I agree with everything you said, except about ten in the evening. Can't imagine a French industrial worker working until 10PM, not even in the 70's - Socialist trade unions in France you know.
I think maybe the analogy to be made here is to the MGTC versus the Ferrari Testa Rosa, both from the 50's (or maybe early 60's for the Ferrari). The MG, was a lot cheaper and therefore not as nicely finished a the Ferrari. It was also a much more important sports car. That is because it introduced literally millions of people in US and UK to sports cars a a sport, a hobby and a way of life. The Ferrari was nicer, faster, and all around sexier than the MG, but its ownership was restricted to the handful who could afford it, so it was therefore relatively unimportant in terms of its impact on the sport compared to the MG.
The PX-10 holds almost precisely the same position in the history of US cycling that the MGTC or Triumph TR-2 does in regard to the US sports car scene. It was the primary bike that brought millions into the sport and provided spirited and competitive, while still affordable, racing competition. You could also commute and tour on it, just like you could drive your MG to and from the race course. Masi, Cinelli and Colnago never had that sort of impact.
In fact the MG/Ferrari, PX-10/Masi analogy is overly generous to Masi. The Ferrari was clearly faster than an MG and had superior components. A Masi is not one bit faster than a PX-10 and I maintain, despite the honest informed opinion of our good buddy Bill McGann to the contrary, that the Campy components on a typical Masi are not better than the French components on a PX-10. This is even more clearly true if you talk about a PY-10 like Thevenet's with Super LJ derailleurs, Retrofriction shifters and brazeon Mafac Competition brakes. No component of a PX-10 can be compared to Solex carburetors or Lucas ignition. The Masi had a better finished frame, that's all.
kim klakow <Akimbo71@gmx.net> wrote: I believe that for the sake of the argument, one of the more important facts has been neglected. How many bikes did Peugeot produce in 1979, and how many Raleigh? Was the number of Masis even close? Divide the work time of that year by the number of frames produced and you might get an approximate production time for each frame (maybe subtract longer cigarette breaks and the occasional strike for the french, ...). And don't forget that most of the workers were not artisans, but were metalworkers who did this to feed their families, and probably were not even remotely aware that 30-40 years down the road some out-of-shape, not-sure-where-to-spend-their-money, lug-sniffing (I like that one!), picky anglos would get to each others throats about the lump of braze the didn't bother brushing off. And they still had to do ten more that day before going home at ten in the evening. Surely a Brian Baylis can devote much more time to a frame than Jaques or Tom or Luigi, ever could. But then again that is reflected in the price.
A good bike is one that does what it should. Everything from there on is an added bonus.
Some people dig blondes, other redheads, others again brunettes. Would you want to impose your passion upon me? I might like it and take her away, no? Or worse, SHE might like it, ...
-- Kim Klakow
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