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Colnago Master BiTitan titanium road frame

Colnago’s “BiTitan” is named after its dual down tubes. Yep, you read that right. There were two versions of the BiTitan. The original BiTitan had a typical top tube, whereas the later “Master” BiTitan’s top tube has a diamond cross-sectional shape.

The frame shown in the photographs below is the Master version. The original BiTitan was apparently prone to cracking due to fabrication welding issues. I have read that the issue was improved and was less of an issue (a non-issue?) with the later Master version.

Colnago isn’t known for titanium any more, but back in the day the BiTitan was a sought-after frame. Here is a related CyclingNews quote of Ernesto Colnago regarding the BiTitan.

Oh yes, the Bititan. Well, it was a period where we were refining our expertise in titanium and so we built a bike with a double downtube configuration, so it was more rigid. We built this for Olano, for other riders. Rominger won the Vuelta two times on a Bititan. Olano was a brilliant rider; he came from the track and made a lot of progress at Mapei, where he learned a lot of things from champion riders like Rominger, and Museeuw. That’s where he learned the art of cycling. His win was sensational; he was there with his team-mate Indurain and Pantani. I noticed when he attacked at the end, the cameraman was shooting Olano’s rear wheel with the flat tire. I was just praying that he would make it to the finish line!

The above quote notwithstanding, the BiTitan frames have been criticized for being flexy (laterally). I’ve also heard reports that the frame was not particularly light, which is what you would expect from the dual down tubes. The frame is likely made from 3/2.5 titanium. The BiTitan frames were likely made in either Italy or sourced from Eastern Europe.

Based on the following photographs, you can make your own judgment regarding the aesthetics of the bi-downtube.

12 Responses to “Colnago Master BiTitan titanium road frame” Leave a reply ›

  • I got a Bitian as a second-handed. But oneday I find there is a 15mm crack on the weld under the headtude!
    It makes me so depressed and I dont know how it comes even its ex-owner.
    Its ex-owner rarely used it.
    I think maybe this Ti is tough but crisp. I also find that the Litespeed 6/4ti frame also had some problem like me.
    Now I dont know wether I should continue using it, for I am worry about its strengh.
    It is a great pity.
    I summarize that 6/4ti is lighter than 3/2.5, but probably not durable.

  • It all depends on the welding process. tubing is not at fault whether its 3/2.5 or 6/4. its how it was welded. if oxygen was around you have problems and if its double weld will usually leads to crack. Sometimes wall thickness is too thin, especially if its butted. they might have cut to close to the butted area. but usually a good ti frame wll not break or crack.

  • I’m not familiar much in metallurgy, but I can support/reinforce the BiTitan idea. Mine isn’t a ‘Master’, but after quite an amount of miles/kilometers my BiTitan has remained ‘El-Perfecto’.
    I’ve certainly descended the Tourmalet (and others) cautiously and haven’t experienced ANY signs of ‘out of order’ !
    I’ve been told that BiTitans initially cracked/broke at the seat-tube joint, followed by the seat-tube + Bottom-bracket showing an oval joint to strengthen that joint.
    If a Master appears for sale, and I can afford it, I’ll be tempted !
    Regards to ALL !

  • I have a 1994 Colnago Master BiTitan in great condition for sale.
    Thank you,
    Scott Hubbard

  • OMG I almost had an orgasm over the last ti frame bike keep em coming!!

  • I have been riding a colnago titanium with the double tubes since 1998 ,l have ridden this bike all these years even on rough roads in Jamaica. I wouldnt trade it for any other bike.

  • Hi I want to buy this colnago master bititan!

    Is it’s top tube 54 or 55cm?

    And if you want to sell it,plz give me a price,thank you.

    I live in taiwan.

  • Hi guys,

    I have a colnago master bititan, with a black/red/white art deco paint scheme, size 57 (14cm headtube). The fork is the steel “precisa” model.
    I bought it in 1998. The paint as faded a little bit but except for that it is in good condition.
    I can sell it if someone is interested.

    Best regards

  • And now a ‘Master-BiTitan’ ! I forgot to add to what I had/have October 2011….. A few months ago I noticed on ebay my Master BiTitan, hence my rapid offer. (That model might benefit from a decent respray). Such gorgeous frames/works-of-art deserve an artistic ‘copier’ of Signor E. Colnago’s designs, and I certainly will approve of being connected to one !
    I’ve actually cheated by adding to both of my BiTitans Colnago Star (full carbon) Forks, (as well as owning original ‘Precisa’ steel forks). An aricle on these frame-models in Oct/Nov 1995 result in BiTitan-bikes being 15lb+5oz, and now I can build such a BiTitan model and it’s weight will probably be less than 15ib !
    Anyway, whatever the weight…….remaining gorgeous frames ! strong>

  • Hello everybody. First, after a previous “Reply” here I did find a ‘Master BiTitan’, and that should explain my second one here. (NB : Signor Ernesto’s 82nd Birthday is 9th February, and any birthday card is well deserved !).
    I’ll be extremely pleased if an excellent artist (or similar) is capable of copying Colnago’s wonderful paint-scheme for frames. Well worth some £ !
    Some years ago I was sent an excellent article from an American cycling magazine showing such a frame, and extremely light. Using the Colnago ‘Star’ carbon forks, light components, ‘pedals’ definitely with titanium axles, carbon handlebars, carbon A-head stem, carbon spokes (R-sys Mavic wheels), I am sure I can build a complete BiTitan weighing close to 33kg ! (I’ll include a steel chain !)

  • Now I wish I knew how/where I’d find an ‘Artist’ capable of making/copying Colnago’s artistic frame’s.

  • I purchased my Bi-Titan master with black/blue/white/grey Art Decor paint scheme back in 1999 and it has been my only road ride since. I’ve got it kitted out with Campy Record 10 Carbon and Bullet wheels. From the silk sheets of Georgia to the mean streets of NYC, it has been fabulous. I’m a larger build ex-track racer and I can get some lateral flex out of the bottom bracket, but nothing excessive. One has to remember that in the days of steel and titanium, frames actually did flex a bit. That compliance becomes part of the ride quality. I think we worry too much now about what a strain gauge tells us about a frame. Today’s carbon fiber wonders can be designed to deal with the stresses in different ways and they are no doubt more efficient. However, their “feel” is entirely different. Assuming you’re not earning your living in the pro peloton, it is a matter of personal taste. As far as appreciation of the double down-tube cosmetics, I offer these two bits:

    Anytime I’ve taken it into a shop, I’ll start eyeing the lovely carbon frames hanging on the walls and a mechanic or shop owner will stop me and say “you are NOT selling that bike! Do not EVER sell that bike!”

    I had the pleasure of doing the RAGBRAI ride across Iowa last year with a good friend of mine. He on a shiny new carbon frame – amidst a field of ten thousand (seriously) carbon frames. We had not rolled more than four miles on the first day when I got the call out “Hey! Awesome Colnago!” Many more “Sweet ride” accolades were handed out every day of the 7 day journey. My favorite being a guy that chased me down after I had passed him so he could pull along side of me and tell me “You know, I’ve seen you several times over the past few days and I gotta tell you that that is the most beautiful bike I think I have ever seen”. Yup. That’ll make your thighs shut up 🙂

    I just celebrated my 40th year since I first started racing. Always told myself I’d treat myself to a new dream bike on that anniversary. Maybe not….

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