Thursday, September 21, 2017

Masi Gran Criterium Classico 2018

Masi Bicycles (USA) have just released their 2018 range of bikes at the 2017 Interbike Show that was held in Las Vegas. Amongst the various new Masi models is a definite standout for 2018 being the Gran Criterium Classico.

With the renewed interest of vintage cycling Masi have reissued an authentic vintage replica of its ever popular Gran Criterium model.

To show you how authentic this replica is I have posted an image of a 1972 Masi Gran Criterium directly below this text....and below that is an image on the new 2018 replica model.

1972 Masi Gran Criterium

2018 Masi Gran Criterium Classico

Quite an astounding likeness that should resonate very well with vintage cycling fans. 

Although the 1972 model was fitted with only Campagnolo and Cinelli components, the 2018 model carries a mixture of Campagnolo, Ene Ciclo (by Dia Compe) and Cinelli components......a well selected mix of what todays market offers in terms of 'new' vintage cycling componentry.

The frame of the 2018 model is a faithful reproduction of its original edition. Here are some images of the new model...

Cinelli 1A quill stem and Giro D'Italia handlebars.

1 inch threaded headset

Forward facing rear dropouts

Masi "M" cutout on bottom bracket.

Chromed crown on the replica fork.

The champagne colour of the new model is a very traditional Masi colour which has been beautifully replicated. 

For me the outstanding features of the frame are the long forward facing rear dropouts and the Masi "M" logo that has been cut into the underside of the bottom bracket.

The decals are fantastic replicas and I also love the front fork with a traditional chromed crown that is true to the original GC models.

Previous Masi Gran Criteriums have only carried A-head stems so it's great to see that this more traditional model has a threaded 1 inch headset for quilled stems.

The new model has only just been released in the US so it'll available for purchase from the Masi Bikes website fairly soon. I notice that it is sold as a complete bike on the Masi website for US$2720.00, but I'm hoping that they will eventually sell the GC Classico as a frameset as well.

The 2018 Masi Gran Criterium Classico is currently available at Adrenaline Bikes in both forms: The complete bike can be purchased for US$2499.00 and the frameset for US$1099.00.

Frameset available at Adrenaline Bikes

Well done Masi....

Ride safe.

James @ PVC

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

1949 Bianchi Zaffiro

Here's an old Italian classic by Bianchi called the 'Zaffiro'. The word 'Zaffiro' can be translated to 'sapphire' in English which is the name given to a valuable blue gemstone that represents wisdom and royalty. The sapphire has often been considered as the gem of all gemstones. 

A very popular town bicycle in Italy and throughout Europe during the 1940's and 1950's, the Bianchi Zaffiro model came only in black or Bianchi Celeste blue.

Badge on the head tube.

This 1949 model came with Bianchi's own branded hubs, crankset, handlebars and headset. The 28 x 1 5/8 chrome rims were made by Maccari (Torino) and the freewheel and chain were manufactured by Regina. 

You can see by the photos below that the tyres are by Pirelli and the original leather saddle is by Aquila.....although it does appear that the leather saddle has been re-upholstered (new stitching).

The Westwood profiled chrome rims are slowed down with rod brakes that are fitted to the frame. Of course rod brakes force a rider to plan their journey wisely. 

There's no stopping in an emergency here!!! Rod brakes aren't very effective and you'll need at least 10-15 metres of clear level roadway in front of you to brake safely on a dry day. 

Riding this bike in the hills on a wet day would be lethal! Don't even bother throwing gravel into the equation as was usually the case in the 1940's.

Bianchi decal on chain case.
Not many of these have made it to Australia so you'll need a lot of luck to acquire one from a garage sale.

Down tube decal

Seat tube decal

Given its manufacture date of 1949 this all original example is in exceptionally good condition and would be a pleasure to ride along a coastal boulevard in the spring time. 

Until next time...ride safe.

James @ PVC. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Perth Retro Bicycle Show 2017 - The Event

Saturday 15 July 2017 will be remembered for two very memorable cycling events. 

One of those important memorable events of course was the Perth Retro Bicycle Show that was held at the North Perth Town Hall. What a great day for retro cycling enthusiasts! 

About 80 pre-2000 dated road bicycles, including a selection of vintage cycling memorabilia and clothing was on display for the general public to see. An enthusiastic crowd spilled through the doors of the historical circa 1930's suburban town hall and many were very impressed with the high quality of beautiful retro bicycles on display. 

All the usual suspects were present - Colnago, Wilier, Raleigh, Eddy Merckx, and De Rosa, just to name a few. 

Here are some images that capture the day....

There were four competition categories but the 'Best Bicycle on Display' as voted by the general public award was the most prestigious. The winner of the award was a magnificent 1990's Wilier Cromovelato that is owned by Greg, one of the show organisers. 

The below images of the Wilier does not convey the beauty of the bike which is amazing to see in the flesh. A fantastic example well worth the accolade.  

Congratulations to organisers John, Greg, and Cameron (Cyclecolor) for arranging the day that was greatly appreciated by all bike owners and those who attended the event. 

The second memorable cycling event of the day was the amazing efforts of Michael Matthews who won Stage 14 of the Tour De France bicycle race. What a great stage won by a true Australian cycling champion - well done Bling - the green jersey beckons!!

Stage 14 TDF victory for Michael Matthews.

Safe riding,

James @ PVC

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Zeus 2000

We all know that bicycles manufactured in Italy, France, England and Belgium are special, however it's easy to overlook the fact that the Spanish also have a serious love affair with bikes. 

The Spaniards are as passionate about cycling as the rest of us and their cycling history clearly shows this to be the case.

The 'Zeus' brand (pronounced Zoose i.e. Loose with a 'Z') was founded by Luis ARREGUI in Spain around 1926. This makes the brand about 10 years older than Campagnolo. 

Zeus was a complete bicycle manufacturer and was the only bicycle manufacturer in Europe to make its own bicycle frames and bicycle components, thus manufacturing complete bicycles.

Zeus made many attractive and exotic components, and in the eyes of some were often accused of copying Campagnolo - perhaps the Italians were a little jealous! Zeus ceased manufacturing bicycles in the early 1980's due to the highly competitive bicycle market.

The brand had many outstanding features, the most obvious feature was that because they made their own components many of the components were pantographed with the Zeus branding.

Here is a well maintained example of a rare Zeus 2000 series bicycle from the early 1980' was one of their final magnificent creations!! 

You'll notice The Zeus pantographing on the headset, brake calipers, derailleurs, fork crown, cranks, and even the crank bolts....if they made it, they had it pantographed!! 

And for your ongoing pleasure there's also a bit of 'drillium' on the chainrings, rear derailleur and brake levers.....

...and this fine example supports a brown suede Zeus racing saddle and is presented to you in the famous colour of Molteni orange!

Ride safe...

James @ PVC