Sunday, November 14, 2010

Visit to Mavic

Last week I made my annual visit to Liquigas-sponsor and Cannondale partner Mavic. We did the usual contract details, material requests and questions... all after a very nice French lunch! Ivan Basso joined in the trip, as Mavic had organized a "day of champions" presentation to their staff with a number of guests also from the mtb and tri worlds.

Part of this included a nice presentation of the company's history projected onto a wall. From this, I was greeted by the usual ball-busting by mechanic-to-the-stars Archetti and Mario Scirea, when this photo came up... "Hey Masini, that's you!"

In fact, it was Antonin Magne, the first winner of the Tour de France on an alloy (Mavic-made) rim. From Mavic's site - "In the 1934 Tour de France, Antonin Magne tested these new rims in the utmost secrecy–they were banned by the rules, and so were painted in wood colors. Antonin Magne won the yellow jersey."

Ciclomuseo Gino Bartali

I recently had the chance to get to the Bartali museum in Ponte a Ema, just south of Florence. Once you're lucky enough to find it, try your luck at finding a parking spot in this tiny little village!

Once inside, you'll work your way up to the second floor, which houses various memorabilia of not only Gino, but various vintage bikes, photos, jerseys... the usual. There were three bikes in particular that were of interest to me. One was the Galmozzi-made track bike, which was under glass so the photos didn't turn out. Same goes for an early Bartali model. But I did manage to salvage this one... a Bartali mounted with the Nieddu-made Cervino shifter. Towards the end of his career, Gino invested into this system, which would eventually fade from memory after the introduction of the Campagnolo derailleur.

The museum is definitely worth the trip if you are near Florence. While not as bike-centric as the Bevilacqua collection, it has a decent amount of equipment to go along with the immensely important history of Gino.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cicli Masini, Serial Number 001!

Well, not exactly. This is the design that's in my head at least. That old green Paris-Roubaix frame should eventually turn into this. Call it my winter project. I hope to have a P-R bike, the Galmozzi Cambio Corsa, and after coversion - the Legnano should be my Vittoria-Margherita example. In my book, that's the big three from Italy as far as shifting systems go.

Details on this will be a handmade head tube badge and an carved Brooks saddle. Ciocc keeps threatening to see if he can't immortalize the brand with an old-school metal hinged logo mask for the downtube. Check the photo of the example he pulled out - Cicli Gamba, mod. Record.

I sanded the frame already and it looks great. The fork was rough and didn't match the lugs at all. Ciocc found another one for me that was nicer but still not a perfect match. I'm going with that one. He bent the legs out a bit and will put on the much-older dropout for me. Anyone have a better match for the "Riviera" style lugs?