Sunday, April 13, 2014

Alberto Masi

Here are some photos courtesy of Greg Honn of Milano Sport. Back in the late 70s Faliero Masi sold the rights to the Masi name in the US. Alberto, his son, was unable contractually to sell bikes with his own name to buyers in the US. Greg Honn started importing bikes made by Alberto Masi under the Milano Sports name.

Alberto Masi was always an innovator and brought the internal lugged steel frame, the Tre Volumetrica 3V, to the market. Until I saw these images of Greg's on Ebay I did not realize Alberto ever made aluminum frames. Greg says "I had this built for local pro Matt Crane when he was an amateur." It is made from Dedacciai V107 tubing.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bianchi Mega XL 1998 Tour de France Mercatone Uno Team replica

When I did the research for my own Pantani replica I found a lot of discrepancies on the web as to what was correct. I discovered that the reason for this problem is that Pantani's and the Team's bikes changed during the season. In addition Bianchi produced multiple replicas, after Pantani's 1998 Tour de France win, for sale to the public.The original team frames were made of Dedacciai 7000 aluminum tubing but the production replicas were made from Dedacciai SC61.10A tubing.

One of those replicas was a limited edition of 101. Each bike has a decal with the build number out of the edition. They also have a gold plated head badge. Here are some photographs courtesy of Rogerthebikedude of his that is currently for sale on Ebay.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

We must, of course, acknowledge the forerunners of modern aluminum bicycles. Some of you might be surprised that an aluminum bicycle was made back in the 1930's. The article, from Cycling magazine 1938, at the Classic Rendezvous website talks about one of the aluminum bikes made at the time, the Carminargen.

Many of us are familar with some of the newer attempts at using aluminum including Vitus and Alan. These frames were used in the Tour de France for a few years and were OEM'd by other builders like Guerciotti, Motobecane and Colnago.

my thanks to Jos @ V*V*Velo
Gary Klein brought us one of the first large tubed frames:
photo courtesy of monclerk2
and Cannondale brought the large tube frame to mass production.

This brings us up to the hydroformed frames that started appearing in the Tour de France in about 1995.

Aluminum as a material for bicycle frames

I guess the place to start is a few notes on the material we are interested in here, aluminum and it's alloys. Because aluminum is not as strong as steel larger diameter tubes are generally needed to achieve the required strength. Lugs are generally not used and the frames are glued or TIG welded together.

There are a couple of major players in manufacturing aluminum tubing for bicycle construction. Italian manufacturer Dedacciai has be one of the leaders in tube production. Pez has a nice article on a visit to Dedacciai:

The other major player and innovator has been US manufacturer Easton.
I found this article by Easton about adding Scandium to Aluminum and why. I think there are a lot of misunderstandings when vendors use the term "Scandium" in their products.

Friday, March 7, 2014

For those of us interested in the history of racing bicycles there is a lack of information on the group of bicycles built and raced after the age of steel and before the age of carbon. This was a short interval between about 1997 and 2006. Before 1997 steel was King and after 2006 Carbon ruled the peloton. It would be a shame to lose all the information on this era of Aluminum Racing bikes. Information is very hard to find so this is a community resource. Please submit your information, pictures and catalogs scans to and I will try to organize and post the information.

To start things off I have copied my blog entry on the 1998 Bianchi Mega XL that Marco Pantani raced and won the 1998 Tour de France.