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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 06-11-09, 06:14 AM   #1
GearsForFears
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closeout mania: '08 Madison v. '08 Speciale v. '08 Pista

A bike shop near me is discounting '08 FG/SS to the point where I can't take it anymore. For someone just getting into FG after starting SS, which deal would you pick and why: '08 Schwinn Madison for $399; '08 Bianchi Pista for $469 (plus whatever a front brake will cost); '08 Masi Speciale Fixed for $499? Testing them all and can't quite decide; I have a slight favorite but am eager to hear opinions from the more experienced.
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Old 06-11-09, 07:06 AM   #2
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Going on price alone, get the Madison. All the bikes in that price point are going to ride the same. So choose by fit, price and the dreaded word "aesthetics".
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Old 06-11-09, 07:21 AM   #3
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That's all it cost to get into a new fixed gear bicycle? Wow, not bad at all. I don't spend much time in these parts but those seem to be a fair bargin.
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Old 06-11-09, 08:13 AM   #4
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Of the three, I like the Pista the best.
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Old 06-11-09, 08:18 AM   #5
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I would be a proud owner of any of those three.

EDIT:

Didn't even answer your inquiry, hah!

Aesthetically I love the look of all three, but I've seen some awesome looking Madisons and Masi so I'd choose one of those.
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Old 06-11-09, 08:36 AM   #6
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I really like my Speciale Fixed but as said, all three bikes are about equivalent. To be honest I would go with whichever one comes from a shop who knows how to build up a good wheel as I think that would likely be the most noticeable difference between the bikes. My wheels were hand built at my shop and I've absolutely trashed them on potholes and hard riding and they still haven't gone out of true in the slightest bit after a year of hard use.
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Old 06-11-09, 09:11 AM   #7
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I've owned the Pista and Madison and the Madison is stiffer and more versatile, with room for bigger tires. No experience with the Masi.
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Old 06-11-09, 10:21 AM   #8
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Someone got the last Masi. It was probably trailing the other two in my book anyway, though I did love the orange-and-blue paint job. Down to the Madison and the Pista. Riding tonight. The Pista doesn't have housing stops for a rear brake so I'd really be making the FG commitment on that one, though at the price I suppose I could get most of the cost back on Craigslist if I wanted to go back to SS.
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Old 06-11-09, 10:23 AM   #9
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Ride both and see which you personally prefer. I've ridden both and I prefer the geometry of the Pista. But don't listen to me. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART.
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Old 06-11-09, 10:44 AM   #10
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looks wise, the only think i can really comment on, i'd go for the madison. you could always strip it and go with the all chrome frame. can't comment on ride or fit for you of either of them.
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Old 06-11-09, 11:34 AM   #11
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I've owned the Pista and Madison and the Madison is stiffer and more versatile, with room for bigger tires. No experience with the Masi.
How big of a tire could you go with a Madison? I'm a clyde thinking about getting a Madison and I'd like something bigger than the Schwalbe 23's.
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Old 06-11-09, 11:37 AM   #12
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How big of a tire could you go with a Madison? I'm a clyde thinking about getting a Madison and I'd like something bigger than the Schwalbe 23's.
28c with normal rear axle placement.. 34c cross tires with the axle scooted back slightly.
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Old 06-11-09, 11:45 AM   #13
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thanks man,

Now hopefully GearsForFears doesn't buy the last Madison at the same shop I'm looking at!
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Old 06-11-09, 11:48 AM   #14
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Interesting. I didn't think the Madison had that kind of clearance. What about fenders? Not that I'd put on big tires or fenders, this won't be an all-arounder for me. But good to know regardless.

(antilogy - I think the shop I'm dealing with has some supply left in the Maddie. I'd be buying a large if that comforts you or alarms you more.)
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Old 06-11-09, 11:56 AM   #15
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Interesting. I didn't think the Madison had that kind of clearance. What about fenders? Not that I'd put on big tires or fenders, this won't be an all-arounder for me. But good to know regardless.

(antilogy - I think the shop I'm dealing with has some supply left in the Maddie. I'd be buying a large if that comforts you or alarms you more.)
I had fenders on the madison at one point but the rake of the fork and the shorter tt puts the front wheel too close to my feet, creating big toe overlap. I use fenders on a different bike. The frame has holes on the fork and rear for direct mount fenders.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Madison is a better bike in every way possible except for actual track use. But again, the Madison is way stiffer but has a heavier frame.

madison, stripped


pista, non-stock carbon fork
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Old 06-11-09, 11:58 AM   #16
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Interesting. I didn't think the Madison had that kind of clearance. What about fenders? Not that I'd put on big tires or fenders, this won't be an all-arounder for me. But good to know regardless.

(antilogy - I think the shop I'm dealing with has some supply left in the Maddie. I'd be buying a large if that comforts you or alarms you more.)
On paper I'm more likely a medium. I live an hour away from willy so it's a bit difficult for me to go and try and buy and whatever. With luck I can get there soon!

AFAIK the Maddie doesn't have eyelets for fenders.

EDIT: Nevermind, MIN has pointed out the eyelets.
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Old 06-11-09, 12:07 PM   #17
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That stripped Madison is mouth-watering. However the varsity blue is special for me. My first real bike as a teenager was a '74 Schwinn LeTour in that color. I adored that bike like only a 14-year-old can. My dad used to ride it after I went away at college; he would leave it unlocked in our garage and you can guess what happened. I've never gotten over it. The Madison in that color looks so much like my old LeTour (sans derailleur of course) it's almost scary. It would be like getting my old bike back, but better.

(Why are bikes so sentimental? Jeez.)
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Old 06-11-09, 12:18 PM   #18
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Madison for price. Masi because, well its a Masi
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Old 06-11-09, 12:19 PM   #19
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I have a Le Tour (I believe it is an '84.) with that color scheme also, so I know how you feel.
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Old 06-11-09, 12:24 PM   #20
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I'm Italian so the Bianchi and Masi also appeal. Even though I know Masi these days is about as Italian as Pizza Hut. Really good reasons for picking out a bike, huh?
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Old 06-11-09, 12:26 PM   #21
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I'm Italian so the Bianchi and Masi also appeal. Even though I know Masi these days is about as Italian as Pizza Hut. Really good reasons for picking out a bike, huh?
All 3 are a Taiwanese branding exercise.
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Old 06-11-09, 02:02 PM   #22
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Correct
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Old 06-11-09, 02:03 PM   #23
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I'm Italian so the Bianchi and Masi also appeal.
I am Italian/American AND my last name is Masi!
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Old 06-12-09, 04:51 AM   #24
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That stripped Madison is mouth-watering. However the varsity blue is special for me. My first real bike as a teenager was a '74 Schwinn LeTour in that color. I adored that bike like only a 14-year-old can. My dad used to ride it after I went away at college; he would leave it unlocked in our garage and you can guess what happened. I've never gotten over it. The Madison in that color looks so much like my old LeTour (sans derailleur of course) it's almost scary. It would be like getting my old bike back, but better.

(Why are bikes so sentimental? Jeez.)
I don't see how choice could be an issue with that story-
Besides being a great bike, sentimentality is the reason I chose the Madison,
I've been into Schwinns since getting a new Stingray on my 8th birthday-

Also-Be sure to replace the horrid "Lincoln Continental" headbadge with a
white oval 70's re-pop one (less than 10 bucks on Ebay), It really fits the
bike and makes it look even more old-school!
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Old 06-13-09, 04:07 AM   #25
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I had fenders on the madison at one point but the rake of the fork and the shorter tt puts the front wheel too close to my feet, creating big toe overlap. I use fenders on a different bike. The frame has holes on the fork and rear for direct mount fenders.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Madison is a better bike in every way possible except for actual track use. But again, the Madison is way stiffer but has a heavier frame.

madison, stripped


pista, non-stock carbon fork
did you strip the paint off of the madison?

how did you do that?
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