Not to go to deep into a passionate subject,
I host one of the world's most disorganized (is there any other kind) used bike shops in our burg of Raleigh NC. While we sell a few new bikes the bulk of our store is used and we like it that way.
It is interesting to (try to) read our customers on their desires. So many (not enough) have romantic visions of the bikes they lusted after in their youth. Pressed noses again shop windows filled their heads with dreams of Tour De France conquest of flying down the road in absolute freedom that seems impossible on their department store flyer. So many come by looking to view or buy the bike of their younger years and the dream bike they one day hoped to own but could not hope to afford at the time.
I believe that this is why so many list members covet bikes like the Paramount, Raleigh Pro and the fine old International (among others) as these were in the best shop windows, among few other high caliper compatriots and therefore became the sought after bikes decades later as they hold a mystique. The other class of cycle luster may be the person who owned and old bike, had many good times with it (even a lowly Schwinn Varsity), sold it and regretted the decision to part with it later.
Just a few observations. In reality, The Waterford and the Masi both have fine heritage's, and if we reach to the Paramount days many victories internationally (Sheila Young and Sue Novara didn't do bad on Paramounts). The much lauded Hetchins has been built by many people it seems and still retains much collectible value. Masi built by whoever (even Mario) and on both sided of the Atlantic over the years will always have a certain measure of desirability.
Some on the list may feel that the Waterford is technically better built bike than the Masi, American precision perhaps. Others perhaps not. They are most certainly fine riding bikes if matched to an individuals needs. I have not compared recent examples side by side but upon close inspection the Waterford frame is very fine indeed.
I will make a profound statement next. The reason the Waterford is less desirable than the Masi to our humble group has nothing to do with ride, quality of build, alignment or reputation. The lack of any chrome plating, pantographing, fancier paint and most important; decals that please the eye hold this machine back. A sporty headbadge would not hurt either. I feel that a Waterford with old time Guercoitti(sic) or Masi style transfers would be easier to sell today and much more desirable later.
Nail on the head or head on the nail, you decide.
In a message dated 9/5/01 8:59:41 AM, email@example.com writes:
<< For fear of stating the obvious, much of the value of a classic bike (new or vintage) is in the eye (or soul) of the bike aficionado. A Bike must trigger in you some kind of musical resonance. A particular kind of lug must resonate with you, must unleash beautiful memories, must wrap around your soul and make you a wide eyed youth again. The bike that attracts you says a lot about your bikeducation and knowledge of bichystory. You can't fault a young man for loving an up to the minute aluminum road model because his exposure may only allow him to make distinctions based on what he has seen. A Cannondale with super smooth welds makes a rippled welded bike look crude. A cotterless crank makes a bike with a cottered version look like the recipient of hammered aggression ( I know this one will raise flames from lovers of pounded history).
Then there is the element of sweat equity. A bike that you have sweat away your life on, will always have a special place in your life. Here the spirit of the rider imbues the steel with a soul if didn't have before. For this reason, I will always have a warm affection for Sturmey Archer three speed transmissions.
There is the special history that a particular bike has with you. Where and who were you in space and time when you first saw a Paramount? Owning a Paramount may bring you closer to being that man (or woman) again.
Masi or Waterford? I'd have to go Masi, which for me has history, beauty and mystique. Waterford is crystal, isn't it?
By the way, I believe that Sheldon Brown has earned the right to own a Raleigh mountain bike. Ugly as they may be, they are fun, if you don't mind becoming a paraplegic when you slam into a tree or fall off a twenty foot hill. I sometimes fell three times an hour, before I sold mine. These things maybe real collectors items one day, as the majority of them self distruct from impact and become bike store dumpster decorations in a few years.
Garth, still not as fast as the fastest peloton monsters around here, but not giving up on my 531c Raleigh, Libre. >>