Wednesday, December 31, 2008

THEY'RE HERE!!! (sorta)

Just wanted to let a bunch of you very anxious folks know that the Speciale Sprint and Coltello framesets have arrived!
Speciale Sprint; Reynolds 631 steel and awesome race geometry.

Coltello; light, stiff, aero... fast!

Demand for these frames has been very high, so quantities are a little limited on a few sizes. I'll put it this way; if you already had your shop get one on order for you, then you're golden. If not... you might wanna call them today.

As a refresher course; the Coltello and Speciale Sprint share identical geometry and fork offset. The Coltello is the aluminum go fast frame- identical to the frame ridden by current Track Omnium World Champion Hayden Godfrey.

World Champion Hayden Godfrey aboard his Coltello frame.

The Speciale Sprint is identical in geometry, but is built with Reynolds 631 double butted steel tubing. This is identical to the frame I was racing on when I crashed at the end of April- and it's still straight as an arrow!

My own personal Speciale Sprint built up and ready to race... before the crash.

The geometry of the two frames is all about serious track racing with a very high BB for riding on the steepest of tracks. So if you've got a need for some serious speed- or want to build up a completely PRO looking street fixie (without having to buy a retired Keirin frame from Japan)- then look no further than these two beauties!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is it time to race yet?

One of the coolest days of the year for me is when the shipment (or shipments) of team frames shows up. We're very, very proud to be the bike sponsor of the Kenda Pro Cycling p/b Spinergy
cycling team. Today we received the special Team Edition versions of the 3VC Team Issue framesets for the team. Late last week we also received the Coltello Aero framesets.

A year's worth of FAST!

Oh so lovely!

The view most riders in the US domestic pro peloton will be seeing.

Here's a shot of the front of the bike, for those pro's curious to know what the front of the bikes look like.

The Coltello Aero frames... OH SO PRETTY!

I didn't kiss them all... really, I didn't...

Keep in mind, the only thing different between the frames the team rides and the ones you buy is that their frames have a few different decals on them... that's it. They get the same sweet treatment you do. Whether it's carbon or aluminum, what they get and what you get is identical- meaning you get the same awesome frames that the team will be racing to many victories in 2009.

Bring on the race season!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday News

I posted this over on my own blog as well as the new Masi Friends, Fans and Owners page on Facebook, but thought I'd share it here too...

We are in the early stages of finally developing new Masi clothing. Yes, you read that right- there WILL be new Masi clothing before the start of the next century. Once artwork is completed and approved, I will post it here and elsewhere for all to see. I am hoping... HOPING... to have the artwork done by the end of January so that we can hopefully see delivery of the clothing around the April time frame.

Here's the plan;
  • There will be one "Team Masi" kit of jersey and bib short. This will have a retro-themed race look to it.
  • There will be one full-retro jersey. This will have a totally retro/ vintage look and feel to it.
  • There might be a matching "Team Masi" vest or jacket/ wind shell- if there is enough demand for it.
  • Soon after the riding apparel is developed, we will also have a couple of t-shirt designs ready for you.
  • We're also looking at possibly doing a cycling cap, with very retro designing.
  • After much demand, we're also working on getting a few stickers done as well. Possibly a simplified version of the large dealer window decals we have done for years and then possibly just some simple "Masi" lettering stickers and small head badge artwork stickers.
It's been a long, long time in the making, but now that there is a break in the development process, there is finally the time to actually jump on these projects. As soon as we have more to share- we certainly will.

So now you can save all that money Santa leaves in your stocking and set it aside for some sweet Masi goodness!


(UPDATE- 12/21; there is now a poll up on my blog to vote for your preferred article/s of clothing... so go make your voice heard!)

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

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Masi at the races in Taiwan

I was recently in Taiwan for the mini trade events of RideOn and Taichung Bike Week and while there, as part of the Masi launch into Taiwan, I participated in the 2008 NeverStop YangJin P Highway Challenge. The event is a 75km fun ride/ race that crosses three major climbs around the city of Taipei and since Taiwan was created by a volcano, the climbs are plenty steep! Out of the 75km, approximately 50km was uphill. In light of my recent travels around the world and a total lack of training (meaning having ridden about 3 times in 2.5 months), I rode the event in less than ideal shape.

Our distributor for Taiwan has some great connections, so I didn't end up having to do the entire event all by myself. Well, not until I got dropped on the long, steep climbs.

Here's the Team Masi group prior to the start of the event. Second from the right is Fong-ming Chen, the catcher for the Taipei professional baseball team (and Taiwan's Olympic team) La New Bears. He was also part of the brand launch in November. Also somewhere in there is Chien-hong Kuo who is a pitcher with the Bears.

And, since I forgot my camera, here we are AT the finish! A couple folks to point out; on the far left is Simon who works for the distributor and races for a small team in Taiwan- he blew me away by riding the entire event on a Speciale Commuter single speed! Two spaces to the left of me is Mu-yen Ju- 2004 Olympic gold medalist and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in Taekwondo for Taiwan. On my right is Ray-chai Chang, he's an actor in Taiwan who recently won the Taiwanese equivalent of an Oscar as best young actor. He's also a budding director...

Here I am with Mu-yen Ju again... this is obviously after I'd had a chance to rest a few minutes because I am actually smiling again.

There were over 4000 riders in the event and they were riding every conceivable type of bike you can imagine; road bikes, mountain bikes, folding bikes, mini-velo bikes, etc. I was completely floored by the sheer will-power of some of the riders to push their bikes and themselves up each of the major climbs. It was such a wonderful experience to ride with such a large group of people- nobody bothering to size up the other rider's bike to look for the latest and greatest components, etc. There was a sense of camaraderie that is not often found in many other events.

The ride itself was really spectacular in many ways. Taipei is the largest city in Taiwan, but like many cities in Taiwan it is ringed by hills and mountains full of lush green forests and jungle-like vegetation. It was so wonderful to see this naturally beautiful side of Taipei. The rolling hills that went on for kilometer after kilometer. My only complaint is that there were not more kilometers of descending... I was making up pretty good ground, considering my size and the fact that I was riding a standard 53/39 crankset with an 11x26 cassette. I was terribly over geared on the climbs, but I was smoking the downhills!

And the best part of the event...

... I got this cool medal for finishing in less than 7 hours (somewhere around 6 hours).

I can tell you that I am not too proud to admit that in the last 5km, I had to get off the bike and walk a few sections of the final climb, which was 10km long. In fact, even if I had been in shape for the event, it would likely still qualify as the hardest single day I've had on a bike... it was just that grueling!

Here are a few extra pics that I took with my iPhone, so they are not quite as high quality...

A view of the finish line- I was elated to see it!

Simon- he earned more than just a little respect from me for doing this very hard route on a single speed. He was the only single speed I saw in the event... and he was flying up the climbs!

Just before we started the event... before the crying began!

Fong-ming Chen just before we rolled out.

The thousands of riders assembling in the early morning semi-light of Taipei.

The top of the first climb and the first feedzone.

The view of the feedzone on the crest of the second climb.

All in all, though a very long and painful-for-me day, the ride was otherwise spectacular and I would even consider doing it again one day. Given enough time, I might forget just how much it hurt!

To all those along the route who encouraged me and shared in the pain- xiexie ni.


Friday, December 12, 2008

This is how we roll!

Well, technically it is how the Kenda Pro Cycling pb Spinergy professional cycling team rolls... but you can forgive my excitement I'm sure!

Dig the new team car!It would be a dramatic understatement to say that we are extremely proud to be the bicycle sponsor of the Kenda Pro Cycling team for the 4th year now. Since the team's humble professional and elite debut three years ago to the new and improved UCI Continental team, we have always been a very proud sponsor of the team and look forward to watching the wins continue to roll in.

Watch this list of riders throughout the year and see just how much damage the team does on the domestic calendar this year!

UCI Continental Pro Roster:
- Chad Burdzilauskas
- Jaime Gandara
- Bennet van der Genugten
- Remi McManus
- Benjamin Renkema
- Jacob Rytlewski
- Tyler Stanfield
- Timothy Swain
- Scottie Weiss
- Matthew Winstead

USAC Elite Roster:
- Marco Aledia
- James Baldesare
- Jeffrey Braumberger
- Ryan Gamm
- Richard Harper
- Ryan Rish
- Russell Stevenson
- Chadwick Thompson

Stay tuned for more updates on the team thoughout the season- rider profiles, rider posts to the site, video and more!