“One man junk is another man treasure” What can I say.. nothing really..
Thanks to our contributor/best friend Mr.Bernard photo from his recent trip to Belgium. And thanks to his well connected circle of bike nuts. We will be sharing all the eyes candy here.For confidential, please don’t even bother ask where and who, because we won’t tell you.
PS: I am sorry we had been lack on the post.. but hey, we are still here… :)
Good question, right? Answer: a Masi made by Mario Confente for Alberto Masi himself. Here is the recipe. Take one part Confente, mix liberally with some Alberto. Combine with thinned lugs and some nice REYNOLDS (not a typo), place in jig, braze and file for several days, and then:
As the story goes, this Masi was built by Confente to “in 1971 with my [Alberto Masi's] sizes.” So how do we know such a thing? Well, a letter provided by the man himself tells all the details:
The text reads:
“I declare that this frame Masi Gran Criterium was made by Mario Confente in 1971 with my sizes. The frame was showed at Fiera Ciclo e Motociclo Milano in 1971. Milano 18.02.2010. Alberto Masi.”
A very short yet concise phrase that would have the authors of the MLA Style Manual waving their fingers frantically shouting “shown, SHOWN!”.
But does it matter really? The letter says it all. A frame built by Mario Confente, for Alberto Masi with the purpose of showing it at a trade show. So, not only is it built by a master for a master, but it’s a one of a kind, non-production model made specifically to wow the audiences of a trade show. It’s somewhat akin to the Bruce Gordon everyone drools over at NAHBS, but one zillion times cooler and more rare.
Speaking of trade shows, inside the well packed shipping box (which took about 20 minutes to unwrap) was this photo:
The frame itself is a sight to see up close. The lugwork is impeccable, points thinned to almost nothing. Windows, paint fill-ins. Every little detail thought out and executed with amazing perfection. It clearly shows the signs of a builder with a true gift. It’s one thing to wax poetic on some internet forum about the tragic story of Confente and what a genius he was, but quite another thing to hold one of his frames in your hands and see what the man could actually do.
To call this frame a work of art doesn’t even come close. Maybe it’s the bike geek in me, but it’s truly a well crafted piece of design. Now the problem is, what to do with it? My personal ethics tell me to never own a frame that I cannot ride, but this, what if something happens? A stray squirrel dashes in front of me to get a better look at the well crafted bottom bracket, a pot hole reaches up to feel how smooth the lug transition really is, a hobo offers me a trade of Taco Seasoning for the frame (sorry, inside joke). There is no replacing this thing, yet somehow it doesn’t’ belong on a wall. Well, I guess decisions have to be made, so for now, spend some time with the slideshow below and check back for updates later.
[mbspremium slideshow=1 title="'71 Masi Grand Criterium Built by M. Confente" subtitle="Click Full Screen For High Resolution"]5 comments
Well hello there CycleZine readers. It’s been some time. But my absence has not been in vain. I’ve been working on several bike related projects which I will (hopefully) soon share with ya’ll. At any rate, I’d like to start my return with another installment of “Seen On Ebay”.
This installment highlights another gem on eBay France [archive link]. Something that would be at home with cycling enthusiasts and avid Franklin Mint collectors alike. I present to you, the History of the Tour De France as told in an elegant series of 12 10 commemorative china plates.one comment
As always, we like gossiping and name dropping - but we only do it with nice words for awesome action that are worth mentioning.
So IT’S OFFICIAL!!! our friend Erik Zo , 4 times freight bike world champion, is now officially part of Team Bullitt. He will be taking part in CMWC Tokyo next month.
Last Friday when I heard the news I was really excited, and without hesitation I hopped on my bike and rode to Erik’s house for a more quality chit chat time. Funny thing was, when I entered his workshop the first thing I saw was a brand new Belinky freight bike in the middle of workshop. Erik won the Bilenky freight bike from CMWC 2008 Toronto and it finally made it way to him yesterday.
But back to Bullit business. I have long been fascinated with this rather spacey freight bike. Please stay tuned when I can convince Erik to give a first impression and review on Bullitt. The only thing I can say from looking at their Website, is that the lower center of gravity definitely gives me a solid feeling when hauling ass, and I can tell you, the lower the better. Think about this: would you rather lift a keg of beer just a mere foot from ground to the cargo bed of this Bullitt? or three feet up to a trunk of SUV, get it? I would love to ride one, maybe here or maybe in Tokyo next month. Look at it! mmm Red or Black??? or both…
Below is what Larry VS Harry had to say on their first phone encounter with Erik, quite awesome indeed. Also the picture is Erik grandfather Danish passport.
“I had a call the other day from San Francisco. The guy in the other end was pretty enthusiastic;i t sounded like he was jumping up and down, screaming and laughing. Despite this his presentation was clear. “Myname is Erik Zo and I am the reigning freight bike world champion!”. In the discussion that followed, I realized that he wasn’t only the reigning champ, but four time world champion. What he wished from me was to be allowed to be a part of Team Bullitt at The World Messenger Championship in Tokyo 2009!
We are honoured to be chosen by this legend!!
Not only a pair of excellent legs but also a fantastic personality and best of all: His grandparents were Danish citizens.
So during the championship, Erik will be as Danish as redgred and Bullitt.”
I am a long time fan of CopenhagenCycleChic (CCC) and the Copenhagenized blogs. I must admit that because of these two blogs, I was inspired to start Cyclezine. I am not going to go into a detailed blurb here, but I love his blog because it doesn’t bitch about wearing helmet or not bike riding on the sidewalk, but it is a well thought out visual communication for cycling. His vision is clear. Mikael is a grandmaster in blogging in my eyes. He can relay his words and photos, and use them to tell the story very well, and best of all, it is very entertaining and …
AND while we are on the short subject of bicycle advocacy here – Please ride bike with common sense. Pass that on to people around you, but don’t do it the way that will scare them off. Cyclezine is here to promote cycling how we see it…
I will definitely get a hold of one or two when I return home to San Francisco in August.
Hope you all have a nice long weekend this 4th of July. God bless America and may the force be with you…one comment
In my opinion, the Suntour Superbe Pro track hub was one of, if not the best track hub ever created- this goes for most modern hubs as well. It was a solid, well made, smooth spining hub that has yet to be rivaled.
Chris- a friend of mine, not willing to delve into the dark depths of tubular wheels recently asked me to remove the hubs (coincidentally) from my favorite tubular, Super Champion's Arc en Ciel. Being a well versed cyclist, Chris wanted the hubs properly detensioned from the rims so as not to shock them and ruin them from another build.
As I was taking the hubs to task, I noticed they were a bit different than normal. First off, the decals did not state “Superbe Pro”, but rather just “Superbe”. I know that early SSP was just labeled Superbe, so that wasn't too much of a surprise. But on close inspection I also noticed that the hub barrels carried the same stamp as the original 'Superbe' large flange hub (Campy clone, with cut-outs), furthermore, it carried the same gold decal not found on later SSP hubs.
/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/5bc6e335-4313-4e37-9aa6-da7e071e2a7e.jpg” alt=”Newer Superbe Pro Barrel” width=”500″ />
The last odd thing was that these hubs were NOT sealed bearing as their later versions, but plain old dustcap, ball bearings and cones.
What this looked like to me is that Suntour took the old version of the Superbe hub, skipped the cutouts on the side and repurposed them as the new SSP. This wouldn't suprise me as most people don't realize that Suntour was a bit of a cottage industry and I'm sure they had to make due with the supplies on hand before ordering more. Of course, this is only a theory and others are welcome. Either way, they are a great looking set of hubs.
Lastly. Take a look at this early SSP dealer catalog. Another version of the SSP hub that only read Superbe. These hubs also do not have the traditional 'ring' decal found on the outer flange and they also feature a bulge on the barrel ends reminiscent of early Superbe High Flange track.
I recently picked up this little pamphlet on track racing in France. And with the TDF just around the corner, it seems like it was a good time to post it up.
The title roughly translates to 'Track Cycling – Speed' and it was authored by 4 time [cough] world track champion Lucien Michard.one comment
Whenever I hit a flea market, junk sale, or antique faire, I often pretend I am 9 years old again and head straight for the collectors cards and comics tables. It is a nice attempt at going back in time. Last weekend at the wonderful Alameda Antiques Faire, I happened across these Cycling Sports Cards. I know, they were already featured all across the web on many different bicycle blogs. There is even an online resource where all of them are collected!
This one is nice. Why not have 7 day races and party all week long? Well, the Church says that we all need our rest on the 7th day, just like Christ. Although, I am sure if he knew the kind of parties that they threw in Gent (with all the techno, dancing, and spandex) he would be obliged to lift that little rule and allow the world some fun on the Sabbath for once!
“…bulldog faced Scandinavian.” Who writes this stuff, and how do I get the job? I suppose I need to construct the old Time Machine, first. Once built, I can fulfil the dream of successfully going back in time – just like Huey Lewis and the News sang about.
p>A real favorite of mine, here is the fabulous Eddy Merckx giving a teammate' a propelling push in what I assume is a form of Madison Racing! What I find splendid: Sercu is atop the Pista version of the Team Brooklyn Gios Torino – a rare sight on the track while Eddy is on his famous “Merckx/Molteni Orange” Colnago, complete with his glorious portrait on the headbadge if you look incredibly close. Also, upon magnified inspection, both Belgians are using tied and soldered spokes. PS: Sercu is one of the most widely unrecognized Cyclists around, as far as I'm concerned — dude won something like 88 6-day races, countless world champion stripes, and was quite a looker.
Last up – a subject a bit closer to our own hearts here at CZ – bicycle touring. See that strange double-obilisk rising out of the swelling sea? See the tiny city dotted along the hills in the distance? Yes! A real taste of home, as it was in the 1970s — that there is our fair city of San Francisco, and across the bridge in Marin County. Even better – a weirdly placed Dark Side of the Moon reference to make the entire picture come full circle: psychadelic drugs, clickity drive trains, and fun long rides – That was what life was all about back then, I s'pose. What is refreshing, though, is the spirit conveyed in the copy on the verso of this card reminding us that things have changed a lot in 30 years: “Many riders derive most satisfaction from club or family rides — excursions to places of interest, mystery trips, blackberry outings, etc.” Are we all taking things a bit too seriously now? I haven't been on a mystery trip ever, let alone a blackberry outing. I think it is time to make that Time Machine.
Also, this card became part of my collection 5 or so years ago but I forget when/where/how I actually received it.