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Thread: Masi 3V

  1. #1
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    Masi 3V

    I realize that by now, they themselves have come to be considered classics. But after seeing one when they first came out,i was astonished how unattractive these "plug-in" lugged bikes could replace the Gran Criterium. I know on a technical level it is a better frame, but it utterly lacks the beauty of the traditional frames. They also appear much easier to construct, so i was suprised to note the 3V frames wern't less expensive than the Gran
    criteriums.


    Consequently, the 3V has never truly impressed me,and I don't think I'd go out of my way to get one....
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    Randy
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  2. #2
    Senior Member dudeona3V's Avatar
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    It's a different kind of beauty perhaps. I sold my '71 GC to buy a 3V in the late 80s because a.) at the time, I didn't have the level of appreciation for a vintage true Italian bike that I have now; and b.) the 3V just rides so much better, particularly up a hill which was and still is where I ride most. Yes, I do now I regret having sold the Milano GC (it's since been replaced by a Carlsbad, but it's not the same). At the same time, I've developed a downright fondness for the look of the 3V. The OS tubing and industrial lugwork complement the bike's overall aggressive nature and twenty years later, it still looks contemporary. That being said, it's true beauty will always be in the way it rides, but perhaps that too is in the eye of the beholder.

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picchio Special View Post
    ... And I'm not sure they were really that much easier to construct than the Prestiges, either.
    I think they were easier to build, but the tooling cost and the inventory cost of those parts and tubing probably ate into the profit margins. Much more cash had to be tied up sitting on the shelf rather than just ordering smaller amounts as was typical for a small builder at the time.

    Then there was the marketing, if its "top of the line" it should cost more.

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