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Masi and Newbie Bike Questions(5 posts)

Masi and Newbie Bike QuestionsMichael
Mar 8, 2001 9:22 AM
Hey, I posted something earlier, but I don't think it registered. Please excuse this if it has already been posted.

I've been a mountain biker for about 15 years now, and love to commute to work on my bike. However, because of work and marriage, my time for on the bike riding has been significantly cut, and I was hoping to purchase a road bike to train more efficiently, commute more easily, and also see about road racing and/or to join some friends on various charity rides (MS 150, Diabetes Tour, Aids ride, etc.)

Anyway, I was wondering what kinds of bikes I could get for about $1000 and what I should look at on a road bike that would not occur to me after many years of mountain biking.

In addition, I hope to look at a 10 year old Masi Gran Corsa with Shimano 600 Ultrega components on it. How much should I spend on a bike like that. I am familiar with the Masi name, but have been unable to find that much info on the bikes themselves. What I have found indicates that once it was a grand producer of frames, but sometime in recent years, they were purchased by Schwinn or someone else, and the quality dropped.. How long ago was that, and did the quality really suffer.

FInally, in purchasing a used bike, what are some items that I need to be aware of.

Thanks alot
re: Masi and Newbie Bike Questionsbartali
Mar 8, 2001 9:37 AM
Michael - Go this site: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/vrbn-g-n.html#masi
for info on Masi. If it's 10 years old, the Masi you are looking at is a California bike that has absolutely nothing to do with Faliero Masi nor Alberto Masi.
re: Masi and Newbie Bike QuestionsNEIL
Mar 8, 2001 11:20 AM
Yes, it's true that the newer bikes with Masi names were made in California. Masi was one of the great Italian manufacturers over the years. They have quite a history.

I couldn't tell you specifically about cost of that bike, but I would say that depending on the condition, you could pick it up for several hundred dollars.

If you are handy at bike maintenance, and you found an older quality bike in reasonably good condition, you may be better off with a medium to high quality bike that is older versus spending $1000 for a new bike. $1000 today doesn't buy a whole bunch of quality in a road bike.

When checking out an older bike, some quick checks on condition are to check the bearings in the hubs, headset and bottom bracket. To check the hubs, take off the wheel, holding the nuts on either side of the wheel, spin it in your fingers. It should feel resonably smooth with no huge catches or binding feeling. Even then you can't tell for sure, sometimes the hub races are not pitted, just adjusted too tight or dry. To check the headset, support the bike on it's back wheel, and turn the handlebars slowly, if you feel any notching in the middle the headset may be shot. You can drop the chain off the chainrings and rest it carefully on the bottom bracket, and slowly spin the cranks, you shouldn't feel any binding or notches. It should spin and come to a slow stop eventually. You can look at the chainrings and if the teeth look short and stubby, they may need replacing. Don't mind the brake and derailiuer cables too much, those can be replaced easily. Look on the lockrings of the bottom bracket and the headset to see if there are any rounded off corners on the nuts. That will make it a pain to repair for you. Check the rear derailiuer and pedals, if you see some scuff marks, you can bet somebody crashed it. Check the frame carefully around the lugs, and at the seat stays for any signs or rust. Even a steel bike if cleaned well, won't rust much even after 10 years. Look over the rims and look for cracks or excessive hop in the rim. Small wobbles are fixed by a good truing job. Squeeze the spokes together, they should all be of similar tightness. If they are all the same degree of looseness, that's not bad, they can all be tightened equally. 600 was pretty nice stuff to begin with in it's day, so that makes working on it so much better.

Especially, if you want a bike to ride casually and isn't your main ride, it can save you a lot of money to look into an older bike. If you aren't that mechanically inclined it may frustrate you a little because to do bike maintenance right, you need to have the specialized tools. I've turned other people's garage clutter into very respectable and ridable bikes for some of my friends who just want a decent bike for weekend rides and aren't all gung ho into cycling like most of us. Just make sure it fits you. It's not worth it to fix up a bike that is too big or too small, you won't have good riding experience. The overly simplified frame size test you probably already know about is an inch of clearance from the top tube when standing over the bike. if you're taller, don't be afraid to have 2-3 inch of clearance. The .65/.67 x inseam formula is more accurate, but with a used bike, you don't get so many fit options.

happy riding.
NEIL
re: Masi and Newbie Bike Questionsmichael
Mar 8, 2001 11:40 AM
Thanks. Thats a whole lot of information to process, but I will do my best.

Right now, I am looking into riding the bike to work everyday (miles each way) and really want a smooth fast ride. I would also like to take it out for training rides 2-3 times a week during lunch.

I am also looking at a year old Lemond Zurich this weekend.

As for size, basically, the cheaper the bike is the more I am willing to live with an improper fit (to a point)

After 15 years of mountain biking, I have built up quite a collection of tools - It is infanitally cheaper to do your own general repairs - though I am by no means a super mechanic.

Thanks alot.
re: Masi and Newbie Bike QuestionsNEIL
Mar 8, 2001 12:48 PM
Michael-
I forgot to give you a link to some more Masi information. The bikes they show here are quite a bit older than 10 years, but it'll give you an idea of the kind of bike you were considering.

http://www.cyclesdeoro.com/Masimain.html
make sure you click on the MASI USA link, it goes into further detail and helps you date a Masi frame.

http://www.masibikes.com
This is the masi usa site which has some info about some of the newer (ie. not old vintage) Masi's.

See you on the road.
NEIL