MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MASI GRAN CRIT - INTRO

FINDING THE MASI

TEST RIDING THE MASI

FITTING THE GRAN CRIT 

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

1971 MASI GRAN CRITERIUM - INTRODUCTION

Masi bicycles were the product of a true craftsman's mind and effort.  A craftsman so skill that he earned the title of "The Tailor".  Falerio Masi, the founder of Masi bicycles sought perfection in construction when preparing a bicycle for any of his customers, be they Eddy Merckx or an ordinary fellow, like myself.  Masi bicycles were incredibly well made, built to best meet individual needs and sought after by the elite in the world of road bicycles.  Today, Masi bicycles still win the favour of the best of the best and many of us who aspire to be so.

Masi bicycles were so revered, that many Hollywood stars, and similarly famous peopl,e would travel to Italy to order custom built Masi bicycles.  Yearly production, at the Masi shop, rarely exceeded 1000 bicycles but each one built was of superior quality, both from a materials used and workmanship invested point of view.  In fact, the Masi bicycle, during the Bike Boom days of the very early seventies, were so sought after by the American audience, that the Masi bicycle company was moved to California.  In 1972 the American Masi was born.

With the passing of time and growth of the business, there seems to be some confusion associated with Masi authenticity.  However, and in all fairness, this same sort of confusion is present in many of the more prestigious bicycles.  In vintage racing bicycle circles, it is commonly known that several famous and successful racers did not ride bicycles built by their sponsors.  Rather, they rode bicycles crafted by "The Tailor".  The Tailor was the name of honour earned by Falerio because he did, indeed, tailor each bicycle to the intended rider's needs, size and type of riding to be most commonly encountered.  And for those riders lucky enough to have The Tailor in their corner, the results were often times stunning.  Famous riders, including Fausto Coppi, Luison Bobet, Felice Gimondi, Rick van Looy, Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx all rode tailor made Masi bicycles, not those manufactured by the companies for whom they raced.  Interesting?

Today, both Italian and American made Masi bikes are highly prized, however; those produced in Italy most hold the collector's interest.  The 1971 Masi Gran Criterium featured here is one of the last of the Italian made Masi bicycles and a wonderful one at that.  It should also be noted that this Masi might well be of slightly earlier vintage, perhaps late 1969 or more likely, 1970.  That said, from this point on, the bike will be considered to be of 71 vintage.

There is lots of information on the Internet pertaining to vintage Masi bicycles, the company's history and the lore surrounding this wonderful old maker of bicycles deemed to hold their own among all others considered to be elite.

NEXT - FINDING THE MASI GRAN CRITERIUM

 

 

 

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