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  1. #1
    Member John Dark's Avatar
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    Masi vs. Surly vs. Bianchi

    How do the specs on these match up, overall? Seems like each has strengths and weaknesses. If you had to rank them best to worst....

    Masi Speciale CX
    fd: Tiagra
    rd: 105
    sh: Sora STI 9 sp.
    cs: SRAM PM-950 11-28
    cr: TruVativ Touro Compact 50-34
    bb: TruVativ Sq. taper
    ch: HG73
    bl: Tiagra
    br: Tektro Oryx Cantilevers
    bar: Ritchey 6061 31.8 mm
    ped: N/A
    hs: Ritchey Logic V2 threadless
    st: Masi 3-D forged flip
    sp: Masi Carbon 27.2
    sdl: Masi SLS
    rm: Ritchey Girder XC Comp
    hub: Formula cassette
    tyr: Ritchey Speedmax Cross Comp 32c

    Surly Cross-Check
    fd: Tiagra
    rd: Tiagra
    sh: Shimano SL-BS77 bar end
    cs: Tiagra HG-50 12-25 9sp
    cr: Cyclone/Andel 48-36t cross
    bb: Deore LX
    ch: HG72
    bl: Shimano BL-R400
    br: Tektro 862A cantilevers
    bar: Salsa Moto Ace Bell-Lap
    ped: N/A
    hs: Ritchey Logic Comp
    st: Kalloy
    sp: Kalloy uno
    sdl: Velo Endzone
    rm: Shimano Deore
    hub: Alex
    tyr: Ritchey SpeedMax Cross 700x32

    Bianchi Volpe
    fd: Tiagra
    rd: Deore
    sh: Tiagra
    cs: SRAM PG-950 11-32
    cr: Sugino XD500T 48/38/28
    bb: ?
    ch: SRAM PC-951
    bl: Tiagra
    br: Cane Creek SCX-5
    bar: RC Premetec 6105R alloy
    ped: Wellgo WDP-823
    hs: VP-A51AE
    st: RC Kalloy AS-6026 Alloy
    sp: RC Kalloy SP-600 alloy
    sdl: Velo VL-1166
    rim: WTB DX23 black
    hub: Tiagra 32h
    tyr: WTB AllTerrainasaurus 700x32C
    Last edited by John Dark; 03-26-08 at 07:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Don't smoke, Mike. shapelike's Avatar
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    Surly
    Bianchi
    Masi

    Honestly, I would pay really close attention to the geometry and see which one was a better fit. After that, I'd think about which suited my needs better (bar-con shifters vs. STI, double vs. triple crankset, etc.).

    While the Volpe is more of a touring bike and the Cross-Check obviously has "cross" in it's name, I've seen people touring Europe on Cross-Checks (and having a great time at it) as well as had my ass kicked by a dude on a Volpe all last CX season. They'll both work for utilitarian use.

  3. #3
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    Components can be changed but you cannot take four ponds off a frame.....what is the weight on the Masi?

    -B
    Cyclocross: Side effects may include but are not limited to; nausea, blurred vision, increased heart rate, and an elevation in blood pressure. Should you experience difficulty sleeping, compulsive headset repacking, frequent derrailuer adjusting, constant checking of tire pressure, or impulse bicycle parts purchasing, register for the next cross race immediately.

    http://app.obra.org/schedule

  4. #4
    Don't smoke, Mike. shapelike's Avatar
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    Don't go down that road. I really doubt any of the posted weights for these bikes will be remotely accurate. I can tell you the Surly weights aren't. You're probably looked at double-butted 4130 main tubes for these bikes and straight gauge stays. The forks will be basic. There won't be a secret 3lb frame here.

  5. #5
    Member John Dark's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm aware of all the very sound, traditional advice: proper sizing, the importance of frame quality, try before you buy, etc. I'm factoring all that in. But in this post, I'm specifically focusing on comparing the component sets.

  6. #6
    ass hatchet slopvehicle's Avatar
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    What do you guys think of Huffy vs. GT vs. Pacific?

  7. #7
    M_S
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    I don't like the Sora shifters on the Masi. Crappy place to cut corners IMO.

  8. #8
    Senior Member lukewall's Avatar
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    any specific reason why these 3 bikes. from this list, i'd personally go with the cross check. but in this price range there are some better bikes for the money. ever take a look at the KHS cross bike? looks like a nice bike for the price.

  9. #9
    Principiante
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    I like Masi, I have one of their road bike and I am happy with it. I looked at the Speciale CX and found it really heavy, also the fork has very little space between the tire and the crown, important feature here in the NW.
    If you are not stuck on steel I would also look at RedLine.
    Good luck
    Paolo

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Consider the Soma Double Cross also, it's in the same vein.

  11. #11
    Member John Dark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acorn_user View Post
    Consider the Soma Double Cross also, it's in the same vein.
    The Soma would be my first pick but it's not sold as a complete bike.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sfcrossrider's Avatar
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    Put an LX RD on the Surly and it would be the best choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by BikeIndustryGuy View Post
    I guess the feel good aspect of this story is that the perpetrators did this as a couple. It's nice to see people coming together with a common love of cycling and assault.

  13. #13
    Member John Dark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukewall View Post
    any specific reason why these 3 bikes. from this list, i'd personally go with the cross check. but in this price range there are some better bikes for the money. ever take a look at the KHS cross bike? looks like a nice bike for the price.
    Yes very specific reasons. I'm looking for a steel, do-it-all, complete bike, for under a grand. The KHS is nice but it's msrp is over $1000. Plus it's more race oriented: AL and has a carbon fork and I probably weigh too much for carbon anything. I'm too old to be racing anyway.

    While comments so far have been helpful, I am still not quite getting the feedback on the components I am looking for. Ignoring the frames that they are on, can people chime in with how they would rank the components alone, taken as a whole? I'm trying to get a sense of how they rank in relation to each other.

    To me (my very uninformed opinion) it looks like this:
    Surly - has the best: headset, bar, hubs. has the worst: brakes
    Masi - best: rd, chain. worst: shifters, crankset
    Bianchi - best: crankset, gearing, brakes. worst: bar, headset
    They appear to all have generic junk for: stem, seatpost and saddle

  14. #14
    Tim Jackson- Masiguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S View Post
    I don't like the Sora shifters on the Masi. Crappy place to cut corners IMO.
    Odd- don't know where that spec list is coming from because we use the Tiagra shifter. I'll have to get the website corrected.

    All three are decent bikes for the money. I have my bias... but we all do.

  15. #15
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    Odd- don't know where that spec list is coming from because we use the Tiagra shifter. I'll have to get the website corrected.
    The website still lists the shifters as being Sora... Can anyone who has one confirm either way?

    Thanks!

    From http://www.masibikes.com/cycles/speciale_cx.php

    Derailleur Shifter Shimano Sora STI 9 speed

  16. #16
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Masi
    Cross Check
    Volpe
    View my blog: climbhoser.blogspot.com

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by odoyle81 View Post
    The website still lists the shifters as being Sora... Can anyone who has one confirm either way?

    Thanks!

    From http://www.masibikes.com/cycles/speciale_cx.php

    Derailleur Shifter Shimano Sora STI 9 speed

    Saw a Masi in the shop the other day. 99% positive it was Tiagra shifters... I would've noticed (with disdain) Sora. I remember noticing (with disdain) the carbon seatpost... seemed out of place on the bike.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinb View Post
    Saw a Masi in the shop the other day. 99% positive it was Tiagra shifters... I would've noticed (with disdain) Sora. I remember noticing (with disdain) the carbon seatpost... seemed out of place on the bike.
    Looking at a speciale CX right now, you can change that 99% to 100% on the Tiagra shifters.

  19. #19
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    Awesome! Thanks guys!

    timcook, how do you like the Masi? I've been debating for a couple weeks and I'm about to pull the trigger on picking one up. The one thing I'm wondering about is with all the hills in my area if I should change the cassette or add a granny gear. I heard on the cross check it isn't that hard to convert from a double to triple. Could I do the same on a Masi?

    Thanks!

  20. #20
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    It may be a bit harder to add a triple on the Masi... I don't know if the Tiagra shifters support that, so you might need a new left STI lever specific to triple, along with the appropriate FD and crankset. That said, the 34-28 you can get with the compact double is a mighty low gear, and for $50 bucks, you can buy a SRAM 11-32 or 11-34 cassette and long cage rear derailleur that will get you even lower. You can climb walls with a 1:1 low ratio on a cross bike.

  21. #21
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    Unfortunately the "Newbie" under my username doesn't just apply to my forum status. The Masi actually belongs to my wife. She and I got our first cross bikes (and first decent bikes) a couple weeks ago, so I'm kind of learning as I go. I ended up with a Poprad, but had she not liked the Masi so much it's likely I would have gone with it.

    Anyway, as such, I'm not sure about how easy it would be to swap out the cassette. We have moderate hills here and it hasn't been a problem for her so far with the stock double, though. From riding it at the lbs while we were shopping around, and riding hers around for fun after she got it, I really liked it. We went over a decent stretch of gravel roads recently and were both happy with how smooth a ride the steel gave (we had previously done the ride on Al clunker bikes).

    I wish I could be a bigger help, but by the time I'm familiar with stuff enough to make more technical comments I'm sure you'll have already decided on what you want to do. Though I'm happy to update on it down the road if anyone has questions (no promises I can answer them though).

  22. #22
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    I think all three are cool. None strikes me as significantly "better" than the other, it's more about what features you like.

    Personally, I love the look of the old Volpe frame in puke green with dayglo decals.

    Also, I know road triples aren't very hip, but I think that's a feature that really adds to the versatility of a bike with minimal weight penalty. You may rarely use the granny ring, but when you do, you'll be glad you have it.

  23. #23
    Proxymoron
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    Puke green. Luv it!
    We`re all Bozos on this bus.

  24. #24
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    I just test rode both the Masi CX and Bianchi Volpe this weekend, a great bikeshop had them both in my size and they were both delightful bikes. Both were 08 models. They are both of a much higher caliber than any bike I've ever owned, so I found them both to be smooth, solid, and comfortable rides. In fact I would love to be an owner of either.

    However, I preferred the Bianchi because it fit me better, the road triple I found to be more intuitive to shift than the Masi's compact double (I could keep the Volpe in the middle chainring for 90% of my ride presenting slightly less hassle than shifting the Masi), and just the 'je ne sais quoi' rush that the Volpe gave me -- it just fit me like a glove a little better and gave me more of a thrill. Fit and personal preference will rule my eventual decision, but I am hoping to test ride a Surly LHT, Raleigh Sojourn, Fuji Touring, and Jamis Aurora as well.

    My comparison, being a bit of a newb : the Volpe was a bit zippier than the Masi. The tires aren't as knobby on the Volpe as the fat knobbys on the Masi. But on a bike this nice switching tires to suit your personal taste is to be expected and worth it. The Masi might be better suited for cyclocross or extended off-roading, and the fit felt like it would handle a bumpy dirt road a hair better but you can't go riding in the mud on a test ride, so who knows?

    They are both very comparable. The brakes are identical, I believe, as are the shifters and derailleurs. The minor differences would be that the Masi has front-rack braze-ons, the Volpe doesn't, the Masi has slightly less room for fenders (but probably enough clearance to not be a nuisance). The Masi has an unbelievably gorgeous 'classic' paint job and the Volpe is either more modern, postmodern, or subdued, depending on the year. The price difference was negligible (The Volpe was $20 more, I think?). It really came down to fit, feel, and personal preference.

    They both seemed to be built like tanks, were surprisingly light and nimble, and well-built. The bike shop spoke highly of both companies' customer service but gave a slight edge to Masi's service because of lifetime warranty on their frames and super-prompt responses from their reps whenever parts are needed or issues arise. But they weren't badmouthing Bianchi, either.

    Really the biggest difference for me was the road triple vs. the compact double. I found the road triple to be more intuitive and easier to manage the shifting, plus the granny gear may be useful when loaded down. I also liked not having to worry about "extreme gearing" while on the middle ring.

    I haven't ridden a Surly LHT or Crosscheck, so I can't compare. However, I wouldn't be interested in the bar-end shifters on the Long Haul Trucker after trying out STI shifters. The guy at the bikeshop called them "the best thing since sliced bread" and I'd have to agree! I'm sure there are plenty of devotees of bar-end shifting, but I'll save experimenting with those til a later date. Cheers.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Unagidon's Avatar
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    Buy this: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/cyclo.htm

    Then, buy a Surly frame, or even the Soma you like.

    Swap parts, and sell the Windsor frame. A little more work, but you'll have the best components and the frame you like.
    2011 Motobecane Fly Ti 29er
    2008 Cervelo RS
    2005 Litespeed Blue Ridge
    1998 Ritchey Road Logic
    1991 Miyata 914SE (on trainer)
    ---------------------------------------------
    2008 Surly Crosscheck (in Canada)
    199x Python Mtb (in Canada)

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