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Fellow Aficionados,

Thank you for your inquiry. The man in the photo is none other than Alberto Masi. In 1972 his father, 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.

In July 1973 I first visited the Vigorelli in search of what many of you seek: a perfect frameset. One was made for me there then and many more since. During my subsequent visits to Italy I became well acquainted with all the now famous frame-builders such as Colnago, Derosa, and Pinarello as well as countless other tradesmen who have contributed to the development of the racing bicycle. I am proud to have personally known these artisans and have marketed and sold many of their products here in the U.S. for more than 25 years. I was, however, always intrigued by the Vigorelli and since 1989 have distributed Alberto's frames under the mark MILANO in the United States for racers, tri-athletes and cyclo-tourists.

The level of craftsmanship and selection of materials of MILANO frames are identical to those produced under the MASI label in Milan. The proprietary tubesets from Excell and Dedacciai and the cast conjunctions are the exclusive design of Alberto Masi as are the names "3V," "Wing," and "Volumetrica" and any other rendering of them by workshops other than the Vigorelli are simply crude and false imitations. A word of caution adorns a wall in the Vigorelli workshop: "TO COPY IS TO STEAL."

Milano Sport welcomes your inquiry and can provide you with a suitable frameset or complete bicycle for road, track, time-trial, or touring. A selection of attractive frames are always in stock for immediate delivery as well as the finest components. Made to measure frames in virtually any color combination are a specialty but are subject to the scrutiny of Alberto Masi. A truly handbuilt frameset takes time to construct and the work at the Vigorelli is never rushed limiting the total quantity of frames to fewer than 800 per year with a small percentage allocated to the U.S. market. Please understand that some special orders may take several months but are well worth the time. No cyclist's question is considered too trivial. Simply contact me.

Greg Honn, Pres. Milano Sport
 

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