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Small Masi Frames

Old 03-27-22, 07:14 AM
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Small Masi Frames

I have been looking around for smaller Masi completes or frames, and I notice there is none under 52cm... I'm lost. I'm Italian and I'm short, just like the rest of us; then who in the heck is from Italy that's riding a freaking 55cm frame? lol. Where's all the 50's at?! Would anyone know if they even made them? Am I looking for something that doesn't exist?

Also, I can't post in the market place any longer. Was there a subscription that I let run out?
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Old 03-27-22, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by buddiiee View Post
I have been looking around for smaller Masi completes or frames, and I notice there is none under 52cm... I'm lost. I'm Italian and I'm short, just like the rest of us; then who in the heck is from Italy that's riding a freaking 55cm frame? lol. Where's all the 50's at?! Would anyone know if they even made them? Am I looking for something that doesn't exist?

Also, I can't post in the market place any longer. Was there a subscription that I let run out?
The height-lite folks are hoarding them!
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Old 03-27-22, 08:29 AM
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Height lite lol. I like that.
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Old 03-27-22, 08:24 PM
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There was a Masi 3V Volumetrica Barcelona Olympics edition bike listed on our local Facebook for quite a while. It was something like 47cm or thereabouts. So for sure the smaller frames existed.
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Old 03-27-22, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by buddiiee View Post
I have been looking around for smaller Masi completes or frames, and I notice there is none under 52cm... I'm lost. I'm Italian and I'm short, just like the rest of us; then who in the heck is from Italy that's riding a freaking 55cm frame? lol. Where's all the 50's at?! Would anyone know if they even made them? Am I looking for something that doesn't exist?

Also, I can't post in the market place any longer. Was there a subscription that I let run out?
You might want to reach out to these folks too.

Tony Tom of Bicycle Odyssey has passed away

Tony Tom of Bicycle Odyssey has passed away
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Old 03-29-22, 03:44 AM
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I have a 1980 Masi GC made in USA, marked MC53 on the BB shell. The length of the seat tube is 53 cm from the point on the top of the seat lug to the center of the BB. It measures 52 cm from top of the TT to the BB center, and a little under 51 cm center of seat lug to center of BB. At a local vintage group meeting there were three other ‘70s GCs marked to smaller sizes. BTW, it’s too small for me if I set up with the standard Campy 2-bolt, Brooks Pro or Concor, and 10 cm Cinelli or Nitto Pearl stem. It IS a great ride, however, despite the very steep seat tube.

Which measure is the size you are looking for?
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Old 03-29-22, 05:46 AM
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Looking for a 50cm, or a 29" stand over height.
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Old 03-29-22, 06:48 AM
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Like Merziac here said, the way Masi's frame builders measured frames may be different than the common way here; possibly being 2cm's smaller than the perceived size. Are you guys aware of their builders measuring their frames differently? Maybe all those 52's out there are really 50s?
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Old 03-29-22, 07:21 AM
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If money is no object….

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12447733392...AAAOSwUAdfz-At
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Old 03-29-22, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by majmt View Post
Money is an object lol. Even if it wasn't, I couldn't let a classic like that out of the house anyways lol. Plus it's in Italy and I wouldn't trust it would make it here, or make it here in one piece lol.
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Old 03-29-22, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by buddiiee View Post
Like Merziac here said, the way Masi's frame builders measured frames may be different than the common way here; possibly being 2cm's smaller than the perceived size. Are you guys aware of their builders measuring their frames differently? Maybe all those 52's out there are really 50s?
buddiiiee, you are correct, Masi measured his frames differently than center to center. He measured them center to top. Well where is "top". Here are pictures of my Italian Masi frame I got directly from the velodrome in 1972. It is marked on the down tube socket of the BB shell as a 58. Actually it is marked V58. I've heard that the letter in front of the numbers (in my case a V) is the indication which city (or subcontractor) built the frame. I put my Masi on one of my fixtures I have laser cut out of stainless steel in Ukraine. That way I can read directly off the fixture almost every dimension. It is also what I use to design my frames too. According to my fixture, my 58 cm frame measures 55.8+. In other words not quite 559 mm.

It also does not have a perfectly level top tube. Another one of my pictures shows it is not level according to my fixture level. If I remember right it slops up 6mm. The seat tube angle is 72 1/2º and the head tube angle is 73º with 50 mm of rake on my twin plate fork. My fixture also lets me read the straddle height of a top tube (after I set the tire diameter). It reads 83cm. If anyone is curious about other dimensions I can provide those.

My V58 1972 Italian Masi on my design fixture

The seat tube length reads just a hair over 558mm

A pic of its size markings

A pic that shows the top tube is not level using my fixture accessory I use to level my TT piece
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Old 03-29-22, 10:04 AM
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Thanks Doug. Yes, that is how Many Masi frames are.
Falerio I think measured to the tip top of the seat lug, Before finish filing. So, they measure "small" for the stamped size.
The rising top tube was a thing. It continued with many of the frames built in Carlsbad as the jig frames also had this feature built in.
After Falerio returned to Italy, Mario Confente started to correct some things he did not like.
I have five 55 cm frames. all are different.
One is a Special Build from Carlsbad. - shorter top tube and the top tube is very close to level. The others from Carlsbad rise to different amounts.
Post Carlsbad things got sorted out at least by the San Marcos era, and then again after the move to Henry James fittings.
For the jig frame to be completed to a bicycle, it would need a fork that would be basically a Pista length and require a short reach brake which did not exist to get close to a level top tube and the brake mount would need to be cheated up adjacent to the crown race.
Masi did that on the early 1970 GC's. I fitted a short reach caliper so that the brake blocks would fully engage rim on mine. That interval of late Specials and early GC's also employed a filed back brake mount transition washer so the spacer would clear the crown race, they were that close.

I have seen Masi frames stamped as 49's.
I bought a 51cm frame set for a girlfriend in 1976.
They are out there but not very common. Just a result of the bell curve of human height distribution.
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Old 03-29-22, 10:41 AM
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Ok I'm confused Doug Fattic, you just said that "Masi measured his frames differently than center to center. He measured them center to top." I must be missing something. Everywhere I look, and everyone that has answered me when I asked this question as a young worker in a bike shop said that you measure from center of bb shell to top of seat post tube. You do that because that's how you get the shortest part of the measurement tolerance for seat height adjustment. So if that's how everyone measured anyhow, and that's how Masi did it as well, then all his frames should come in right at the correct stamp on the bb shell, no? Who measures center to center? What would that give you, but an inaccurate method of determining a frame right in the middle of your body measurements?
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Old 03-29-22, 11:17 AM
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In the 60's-70's, there was no convention.
different builders were known to measure the way they did. Some to the top of the top tube along the seat tube, some to the top of the lug.
Masi to the tip top of the seat lug from the center of the bottom bracket. ( and I thought at the time, before the frame was finished filed)

it was how it was.
if you retailed Masi bikes, it was known.

I have a '85 Italian Masi Prestige that also is measured the same way, center to tip top.

other Italian mfgs in the middle 80's or so started to measure center to center. This convention solidified I think when oversized top tubes arrived, save For Masi- the Volumetrica continued the same earlier Convention.

the difference between center to center compared to center to top is about 14mm with a 1" ( 25.4mm) top tube. One could draw it out in a CAD program, seat tube angle factors in if one wants to be perfect.

from an actual framebuilders perspective, ctc is a good way to go, but not necessarily how the sized frame was marketed.
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Old 03-29-22, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by buddiiee View Post
Ok I'm confused Doug Fattic, you just said that "Masi measured his frames differently than center to center. He measured them center to top." I must be missing something. Everywhere I look, and everyone that has answered me when I asked this question as a young worker in a bike shop said that you measure from center of bb shell to top of seat post tube. You do that because that's how you get the shortest part of the measurement tolerance for seat height adjustment. So if that's how everyone measured anyhow, and that's how Masi did it as well, then all his frames should come in right at the correct stamp on the bb shell, no? Who measures center to center? What would that give you, but an inaccurate method of determining a frame right in the middle of your body measurements?
The standard way a bicycle frame size is measured today is the length of the seat tube in centimeters starting from the center of the bottom bracket shell to the center of the seat tube/top tube junction. This is how most people understand classic era frames (with level or almost level top tubes) are measured. In the old days when Americans and British were unfamiliar with the metric system and described a frame size in inches, they were measured from the center of BB to the top of the seat lug. Well the problem is that the "top" of the seat lug varied. Seat lug tops had different lengths. So where exactly is the "top" of the lug? For example the 22 1/2" Hetchins I bought from Alf in 1969 is about 1/4" smaller than other 22 1/2" British frames. They didn't always measure to the very tippy top. Eventually it became the preference to describe a frame size in centimeters measuring to a very precise ST/TT junction. This is the way American frame making fixtures are measured and so it became the standard.

My explanation that my Masi was described by Faliero as being a 58 but when actually measured precisely c-c is almost 559mm should allow you to figure out what Masi frame size you actually need. You were correct in saying a Masi size is about 2 centimeters bigger than how we standardly measure level top tube frames today. Again letting you know that my 58 cm Masi with tubular tires has a straddle height of 83 centimeters can help you figure out what frame size you need if you are using straddle height to help determine your Masi frame size.

Another way to help determine frame size is based on the BB to top of saddle length and how much drop your handlebars are below your saddle. But we are getting into the weeds here. BTW, one of my framebuilding colleagues wanted to buy a 54 cm Masi because it was the 1st bicycle he raced. Eventually he had to make one himself because he could never find the 54 at a price he could afford.
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Old 03-29-22, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by buddiiee View Post
(...) I'm Italian and I'm short, just like the rest of us (...)
Erm ...

Apart from the fact that I am apparently not "one of us", I do sympathize. Finding nice frames in either XS or XL sizes (mrs non-fixie and me) can be a challenge. But they are out there, and when you do find them they are not necessarily very expensive either.
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Old 03-29-22, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
The standard way a bicycle frame size is measured today is the length of the seat tube in centimeters starting from the center of the bottom bracket shell to the center of the seat tube/top tube junction. This is how most people understand classic era frames (with level or almost level top tubes) are measured. In the old days when Americans and British were unfamiliar with the metric system and described a frame size in inches, they were measured from the center of BB to the top of the seat lug. Well the problem is that the "top" of the seat lug varied. Seat lug tops had different lengths. So where exactly is the "top" of the lug? For example the 22 1/2" Hetchins I bought from Alf in 1969 is about 1/4" smaller than other 22 1/2" British frames. They didn't always measure to the very tippy top. Eventually it became the preference to describe a frame size in centimeters measuring to a very precise ST/TT junction. This is the way American frame making fixtures are measured and so it became the standard.

My explanation that my Masi was described by Faliero as being a 58 but when actually measured precisely c-c is almost 559mm should allow you to figure out what Masi frame size you actually need. You were correct in saying a Masi size is about 2 centimeters bigger than how we standardly measure level top tube frames today. Again letting you know that my 58 cm Masi with tubular tires has a straddle height of 83 centimeters can help you figure out what frame size you need if you are using straddle height to help determine your Masi frame size.

Another way to help determine frame size is based on the BB to top of saddle length and how much drop your handlebars are below your saddle. But we are getting into the weeds here. BTW, one of my framebuilding colleagues wanted to buy a 54 cm Masi because it was the 1st bicycle he raced. Eventually he had to make one himself because he could never find the 54 at a price he could afford.
So if I wanted a 50cm (from bb center to top of seat tube) I should be looking for a 48?
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Old 03-29-22, 04:13 PM
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A Masi Measure 50cm will be very close to 48cm center to center, but Masi did not measure ctc for consumer marketing.

Colnago measured both ways! Some of the build cards for Eddy Merckx were center to top and some center to center- noted when done ctc.

I have A few Gios bikes, they are stamped center to top, top being top of the top tube, not including the seat lug extension.
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Old 03-29-22, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by buddiiee View Post
So if I wanted a 50cm (from bb center to top of seat tube) I should be looking for a 48?
A 50 cm Masi measured the way they market their size is the same as a 48 cm frame measured center of BB to center of the TT/ST junction.

Do you know what size Masi you need? Are your handlebars close to the same level of your saddle or are there several centimeters of drop between the 2? The amount of drop between the two often indicates which size Masi you need. if you handlebars are close to the same height as your saddle, then you probably want your Masi size big enough to just barely straddle the top tube comfortably. That is the biggest size Masi you probably want (some don't mind riding even bigger frames- they are just careful when they come to a stop). And the bigger the frame the more likely you are to find one.

Your straddle height can be measured several ways but it might be easiest with the help of someone else. Put your riding shorts and shoes on and raise a 1" round tube of some sort until going farther is a bit uncomfortable. Measure from the bottom of the stick to the floor and add the diameter of the stick. Take this measurement several times to insure accuracy. For example maybe your measurement is 78mm. So now you know that you want a frame that has a top of the top tube height off the ground of 78 cm. Using my 58 Masi as a guide (it has a top tube height of 83 cm) you can figure out your approximate Masi size (the size Masi marks on the frame). 83 - 78 = 5. 58 - 5 = 53. So it is likely that a 53 cm Masi (which is actually 51 cm measured c to c) has a straddle height of 78 cm. That is probably your Masi frame size if your handlebar height is almost the same as your saddle height measured off of the ground. If your handlebars have a significant drop compared to the saddle, then you might want a smaller frame.
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Old 03-29-22, 05:44 PM
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@Doug Fattic

Do you find that a lot of frames are off in level? I would imagine that it likely had very little impact except in aesthetics, but wondering if the Italian builders who didn't use a jig might had that lovely little quirk quite often?
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Old 03-29-22, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
A 50 cm Masi measured the way they market their size is the same as a 48 cm frame measured center of BB to center of the TT/ST junction.

Do you know what size Masi you need? Are your handlebars close to the same level of your saddle or are there several centimeters of drop between the 2? The amount of drop between the two often indicates which size Masi you need. if you handlebars are close to the same height as your saddle, then you probably want your Masi size big enough to just barely straddle the top tube comfortably. That is the biggest size Masi you probably want (some don't mind riding even bigger frames- they are just careful when they come to a stop). And the bigger the frame the more likely you are to find one.

Your straddle height can be measured several ways but it might be easiest with the help of someone else. Put your riding shorts and shoes on and raise a 1" round tube of some sort until going farther is a bit uncomfortable. Measure from the bottom of the stick to the floor and add the diameter of the stick. Take this measurement several times to insure accuracy. For example maybe your measurement is 78mm. So now you know that you want a frame that has a top of the top tube height off the ground of 78 cm. Using my 58 Masi as a guide (it has a top tube height of 83 cm) you can figure out your approximate Masi size (the size Masi marks on the frame). 83 - 78 = 5. 58 - 5 = 53. So it is likely that a 53 cm Masi (which is actually 51 cm measured c to c) has a straddle height of 78 cm. That is probably your Masi frame size if your handlebar height is almost the same as your saddle height measured off of the ground. If your handlebars have a significant drop compared to the saddle, then you might want a smaller frame.
not quite right.
here is a Masi 50cm
with 23 mm tires the stand over is 29" or about 73.6cm
fortunately like some builders they did not cheat the BB drop.

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Old 03-29-22, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
not quite right.
here is a Masi 50cm
with 23 mm tires the stand over is 29" or about 73.6cm
fortunately like some builders they did not cheat the BB drop.

It can be helpful to have more data points from different size Masis than just my 58. Seat angle as well as bottom bracket height + individual build differences can raise or lower the top of the top tube height. And as already mentioned how much slope the top tube has. Of course the size of tire can do the same. Just to be clear the 50 cm Masi (measured the Masi way) has a stand over height of about 29"?
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Old 03-29-22, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
@Doug Fattic

Do you find that a lot of frames are off in level? I would imagine that it likely had very little impact except in aesthetics, but wondering if the Italian builders who didn't use a jig might had that lovely little quirk quite often?
I know about Masis because a bunch of us owners measured ours and the range as barely to 9 mm. I've refinished hundreds (maybe thousands) of frames but I never bother to check them for level because it isn't important after the fact.

My guess as to why some frames have slightly sloping top tubes is because of the way they were built. In England at least, it was common to slide the top tube down on the seat and head tube as the last assembly of the front triangle. They probably, after the seat tube end is positioned, move the head tube end until the top tube miter is snug against the head tube. That may or may not end up to be an exactly level top tube. It is hard to notice a slight top tube slope anyway.

What is most likely to be off is frame alignment. Some classic era builders needing to make one a day in order to put food on the table hustled through the build and didn't have time to fuss with details.
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Old 03-29-22, 09:43 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
It can be helpful to have more data points from different size Masis than just my 58. Seat angle as well as bottom bracket height + individual build differences can raise or lower the top of the top tube height. And as already mentioned how much slope the top tube has. Of course the size of tire can do the same. Just to be clear the 50 cm Masi (measured the Masi way) has a stand over height of about 29"?
darn close to that, not near the frame at the moment. One feature on that small frame I liked is that it did not cheat the BB up, could even have been lower as small riders can benefit often from shorter cranks.
when my son first used it I had him on 155's

I own a jig frame. It's "wrong". there are corrections noted on it even. It does not match any of the other bikes I have of the same size.

the Masi plan was to match up the fixtures to the jig frames, build to those, reasonably easy to replicate the set ups. Trouble was there were goofs.
when Falerio left, the frames were set up Mario's way. Even with that there were slightly rising top tubes on some. Just less offset.

some of this might be traced to the scheme of brazing up the fork with the blades straight and inducing the curve after. A neat process but one to tolerance issues as well. If one looks at Masi forks enough the blades from time to time crank forward, sometime the extra is at the crown itself, especially the twin plate crown forks. Some forks have 60mm of rake.
Falerio a closet lowrider? I say in jest.

might have been a cluster of "close enough" similar down tube to head tube connections to allow the employment of the same lower head angle for a few different frames. A conjecture based on the frames I have been able to review.

the "hockey" stick was the first brazed connection there.
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Old 03-30-22, 11:58 AM
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Wow. Were all Italian frame builders this willy nilly with the clearances on their frames? From the way you guys talk, these guys were half in the bag while making these things lol. I know price price price but I couldnt do that. If my stuff's not 100% I'm not letting it out of the shop. From all these variances, are Masi frames really all that? Why are they so coveted if there was soo much lee way?
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