Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gran Criterium

The Masi Gran Criterium. It is hard to imagine a model in the brand's very long history that has as mythical a reputation as the Gran Criterium. Innumerable races have been won aboard the legendary bike, not to mention the cult-like following the bike has developed over the many years it has existed. In 1979, the hero of the Academy Award winning movie Breaking Away* rode a Masi Gran Criterium. Dave Stoller may have been a fictional character, but the Gran Criterium remains as one of the most sought after and admired bicycles of the past four decades.

The Gran Criterium that we build now is what we like to call a "neo-classic" creation; the same heart-stopping good looks as the bikes made nearly 40 years ago, with a modern twist. The current Gran Criterium uses our lightest, custom shaped aluminum tubing, paired with light and stiff carbon seat and chain stays. Bolted to the frame is a budget-friendly parts mix that doesn't compromise performance. The updated SRAM Rival drivetrain and Ritchey wheels, bar and stem are 100% race worthy.
2009 Masi Gran Criterium

What really sets the Gran Criterium apart from other bikes that try to seek to be compared to it is the carefully reproduced vintage graphics and paint color. Those who know will recognize the graphics and the beautiful Vintage Blue paint color. It makes for a breathtakingly beautiful bike! We began this "reproduction" series last year with the amazing "Purple People Eater" edition Gran Criterium- we used the same purple color that was used on the Masi Team 3V race bikes of the late 80's- early 90's. The bikes were ridden by some of the strongest riders in the world, hence the nickname of Purple People Eater.

2008 Gran Criterium

The Gran Criterium is an all day bike, happiest when the miles are long and the road is twisty and hilly. The Gran Crit' uses the longest of our top tubes- and for good reason. The longer top tube allows the use of a shorter stem, which pulls the rider's weight off of the front wheel and puts it back over the rear wheel where it belongs. Bikes with short top tubes and long stems put the rider's weight over the front wheel, causing the front end to feel "twitchy"- especially when cornering because the rider is always having to fight over steer. By using the longer top tube combined with the shorter stem, you're still able to achieve a nicely stretched out "racing position". However, the rider's weight is over the rear wheel where it does the most good, supplying excellent seated power transfer- perfect for climbing. This also gives the front end a very light but smooth feel that is agile, but steady and never twitchy. When pointed downhill, you can practically feel the bike smiling!

2009 Gran Criteriums will be arriving soon. If anything like the 2008 version, it should be a hotly sought after bike. So see your retailer to make sure you get yours ordered today... before they're all gone!


*Academy Award for Best Screenplay

1 comment:

Joe Marinelli said...

Very nice. I dig the retro look. If you are really looking to stick to the neo-classic themes, perhaps you could offer a lugged steel road bike for 2010. I'm imagining cherry red paint, chrome/silver lugs on the head tube, a silver seat post and some silver retro looking wheels........