Since the recent fixie boom started, the bike forums have been asking "When are Masi bikes coming to the UK?". That now appears to have been answered by today's announcement on Bicycle Industry and Retailer News that the brand with a long Italian heritage and more recent roots in the huge American market is going to be distributed in the UK by Monterey Industries.
According to Masi's Brand Manager Tim Jackson, "I've been getting inquiries from consumers in the UK, as well as occasionally answering questions on various forums there, so this is very good news to me." We're going to have to wait for range and pricing details but there are plans for a full range including road bikes in carbon, aluminium and steel and not just this "Speciale Fixed Ultimate".
After racing himself, Faliero Masi started building frames in the 1930s and soon fostered a reputation as the go-to man even if his frames were sprayed according to that year's sponsor. Fausto Coppi, Luison Bobet, Felice Gimondi, Rick van Looy, Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx were all riders that rode his frames. In the 1970s he took the unusual step of setting up in America where there was a burgeoning market for racing bikes at the time.
Like a lot of Italian framebuilders that also made track bikes to an exquisite standard - think Cinelli, Ciocc, Gios - the bikes have lasted well and originals are now highly prized by the modern breed of fixed and singlespeed enthusiasts. Stand by. As a taster here's a vid we featured last year of a Masi being ridden round New York to good effect.