Colnago Master Retrogusto

Colnago Master Retrogusto

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.

Colnago Master Retrogusto
Colnago Master Retrogusto
Colnago Master Retrogusto
Colnago Master Retrogusto
Colnago Master Retrogusto
Colnago Master Retrogusto
Colnago Master Retrogusto
Colnago Master Retrogusto

  • tc

    Unfortunately, like many of the other bikes profiled, this one is WAY too beautiful to ride. 

  • Cris

    Those brake levers…seriously?


  • Monk

    I can already see this in the 2013 calendar. 

  • CTP

    che stronsata!

  • Famille

    Interresting, but sounds as a copy with the leather sleeves…

  • Tacky, and not in a good way. 

  • Martin

    Very nice work. One question, what’s the difference between varnish and professional varnish?

  • gk

    Such handlebars seem to me uncomfortable to hold and possibly slippery.

  • Albie

    A bike is a tool; tools should be practical, tools should be useful, tools should not have silly wooden handlebars on them that both look uncomfortable and stupid.

    • I have two words for you: boo hoo.

  • Jamesisriding

    Not to bandwagon but those brake levers…..
    Also to craft such a magnificent bar only to render it useless….
    Such a wasted effort in my opinion….

  • Fabio Caeran

    Un’opera fine,
    traspare la passione.

  • Stunning bike but as others have said, way too beautiful to ride