 
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