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Spy photo: 2008 Masi Speciale Commuter bike

by Richard Masoner

Here’s some nice bike porn for the weekend. It’s a flip-flop fixed/SS with front-facing rear fork ends intended for bike commuters (hence the name “Speciale Commuter.”) CroMo of course. More details coming soon. Enjoy!

Masi Speciale Commuter

See also the Masi Speciale SoulVille cruiser bike that was recently unveiled. This is a totally different direction for Masi and I like what I see.

 
Burley nomad 229

32 Responses to “Spy photo: 2008 Masi Speciale Commuter bike”

  1. Tim Jackson says:

    Dang, those Masi folks are geniuses! Wow… AND I hear tale that they are really good looking too. That’s the word on the street.

  2. Mike Myers says:

    Nice looking bike. Somebody needs to tell Masi’s people that showing a commuter bike with the bars 4 inches lower than the saddle isn’t exactly right.

  3. Tim Jackson says:

    It’s kind of a hybrid bike though- “dirt road racer”, if you will. Though, I admit the saddle is a little higher than I wanted it for the photo, but I didn’t set it up before the shoot.

  4. Chris Plante says:

    This would be a cool bike to post on our message forum at http://www.envirofreak.com. People who visit there are always looking for new products to get their hands on. For a commuter bike it is kind of cool, it looks like it is more adaptable to rough roads. Fragile bikes are hard to baby to work and home.

  5. AIdan says:

    Man, if they’d put an 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub on that, I’m in.

    Wish bike companies would stop selling bikes with toe-clips and pedals. Leave them off, save me some coin and let me choose my own. Same goes for second-rate saddles (though I don’t know how the Masi’s saddle is) as a general rule.

  6. Tim Jackson says:

    Aidan- the 8spd Nexus is on the SoulVille model. This bike was spec’ed this way so that the barrier to entry would be minimal- with a retail just over/ around $700, it’s pretty cheap. Then you have the money left over to put whatever you want on it.

    The pedals are “old school” because of the retro/ old school appeal and design of the bike- clipless pedals and platforms just wouldn’t fit that bill. And, for the record- they are very inexpensive (without being total crap) so that they don’t really impact the price of the bike.

    Lastly, believe it or not, that saddle is actually pretty darned comfy. It’s a Velo saddle and they make saddle for nearly everybody on the plant! It’s a lot more comfortable than some super expensive saddles on the market. Trust me on that one- I personally test each saddle we consider for use in the line. Let’s just say, some saddles should never see the light of day… ever.

  7. mark says:

    Are those WTB drop bars?

  8. Tim Jackson says:

    Nope- we found our own supplier. But they are the same type of bar- often called “dirt drops” because they work great on mountain bikes too- like my Haro Mary SS. They are flared wide at the bottom and have a cool curve to the tops as well.

  9. AIdan says:

    Hey Tim, it’s a sweet looking bike, don’t get me wrong. Good logic on the clips and hub, but I have my own dream: a steel road bike I can ride through a Toronto winter with few hassles. That’s why I want the internal hub, and something other than rim-brakes. I admit that’s a pretty narrow market.

    Which brings up an interesting thought. Much as I like to support my local bike shop, it would be nice if the 10% of us who want a unique set of parts could order direct from the bike company, without having to buy everything full retail at a store.

    Good that Masi uses a decent saddle here. I love my 2006 Lemond Croix de Fer, but that saddle was garbage: Bontrager Race.

  10. Mike Myers says:

    I like the idea of toe clips. My next bike will have them. Metal toe clips would be more of a match for the Masi bike, but I understand cost is an option. Velo Orange sells toe clip leathers AND a pre-leathered MKS alloy toe clip. That with honey leather toe straps and a honey Brooks B17 would be a hot ticket on the Masi. But I like leather.

  11. Tim Jackson says:

    AIdan- Gotcha on the harsh winter conditions stuff. That is one of the cool things about this bike- it is easily customizable. So hopefully you can create your dream rig easily. As for the saddle- the one we use has a good platform with good padding that isn’t too soft or too dense… just right, if you will. Again, for an OEM saddle (which most consumers typically take off anyway for the preferred saddle), it’s a really comfy perch for your behind. I was totally surprised with how comfortable it is.

    Mike Myers- man, you’re right- steel clips and cool leather straps would be sweet. I’m working on some stuff like that, but it is pricey- definitely. I’d LOVE to do leather bar tape too… but then I might as well use a Brooks saddle and dip the thing in gold! HA!

  12. Mike Myers says:

    Tim—why not spec the commuter bike with the same saddle you’re putting on the cruiser?

  13. Tim Jackson says:

    Mike- I love that saddle, but it’s kinda pricey. Plus, I wanted to make sure that it didn’t scare off too many people- some folks are terrified of that kind of saddle. Never fear though- I am going to bring that saddle in to stock, so you can add one to your Commuter! If there’s enough interest, I’ll bring in the Masi fenders too… so let me know if there’s interest.

  14. Beautiful.

    At $700, I’d expect this bike to come with fenders, however. It’s a commuter, right? Still: I like what I see. Hope Masi builds more city bikes like this.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Masi has one of those SS commuters out now (’07) that is orange paint.

  16. Fritz says:

    Anon, are you thinking of the Speciale Fixed? That’s a different bike, different frame, different kind of ride. The Speciale Fixed is a true track frame with track ends and track geometry. The Commuter is a little more laid back and relaxed and comes with a derailleur hanger and dropout.

  17. Rob says:

    Very cool concept. Very Salsa Casseroll like and at a price for the whole bike for only a little more than just the Casseroll frame and fork. Oh and it’s Root Beer colored instead of Ginger Beer…

  18. Uncle Bob says:

    Suuuuure… A “commuter bike” with no mudguards, and (as far as I can see) no room to fit them. What’s the point of providing fender mounts and then allowing no space under the brake callipers? The skinny tires don’t look too suitable for riding over the potholed goat-tracks that pass for roads either.

    It’s a very nice bike, but better suited to Saturday morning runs to the cafe on sunny mornings, than year-round riding to work.

  19. Fritz says:

    Those 700×32 tires are plenty wide for any kind of urban riding. I commuted for 20 years on skinny road tires and only recently moved to wider tires. I’ll take a closer look at this bike next week to see what kind of fender clearance there is.

  20. AIdan says:

    Hmm… I want a fixie, and I want a drop-bar bike with an 8-speed internal hub for winter, but my fiancee is going to walk if I have four bikes (have two). Any chance of using two rear wheels to switcheroo? Would have to think of a way to deal with the shifter and cables.

  21. Aidan says:

    Is it going to have clearance for my 35mm studded Schwalbe winter tires? Those are side-pulls, eh? Selling it in Canada?

  22. John Day says:

    Greetings to all above, That doesn’t look too out of it for fast commuting. My son’s Special Fixedis a good commuter and my 1980s Miyata frame fixie with carbon fork is set up very much like what I see here, low Nitto randonneur bars included. The racing stance is good on a fixie in traffic, if your stuff isn’t flopping loose. You need it to jump in and out of rush hour traffic and show that you mean business. I use a bag that clips to a holder on the seatpost. Planet bike Speedeze fenders are the trick for a fast fixed commuter bike, elegant and minimalist, but they work fine. Peace, love and bikes.

  23. dave says:

    Kinkey. Very kinkey.

  24. vic says:

    If it has clearance for fenders and rack mounts, and sells as a frame only, I would def buy it. Basically it would take the place of the Bianchi San Jose as the most desired drop bar fixie for internal gear-fying, a la San Jos8!

    This is much better looking

  25. Adam says:

    Geometry looks great, too. I’d buy a frameset if it was available, but not a whole bike.

    I like my Brooks, Thomson, Ritchey Biomax, V-brakes, Ultegra/Open Pros, XTR rear der. all way too much to downgrade ;)

  26. Jesse says:

    Question:

    Drop-out adjusters included? Drilled for them?

    I’m riding a 70′s horizontal dropout frame without them right now, and I curse the lack of pins every time I fix a flat…

  27. al says:

    I just got one. Put Bullhorn bars and 700/25s on it. Handles like a sports car, rides like a luxury car. Unbelievably great around town and with a rack excellent for my 8 mile commute to work.

  28. Al- You are a Prince among men. Thank you for buying one of our bikes- I hope it serves you well for years to come.

    Tim

  29. Kirk says:

    I’d like to just get the orange frame and build it myself!

  30. Sam says:

    OK, I bought one. After the test ride I couldn’t part with it. Curse you Masi!!

  31. Dan says:

    Does it come with a 16t rear cog along with the freewheel? Or do you have to buy one after purchase.

  32. Pete says:

    I’ve ridden 1000+ miles on my Speciale commuter since may 1st 09. Got it for 435 at my LBS. best deal on earth. Commute everyday, put a rack and a basket on it and fill it up with food and ride 20 miles to a bbq. Anything and everthing. And I haven’t even put any gears on it yet. Best bike ever.

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