Sunday, May 21, 2006

"Stepping on landmines" or "how to piss people off"...

Once again, there is a discussion going on (nearly every day) about "real Masi" or "fake Masi"...

I should really just leave this topic alone because there is no way I can win the argument with the people who believe that the current Masi bikes/ frames are nothing like the originals, or that any Masi that isn't somehow touched/ blessed/ designed/ or otherwise sanctified by Faliero Masi himself is worthless. I won't argue with anybody that those frames, from the halcyon days of Masi, are some of the very finest examples of the art of bicycle frame creation. It was the Masi Gran Criterium that made me lust after bicycles and want to race them when I was the impressionable age of 12. Those bikes have a very real and dear place in my heart. I can understand the passion people have for them... probably more than many other people. (That is, after all, why I feel so very fortunate to have this job.)

Here's the biggest issue to me; you can say what you want about the bikes not fitting into your very narrow picture of the world and what you personally believe to be a good bike, but why not allow the people who enjoy the current bikes enjoy the bikes they spent their money on? Why make them feel inferior to you or feel like a fool for enjoying their bike? Basically, why be an ass? I understand that you don't like the "modern" Masi and feel that it is an abomination to you, but let the people who do enjoy the bikes keep riding their bikes happily. After all, isn't that what we all want- people enjoying riding bikes? Please, get off your high horse and let people enjoy riding their bikes.

Another issue I take with this is that some of the people making negative comments are people that I have a lot of respect for. People who I thought very highly of. People who I thought were above such negative sniping. Honestly, I feel let down. I don't know why I do- probably because I'm naive enough to think I can reach an "agreement to disagree" with somebody and let the other person live with their opinion. No harm- no foul. I guess that I'm wrong.

As I've been saying for a long time now; if you can afford to have a custom frame made for yourself, then do it. You'll likely never have a better riding bike than one that is made to measure. Unless the builder is sloppy or cross-eyed, a custom frame will always ride better than anything else. However, if you don't have the money or desire to have a custom frame made, then ride what either appeals to your wallet, your heart, your eyes or your sense of personal expression.

As for the current, "modern" Masi, I am supremely confident you will think it is one of the best riding bikes you've ever ridden and I am very, very honored and proud to get to be the guy who represents the public face of the company. I honestly love what I do and can't believe my good fortune that I get to be one of the people responsible for trying to maintain a rich and wonderful history. I make no apologies for the bikes I sell and gladly stand them up against any other bike.

I sincerely hope that any bike you buy and ride makes you happy for many years and that you smile every time you throw a leg over the top tube and ride along your favorite roads (or trails). Sure, I hope you choose to buy a Masi, since that is what pays my bills and feeds my wife and kids, but I hope that you enjoy any bike you get to ride... and I say that with all sincerity. And I promise I won't call you a fool for your choice.



blue squirrel said...

give'em hell tim.
i am from san diego and i rode a hand made 'san diego' masi and it was a great steel bike for it's day. if i had a choice as to what i would ride or race today, it would be a 'modern' masi, oh wait, that's right i own 3 of them and ride one of them everyday. i love the old masi's, just like i love old porsche's, but even porsche had to modernize or die. get a grip people, pick up a modern economics book and learn about reality, compete or go out of business. every morning when i don my 'modern kit, i smile all the way down the road, thankful that i get a chance to ride a 'modern masi [and a modern chamois ;-)]

wehyroeujel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Unreal, when are folks gonna understand that it's all about the riding.

I'm so tired of the Euro elitist conceit that passes for analysis by many so called cycling aficionados.

Oh, the workshop stories I could tell about poorly designed and put together bikes from a few well known traditional Italian builders.

Bernie said...

Do you think he's mad because he thinks you've stolen "his" color scheme? I can't imagine why else he'd care about 25 frames. Isn't his wait list like two years or something? It's not like you're cutting into his sales.

Tim Jackson said...

First of all, thanks for the support from those who support the brand or the idea of the brand. The deleted comment came from a friend who felt he got a little too "heated" in his remarks. I personally didn't think so, but he did and I respect that. Thanks for the support Ted.

Second, I want to make it clear that I am not attacking anybody. I just want to live and let live so we can all enjoy the bikes we ride and not call anybody names or question judgement.

Lastly, really this is the honest-to-God truth; I just want people to enjoy riding whatever bike they ride. If you are a collector of vintage or custom bikes, then you probably don't want a "modern" Masi. If you want a great riding bike with a great history, then I have a great bike for you. Nobody, that I know of, is calling for Bianchi to close their doors because they aren't the same frames made by Eduardo Bianchi from 125 years ago.

Let's all just relax and remember what we are talking about here; bicycles. This isn't cancer research or the struggle for world peace (or even whirled peas). Let's all just play with our toys, which they are, and try to act like grown-ups.

Sound like a deal?


Dave Moulton said...

Look at it this way Tim, at least people are talking about Masi.

stickboybike said...

And how about those telephone thingys. Why aren't they rotary? Buttons, common! Common, before you know it we'll be talking to people that aren't there anymore. We never had no voice mail, if we wanted to reach someone we yelled out the window at the top of our lungs until our throats were bleeding. And there we sat with our rotary phones and bloody voice boxes hanging out of our mouths and we liked it that way!

Evolve people. Bikes and music are art, it's pointless to say the Gorillaz last album was better than the Chili Pepper's new double disc. What a frame manufacturer did and now has behind backing it is the spirit of the bike. Bikes are art, bikes are love. Love it or leave it for someone else to ride.

Mr. Jackson if your nasty. \m/

hecklejack said...

My bike says MASI on it and it is fast as HELL...thats all that matters to me...oh yeah it looks real cool too.

Yokota Fritz said...

It's like the early days when the Internet began opening up to the Unwashed Masses. The old-timers griped and complained and whine about all the new folks flooding newsgroups and the web and email discussion lists.

These people felt a certain elite, special status by virtue of their connection to something rare. Democritization -- making this rare, special thing available to all -- really bothered them. They place their sense of worth, their identities in their elite status.

It's the same story with a lot of things. Urbanites scoff at the "trailer trash" that make up much of middle America and believe their proximity to the city makes them special somehow. Exuburbanites love the status they imagine in their McMansions and large SUVs. The Pharisees of old felt special and privileged because of their birth and education. VW's "low ego emissions" ads appeal to a sense of superior character and morality that many people want.

And "old Masi" owners feel a need to differentiate themselves from the illiterate unwashed slobs who now ride modern Masi bikes.

I'm not saying I'm immune -- my sense of self-righteousness is pretty disgusting -- but I think a lot of it has to do with self-worth.

steelrider2 said...

Fast, extremely well built and way cool...that's my Masi. I'll take an old or a new one...matters not to me.

e-RICHIE said...

i just saw your may 21 entry and you seemed irked that there was such heat and light cast on the new frame as discussed on serotta forum.

you and i have exchanged a few emails about similar issues in the past, and you must know by this point in time where i stand. my blog has all my cr list entries (there must be scores of them) wrt the masi brand. why? because it is a marque we all grew up with have watched time have its way with.

similar things happened with many, many other companies as well. nothing stands still. my point in stating this is that i am on both sides of the issue; emotionally, i know and like one thing, intellectually, the same holds true.

i'm not a baseball fan, but i can guess folks felt similarly when the dodgers left brooklyn for los angeles. btw, i am not old enough to remember that!

with folks' memories being what they are, and internet forums being a breeding ground for opinionfests, it's unavoidable that you're going to see and read things that get under your skin.

let me say that i am a fan of the masi family as well as the brand. i look forward to seeing you bring the name back into the spotlight and getting just do for all the marque's innovations and accomplishments through the generations.

as we mildly touched on in a recent email exchange, maybe you can be the one responsible for the long overdue rapproachment between the north american brand owners and signor masi in milano.


Anonymous said...

Friends --
I've ridden Peugeot UO8s, PX-10s, a brilliant Miyata c. 1978 "sport", a Raleigh 531 Team, Technium Team, and a early 90s Nuovo Strada. The 653 Strada was the closest to my ideal of how a bike should feel and handle. It was incredibly comfortable, agile, and responsive. And it had enough mass to have its own stability.
I'm old enought to think that steel is what a bike should be made of. I don't belittle others' choices, but I hope good steel frames never disappear. It's a different ride, and can be quite esoteric when done right. Keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Can you provide any info on this particular Masi model?