Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good press is always nice.

We're lucky to get some pretty good press from time to time. Each and every mention of the brand is always pretty exciting too- we're still very much trying to grow Masi into a powerhouse brand, so every little bit of good press helps! However, 90%+ of the press we get is in the form of traditional cycling media, so it is always nice to see the Masi name popping up elsewhere from time to time.

Meet the Elephant Journal. In their own words;
elephantjournaldotcom is your guide to what we like to call ‘the mindful life’: yoga, organics, sustainability, genuine spirituality, conscious consumerism, fair fashion, the contemplative arts…anything that helps us to live a good life that also happens to be good for others, and our planet.

Elephant put together a nice Commuter/ City bike shootout recently and Masi got some good love!
Update: just met the lovely Masi Urban commuter bike, it’s the coolest yet–light enough like the Bianchi Milano to jump off a curb and not feel like half the bike’s gonna fall apart—stylish enough to give the Simple City a run for its money, affordable, cool Brooks-like seat, metal fenders (super-stylish), rack-compatible, cork (yes, cork) handlebars…barely a chain guard, which ain’t ideal, but it’s enough to keep your pans or skirt from turning black—an internal crappy hub (hopefully they’ll go Nexus next time ’round) and quick, but grippy tires fit for summertime and the biking is easy or winter and black ice is lurking ’round every bike path corner. I’m in—going to save up and buy prontomissimo, if I go another month on my lovely but heavy and fragile Electra Amsterdam I’m gonna hafta buy a little violin and play it constantly.
It isn't all love and sunshine, but it's a pretty good review just the same- considering the company the bike has in the "smackdown". I'll take it!

Frankly, the review itself is great, but mostly I'm very happy to see such a comparison even taking place- especially in a non-cycling publication. City/ commuter bikes are no longer solely the domain of the weird or those with revoked driver's licenses. Real people are riding bikes as part of their everyday lives. To me, THAT is the part to be shouting about.

Thank you Elephant!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

A little Masi love from across the blogoshpere

Over the past few years, as we've grown the Masi brand back up, the blogosphere has been exceptionally good to us. Yes, sure, I have personally spent a gazillion hours in the blogoshpere trying to cultivate and grow relationships and promote the brand, but I get a huge thrill when I see spontaneous Masi related posts around the world.

This one is from a great little shop in Ft Worth Texas- Panther City Bicycles. These guys have been great supporters of the brand and have a wonderful blog as well. I've met and spoken with Jason and his former partner in the business Bernie a number of times over the years. The community they have built around their little shop is pretty amazing.

And this one is from a blog in Hong Kong called Fixie Pixie. Sincerely, I just love the photos here. The Speciale Fixed and Coltello are both blank canvases for you to create your own masterpiece with. We're pretty happy with these bikes, but I get a much bigger thrill when I see one of our bikes rolling along fully customized by the rider. Just today, while on a ride with my daughter (aboard my SoulVille SS), we saw two different Masi bikes along the way; a Speciale Fixed (orange from a year ago) and a Speciale Commuter (in the Orange Creme). Both were far from stock and showed signs of adequate love. That's the stuff that really gets me!

So to Jason at Panther City Bicycles and the Fixie Pixie, we say thank you for your support!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spreading the Masi love around the world

I just returned on Monday from a whirlwind tour of Asia in Taiwan and Japan. This goodwill tour was all about bringing the Masi word to the masses in Taiwan and Japan- Taiwan being a new market for us, ironically, and Japan being an existing one.

The trip to Taiwan was to assist our distributor there with the introduction of Masi to the local market. The launch was a blend of bikes and fashion, with a "cat walk" feel to it all. To add to the fashion show, the main model was a young woman named Mitsue Nagaya- who models around the world for such brands as Gucci, Fendi and others... and she is now the spokes model for Masi Taiwan.
Here, Mitsue is introducing the Mini-Velo (currently only available in Taiwan and Japan) to the Taiwanese television audience.

The television crew spent some quality time with the bikes just a short while before the catwalk began.

Here, with the nice warm lighting, the Speciale Fixed LTD looks even sexier than usual... if that's possible.

Setting up the lighting and prepping the bikes- their television debut just ahead of them!

Here, the SoulVille 10 is being introduced by Taipei professional baseball player and Olympic team member, Feng-Min Chen. He signed numerous autographs before and after the launch... even more than I did...

Here I am presenting the bikes to the television cameras. Lemme tell you- it's hot under those lights... really hot!

Having a little laugh at the end of the show with Mitsue. She's a very nice young woman and defies the typical stereotypes of super models... AND she knows a good bike when she sees one!

Once done planting the seeds of total domination in Taiwan, I was on a plane to Tokyo for the Cycle-Mode consumer and retailer tradeshow. I attended the same show last year to support our distributor there, Azuma Trading. Since that time a year ago, the Japanese market has become the second largest for Masi USA outside of North America!

Once again, my gracious hosts did a fantastic job of representing the Masi line along with the other brands they distribute into Japan. Masi is in great company with these other brands.

One of the more unique aspects of the Cycle-Mode shows is that it blends retailers and consumers in an expo that also allows test rides of many bikes.

The fleet of demo bikes just waiting for riders...

... and the riders did show up!

This is my "keirin racing brother" and the Coltello he built up to display at the show- it got lots of attention too because he did a pretty cool job of it.

There were Masi bikes all over the place!

A very nicely done display of SoulVille bikes too.

The show felt like a great success and the consumers who rode the demo bikes all seemed to be pretty happy with the experience. Obviously, since I do not speak Japanese I am not totally sure what was being said, but smiles do say a lot.

All in all, I'd have to say it was another great trip for Masi and I am very happy to see more international growth of the Masi brand.