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Just Acquired - ‘74 Masi Gran Criterium (mostly, if not all, original condition)

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Just Acquired - ‘74 Masi Gran Criterium (mostly, if not all, original condition)

Old 10-26-20, 09:29 AM
  #26  
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WRT brake routing, Campy brakes are set up for 'Italian' style routing, or front brake right hand. I've been setting up my brakes this way since I was 14, and it isn't wrong, it's just different. To me it has always made more sense.

For sure overhaul the pedals too. It's really not difficult. Drill out the strap rivet and get a new one from Tandy for when you're done. Or use a button instead.

I would keep the original ball bearings for everything if the grease is still clean. Generic #25 bearings are lower spec than campy ball bearings IME.
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Old 10-26-20, 10:10 AM
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One thing not mentioned yet is to oil up the shift lever pivots and washers, which alone often makes a belated huge difference in shifting performance on any old bike.

Very cool to find such a low-number Masi in such condition!
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Old 10-26-20, 04:18 PM
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an interesting item to note on this bike:
the top tube runs uphill- my guess 6-8mm higher at the head lug than at the seatlug.
If you measure the head angle accurately, and the fork offset carefully, you will find the trail is pretty low.
Just how it is. Do not be surprised if it is under 30 mm.
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Old 10-26-20, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
an interesting item to note on this bike:
the top tube runs uphill- my guess 6-8mm higher at the head lug than at the seatlug.
If you measure the head angle accurately, and the fork offset carefully, you will find the trail is pretty low.
Just how it is. Do not be surprised if it is under 30 mm.
OK, now you’re scaring me. How did you know that?
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Old 10-26-20, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by majmt View Post
OK, now you’re scaring me. How did you know that?
little escapes my attention?
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Old 10-27-20, 12:20 PM
  #31  
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We have too much snow on the ground, so I’m not even tempted to get my new bike out prematurely. Even though I haven’t ridden this bike for even one pedal stroke, I am falling in love with it. I spent a good part of last weekend transfixed just staring at in my den. I really appreciate the input that has been provided and gladly welcome any recommendations.

If this bike were “factory original,” I’d be tempted to hang it on the wall as is but, since it appears to have been modded a bit originally, I think I have some license to freshen it up a bit for short pleasure rides. I’ll certainly be addressing all of the maintenance that’s been suggested so far. I still plan to remove and store the wheels after doing the maintenance. Same for the pedals and seat. I have a San Marco Regal seat on its way and might have a set of SL pedals in the back of a drawer somewhere.

If white or yellow handlebar tape would’ve been original, I might retape with nice white or yellow leather (although the current black tape looks nice too) - I like Handlebra tape. I have a set of NOS replacement brake lever hoods but I really like the patina on the originals - they still seem pretty supple and hopefully would stand up to a careful retape. I’m inclined to keep the reverse brake cable routing - it makes sense, looks nice, and rerouting to cross over might require longer cables.

For the wheel build, I already have a set of era correct (I believe) English, 36H, 100 & 120mm Campy Record hubs with flat bladed skewers and I have a few new tubular and clincher tires hanging up that I could use. I also went ahead and ordered a NOS Regina Oro 14-28T English freewheel but maybe I don’t really need a 28 if it allows me to fit the axle further into the dropout. I’ll have to spend some bucks for a new chain too I’m sure.

I would appreciate any help on rim choices. I guess the first question is tubular or clincher. I’ll probably do both eventually anyway, so the question which is first. I noticed an older ad posted by a forum member for a set of shiny Mavic MA2s that might be good choice for clinchers or something else like them - I have set MA2s for another bike and they’ve been OK. For tubulars, maybe Campy Sigmas or go something older and period correct. I have Nemesis wheels for two other bikes and Love them but I’m not sure if they’d look right on the Masi. Might take some time to find the right tubular so maybe clincher for now. Again, any suggestions would very welcome.

Here a few shots of a De Rosa that I freshened up a few ago. I‘m happy with the way it turned out with the same kind of seat (black for the Masi though) and Handlebra tape that I’m thinking of. This is about as far as I would want to take any mods with its new Masi sister. I ended up with four sets of wheels for this one. The first shot is with the correct Record pedals. I took those off to save them and put on some nice retro-looking Shimano hybrid pedals so I could use SPD cleats. Not sure about putting those on the Masi though. The last photo shows the bike with the Nemesis wheels - highest fun factor although the Atlantas are faster.




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Old 10-27-20, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
That's quite a time capsule. I haven't seen one that mint since they were making them new. Was this stored in a freezer? Those Del Mondo's look mint. Normally I wouldn't ride vintage tires, but silk tends to hold up and those look well preserved, at least enough to try them out around the block. Do they still hold air? Might need to be re-tubed.

If you want to build a set of new wheels, I'd suggest sticking with sew ups, but something with ferrules at a reasonable training weight. For example Mavic Championnat du Monde. You'll never get the full experience with clinchers IMHO.

I concur on losing the tire savers and reflector. Also, the rear wheel is all the way forward. It's a bit extreme. I'd adjust the adjusters to place the axle more in the middle of the dropout.
Yes, the old Clement tires still hold air. I pumped them up to 70 psi and they were still at 50 psi 24 hours later. Latex tubes? I don’t see any signs of cracking or crumbly rot and they have still lots of tread. I don’t plan on riding them much but I do want to know what they’re like on a tiny circuit “around the block.”
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Old 10-27-20, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
an interesting item to note on this bike:
the top tube runs uphill- my guess 6-8mm higher at the head lug than at the seatlug.
If you measure the head angle accurately, and the fork offset carefully, you will find the trail is pretty low.
Just how it is. Do not be surprised if it is under 30 mm.
I'm a little confused. I have a 1980 Masi GC which is size 53 (MC53). It does not have a sloping top tube. I learned from a real Masi expert that the Masi design was controlled in Carlsbad by use of model frames that were dimensionally as Faliero had intended them, and there was one for each size. However, if the dimensions of my 1980 and this 1974 do not match, either one is wrong, one is a custom, QC at Masi Carlsbad or at San Marco (one of the places mine may have been built) were not up to par, or our measurements are not comparable in some way.
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Old 10-27-20, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by majmt View Post
Yes, the old Clement tires still hold air. I pumped them up to 70 psi and they were still at 50 psi 24 hours later. Latex tubes? I don’t see any signs of cracking or crumbly rot and they have still lots of tread. I don’t plan on riding them much but I do want to know what they’re like on a tiny circuit “around the block.”
Could be latex tubes. If they are holding air that well, I would puff them up to 100 psi and go for a ride! Take a few spares and the pump!
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Old 10-27-20, 01:33 PM
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Interesting that it has bottle bosses. Is this one of the first bikes to have them?
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Old 10-27-20, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by majmt View Post
Yes, the old Clement tires still hold air. I pumped them up to 70 psi and they were still at 50 psi 24 hours later. Latex tubes? I don’t see any signs of cracking or crumbly rot and they have still lots of tread. I don’t plan on riding them much but I do want to know what they’re like on a tiny circuit “around the block.”
Yes, Clement Del Mondo tires have latex tubes. 20lbs in one day is fairly typical. Latex tubes are basically party balloons. As I said before, it is possible to replace them, but I wouldn't bother in this case. The latex on the sidewalls still looks good, which indicates to me that the inner tubes are also likely in good shape. Even so, I would strongly recommend avoiding 100kph descents with these... New wheels for everyday riding would be pragmatic. Even for casual celebratory rides, regluing them is a good idea. There's probably some crispy dried out Clement red glue under there. Or did Masi use something else? repechage?

Being nerdy, I checked the angles with pixelstick app. Using the floor/wall line as reference, it looks like approximately .25 degree slope averaging the two pics. There's a slight optical illusion caused by the sloping floor. Trig says that comes out to about 2.5mm rise, which is pretty minor. Of course there is the usual photo distortion etc, and you can't really tell without measuring physically.

It does look like more than standard fork rake, therefore lowish trail. I'd suspect this was more for toe clearance than tweaking handling characteristics.


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Old 10-27-20, 02:18 PM
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After I saw the post from repechage, just eyeballing with a tape measure, I measured from the floor to the bottom of the top tube just ahead of the seat tube lug and then from the floor to the bottom of the top tube just behind the head tube lug and there was a about a 6-7mm rise from the seat tube to the head tube. I think the rear is even jacked up a bit due to the position of the rear axle at the lowest end of the dropout. Then, I took a small bubble level that use for setting up scopes on bench-rest target rifles and the top tube was basically level from the seat tube to about 2/3 of the way to the head tube then there seemed to be an ever so slight rise from there to the head tube lug. Our floor is level but to make sure, I reversed the bike direction and the result was the same. I’ll check that again.
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Old 10-27-20, 02:32 PM
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Clearly repechage's eyeballs work better than my software then... I realized the bike is at a slight angle to the wall, which would have skewed the angle difference down. At any rate, measuring is measuring. It's not like a tiny amount of top tube slope will make it explode or anything. It is kind of interesting.

I'd probably use a bubble level across the bottom of the top tube to create a horizontal line, and then measure up with a tape measure or better yet stick.
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Old 10-27-20, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I'm a little confused. I have a 1980 Masi GC which is size 53 (MC53). It does not have a sloping top tube. I learned from a real Masi expert that the Masi design was controlled in Carlsbad by use of model frames that were dimensionally as Faliero had intended them, and there was one for each size. However, if the dimensions of my 1980 and this 1974 do not match, either one is wrong, one is a custom, QC at Masi Carlsbad or at San Marco (one of the places mine may have been built) were not up to par, or our measurements are not comparable in some way.

Your bike is an oddity. But you know that. Do not assume others will follow that bikes rules.

That written, there was a long evolution of geometry on the Gran Criterium as a model.

I will place the "eras" as

1 Italy, by Falerio using the jig frames for the subcontractors. (obviously not all conform, there were "specials" sometimes denoted by a xx.5 cm size stamping)

In my review, Falerio goofed the position of the lower head lug from the get go, most often too low.

2 Early Carlsbad, per Falerio and the jig frames. (unless Mario sneaked in a revise)

3 After Falerio departs, Mario steering the ship and making corrections as needed. Also, some specials in this time- geometry adjustments, most often top tube length.

4 Post Mario, his corrections and updates were in his noggin, some notes were on the jig frames with corrections.

Various builders making decisions- Mike Howard, Albert Eisentraut, Keith Lippy. I have seen some weird ones, like a 54 with the regular reach brake needing the pads all the way down for max reach in front?!?

5 The dark days- Kirkbride and ?

6 the beginning of the enlightenment- Rob Roberson, another builder whose name I forget.

7 the New contractor era- Moulton, Tesch (who from time to time built a Tesch with Masi fittings.) Jig frames obsolete for sure at this point.

Note: at the 6&7 phase the geometry was adjusted, shorter chainstays, Cinelli MC crown (lower height) short reach brake reach adjustment.

8 Starck era- the Henry James fittings- a revamp of geometry again. I have one, nice bike, a different bike than the Carlsbad GC's of the same size. I think should have been given a different model name.
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Old 10-27-20, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Yes, Clement Del Mondo tires have latex tubes. 20lbs in one day is fairly typical. Latex tubes are basically party balloons. As I said before, it is possible to replace them, but I wouldn't bother in this case. The latex on the sidewalls still looks good, which indicates to me that the inner tubes are also likely in good shape. Even so, I would strongly recommend avoiding 100kph descents with these... New wheels for everyday riding would be pragmatic. Even for casual celebratory rides, regluing them is a good idea. There's probably some crispy dried out Clement red glue under there. Or did Masi use something else? repechage?

Being nerdy, I checked the angles with pixelstick app. Using the floor/wall line as reference, it looks like approximately .25 degree slope averaging the two pics. There's a slight optical illusion caused by the sloping floor. Trig says that comes out to about 2.5mm rise, which is pretty minor. Of course there is the usual photo distortion etc, and you can't really tell without measuring physically.

It does look like more than standard fork rake, therefore lowish trail. I'd suspect this was more for toe clearance than tweaking handling characteristics.


The forks were brazed together with the legs straight.
Then placed in a bending fixture, it hooked the tips and with a cheater bar about 1 meter long slid down the steerer, the fork was bent over the fixture.
Brian Baylis noted that Falerio would complete the procedure then crank it a bit more, adding a few degrees extra about the crown. Note on this bike the legs at the top are not parallel with the head tube.
This extra can add 5-10 mm extra offset or rake, Reference a trail calculator and you will find that adding rake will reduce trail.
Now, there are two factors modifying the trail, quite a mess from one perspective.
This seems to dissipate on the larger frames, the lower head lug does not seem to be jigged in error to the same degree.
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Old 10-27-20, 02:55 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Interesting that it has bottle bosses. Is this one of the first bikes to have them?
waterbottle bosses show up in the Gran Criteriums in 1971 for sure. This was before frame fit pumps, so Falerio would add a small cone to capture the divit in the Silca pump.

Somewhere in 1972 the frame fit pumps became available. no need for that added bit.

Shifter bosses were an option if you knew and asked, $15 upcharge.
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Old 10-27-20, 03:33 PM
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I’d be happy to provide any additional photos from any angle.
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Old 10-27-20, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
The forks were brazed together with the legs straight.
Then placed in a bending fixture, it hooked the tips and with a cheater bar about 1 meter long slid down the steerer, the fork was bent over the fixture.
Interesting method for raking the fork. That would explain why it looks like it's been jumped off a few picnic benches by a teenager. I hesitated to mention it. I assumed it must have come from the factory like that, since the bike seems so well taken care of otherwise.

FWIW my Lippy built Masi has perfectly aligned fork blades. I'm clearly biased, but I think it's a much nicer bend and generally more graceful fork than I've seen on most other Masi's. I kind of assume he was using his own jigs.

As I suggested previously, I think this frame got extra rake because it needed toe clearance, being a relatively smaller frame.
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Old 10-27-20, 04:14 PM
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To "see" the geometry you need a telephoto lens, be quite a distance away. bike vertical and on level ground. View point such that the handlebar far side almost hides behind the closer.

equidistant between the axles too. That will provide a reasonable profile. Not an orthographic projection, but reasonable.


Knowing the bikes well and in the review of the images it was clear that the top tube was rising.

The detail that the top tube was not perfectly straight is not an issue. The dirty little secret of both major tube makers is that the tubes are not always perfectly straight.

A thoughtful builder will place a tube "wow" in a plane that does not effect anything.


Salamandrine was correct in his mention that extra rake reduces trail, I missed that in my response. A thoughtful comment. It is kind of counter-intuitive... then there is a discussion of mechanical trail and wheel flop...

Bikes are quite tolerant of significant variation and still "work"

I do find in interesting that Falerio did not correct the USA jig frame set. Perhaps a non issue to him.
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Old 10-27-20, 04:22 PM
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Holy smokes. It makes it hard to believe that it's all original.
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Old 10-27-20, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Interesting method for raking the fork. That would explain why it looks like it's been jumped off a few picnic benches by a teenager. I hesitated to mention it. I assumed it must have come from the factory like that, since the bike seems so well taken care of otherwise.

FWIW my Lippy built Masi has perfectly aligned fork blades. I'm clearly biased, but I think it's a much nicer bend and generally more graceful fork than I've seen on most other Masi's. I kind of assume he was using his own jigs.

As I suggested previously, I think this frame got extra rake because it needed toe clearance, being a relatively smaller frame.
Falerios's designs avoided toe clip overlap. Really bugged Baylis. As he rode a small frame and felt the solution to avoiding it, slack head angle mostly to achieve a short top tube made the bike handle like a wheelbarrow.
On the subject bike here, shorten the front center 8mm and I think that there will still be no overlap.
Some of this was the work of the UCI regs at the time. They are different now, and the UCI even mandates "lawyer lips" for the fork to retain the wheel... Cannot trust the Pro mechanics?
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Old 10-27-20, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Falerios's designs avoided toe clip overlap. Really bugged Baylis. As he rode a small frame and felt the solution to avoiding it, slack head angle mostly to achieve a short top tube made the bike handle like a wheelbarrow.
On the subject bike here, shorten the front center 8mm and I think that there will still be no overlap.
Some of this was the work of the UCI regs at the time. They are different now, and the UCI even mandates "lawyer lips" for the fork to retain the wheel... Cannot trust the Pro mechanics?
Is this what you mean? 170mm crank arm. Pardon the dog and cat hair.
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Old 10-27-20, 05:27 PM
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Yep, actually more room than I expected. Those small or medium toe clips?

to be super cool, you need to find the extra thick Campagnolo bottom bracket lock ring. It would consume the added threading visible here.
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Old 10-27-20, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Yep, actually more room than I expected. Those small or medium toe clips?

to be super cool, you need to find the extra thick Campagnolo bottom bracket lock ring. It would consume the added threading visible here.
I don’t see any size marking. Is there a way to tell? It’s about 6cm from the front of the pedal to the end of the toe clip measuring along the bottom.
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Old 10-27-20, 08:09 PM
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Don’t have access to those clips at present.
if you measure with the front wheel straight from the front axle center to the center of the bottom bracket- that would be another way to tell,
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