There is no magic in Masi frame geometry, which is dominated by too much fork rake for the conditions we encounter here in the US as a general rule. The way the frame is constructed is more important regarding the quality of the ride. Since personal preferences vary widely as to what is "a great riding bike"; some like the Masi dimentions, others like myself perfered (in the old days) the Colnago approach. Having had both bikes as a youngster, I noticed immediately that the less rake (about 1 1/2" as opposed to 2 1/8") was a much better design for my taste.
One of the key dimentions for good handeling is the bb height. 10 1/4" seems to be a good general number for road racing style bikes. After that a shallower as opposed to steeper seat angle allows the bike to steer from where the rider is sitting as opposed to turning the handlebars, so to speak. 72 1/2 to 73 degrees works for most applications on road bikes of the medium size. You are stuck with the top tube length of any given bike one buys unless you have one custom built, so hope the tt length is within reason to allow the combination of stem length and saddle position to work out for you. I prefer to establish the ideal stem length for the frame size (considering the saddle is centered on the rails) and make the TT the proper length to fit the rider.
There is no such thing as magic geometry; Italian or otherwise. The key to great bikes is great construction techniques and attention to details. All of that notwithstanding, you still need a Masi for your collection because they represent a piece of cycling history and the work and thinking of a great man. Hope you find a nice one.
4 Masis in my collection in La Mesa, CA.
> I know we should all be concerned with the Middle East and the oil
> companies 1600% profits and the environment, et al.
> However, what I'm concerned about is the mythic Italian geometry of
> the fabled Masi.
> So what are we talking here? Does anyone have the specs for, say, a
> midsize Masi frame? Oh, about a 56 CM. What I'm looking for are
> wheelbase/head and seat tube angles/BB height and drop/chainstay length/fork
> rake and top tube length.
> From these numbers I can start to compare the bicycles I actually have
> and ride and can maybe get just a tad closer to understanding the "Mystique
> of Masi"
> Is there a base concept of Italian road racing geometry and does that
> mean that a DeRosa, Guercotti, Masi, Bianchi, Colnago and any other Italian
> frame you can name, will share similar riding characteristics?
> Be great to eliminate the Masi as something I must have.
> Like electricity this summer.
> Scott "Blackout or Brownout?" Smith