To put this Colnago Master into context, perhaps I should have named this post Colnago ‘il Toro’, as it will immediately explain these original ‘bullhorn’ handlebars, and better serve Maximilano Teixeira Mendes’s leather and woodworking skills.
Maximilano Teixeira Mendes (hereafter known as ‘Max’), procured the Colnago Master frame on eBay, which had been ‘very properly’ sandlasted. Max took to it with 80 all the way up to 2500 grain sandpaper, and finally with a good polish and dremel. The evidence is right there; you can see your reflection in each lug and the bottom bracket shell, as though they’ve been chromed. The reasoning behind ‘il Toro’, however, is the delicately wrapped and laced leather covering. Max has been working on classic yachts for a while and one of his duties was attending to the on-board leather. Rest assured, Max used Eco-leather — an environmentally-friendly tanning solution. Due to the Master’s legendary star-shaped profile, Max stitched the wrap on two sides.
Maybe we should view a photo of Ernest Hemingway’s beloved Spanish fighting bulls for Max’s handlebar reference. Two woods have been used: that of Wenge (Millettia laurentii) and Brazilian Ipê which has been soaked and molded into the ‘bullhorn’ shape, which Max hand-carved, sanded and polished with professional varnish.
I love the profile, especially photographed against the cobbled streets of Imperia, Italy, where Max resides. The profile is symbolically reminiscent of a hoofing bull presented with a torero’s capote.