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Early Italian Masi GC

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Early Italian Masi GC

Old 08-13-23, 05:58 PM
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Early Italian Masi GC

I just received this likely 1st generation Italian GC that I’d like to learn more about it. It has a generous patina and is a near-twin to a pristine early Carlsbad GC that I picked up few years ago. After watching the initial sale offerings for this bike on Facebook, for a rather high price, and subsequent “no sale” eBay auctions, I contacted the seller and he was receptive to what I considered to be a fair price. Perhaps some members here followed the Facebook or eBay offerings.

Part of the original description stated that it was a “confirmed” Confente build, due to comments offered on Facebook by Simone D’Urbino - frame builder and current owner of Masi (Italy). Despite Simone’s obvious credentials and work with Alberto Masi, without definitive authentication, I considered the possible Confente connection to be a cool story but not something to price into the bike. The seller agreed. However, if anyone else can see any defining Confente characteristics, I’d love to learn of multiple lines of evidence.

Putting that aside, what intrigued me most was that this was a very very early Italian issue. The decals are first generation per the Bob Hovey site and the head tube decal is the earliest version of the first generation transfers. The BB shell 5-slot cut-outs predate the M cut-out and are somewhat unique. That would place the frame build in 1970 or early 1971, as I understand information on the Hovey site. The fluted seat stay caps supposedly didn’t show up until the spring of 1971 but one of the magazine articles dated March 1971 posted shows a photo of a rider on a GC with the fluted seat stay caps - considering the publication timelines back in the day, the photo may have been taken months prior to the publication date. The Campy RD with the bike has a patent 73 date however.

The first 5 photos were provided by the seller:




The “R” stamp may indicate a repaint but I’m guessing that it would have to have been done very early considering the decals.


I think this photo is what prompted Simone to say that this was a Confente build.




I put the bike on a stand and took some detailed shots of the decals.


Seat tube decal



Head tube decal


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Old 08-13-23, 06:10 PM
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No “Faliero” signature transfer. No bike shop sticker either.




Does not have the Confente style 4-hole top tube vent.


Rusty but the tubes all appear straight and true.


Rusty chromed fork crown


Seat lug details



Looks like a few chain drops.

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Old 08-13-23, 06:41 PM
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A few more detail shots. Sorry if these posts are too pic heavy.




Has water cage braze-ons - I understand this was not standard for the early models.


No original bike shop stickers but this one on the top tube that I was able identify as one from the Whistler Bike Company in BC - more of an MTB shop established in 1994.
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Old 08-13-23, 07:09 PM
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Stupid software.
Not going to rewrite.
nice bike.
R might be for Repair.
paint is tragic.
no fantastico history to push keeping in this state.

drop the fork in hope for a date.
bike looks early 1971 save for the BB cutouts
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Old 08-13-23, 07:36 PM
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That's not rust, that's true patina.
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Old 08-13-23, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
Stupid software.
Not going to rewrite.
nice bike.
R might be for Repair.
paint is tragic.
no fantastico history to push keeping in this state.

drop the fork in hope for a date.
bike looks early 1971 save for the BB cutouts
Dang that software time-out, I’m sure I’m missing out on some great wisdom there. Simone said that R means “riverniciato” so repainted. I haven’t pulled the fork or BB yet but the seller said there were no marks on the steerer. I don’t want to disturb the old decals, so I’m hoping just to get it road worthy and do some preservation wrt the rust but not go overboard with restoration. I like it a bit ugly, I like seeing the file marks, and I doubt a bike thief would look twice at it. When you’re 50, you have the face you’ve earned
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Old 08-13-23, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by majmt
Dang that software time-out, I’m sure I’m missing out on some great wisdom there. Simone said that R means “riverniciato” so repainted. I haven’t pulled the fork or BB yet but the seller said there were no marks on the steerer. I don’t want to disturb the old decals, so I’m hoping just to get it road worthy and do some preservation wrt the rust but not go overboard with restoration. I like it a bit ugly, I like seeing the file marks, and I doubt a bike thief would look twice at it. When you’re 50, you have the face you’ve earned
possible, this alternate bottom bracket shell, same as one of the two early GC’s that Richard Sachs restored also in light blue metallic, does not have material below the stays like most others do.
I had no qualms of repainting mine as it was repainted once and was so Bad, wrong transfers and poorly applied.
one of those bikes I paid too much for but they don’t come up too often. I own too many, but a soft spot for them.
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Old 08-18-23, 02:25 AM
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Was just about to ask; what do people normally do with an old bike in this condition? Get it roadworthy and ride it as it is, conserving the original paintwork – or what's left of it. Or strip and repaint? Obviously the latter makes more sense in terms of conservation, but does a vintage bike immediately lose much of it's market value if you do this? Or does the fact that it's a desirable old frame in fully restored condition fully offset this?
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Old 08-18-23, 05:22 AM
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+1 on a repaint on this bike. Original color and decals , there are some very talented folks who could make this bike look beautiful again. It is your bike , and I have a few patina bikes that I ride , but after getting my Colnago done , I would do if the marquis warrants it. I am on the fence with my ‘78 Raleigh Pro , but would love to see it new again. I used Franklin Frame in Ohio and Jack did a great job . He nailed the original color and decals. The paint , when I got the bike , was a lot like your Masi and I rode it that way for a year , it just bothered me . I don’t know why , but some bikes should be brought back , IMHO.
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Old 08-18-23, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
+1 on a repaint on this bike. Original color and decals , there are some very talented folks who could make this bike look beautiful again. It is your bike , and I have a few patina bikes that I ride , but after getting my Colnago done , I would do if the marquis warrants it. I am on the fence with my ‘78 Raleigh Pro , but would love to see it new again. I used Franklin Frame in Ohio and Jack did a great job . He nailed the original color and decals. The paint , when I got the bike , was a lot like your Masi and I rode it that way for a year , it just bothered me . I don’t know why , but some bikes should be brought back , IMHO.
actually I think your Colnago was better off to start, but was ready for a respray.
The subject Masi here was “renovated” so there is no original paint to save.
‘this bike does have the issue where the fork crown chrome is tragic.
I have a Carlsbad GC from 1974 where the paint is in trouble. Same color even as here. On this one I will attempt to preserve the original graphics. Maybe not the chainstay transfers but the others I think can be masked effectively. Brian Baylis (I have owned this for a while) noted that for a number of months in 1974, the owner of Masi USA brought in this new
“wonder” primer / sealer from another business of his that made aluminum extrusion products. They returned to more common prep later in the year. It did not adhere well. Color matching will be an issue but not impossible.
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Old 08-27-23, 10:35 PM
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I’ve been able to spend a bit more time checking out this bike. I really appreciate the input regarding repainting but, for now, I think I’ll just try to stabilize the rust and keep the original decals and paint. I’m glad to see several recent threads regarding rust treatment. Even if it was a repaint, I’m thinking it would have to have been done very early on and at the Masi shop (OEM?) since it still sports the earliest of the first generation decals. To me, it’s more interesting in its current crusty state than a fully restored bike. I still wonder why this bike does not have the “Faliero Masi” signature transfer - I’ve never seen photos of any that didn’t. It has everything else perfectly placed but no signature decal. Did Faliero not like this particular bike?

It probably looks like a rat rod to most folks and that is part of its beauty. Maybe someday, someone else would want to invest the time and money for a decent restoration and I’ll make sure it will still be a good unmodified candidate. Anyway, I have a virtually pristine early look-alike Carlsbad GC if I want to ride something pretty.


I really like seeing the protruding bones on this Italian frame showing file work done by a skilled human over 50 years ago.


The worst of the pitting in the fork crown. repechage when you say “tragic”, do you mean cosmetically or fatally? It looks like the entire fork was chromed and the chrome surface on the blades was scored for painting.




No date on the steerer.



Ugh. Ideally, I should replace this bearing race but is it really really necessary?

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Last edited by majmt; 08-27-23 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 08-27-23, 11:06 PM
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Considering some of the recent rust themed threads here, I bore scoped the frame internals as much as I could. Looks mostly like surface rust and flaking. Also looks like some areas may have been painted??


Drive side chain stay


DS chain stay at drop out


NDS chain stay


Further down NDS chain stay


NDS chain chain stay at the drop-out.



Looking up the down tube at the water cage braze-ons.



Looking up the down tube at the head tube braze.


Looking into the top tube from the seat tube. Best view, the bore scope didn’t fit through the vent hole.


Looking down the seat tube.
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Old 08-27-23, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by pushrod
Was just about to ask; what do people normally do with an old bike in this condition? Get it roadworthy and ride it as it is, conserving the original paintwork – or what's left of it. Or strip and repaint? Obviously the latter makes more sense in terms of conservation, but does a vintage bike immediately lose much of it's market value if you do this? Or does the fact that it's a desirable old frame in fully restored condition fully offset this?
I doubt if I qualify as "most people," but here are my thoughts and what I would likely do.

Step 1: Build it up and ride it for at least a month, and probably longer, to see if you like how it rides. You might think: "It's a Masi, of course I'll love the ride." And chances are you will, especially since you already have a Masi to judge by. But make sure before you move on to Step 2a or 2b.

Step 2a: If you don't like the ride, strip off the components, move the frame along to someone else (maybe after a good bath in oxalic acid or Evapo-rust), and use the components on something else.

Step 2b: If you like the ride and decide it's a keeper, now comes the hard part: respray or leave it as is? Personally, I would repaint the Masi in question without hesitation. That is more rust than I can live with. Full disclosure: I tend to come down on the "repaint" side of these debates more often and more quickly than some in C&V, so you will likely hear opinions that disagree with mine, although when I sought opinions on an old Cinelli that was less rusty than your Masi, I was a bit surprised that more people said "repaint" than said "leave it alone." (Spoiler alert: I had it repainted.) Ultimately, do what feels right to you.

Step 3: Whatever you decide, post pics of the final build-up. Lots of pics. Please.
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Old 08-28-23, 03:25 AM
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Is this a crack in the fork blade?

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Old 08-28-23, 05:22 AM
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Thanks, that was just some flaking paint.
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Old 08-28-23, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by majmt
That reminds me, I have to go and see my Doctor about something...
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Old 08-28-23, 06:20 AM
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How did you get the colonoscopy results for me?

Seriously what sort of camera thingy did you use for those images?
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Old 08-28-23, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
How did you get the colonoscopy results for me?

Seriously what sort of camera thingy did you use for those images?
A relatively cheap bore scope
https://www.ralcam-borescope.com/pro...rescope-5.html
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Old 08-28-23, 07:58 AM
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[QUOTE=majmt;22997587]I’ve been able to spend a bit more time checking out this bike. I really appreciate the input regarding repainting but, for now, I think I’ll just try to stabilize the rust and keep the original decals and paint. I’m glad to see several recent threads regarding rust treatment. Even if it was a repaint, I’m thinking it would have to have been done very early on and at the Masi shop (OEM?) since it still sports the earliest of the first generation decals. To me, it’s more interesting in its current crusty state than a fully restored bike. I still wonder why this bike does not have the “Faliero Masi” signature transfer - I’ve never seen photos of any that didn’t. It has everything else perfectly placed but no signature decal. Did Faliero not like this particular bike?

It probably looks like a rat rod to most folks and that is part of its beauty. Maybe someday, someone else would want to invest the time and money for a decent restoration and I’ll make sure it will still be a good unmodified candidate. Anyway, I have a virtually pristine early look-alike Carlsbad GC if I want to ride something pretty.


I really like seeing the protruding bones on this Italian frame showing file work done by a skilled human over 50 years ago.


The worst of the pitting in the fork crown. repechage when you say “tragic”, do you mean cosmetically or fatally? It looks like the entire fork was chromed and the chrome surface on the blades was scored for painting.




No date on the steerer.



Ugh. Ideally, I should replace this bearing race but is it really really necessary?

[QUOTE]

the chrome shows lack of copper and maybe even nickel under the chrome.
got snookered or did not monitor, the old Reagan saying “trust, but verify”
not uncommon on Italian bikes in general, usually Masi had better.
I would knock out the headset cups to clean the gap to the frame, your close up images show quite a bit of crud that has been living there. As the paint is so questionable, I do not think it is wise to let that become a seed of additional decay.
too bad no date code. As the metalwork appears similar to one of the Richard Sachs restoration pair, I would send him some pertinent images and ask if his similar bike had a steerer date code.
Appears to be of Columbus for the fork, the pip for the pump (this was prior to frame fit Silcas) and the concave seat stay caps really point 1971. The ported bottom bracket points 1970, of which there were a few patterns.
Way back a fellow I raced against had a 1971, Similar metal but with the M cutout, his had the “crosshair” downtube graphic pattern and the next gen of other transfers similar to your twin plate bike.
the lack of top tube signature as it is strongly suggested a repaint, should not be that major a concern.

Last edited by repechage; 08-28-23 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 08-28-23, 11:24 AM
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I am not as much of an expert (repechage) as a lot of those who contribute here , but that headset race looks like it is done. That appears to be some sort of fatigue, the likes of which I haven't seen. It could be that a P.O. beat it in with a hammer my shade tree method is a block of Teflon or wood , and it doesn't take much to install.
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Old 08-28-23, 12:49 PM
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That frame deserves derusting.
‘the problems are with the seat stays and fork.
small vents.
if Brian Baylis was going to send this out for fresh fork chrome, he would drill a .090” vent at the blade reinforcements, only way to expect any kind of flush.
he would polish the fork himself before returning for plating after chrome removal.
make sure that the fork was flushed properly, provided syringes for that purpose and make sure baked to avoid hydrogen embrittlement.
‘Overkill? Ask @bikingshearer
On the seat stays…. You are on your own.
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Old 08-28-23, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12
I am not as much of an expert (repechage) as a lot of those who contribute here , but that headset race looks like it is done. That appears to be some sort of fatigue, the likes of which I haven't seen. It could be that a P.O. beat it in with a hammer my shade tree method is a block of Teflon or wood , and it doesn't take much to install.
at the minimum, Fresh loose 3/16” ball bearings.
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Old 08-28-23, 02:07 PM
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I like the idea of stabilizing the rust and enjoy it patina and all. you can always repaint at some point in the future

Of course I the guy who's kirk is a dusty and needs a wash as I can add a mile of gravel on my daily commute home

Bike are meant to be ridden and get dirty
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Old 08-28-23, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pushrod
Was just about to ask; what do people normally do with an old bike in this condition? Get it roadworthy and ride it as it is, conserving the original paintwork – or what's left of it. Or strip and repaint? Obviously the latter makes more sense in terms of conservation, but does a vintage bike immediately lose much of it's market value if you do this? Or does the fact that it's a desirable old frame in fully restored condition fully offset this?
I don't think there a normal, more a range depending

in general if you are looking about value an original frame not repainted is 99% of the time worth more than a repainted frame to a collector

in reality there are few bikes/frames that are can be considered an investment and for those original condition is everything

Beyond that is it personal style, some people want a clean and shiny bike so will repaint or powder coat and get replica decals, other love the patina a bike has and the story it tells,
some want all period correct parts, other want modern, others can deal with a franken bike mix
others will have a frame modified...got to 650
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Old 08-28-23, 02:17 PM
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The frameset - as some point out - might hail from '71 or '73, but many components look later than that.
'Patent' brakes, post-'75 front derailleur, newer pedals and wheels.
Likely required replacement bits after fishing it out from the bottom of a lake.
Good luck with refurbishing. It will take lot$ of patience and effort.
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