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Have you ever ridden a Confente?

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Have you ever ridden a Confente?

Old 09-27-22, 07:57 PM
  #126  
himespau 
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
As for how bikes "ride". Fortunately I'm no princess and I can't tell if a pea is present or not. It allows me to enjoy the ride no matter what is under my ass.
For me, I can't really describe it, but some bikes it feels like I'm riding "on" the bike, while other bikes it feels like I'm "in" the bike. I guess the closest analogy I can come up with is back in high school, my first car was a beat up, 15 year-old hatchback. I'm 6'2 or 3 and the seat didn't go back far enough and the steering wheel didn't adjust so I had to drive it (a stick) bow-legged with my legs wrapped around the wheel. The power steering didn't work, the wheels weren't aligned right, and the right front tire was bald as a result, so I was constantly wrestling with it. At the same time, when I drove it, I felt like I was riding "in" it and I could get it to safely go up (and down) snowy Michigan hills where I saw trucks and jeeps losing traction and sliding backwards or going into the ditch (being small and having a front wheel drive helpled). When I wrecked that car (bald tire, no power steering, poorly aligned wheels caught up with me when I took too fast a corner that turned from pavement to dirt as it went 90 degrees on a rainy night and wrapped around a tree), I drove a 3/4 ton pickup, that I definite was "on". Sorry, that analogy probably didn't help at all. I don't feel the finer differences of "ride" that some people do (probably don't have enough miles in or am just too insensitive), but this feeling of being "in" or "on" a bike is some sort of feeling of connection/response/position/comfort/fit dialed in/something.
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Old 09-27-22, 08:38 PM
  #127  
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Well, since this is a "how does it ride" thread, let me tell you about a ride I do each year. It's Storming Of Thunder Ridge which is linked below. Every year, I acquire a different bike, fix it up to take on the mountain and give it a spin. A couple of 72 models, and lots of early to late 80s models. 531, Columbus SL, Tange 1, 2, Ishiwata, etc, etc. Next year's bike is a Tange Prestige frame. The bikes usually get the same or very similar crank, shifters and derailleurs. They use either 126 or 130 wheelsets with the same hubs, rims, spokes and tires. Same Selle Turbo saddles. The only significant difference is the frames. Usually there's only a short shakedown ride to make sure everything works, then it's off to the event. It's the ultimate test ride for the frames.

How do they compare? Other than the subtle handling differences between the sport tourers and the pure race frames, they all ride about the same. The 2 72 models have a little more spring. They all disappear under me and become an extension of my being. That's all I want in a frame, nothing more.

https://www.ymcacva.org/100-miler-century

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Old 09-27-22, 08:53 PM
  #128  
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All,

Thanks for your contribution to this thread - it has been very informative, amongst other things. It has certainly brought out a lively discussion, and I'll certainly take that over no discussion at all. I did, in fact, do a search on Confente and the last discussion seemed to be from while a while ago, and I couldn't find any ride reports. I understand that while somewhat in the vein of "Have you ever played a Strad?" or "Ever driven a 250 GTO?" (err okay maybe not quite those calibers, but you get my drift), it is fun seeing discussions around the experiences people have had with some of the more desirable elements of a certain interest or market.

While I totally get that Confente is not looked upon universally (as in, every single human) as the end-all-be-all holy grail of vintage bicycles, it may have that mystique amongst a large enough segment of vintage road bike aficionados and collectors to perhaps earn the consensus of said individuals more than any other brand, and I get it - it has all the hallmarks: hand crafted, high quality, extremely low production, dramatic story.

I have a collector personality. I have lots of interests, and stories or discussion about the 'holy grail' of each respective hobby are really fascinating to me. I love reading and learning about those Stradivarius and Guarneri violins, those '59 Les Paul Standards and '58 Flying Vs and Explorers, those Inverted Jennys, those Honus Wagners and Mickey Mantles, those 250 GTOs, those 1856 Flying Eagles and 1804 Silver Dollars.

Not everyone cares about Confente bicycles, but I think enough do (as shown in this thread) to make the discussion of their value, collectibility, and overall 'panache', quite fascinating.

And one of the more endearing (if that is the right term) parts of this thread comes from the very people that either own, have owned, or have ridden these bicycles: that they are bikes, and ride like other, similar bikes.

I'd still love to try riding one sometime. Given the user reports in this thread, it would likely have me appreciate the ride of my '73 Super Course even that much more.
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Old 09-27-22, 09:29 PM
  #129  
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This discussion reminds me of a similar situation in another sport. Golf clubs were in a similar situation up until the 90s when technology kicked in and started changing club head design. All the top brands had some cosmetic differences, but were very similar in overall design and playability. The real difference was the shafts/grips. Even those 2 components were mostly from a few brands.
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Old 09-28-22, 04:52 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
I didn't know soup can was a compliment. My bad.
Thatís it? Iíd call that merely descriptive.

Guess I should feel "disparaged" when someone tells me I have a "diver's helmet" cable stop.

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Old 09-28-22, 07:48 AM
  #131  
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Is there a list out there of the frames he made along with the sizes? I ride 54-56 frames. There's a chance I could get a ride on one. I'd probably attach some lead ballast/weight to the frame to get the Don Felder experience.
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Old 09-28-22, 09:35 AM
  #132  
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I didn't see it mentioned here that Mario was indeed a successful bicycle racer. Was he?
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Old 09-28-22, 10:40 AM
  #133  
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Mario - bike racer

Part 1 & 2 as it appeared originally in the Bicycle Trader

Confente might have to cut and paste - https://bhovey.com/Masi/MasiArticles...enteStory1.htm

Confente2

or this link - https://www.classicrendezvous.com/USA...art_R_Howe.htm

Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I didn't see it mentioned here that Mario was indeed a successful bicycle racer. Was he?

Last edited by RWHowe; 09-28-22 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 09-28-22, 12:50 PM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Is there a list out there of the frames he made along with the sizes? I ride 54-56 frames. There's a chance I could get a ride on one. I'd probably attach some lead ballast/weight to the frame to get the Don Felder experience.
Jim Cunningham by self report has the build cards.
At one time he wrote that he would send the card to a confirmed Confente owner.
That changed to he would send a copy for a fee.
After he departed Southern California, last I read he was working with slot cars.
If you use FB he might be found that way.
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Old 09-28-22, 01:10 PM
  #135  
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Well, #1 appears to be a 54. That's means there's still a chance, no matter how small. As does #5. My odds keep getting better.

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Old 09-28-22, 07:06 PM
  #136  
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Interesting read about Masi ,Medici and all the cast of characters involved with that drama.
I am kind of sad. It made me loose all interest or respect in any of those brands and anything associated with them.
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Old 09-28-22, 07:26 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by embankmentlb View Post
Interesting read about Masi ,Medici and all the cast of characters involved with that drama.
I am kind of sad. It made me loose all interest or respect in any of those brands and anything associated with them.
ok, but I would call the villain Bill Recht.
Mario wanted to go independent
he was expensive
the staff had almost a handle on things save the jig set ups.
The pro bike biz was deflating.
right when "something new" was needed.
there were new entries into the American Market.
New is often considered better.
having sold bikes at a Masi dealer, the staff rode them, but it was a harder to sell them as they were not the "latest thing"
so a drop ominous demand, scattering of talent- a bad harmonic.
there was a regroup but it did not take many to get the jobs done.
the Breaking Away movie helped demand.
there were updates to the bike incrementally.
1983 brought revised lug designs and geometry- actually I think they should have updated the model name.
Italy had the 3V - took a while to bring that model to the USA in numbers.
I think wanting to toss the whole lot overboard is a mistake.
there was a lack of strategic planning on both sides of the Atlantic.
some was reactionary- there was a pride in Masi America, then that was ditched. Later it was quite confused as to where constructed.
later came subordinate models.
quite an adventure.
would have been interesting if Mario had started building for Masi again in 1979. Would have been a different trajectory definitely.
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Old 09-28-22, 07:31 PM
  #138  
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Note- Breaking Away was filmed in summer 1978 and released in July 1979.

I owned a custom 1976 Carlsbad Masi at the Time of the release- while a different color, it was noticed as "like the bike in the Movie"
it had no "flags" only Masi on the downtube.

plenty of potential marketing tie in there handed on a platter for free.

I left bike shop work in June 1979, kept in touch with the manager and employees - no exploitation of being in the movie.
Criminal.
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Old 09-28-22, 08:31 PM
  #139  
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Found this post from another thread and thought it fit well with this one -

https://www.bikeforums.net/10188866-post10.html
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Old 09-28-22, 11:51 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO View Post
I'd still love to try riding one sometime. Given the user reports in this thread, it would likely have me appreciate the ride of my '73 Super Course even that much more.
This made me think...how does the best riding bike in my stable compare to the worst riding bike I still like enough to keep? The first problem to be solved in this is deciding which is the best riding bike. I'm honestly not sure. There are at least four contenders, possibly more. One of the contenders is a 1974 Carlsbad Masi, which at least in theory Mario would have overseen construction of. He may even have touched it. Brian Baylis may have filed the dropouts. Or it may have been entirely built by one of the anonymous Mexican craftsmen favorably mentioned in the frameteller article. Whatever the case it rides nice. Another contender is my 1983 Specialized Sequoia. This one was definitely built by anonymous workers at some Japanese factory, probably Miki. It definitely has no connection with a legendary builder like Yoshi Konno. There's a very, very small chance that it may have been built during one of Jim Merz' supervisory visits. Whatever. It's very well built and I love the way it rides.

I could go on with the details of this thought experiment, but I think the point is already made. I have some finely crafted beautiful bikes (though nothing on the level of finish that a Confente would have). I have some rather pedestrian mass produced bikes. The difference in ride quality between them is pretty small. Maybe I'm just not refined enough as a rider to notice the differences. Most of what I notice in a bike is attributable to geometry. I've heard Joshua Bell play a Stradivarius. I've heard the resident musicians in the Oregon Symphony play on whatever violins they happen to own. With my eyes closed and no program, I doubt I could tell you which was which. Many people could. I have no doubt that all the musicians in question know exactly why Joshua Bell and his Strad deserve the reputations they have. I'm thoroughly satisfied by listening to any of them. So it goes.
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Old 09-29-22, 08:56 AM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
ok, but I would call the villain Bill Recht.
Mario wanted to go independent
he was expensive
the staff had almost a handle on things save the jig set ups.
The pro bike biz was deflating.
right when "something new" was needed.
there were new entries into the American Market.
New is often considered better.
having sold bikes at a Masi dealer, the staff rode them, but it was a harder to sell them as they were not the "latest thing"
so a drop ominous demand, scattering of talent- a bad harmonic.
there was a regroup but it did not take many to get the jobs done.
the Breaking Away movie helped demand.
there were updates to the bike incrementally.
1983 brought revised lug designs and geometry- actually I think they should have updated the model name.
Italy had the 3V - took a while to bring that model to the USA in numbers.
I think wanting to toss the whole lot overboard is a mistake.
there was a lack of strategic planning on both sides of the Atlantic.
some was reactionary- there was a pride in Masi America, then that was ditched. Later it was quite confused as to where constructed.
later came subordinate models.
quite an adventure.
would have been interesting if Mario had started building for Masi again in 1979. Would have been a different trajectory definitely.
I do feel for Mario and wish things had gone better for him. He was such a great craftsman.
The story would be great and inspirational had they overcome the struggle to come out the other side. Certainly lots of lessons to be learned but they mostly involve negative people resulting in negative outcomes.
Regarding American frame building there are many positive people and positive outcomes.
I think I will focus my energy on them.
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Old 09-29-22, 09:18 AM
  #142  
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Just want to say, " I have had many positive outcomes/rides on my Medici/Confente. Before this thread, I considered my Medici a poor mans Masi. Now I think I have a Confente. The brazing is very nicely done and if it is likely that the geometry was Confentical, I can say that a Confente Pro Strada is a ride Fantastica.
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Old 09-29-22, 09:29 AM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Just want to say, " I have had many positive outcomes/rides on my Medici/Confente. Before this thread, I considered my Medici a poor mans Masi. Now I think I have a Confente. The brazing is very nicely done and if it is likely that the geometry was Confentical, I can say that a Confente Pro Strada is a ride Fantastica.
I have a Confente and a Medici in the same size.
The bikes are similar in seat tube length and top tube length but are otherwise very different in handling.
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Old 09-29-22, 09:34 AM
  #144  
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I wonder if the ride improved on this bike once it was converted to a Masi? And not just any Masi, either.

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Old 09-29-22, 11:26 AM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I have a Confente and a Medici in the same size.
The bikes are similar in seat tube length and top tube length but are otherwise very different in handling.
Are they both Pro Stradas? with wheelbase <100cm? I've seen Medici track bikes and tourers but I would only compare short wheelbase American style bikes with same.
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Old 09-29-22, 12:07 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Are they both Pro Stradas? with wheelbase <100cm? I've seen Medici track bikes and tourers but I would only compare short wheelbase American style bikes with same.
both model Pro-Strada.
the road bikes made reasonably early for both brands. As the size is middle of the bell curve, both have wheelbases of under 1000mm.
One day I will do a layout comparison
the Medici has a bit less fork rake.
my hunch from riding them is the Medici has more trail.

note: Pro-Strada was the model name that Confente came up with or the graphic designers did before he left Masi.
Recht liberated that name for Medici, at the beginning swapping out the type and drop shadow colors. When by accident Mario became aware of this, he was Not Happy.

the Medici Pista bikes were all over the place.
I think they listened to the racer carefully, maybe a bit too much.

Last edited by repechage; 09-29-22 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 09-29-22, 12:11 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
I wonder if the ride improved on this bike once it was converted to a Masi? And not just any Masi, either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ex4r1mun7w

misplaced effort and could not do any better capturing the color?

there have been other recreations of creating the movie bike. One from Oz was pretty good.

found it:

https://www.ridemedia.com.au/product...way-masi-bike/

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Old 09-29-22, 02:00 PM
  #148  
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Old 09-29-22, 02:21 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I have a Confente and a Medici in the same size.
The bikes are similar in seat tube length and top tube length but are otherwise very different in handling.
I have a 1982 Medici that is very nice , given the price I paid for it. It is a 60cm and a great riding bike , but a bit twitchy on turns. That doesn't keep me from having fun on it and it is in fantastic condition . I attributed the condition to the bike being just a bit small for me . My ideal size is 63cm and I am building a Medici now that is my size so I will find out. It would be interesting to , as you have done , compare like sizes with similar looking bikes. I have seen more than one Confente in person and can verify the beauty of those bikes but I have no idea of how they would handle with my odd long legs and short trunk. (6'1" with 35" inseam)
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Old 09-29-22, 03:53 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post
I have a 1982 Medici that is very nice , given the price I paid for it. It is a 60cm and a great riding bike , but a bit twitchy on turns. That doesn't keep me from having fun on it and it is in fantastic condition . I attributed the condition to the bike being just a bit small for me . My ideal size is 63cm and I am building a Medici now that is my size so I will find out. It would be interesting to , as you have done , compare like sizes with similar looking bikes. I have seen more than one Confente in person and can verify the beauty of those bikes but I have no idea of how they would handle with my odd long legs and short trunk. (6'1" with 35" inseam)
often as a frame grows in the seat tube the front center increases but not at the same rate.
the designer's preference is exposed.
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