Several folks have commented on the stiffness of the 3V bikes and its' beneficial effects on handling, acceleration, etc. The comments are spot on. These bikes do weigh a bit more than one might think, but once under motion there is no noticeable effect of the weight that I have ever been able to detect. I have owned one Italian one, one American one, and the highly custom one that Joe Starck built for his own use. I still have the Joe Starck one. First, let me point out that the American and Italian ones had no differences in ride and handling that I could discern. The Joe Starck one, even heavier than the other two due to beefier stays, seems to be the fastest bike I have ever owned. Perhaps this is all in my imagination , but it darn near feels like you could spin the rear wheel upon takeoff if you wished (or perhaps if I wasn't such an old time wimp). Again, the weight difference is in no way apparent when riding it. Not only very quick, it is very stable.
This bike was sent to Damon Rinard for testing of its' stiffness and it tied for the stiffest steel bike tested. You can read the article here: http://sheldonbrown.com/rinard_frametest.html. I acquired the frame from Dale Brown several years ago and kitted it out with my ever favorite C Record goodies. You can see pics, if interested here: http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/Tom-Sanders-Pictures/
I think 3 V bikes are just sheer joy to ride, I am continually surprised they are not in as hot a demand as some other bikes. Kind of a Cult thing, I guess.
Lansing, MI USA