I think the popularity of Masi in the US is in large part based on the fact that an amazingly large number of top US framebuilders or other influential members of the classic bike community were personally involved in building US Masis at one time or another or were personally acquainted with Mario Confente. I think it is that personal connection of key people that gives Masi a higher status that other top Italian bikes. If Masis had ben built in Ireland rather than the US, they might be sought after in Ireland or even in UK, but in the US they would probably have been no more popular than DeRosa or Cinelli.
Jerry Moos Houston, TX
email@example.com wrote: All the discussion is fun and as usual I agree with some and not with other points. About the future bringing other notable bikes up into the range of the current Masi frenzy, I don't think so. It is a hit and miss proposition at best. I, like others enjoy the folklore attached to certain bikes and it does create a true inflation in value to a point.
Ebay changed the rules. I was not fortunate enough to be a part of this area of bicycle collecting before Ebay. I was collecting the balloon and muscle bikes pre-Ebay. Ebay came out and all of a sudden, stuff I had been sitting on went through the roof and I was suddenly a player in these two generas.
I then drifted into the dark world of road/race/touring bikes. Well I was sort of pushed (thanks Steve). I enjoy this more than the balloon and muscle bikes because of the variety and the more civilized collector community. I do have a word of caution. Early on, the balloon and muscle bikes were on fire on Ebay then someone threw a pail of water on them. I use to have people writing me on a regular basis for some of the bikes and parts I have. They were willing to trade anything and give me crazy cash. Like a miser I held on thinking it could only get better. Well I hate to say it but many of those same bikes and parts cannot even get a bid today for half of what I was offered in the past.
You may ask why? I have my opinions and thoughts. Ebay created the immediate frenzy because suddenly the whole world could see what bikes I had. They knew that if they tried to buy it at a local swap or privately it would cost a small fortune. Also the quantity of good examples of bikes was limited to ones geography. Now more bikes slowly appeared from around the world so demand outpaced supply initially and prices skyrocketed.
I think the same thing is happening here in this genera. The road/race and touring stuff is really new to Ebay compared to the other two areas of collecting. Because this community is more disciplined, it was slower to adopt the crazy world of the web. Demand is still high with tough competition from Japan and other places in Europe. But I see the signs of erosion already. Masi is a good example. As the prices climb more and more come out of hiding and hit ebay. Many of you have noticed this and commented on it already.
Last year a late model Bridgestone RB-1 (sorry for time line violation) was going for over a grand each on ebay. Today you can get one for $500 or less in great condition. Paramounts were out of site for a good early version but I see them creeping down. The old supply demand curve is always at work. Mojo be damned, if we continue to see more and more of these showing up on Ebay the price will fall. It may take a bit longer due to the unusual demand but I believe it will happen. I don't know the annual production of the Gran Crit but there were probably enough to satisfy this group a few times over. Will you pay as much for your second GC as you did for your first? Are you holding onto one you got at a bargain waiting for the price to climb even higher.
Either way, they are a pretty bike and I would like to have one but I am going to wait a while and see what happens. I will try and use history and experience in my favor. I also will not be heart broken if I am wrong.