This has been gone over a number of times in this forum and I think it is correct to say that collectively we've come to the conclusion 1967 (his last season) was the first one he'd had Masi build frames for him... He rode Peugeots for the vast majority of his time riding for Peugeot. Peugeot certainly by the 1970s had a race department that built excellent frames.
To take another example I don't think anybody would dispute that the frames that came out of Bianchi's race department were excellent...
To put down the large builders' frames as rubbish misses the point - they were built to price points that less wealthy riders could afford - and importantly were built with a different purpose in mind. They were not intended as race bikes but as bikes that would serve day in day out the daily needs of their riders. Most from Raleigh and Dawes did this extremely well. Even Hercules which were cheaper than Raleigh or Dawes fulfilled the purpose of every day transport splendidly and were great value for money.
Hilary Stone, Bristol, British Isles
Anthony Taylor wrote:
> In the book "Put me back on my bike", the biography of Tommy Simpson, it is reported that he, like many top pros, had frames built for him by Masi, and painted in his team colors.
> Tends to add weight to the "rubbish" reputation of the mass producers......
> Tony Taylor
> Manchester, NH
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Sun, February 7, 2010 7:56:50 PM
> Subject: Re: [CR] TTs and Dawes.
> Watching one of my favourite cycling films again (and with 26 inches of snow here it's as close to cycling as one can get), the Dunlop film on the 1952 Tour of Britain, one sees teams organised by some of the big "rubbish" British cycle manufacturers... Hercules, BSA, Viking and even lowly Speedwell... and with Britain's top roadmen riding for them. And of course didn't Eileen Sheridan not only ride a Hercules but had a cycle named after her? I think Hercules was the earliest of the big British cycle companies to sponsor a road team. And later of course Falcon, another rubbish brand, had a reasonably successful team as did Holdsworth. I am not sure if Holdsworth cut the mustard either, wasn't it and Carlton seen as a bit downmarket among the oognoscenti?
> The point being did any of this lessen the "rubbish" connotation of these big mass market firms with British clubmen? And was it one of the reasons these manufacturers opted to sponsor teams? Certainly Bianchi, Peugeot, Raleigh, Motobecane and Gios (all of which could be viewed as rubbish firms which like Dawes sold lots of bikes at all price points and almost all off the peg) derived huge marketing advantages sponsoring teams or in the case of Moto and Gios, being indeliably associated with the Bic and Brooklyn teams respectively. But they sold mostly to Continental and American customers not British ones. Even Tommy Simpson rode almost all rubbish big manufacturer French iron in his pro career, first Gitane and then Peugeot, and I gather he's rather well regarded is he not? Or was his reputation enhanced because he won riding rubbish and, worse, foreign rubbish at that?
> Peter Kohler
> Washington DC USA