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Retrogrouch needs advice

Old 08-09-11, 12:06 PM
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Retrogrouch needs advice

It's getting to the point where I can't find parts for my 1978 Masi Gran Criterium--or the used parts are worse than what I already have, and NOS costs too much. I am sad to say I am thinking of a new bike--I guess it's OK to buy a new bike every 35 years.

Many friends try to talk me into carbon, which I think is butt-ugly and feels like you're riding under Novocaine. Titanium feels, well, not like steel. I don't mind the extra few pounds of steel because, well, steel is real. I like the lively, springly feel.

So the conundrum: frame designs and angles have evolved dramatically since 1978, and new bikes are more squished up horizontalling. I'm hoping for a new steel machine that approximates the wonderful Masi ride, but in the modern edition. Am thinking of an Independent Fabrication CSS or Factory Leightweight. Would they be the modern version of the Masi? Insights welcome!

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Old 08-09-11, 12:21 PM
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Masi still makes steel bikes...so I suppose they'd be the modern version of yours. Check out the Speciale Strada https://www.masibikes.com/steel/speciale-strada/ I'd rather have your '78 though.

Have you considered updating the components with something new? For less than what a new bike costs you could retrofit a spankin new groupset including wheels to your '78....something like Ultegra, Dura-Ace or Campy Chorus
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Old 08-09-11, 12:26 PM
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I would look at Serotta, Waterford, or a custom by David Kirk or Kelly Bedford. You can also still get lugged Italian from a number of builders.
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Old 08-09-11, 12:57 PM
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Thanks....I have done numerous updates over the years and often current mfgrs don't make parts to fit old bikes. For example, Chris King does not make a headset that fits, so I had to fit a Cane Creek (at half the price of Super Record NOS). Really hard to find Suntour New Winner Ultra-six clusters, so when my inventory wears out, I depend on the kindness of other retrogrouches to either rebuild the clusters or find NOS. I recently builtup a new set of wheels with Phil Wood hubs and man, it's like a whole new ride. Like I just switched my OEM shocks for Bilsteins.
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Old 08-09-11, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by verbs4us View Post
Thanks....I have done numerous updates over the years and often current mfgrs don't make parts to fit old bikes.
Yes and No. If you're interested in going that route its not difficult to make new parts work. At the most you might have to drill out the brake bridge/fork crown and spread the dropouts a few mm.

Of course that's going down a vastly different path from keeping your '78 sort of period correct. My only point is it can, and has been done by quite a few folks and the results can be impressive.
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Old 08-09-11, 01:03 PM
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You'll still stay ahead of the price of a new bike - or a modern replacement groupset; not that you can with 120mm spacing - if you stick with what you have now.

For that matter, your New Winner Ultra-6 freewheels will last you longer than most 10-speed cassettes and chains, cost less, and somehow, you'll always find someone with spare bits for them. Try that once the 10-speed groups start getting old.

Heck, SRAM's double-tap paddles have been snapping with unnerving frequency recently - that's $35 bucks down the drain for a new paddle if you had that component group. For that price, you could buy yourself a pair of NOS Campagnolo Nuovo Record downtube shifters (which won't break, save for band-on versions that have been flexed too much).

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Old 08-09-11, 01:06 PM
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What I would do:

Take all of the vintage parts off of the masi frame. Save them. Upgrade everything to campagnolo 11 speed. Enjoy the best of both worlds!
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Old 08-09-11, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
What I would do:

Take all of the vintage parts off of the masi frame. Save them. Upgrade everything to campagnolo 11 speed. Enjoy the best of both worlds!
A. If he doesn't like the cost of NOS, he's not going to like the cost of Super Record 11.
B. His freewheel is an Ultra-6, which means he's running 120mm. It isn't feasible to cold-set a Gran Criterium (or anything decent, for that matter) to 130mm.

-Kurt
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Old 08-09-11, 01:13 PM
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send me the bike. . .
problem(s) solved!

seriously, there are some good quality used parts available to replace what you have,
the year may not match on all of them but you can build a working bike.
wait, what components are on it? are they worn or do you just not like
them?
If your really unhappy with the old stuff I concur upgrade to campy 11 speed.

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Old 08-09-11, 01:14 PM
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I guess I forgot about the 120mm spacing. I'm too used to cramming a 130mm axles carelessly into my 80's frames! haha.
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Old 08-09-11, 01:19 PM
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It is not that difficult or expensive to get the older parts you require. Plenty of people here including myself have many parts NOS and used.
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Old 08-09-11, 01:20 PM
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What's the budget?

I got a Gunnar Sport, you might want the Roadie
Basically they are off the shelf Waterfords, which
means they are wonderful. They will make an old school fork
if you ask.
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Old 08-09-11, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
A. If he doesn't like the cost of NOS, he's not going to like the cost of Super Record 11.


-Kurt
He can't be too concerned with cost if he's looking at anything from Independent Fabrication.....
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Old 08-09-11, 01:31 PM
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I don't know. Seem to be plenty of good used 70s Campagnolo parts around...
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Old 08-09-11, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
It isn't feasible to cold-set a Gran Criterium (or anything decent, for that matter) to 130mm.
1cm? 10mm? 5mm per side?

I'd like to hear from someone with frame building experience whether or not its a concern. I strongly doubt it is, but I don't have years of framebuilding experience under my belt.
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Old 08-09-11, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
1cm? 10mm? 5mm per side?

I'd like to hear from someone with frame building experience whether or not its a concern. I strongly doubt it is, but I don't have years of framebuilding experience under my belt.
No frame building experience, but I cold set my Gazelle from 120 to 130. I was always under the assumption that 120 to 130 merited a cold set while 126 to 130 could be pulled off just by cramming the other wheel in. In all my reading it seemed like a fairly common practice...
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Old 08-09-11, 01:57 PM
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Thanks guys...yes, a few frame buiilders I talked with (Richard Sachs, PJ Weigle, Ben Serotta) advised against cold setting a Gran Crit. Some looked at it, dubbed it a Confente Masi and said I should never touch the frame, short of having to replace a tube. An attraction of IF is they use stainless steel. I was impressed with their workmanship and the idea of not having to worry about the frame rusting inside out. Don't know about the ride, but have heard raves. Anyone have opinions on stainless, and other builders who use it? In 35 years will I be having the same conversation about hard-to-find parts--but the frame will be as sturdy as the Masi's?
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Old 08-09-11, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by verbs4us View Post
Thanks guys...yes, a few frame buiilders I talked with (Richard Sachs, PJ Weigle, Ben Serotta) advised against cold setting a Gran Crit.
That's all the convincing I'd need. ATMO.
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Old 08-09-11, 02:16 PM
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If those guys said it's a Mario Masi I wouldn't do anything to it.
wait, I would I'd post pictures here. lots of details, lugwork etc.
I'd be interested to see what Repchage says about it, if there's one person
who would know other than maybe Brian Baylis it's him.

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Old 08-09-11, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
I'd like to hear from someone with frame building experience whether or not its a concern. I strongly doubt it is, but I don't have years of framebuilding experience under my belt.
5mm per side, and given that I've been spending quite a bit of time at Mike Terraferma's - not to mention the fact that I've probably cold set more frames and forks than most casual (read = not bike shop mechanics) members - I take that as a bit of an insult.

That said, most variants of Reynolds 531 or Columbus SL can be cold-set by 5mm on each side, but you'll put a small flat spot the seat stays below the brake bridge and possibly flake the paint off in doing so. If the frame were ever cold-set back to 120mm, a trained eye will spot the damage - and if not by eye, by touch.

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Old 08-09-11, 02:24 PM
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I'd speak with Daniele Marnati, a custom frame builder in Milan. He makes wonderful bikes and can certainly do what you're looking for. There are many fantastic builders here as well...you listed a few of them. I'd go to Marnati based on quality vs. price vs. traditional build. Can't get much more like a Masi than a bike made by a master Italian frame builder.
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Old 08-09-11, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
5mm per side, and given that I've been spending quite a bit of time at Mike Terraferma's - not to mention the fact that I've probably cold set more frames and forks than most casual (read = not bike shop mechanics) members - I take that as a bit of an insult.
Be insulted if you like. Its not my fault if you are self-absorbed enough to be insulted that I don't consider you as reliable a source of frame building information as Richard Sachs or JP Wiegle. ATMO


Trained eye this and that. If you actually rode a bike you'd never notice it.
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Old 08-09-11, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
Be insulted if you like. Its not my fault if you are self-absorbed enough to be insulted that I don't consider you as reliable a source of frame building information as Richard Sachs or JP Wiegle. ATMO
Is everyone on this forum devoid of humility this month?

Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
Trained eye this and that. If you actually rode a bike you'd never notice it.
Remind me to put a big fat dent in the top tube of your Team Miyata.

-Kurt
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Old 08-09-11, 02:32 PM
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okay, lets leave the mudslinging to the politicians, or some other group.
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Old 08-09-11, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by lotek View Post
okay, lets leave the mudslinging to the politicians, or some other group.
Mountain bike forum FTW!

-Kurt
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