What is it? Early 80's Italian and ????
As a favor to my sons swim coach, I'm bringing his "nice" bike back into rideable condition. He thought it was a Masi, but I don't think so. From what I've seen, wrong fork crown stamp and seat stay detail. However, to me, the details, DT shifter bosses, under BB cable routing, style of guides on the top tube, chromed fork, fragile paint, and 70mm italian BB shell suggest late 80's Italian. Looking for an ID here; not a dollar figure as its not for sale
Despite the poor paint condition, there is a nice frame under there. In particular, I like the nicely executed fluting detail on the seat stays. It would be nice to refinish, but the owner is deeply involved in rehab and support services for the local homeless, and those in abject poverty. Might try to rattle can the worst of it.
Would like to replace the rear wheel, a Maillard Helicomatic hubbed wonder, and also find some 175 or larger cranks. R, the owner is 6'4" and the current 170's are simply too small.
There was a batch of Italian made contract frames for Masi USA that were no accepted in the 80's. They were sold to another distributor and painted here, I do not know the name they were sold under, if memory serves Euro-Asia is who sold them off. Possible chance this is one of them.
Color me very impressed by the quick call, but I'm still a touch confused.
So it's sort of a Masi? Masi USA, which by the the early 80's was an entirely different entity than Masi Italy, commissioned these frames? They were built in Italy, by a contractor like Bilato, and brought in to supplement the bottom end of the range?
Ironic that the one in Picchio's link is the same oddball size as the one I'm working on.
Hmmm... Could be. When I saw the "M" I was thinking "Marinoni", but didn't he use engraved seatstay plugs also?
Originally Posted by repechage
That crown appears to be a dead-ringer for the one I posted the link to:
Originally Posted by bobbycorno
Don't take this the wrong way, but as repechage notes, they were actually rejected by Masi USA because of evident problems with the build quality.
Originally Posted by Staggerwing
I don't believe they were originally sold as Masis - repechage will know. But the owner/seller of the one I linked to used to own a bike shop in California and apparently got his hands on some of the reject frames. I believe he's the person who had some painted/repainted as actual Masis - he was selling one on ebay recently decaled as a Gran Criterium, and someone in a position to know spotted it. That's what made me track down the photos I linked to after repechage's post.
Ahh, understand now.
Even if I owned this rig, I wouldn't take the news as an insult. The truth can only be unvarnished. In its current condition, it would almost have to be a certified California Masi to be worth the cost of total refurbishment.
The reality is this bike is owned by a gentleman who has been extremely motivational to my son, and as a kindness, I've simply offered to renew his "cherished" ride. It is a little rougher around the edges than I imagined. Hopefully, I will be able to dredge some bits to at least make it a decent rider.
When it was ordered it was planned to be a Masi. You are correct that Masi USA was Different than Masi of the Vigorelli. There is some crossover, Masi USA paid royalties to the original company. When it suited business, They collaborated on the Volumetricas, first Masi USA imported them, then built them here then had them built by others in Italy (the Team 3V). If that does not blur things enough Masi USA spec'd subordinate models, the Gran Corsa and the Nuova Strada. Your frame is closest to the Gran Corsa in details but not the same. Were they all bad frames? No. Those who did know and have written on the matter have left much to be filled in. The "Masi" serif engraving on the fork crown does allow the frames that did get loose to become Masis with new paint. In addition, the frames were imported bare. Which made giving them a pedigree that much easier.
Originally Posted by Staggerwing