Masi Bicycles is a manufacturer of road, track, cyclocross and commuter bikes based in Vista, California. However, the company took its beginnings from the Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan, Italy in the 1950’s. Faliero Masi began making bicycle frames at the velodrome, after a career as a professional racer and team mechanic. In 1973, Faliero’s son, Alberto, took over the Vigorelli shop while Faliero headed to the United States with two assistants, to begin production at a new facility in Carlsbad, California.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before a dispute over production volumes caused tension between Masi and the USA Masi investors. The USA investors owned the “Cicli Masi” name and trademark, meaning the Masi family was unable to sell bikes under their own name. Eventually, the Masi family would release bikes into the USA market under the name “Milano 3V’. To this day, the Masi name and logo is owned by Haro Bikes – distinctly different from Milano 3V.
For 2017, Masi offers eight bicycles in their cyclocross series – which all double up for gravel road use. We covered four bikes from the range, beginning with the Masi CXRc Expert.
Masi CXRc Expert (Carbon)
Pictured above is the 2017 Masi CXRc Expert – “Designed and built as our ultimate CX Race weapon, the Masi CXRc Expert embodies our belief in deploying a leading edge race bike that translates every bead of sweat, turn of the pedal and calorie burned into a faster and more rewarding experience for the competitor.” However, Masi also promote the bike as suitable for gravel duty – “Masi’s Dirt Tuned Carbon frame and fork features thru-axle dropouts and clearance for the fattest knobs.”
Other features of the Masi CXRc Expert include:
- Masi Dirt Tuned MC9 carbon frame, 12mm thru-axle, Di2 compatible, BB86 bottom bracket, internal cable routing, 1.5″ tapered headtube and flat-mount SRAM Force HRD hydraulic disc brakes.
- Praxis Works Zayante 1X 40 tooth crankset, Praxis Works M30 bottom bracket (bearings by Enduro) and a SRAM PG1030 11-spd 11-36t cassette.
- Ritchey outfit the cockpit with their WCS EvoMax bar, WCS One-Bolt seatpost and WCS C220 stem.
- Stans NoTubes Radler Disc rims with Alloy 28 hole disc brake thru-axle hubs.
- Clement MXP 700c x 33mm 60tpi folding tyres.
The Masi CXRc Expert is available in five sizes from 49 to 60, with top tubes beginning at 51.5cm on the Size 49, ending at 590mm on the Size 60. MSRP is $US 3,479.99.
Masi CXGR Supremo (Steel)
First introduced for the 2016 model year, the Masi CXGR Supremo sees some improvements for 2017. The frame is constructed from double butted TIG welded steel, mated to an all-carbon Masi tapered fork. The CXGR is marketed as a cyclocross / gravel bike.
Shimano’s ultra-reliable Ultegra 6800 drivetrain is at the heart of the Masi CXGR. 12mm thru-axles feature front and rear of the bike.
Masi wisely fit the new Praxis Works Alba crankset and matching M30 (30mm axle) bottom bracket with bearings by Enduro. This crankset wears 48 / 32 chainrings which offer much better gear ratios on gravel roads than 50 / 34 chainrings – which are commonplace on so many gravel bikes at the moment.
Masi 1.5″ tapered headtube is mated to Masi’s aluminium steerer fork with carbon legs.
Brake and derailleur cables are routed externally in a clean manner on the Masi CXGR. There is also provision for three water bottle cages – two in the usual locations and one beneath the downtube.
The all Ritchey cockpit features the company’s Road EvoMax WCS handlebar with 12 degree flare and Ritchey WCS C220 stem. The seatpost is a WCS aluminium unit.
Shimano’s RS685 hydraulic brake / mechanical shifters take care of the shifting and braking duties. Brakes adopt the latest flat-mount standard.
The Masi CXGR comes with Clement’s USH 700c x 35mm tyres. These tyres are not tubeless ready, but we understand they do convert well. Stan’s NoTubes Radler Disc brake wheelset is tubeless ready.
The Masi CXGR is available in seven sizes from 47 to 60, with top tubes beginning at 51.3cm on the Size 47, ending at 590mm on the Size 60. MSRP is $US 2,499.99.
Masi CXR Comp Alloy (Aluminium)
Masi’s CXR Comp Alloy model is another bike in the range touted as “dirt tuned”. Marketed primarily as a cyclocross bike, the CXR’s cross-oriented gearing crosses over nicely between that genre and along one’s local dirt and gravel road network.
The Masi CXR Comp Alloy comes equipped with Shimano’s 105 5800 11-speed drivetrain and FSA Gossamer Cross cranks fitted with 46 / 36 tooth chainrings. The rear cassette is 11-28 11-speed, but an 11-32 would be a little nicer for pure gravel road use.
Other features of the Masi CXR Comp Alloy include:
- Masi Ma6 Aluminium frameset with 1.5″ tapered headtube, internal cable routing, flat-mount TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes and quick release / thru-axle convertible dropout system. The fork has an aluminium 7075 steerer tube mated to carbon fiber legs. Thru-axles are 12mm at both ends of the bike.
- Clement MXP 700c x 33mm 60tpi folding tyres.
The Masi CXR Comp Alloy is available in five sizes from 49 to 60, with top tubes beginning at 51.5cm on the Size 49, ending at 590mm on the Size 60. MSRP is $US 1,409.99.
Masi CX Comp (Steel)
The 2017 Masi CX Comp is marketed as the company’s “gateway” bike to their series of all-road performance bicycles. Designed for cyclocross or light touring use, the CX comp is designed for versatility. Featuring rack and fender mounts, a double butted TIG welded steel frame, this well priced bike looks to be a great machine for dipping your feet into the world of gravel cycling…
Masi fit the CX Comp with Shimano’s Tiagra 10-speed mechanical shifting system. Tiagra has undergone much improvement over previous generations – the integrated shift and brake levers function much like their higher end Shimano brethren.
The rear derailleur is the longer cage variant of Tiagra, and is mated to a Shimano 4600 level 10-speed, 12-30 tooth rear cassette. Masi equip the CX Comp with regular quick releases at both ends of the bike.
FSA’s Omega crankset is fitted with 48 / 34 tooth chainrings which are an excellent choice for most gravel cyclists. The crankset rolls on a FSA Mega EXO external cup (English thread) bottom bracket.
The Masi CX Comp includes three water bottle mounting locations – one on the downtube, one on the seattube and one on the underside of the downtube.
All derailleur and brake cables are routed externally on the 2017 Masi CX Comp.
The fork is an all-chromoly uni-crown affair, with straight fork legs and mounts for racks and fenders.
ProMax DSK-300R mechanical disc brakes use the tried and true post-mount standard at both ends of the CX Comp.
A rare sight these days – a straight 1 1/8″ steerer fork with FSA Orbit X Threadless external cup headset.
The 2017 Masi CX Comp’s New Brev M Tubeless compatible wheelset is shod with Kenda’s Small Block Eight tyres in 700c x 35mm. The wheelset features 32 hole disc brake hubs and standard 9mm quick releases. There is a stack of tyre clearance on this bike.
In “Rosso Red”, the 2017 Masi CX Comp is a sharp looking rig.
The CX Comp frame also features an integrated seat clamp, which was commonplace on many steel bikes from earlier times – what’s old is new again!
The 2017 Masi CX Comp is available in six sizes from 49 to 60, with top tubes beginning at 52cm on the Size 49, ending at 590mm on the Size 60. MSRP is a great deal at $US 1,089.99.
Masi also offer the CX, the CXGR, the CXR Expert Alloy and CXRc Comp models. All models can be viewed at Masi’s website.