Re: [CR]Masi USA built quality verus italian built Masi's ?

(Example: Production Builders:Frejus)

From: <"brianbaylis@juno.com">
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 07:57:43 GMT
To: cnighbor@pacbell.net
Subject: Re: [CR]Masi USA built quality verus italian built Masi's ?
cc: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

Charles and all,

First, regarding the relative quality of the workmanship between CA Masi s and Italian Masis. The CA Masis are deffinitely more consistant in qua lity. Some were extremely nicely made, some were not quite as good. Afte r all, some of them have my fisrt attempts at shaping lugs as well as se veral other people. But the lug filing after the frames were brazed was quite excellent most of the time and was the work of two people; my raci ng buddy, and roomate, and fellow musician, David Van derlinde. The othe r main filier was Chuck Hoefer, who still owns a very successful bike sh op in Carlsbad, CA. The relative inconsistency of the Masis built in Ita ly is accounted for by the fact that they were built by a number of sub -contractors; Mario Confente being one of them. The CA frames were built in a single workshop/factory by a crew of probably around 8 to 10 peopl e at any given time. The workshop was under the direction of Faliero him self for the first 6 months. This would be the period during which Falie ros mistress was here with him. Which recently became the origin of a fu n little joke sprung at this past Cirque.

So not only were the CA frames built in one shop; the construction was o verseen by Mario and Faliero. But one of the key persons responsible for the overall quality of the early CA frames was the painter, Ron Smith. He taught the people who were doing some of the filing operations. Mario taught me some also. That's were the story actually comes from. I was s hown by Mario doing a sample front dropout to forkblade filing operation . It was the first filing operation I was allowed to learn (after spendi ng a time building wheels, mounting tires, sub assembling parts for assm ebly of bikes). After the first hour or so after the demonstration by Ma rio, he returned to inspect what had been done. Not much damage could be done in one hour considering there were probably 200 fork blades on tha t table where my filing station was. I was going slow and taking my time , trying not to muck something up. There were nine filed fork blades now on the table. My first 8 were there. Mario picked each one up and looke d it over. One was singled out and his comment was something to the effe ct "this one is no good". I looked back at him and said in my nieve 20 year old ignorance "That's the one you did", before I realized that by his reaction that was probably not the best thing to say. But it was his . All of mine looked the same, since I did them. It was so obvious. Anyw ay, to me it's just one of my favorite funny stories about what really h appened there back then. From there I went on to do all kinds of stuff, as you've all heard before; blah, blah, blah. I even swept the floors, j ust like everyone else did, 15 min. before we went home every day.

As far as how many people left Masi to become well know American framebu ilders. That number is 3. So the statement that many respected American builders came through Masi is a misconception. For sure there were far m ore famous (or whatever) builders have come from the Albert Eisentruat s chool of framebuilding (speaking both literally and figuratively). Mike Howard and Gian Simonetti working for Medici/Recht and myself. The numbe rs from Eisentraut are staggering.

For the record. Yes, the CA Masis are in many cases perhaps a higher qua lity of workmanship. That doesn't make the Italian Masi a lesser bike. I would take an Italian Masi over a CA Masi in a heartbeat any day, and f orever. The stock has risen markedly in the recent decade as Charles men tioned and the value and level of appreciation has come to a level equal to what they deserve. They do not deserve to be more valueable than an Italian Masi ever, except possibly in the rarest of cases. I personally have never liked the CA Masis that much, even though they may at times h ave some superior charactistics. The true heart and soul of a Masi is al ways Italian. The CA Masi is a unique hybred and has it's place in histo ry for sure. But Italian Masis are the real deal. Period. End of story.

The white and red Masi that the discussion was about, I think is is very fine original condition. Repainting is OUT OF THE QUESTION in my opinio n. There are a few small issues like the rear chainstay is broken off. N ot that big of a deal. You could leave as is or under the correct condit ions restore the original finish and do a touch up on the repaired stop and any other small issues. That will cost at least $500, but the frame is obviously worth way more than $500 as it sits. A few parts need to be replaced if you want it back close to original, but not that much. That bike is a pretty nice piece from my experience. Best color for increase d value there is, also.

I think that covers it. Hope that helps keep the records straight. Oh ye ah, and screw you, Ken.

Brian Baylis
La Mesa, CA


-- "Charles F Nighbor" wrote:


Is a California and USA built Masi'sa better built frame in workmanship

Masi's built in Italy by the Masi"s. In my opinion looking at both (and

it is a lot of USA Masi's) I vote for USA built

A lot of the big name US frame builders came from CA Masi. B. Baylis for

one. Brian mentioned to me once when he was hired at CA Masi he was

asked to make 20 more copies of a lug filed by an Italian in charge.

The Italian came back after Brian was done looked at all 21 lugs 20 by

Brian 1 by the Italian but all lugs mixed up now in pile and told Brian

this one was no good. It was the one by Italian My Italian Masi (not by Masi's) is very nice but I seen a lot of CA

Masi's and they are over the top.

I am interested in your opinions
Charles Nighbor
Walnut Creek, CA