Number 1 in town for the National Bike Challenge.
2011 Masi Speciale
This is the coolest bike I found after starting to search for one in earnest. Picked it up at Arizona Bicycle Experts. There are some custom / by hand frame builders that put together some fantastic stuff, but those are *way* outta my price range. Got it under MSRP since it is an older model, but I’ll still be paying for it for a while. These things is expensive. I actually went in to look at aluminum Masi’s, but this one fit and I’m glad it did.
Before jumping in the water I got my road bike toes wet on an aluminum Schwinn Empire from Wal-Mart. Not a bad bike on the cheap. Not a great one, either, since the components are all pressed steel not machined aluminum. Took quite a bit of tweaking to get it rideable. Although you could easily get your monies worth out of it, it never felt… I dunno, permanent I suppose. The Masi does. Could be that having years of experience with a quality steel frame helped me develop a bias.
Now to get my fat ass out there more often. The main reason for starting on this was to lose some weight and get in better shape. Hopefully even commute to work this summer. Used to love the road bike I had as a young teenager, so I’m looking forward to it.
In my quest for a better street bike I can either spend a few hundred on a used better model bike or a new low end model bike. Or I can convert my aging, better model MTB, a 19″ 1992 Trek 930 hardtail.
Tires were 1.95 knobbed, now 1.5 road tires. Makes for a noticeably stiffer ride. Though it actually seems harder to pedal. Since I’m as out of shape as I’ve ever been I cannot rely on this assessment.
Chainrings (110BCD) can be replaced with some slightly larger ones. Outer chainring is already 48t, but I can fit a 54t on it. They really do need to be replaced as it is, so why not go a little more road worthy? Sugino makes a set that will increase the outer and granny gear, letting me keep my crank and derailer.
Handlebar (upright) will likely not be replaced with a drop bar since I would need to replace the stem as it’s a one-piece high rise, but an aerobar might help.
In the end I’m still torn because I’d be making a workable tank of an MTB into a Frankenstein road bike that never will be one. At this point, I think stopping at tires is enough.