Wednesday, April 8, 2009

MASI, and the Velodromo Vigorelli

MASI, which is famously underneath the Vigorelli track, now faces the possibility of having to move in the future as plans for a new Vigorelli move forward (see yesterday's blog entry).

It was Faliero Masi that started the shop here in the early 1950s. His son Alberto Masi, continues to this day building frames under the velodromo. Masi, along with Colnago, Pinarello, De Rosa, are among the great families names of Italian cycling.

To be sure there is some confusion today regarding the MASI brand that is worth clarifying. As explained by Greg Hohn, importer of Alberto Masi frames (

"In 1972 Faliero, (deceased December, 2000) sold the MASI trademark to a consortium in California in order to produce the original Gran Criterium model frame exclusively for the U.S. market. The elder Masi's intention was to work in California, but disenchanted with the American lifestyle he returned to Italy to live out his retirement years abandoning his beloved workshop at the Velodromo Vigorelli in Milan. Alberto, however, felt obliged to support the many clientele world wide who sought the best artisan produced racing bicycles and kept the doors of the Vigorelli open. For it was here that frames had been built for countless champions such as Merckx, Anquetil, Adorni, and Simpson. Now the patrons included Miquel Indurain, Claudio Chaipucci, Stephen Roche, and Greg Lemond. Until the mid 1980's the Vigorelli supplied a small number of frames to America but due to irreconcilable conflicts concerning design, materials, and quality of workmanship Alberto severed his relationship with his American importer who preferred to build or buy frames of inferior stature."

Alberto Masi frames are sold under the brand of MILANO as he cannot use the MASI trademark.

As for the the mass market frames we see with the MASI brand today let's just say that they have nothing to do with the Vigorelli.

Photos: Christmas bike show 2008 at MASI at the Vigorelli

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