Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A visit to Masi in Taiwan

Over the past few weeks things have been very quiet on this blog, but it's for good reason, as we paid a visit to Taiwan for the Taipei Cycle Show and to see our valued partners who help to make Masi possible.

At Masi, we really love steel bikes. Steel is where the heart of the brand was born and it is where that heart remains. I won't bother to string together all of the usual buzzwords that are normally used to describe the ride of steel because it just gets tedious after awhile. The fact of the matter is that steel provides an unmatched ride quality for the money. Sure, carbon and aluminum are almost always lighter, but the ride of steel is something that the esoteric Zen masters and the modern performance freaks can both agree upon- it simply outrides any other material pound for pound and dollar for dollar.

All that said, it should come as no surprise that the highlight of our Taiwan expedition was seeing the production of our steel frames.

Gorgeous cast bottom bracket shells; it's something very simple, but it adds an element of dignity and character to the frames.

The "BREV MASI" custom track dropouts modeled after the iconic Campagnolo track dropouts of the 70's/ 80's era. Long enough for multiple gear choices, but stiff enough that you do not lose any of your power output.

The lusciously curved stays of the Speciale road frame- the stays provide stiffness and comfort for a wonderful all day ride.

Super clean welds meet harmoniously with the custom bottom bracket shell; a work of art.

The unmistakably elegant curved frame of the SoulVille. A true thing of beauty and an astonishingly good riding frame as well.

Here we have a rack full of steel forks for multiple models of bikes- some in colors you aren't even supposed to know anything about yet... but I digress.

A row of the very popular Nekkid finished frames used on the Speciale Fixed LTD. Here they are waiting to be assembled and turned into the bike of your dreams. If you've had trouble getting one in the past, help is on the way.

And, here... here we have the Speciale Sprint frames. Made of Reynolds 631 tubing and using the exact same geometry of our Coltello racing frameset, the Sprint is the steel lover's dream track race platform. If racing isn't your gig, it makes for an equally awesome track-inspired fixie. If you've got a box of NJS goodies looking for a home, the Sprint is ready!

The Taipei show wasn't just all warm and fuzzy factory/ vendor time, we did actually have jobs to do in Taiwan during the show. The show serves largely as a way for us to work closely with our various International Distributors- old, new and potential ones. It's the first time we present what we have in store for the coming season's bikes as well. As you can see in the above picture, the Mini-Velo bikes we began developing for the Asian markets- primarily Japan- are really growing into quite a collection. Again, the original development was driven by the Asian markets where these bikes have been popular for several years, but we're getting more and more domestic and non-Asian interest in the bikes... so you just never know where you might find one.

The show and our time in Taiwan visiting with our fantastic vendor partners was a success. We're confident that many more good things lie on the horizon for Masi and it makes the future pretty exciting.


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