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Italian vs Cali Masi Gran Criterium

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Italian vs Cali Masi Gran Criterium

Old 08-22-16, 11:13 AM
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techrtr
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Italian vs Cali Masi Gran Criterium

Hey all,
I'm thinking about buying a 1974 Masi Gran Criterium that according to the seller was made in Italy by Faliero Masi (I would have to verify and haven't seen the bike in person). I'm sort of trying to establish a reasonable value for the bike. Of the 70's Gran Criteriums, are the bikes made in California or Italy more desirable and valuable?

Bruce
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Old 08-22-16, 11:20 AM
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I would say an italian is slightly more desirable from an international standpoint. The Californians are still pretty highly valued though.
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Old 08-22-16, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by techrtr View Post
Hey all,
I'm thinking about buying a 1974 Masi Gran Criterium that according to the seller was made in Italy by Faliero Masi (I would have to verify and haven't seen the bike in person). I'm sort of trying to establish a reasonable value for the bike. Of the 70's Gran Criteriums, are the bikes made in California or Italy more desirable and valuable?
Faliero sold the trademark in 1973, and was living in California supervising the new production of Masi bikes in 1974, AFAIK. I'd suspect that the Gran Criterium in question was neither made in Italy or made by Faliero Masi.

I however am no expert on the subject, and of course I can't say for sure with that amount of information. Perhaps someone else can fill in more details.

California Masi criteriums were generally better made (), but the pre move Italian Masi's probably have more monetary and snob value.
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Old 08-22-16, 12:04 PM
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I have a pretty high opinion of both.
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Old 08-22-16, 01:05 PM
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The bike in question doesn't have a serial number stamped on the bottom bracket, just a frame size with a M prefix.
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Old 08-22-16, 01:23 PM
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If no serial number it's most likely an Italian bike. As stated earlier, by '74 it's not going to have been built by the hands of Faliero either way. If Italian it would be an Alberto or sub-contractor built bike.


To me bikes like this should just be judged on an individual basis. The quality was pretty good for the most part. But there will be nicer and poorer examples depending on who did the build or sometimes the intended buyer, etc.
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Old 08-22-16, 01:30 PM
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What would the import of Italians have looked like, in terms of volume, as opposed to the US production?
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Old 08-22-16, 01:31 PM
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I had a '72 Italian GC that I bought new and used during my brief racing days. It was a fabulous bike, good at everything and a great descender. It was too small for me at 60cm (biggest available, I was told), but I was much more flexible back then.

My wife found me a '76 California-built 65cm GC 28 years later in great shape that fit well, in the same champagne color, but was very scary on fast downhills. It had a very steep head tube that didn't seem to work well with the fork rake. I even had a custom fork made that helped a little. I did enjoy it on the 2002 Seattle-to-Portland ride with my son. Frame was sold to someone who had Brian Baylis do minor frame touch ups and then intended to assemble it totally period-correct as wall art.

The quality level between the two was as identical as I can remember, and the handling differences probably had more to do with some strange geometry choices for the later big one. I've never heard any other complaints about any GC of that area from either location.
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Old 08-22-16, 03:44 PM
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For everything Masi I would recommend reading up on what info Bob Hovey has gathered. There is a US Masi registry as well as a Italian Masi registry. Check "Masi bits" for comparison and approx. years of manufacture. Bob Hovey put together this treasure for all of us Masi fans and/but I do believe he no longer adds anything to it. Still - this is the best place to go to get to know Masi.

Hovey Masi

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Old 08-22-16, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
I had a '72 Italian GC that I bought new and used during my brief racing days. It was a fabulous bike, good at everything and a great descender. It was too small for me at 60cm (biggest available, I was told), but I was much more flexible back then.

My wife found me a '76 California-built 65cm GC 28 years later in great shape that fit well, in the same champagne color, but was very scary on fast downhills. It had a very steep head tube that didn't seem to work well with the fork rake. I even had a custom fork made that helped a little. I did enjoy it on the 2002 Seattle-to-Portland ride with my son. Frame was sold to someone who had Brian Baylis do minor frame touch ups and then intended to assemble it totally period-correct as wall art.

The quality level between the two was as identical as I can remember, and the handling differences probably had more to do with some strange geometry choices for the later big one. I've never heard any other complaints about any GC of that area from either location.
I have a slew of Masis.

To the original poster and Dfrost. '76 is a pivotal year for Masi USA production, it could have come from the Carlsbad shop with Mario, after he left, or be subcontracted. A similar sized bike could be different from the various sources, with the middle sizes having less variation than the extremes. When Mario left he took the knowledge of the jig set ups. There were reference frames from Italy, and some of them were "wrong", they were not used.
This would account for the variation of geometry.
There was a planned evolution of geometry during the 80's. Throw in some of the bikes Dave Tesch built and that is suspect too!

As to a 1974 bike, what is stamped on the bottom bracket shell will tell much as to where it was built.

I have both Italian and American bikes. Sight unseen, I would take a Carlsbad bike over an Italian job.
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