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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-09-08, 07:48 AM   #1
ATLpete
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Bianchi San Jose vs. Masi Speciale Fixed

As a newbie, Iím looking at two bikes. The San Jose and the Masi Fixed/SS, which I would run as an SS. Primarily for commuting, and possible rides on the weekend for a good workout.

The San Jose is road/touring bike, relaxed geometry, while the Masi sits right between the road and track geometries. A relaxed track, the LBS called it.

Anyway, just wanted to gather some opinions on what would be the better newbie starter bike. The San Jose has a nice price point at about $600, though Iíd probably put bullhorns on it and move the brakes closer, but thatís not a lot. The Masi I had priced out in detail. Making it a SS, with bullhorns and a rear brake brought it from $660 to $800.

Performance wise, I'm intrigued by the San Jose cyclocross thing. Bigger tires, made for rougher roads, which are aplenty in Atlanta (potholes).

Aesthetically, itís a close tie if I get the washed blue San Jose, but I admit the orange Masi is pretty striking.

Thanks for the thoughts.
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Old 07-09-08, 07:50 AM   #2
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Get the SJ. If you want a great do all bike they're hard to beat.
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Old 07-09-08, 09:04 AM   #3
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The tires that come on the San Jose are ****. complete and utter ****. Swap them out immediately.

The San Jose is one of the nicest feeling frames I've ever ridden. It soaks bumps well, it's nice to ride nearly forever, I highly recommend it.
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Old 07-09-08, 09:21 AM   #4
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I'm assuming you've tested both of these bikes? If was in your shoes a couple of months looking for a new SS/fixed gear commuter and I considered both these bikes. After a test of the Masi, it just didn't feel right or overly comfortable. I knew it wasn't the bike for me. On the other hand I liked the feel of the San Jose. So, my advice is go with whichever fits and feels better when you ride it.

Incidentally, have you considered the Raleigh One way? A similar bike that I also like the look of, but it isn't offered in Canada, so I was never able to seriously consider it.

If you're interested, I settled on a Steelwool Sweet City, which I love! You might also consider it: http://steelwoolbicycles.ca/bikes/sweetcitylimited.php

Last edited by gord; 07-09-08 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 07-09-08, 11:24 AM   #5
ATLpete
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Interesting. I've never heard of the Steelwool Sweet City bikes before. Not sure I can get them here in Atlanta, and I'm wary of buying a bike without testing it. I'll check it out thought.
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Old 07-09-08, 12:37 PM   #6
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i like the masi better, but since you're just gonna run it SS just get the san jose. sounds like what you need.
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Old 07-09-08, 09:06 PM   #7
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The thing I like about the Bianchi San Jose over the Masi is that the cable stops on the San Jose is on the top of the toptube. This makes it much easier to carry the bike on your shoulders. If you commute on the bike and have to carry it even a small distance into the office or into the house, you will likely be annoyed with the Masi's brake cable when you throw the bike onto your shoulder.

My vote, therefore, goes to the San Jose.
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Old 07-09-08, 10:27 PM   #8
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san jose. modern day swiss army knife of bikes. really what a commuter should be.
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Old 08-02-08, 11:56 AM   #9
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The thing I like about the Bianchi San Jose over the Masi is that the cable stops on the San Jose is on the top of the toptube. This makes it much easier to carry the bike on your shoulders. If you commute on the bike and have to carry it even a small distance into the office or into the house, you will likely be annoyed with the Masi's brake cable when you throw the bike onto your shoulder.

My vote, therefore, goes to the San Jose.
It also has a shaped top tube to make carrying the bike on your shoulders more comfortable, which is good for both cross and commute.
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Old 08-02-08, 12:01 PM   #10
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yeah, the cable stops on the bottom of the top tube on the masi suck. they dig into your shoulder
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Old 08-02-08, 12:07 PM   #11
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What is BB drop on the San Jose ?
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Old 08-02-08, 01:01 PM   #12
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You are going to have to get somebody to measure theres or email bianchi. It isnt listed on their geometry page for the SJ.
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Old 08-02-08, 01:59 PM   #13
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yeah, the cable stops on the bottom of the top tube on the masi suck. they dig into your shoulder
they're so far apart though and not an issue if you position it right. I'd rather have the cable underneath than on top where my body will contact with the cable more often (I.E: you straddle the bike more often than you carry it)
Get the Bianchi if you want a Single speed only and the Masi if you want to ride fixed at any point.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:18 PM   #14
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The tires that come on the San Jose are ****. complete and utter ****. Swap them out immediately.

The San Jose is one of the nicest feeling frames I've ever ridden. It soaks bumps well, it's nice to ride nearly forever, I highly recommend it.
I agree. I put some t-serve messenger tires on mine (28's) The stock tires SUCKED in the rain. I also LOVE the steel frame. It fits me like a glove, and is VERY comfortable to ride. I'm training for an Ironman, and have actually done some of my 3-4 hour training rides on the trail system (often crushed limestone) on my Bianchi instead of my tri-bike because of time-of-day issues with training.
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Old 08-03-08, 10:22 AM   #15
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I swapped out the 'cross tires for slicks and it's been heaven with my SJ. Much quieter. I've since swapped out the stock wheels for Aeroheads with Formula hubs and added a rear rack. Great commuter bike.

The Masi looks really nice in person. LBS had one but it sold and they haven't gotten anymore in yet.
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Old 08-03-08, 10:59 AM   #16
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I'd rather have the cable underneath than on top where my body will contact with the cable more often (I.E: you straddle the bike more often than you carry it)
The cable on top really isn't an issue unless you make a habit of straddling your bike nekkid.
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Old 08-03-08, 11:34 AM   #17
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The cable on top really isn't an issue unless you make a habit of straddling your bike nekkid.
funny story about that
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