Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Bikes: '39 Hobbs, '58 Marastoni, '73 Italian custom, '75 Wizard, '76 Wilier, '78 Tom Kellogg, '79 Colnago Super, '79 Sachs, '81 Masi Prestige, '82 Cuevas, '83 Picchio Special, '84 Murray-Serotta, '85 Trek 170, '89 Bianchi, '90 Bill Holland, '94 Grandis
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Technically, the 3V didn't "replace" the Gran Criterium. It was the Prestige that replaced the GC quite a while before the 3V was developed, though a few bikes labeled GC continued to be made in Italy. The 3V and Prestige then coexisted in the Masi lineup in the 80's, as far as I know. (In the US, the story was a little different, but the 3V was definitely an Italian product first.)
I can understand feelings about the 3V and it's construction, but I do think the early Italian 3V's made from exotic Excell French tubing are plenty cool in their own right. Makes sense that the 3V cost more, IMO, because you were getting something on the cutting-edge in terms of both technology and performance. And I'm not sure they were really that much easier to construct than the Prestiges, either.