Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday night blogging fun!

One of the two Masikids is already asleep and the Masiwife is out with her sister, so what is the Masiguy to do? Blog of course!

So the past few weeks, like the past several months have been very busy. Hence the big drop off in real content here. I admit that the Daily Drive feature has become the recent meat of the blog, but I am working on it. I promise... but it is still going to be tough.

Since Interbike, I have been in a constant state of playing catch-up (or is it Ketchup or Catsup) and/ or running directly from one project/ distraction and into the next one. Lots of good things have been happening, some not so good, but lots and lots of things just the same. Anyway, it's been crazy.

As I mentioned in the earlier post today, there are lots of things I want to be blogging about here and a lot of feedback is wanted from you, so put on your thinking caps and get ready to participate.

I will expand on these things a lot in the coming days, weeks and months. So stay tuned for a lot more, but here are the biggies;

The topic of women's bikes is coming back and I am still in the process of evaluating how, or if, to go about creating something special for the ladies. There are so many differing opinions on the subject. Personally, I do believe that many of the "women's bikes" on the market are done poorly. Still, some are done thoughtfully well, using good tubing to tune the ride for lighter or smaller riders, using sensibly smaller width bars, comfortable geometries, etc. However, it is my belief that a bike doesn't need to be pink and have flowers on it to fit a woman, or for that matter any smaller rider. The industry has, however, done a very effective job of convincing many female consumers that they "need" a special women's bike. I hate to let marketing drive reality (as a marketer, I have to admit that is ironic), but the reality is that many consumers believe the marketing. Do I turn my back on those consumers or do I embrace them and offer them "my version" of what they think they need? Hmm...

The new Speciale Fixed is proving to be a real winner and the new CXR cross bike has won some fans as well. Steel is something I personally love and do not want to ever get away from. I have said again and again that as long as I am the Brand Manager for Masi, there will always be at least one steel bike in the Masi line. I still feel that way and I am going to keep saying that. With that said, playing on the success of the two bikes mentioned above, I intend to develop a new steel cross bike. The idea is to create a bike that can serve as an exceptional commuter/ fun cross bike, complete with all the necessary rack and fender mounts for winter riding or year-round commuting (or even touring). The debate in my head now is whether the bike is a single speed cross/ commuter or if it is a geared bike. What to do, what to do...

There's more... but those two topics are the biggest for me at the moment.

Well, I guess the other big topic floating around in my head is the whole Eurobike Portland vs Interbike discussion... man, that's a good one. What are your thoughts? I know that most of you who read this blog are not inside the industry and don't attend the shows, but your feedback is still important in my mind and might even register with the folks at Interbike (who read this blog regularly).

Keep your eyes open for the polls to show up on this little slice of Masi heaven. I'll be trying to add some tonight, but since I haven't run any polls since the facelift of this blog a year ago... I'm sure I could mess things up.

Stay tuned and thanks again for sticking around as things have gotten a little repetitive here. Lots of good dialogs are on the horizon and as always, your feedback is greatly appreciated.



BlogBob said...

I hate Vegas. I wish it would move. But I also don't think there is room for two shows. CABDA had one good year and the rest sucked.

blue squirrel said...

i say NEY to two shows, and it is simple, bike shop owners [and some exhibitors, the small indy entrepreneur, the up and comers, the backbone of the american economy] are 'PO and simply can't afford to go to two shows. afford in the sense of money and or time. most bike shops are also indy and are just making it happen. the large brand 'concept stores can afford to party, but who cares about them? they are going to carry what they are told to and only the big brands [some of which don't even exhibit].

these trade shows are just that, trade shows, not auto shows trying to sell product to consumers.

only one will survive over time.....

Jeff said...

I think Women's bikes (WSD) are a good idea. My wife and I have the same inseam, but I am three inches taller. This model seems to be true with other women I've talked too. The shorter top tube on my wife's WSD bikes makes the bike fit much better for her.

My wife and friends say color is real important too. I don't know how it happened, but most of the bike manufactures decided that women like light blue, and nothing more. Year after year, it's mostly light blue bikes for women. I think they're sick of it!

I think the WSD seats are a nice touch too.

Al said...

As the proud owner of a new fixie (sorry it's not a Masi, my wife bought it as an anniversary gift and she hasn't found this blog yet) I would recommed that you make the cross bike a fixed gear. Riding a fixie has added so much fun to my daily commute that I am not sure if I would go back to a geared bike for it. I vote for the fixed gear commuter/fun bike.

Anonymous said...

For a womens bike, fit is key, and to keep the geometry good you might consider 650 wheels, but the 650c tires are darn narrow at the moment. Don't forget 165mm cranks, as to shorter fingers... maybe a well contoured bar could help. And yes, not all women are short, but the that are, suffer.

Been trying to help two who are short right now...they both hate light blue. no consenus, one wants lipstick red, the other, Black!

Anonymous said...

For a womens bike, fit is key, and to keep the geometry good you might consider 650 wheels, but the 650c tires are darn narrow at the moment. Don't forget 165mm cranks, as to shorter fingers... maybe a well contoured bar could help. And yes, not all women are short, but the that are, suffer.

Been trying to help two who are short right now...they both hate light blue. no consenus, one wants lipstick red, the other, Black!

Richard said...

Hey Tim, it's me, Richard with the Speciale Carbon (still love it - bring it back!)

Working for a Trek dealer, I have some observations about "Women Specific Designs." I have to be off to the Salt Mine soon, so I'll have to be brief (I'll be more expansive at a later date.)

For the most part, they are a good thing. Shorter top tubes can be crucial for a decent fit for many (not all) females. Flowers and pink/light blue are another story.

David Randall said...


Never a Masi owner until now, my local shop -- Experience Cycling in Duncan, BC, Canada -- started carrying Masi, and I was thrilled about the quality steel bikes [I detest dead-feeling alumimum, and carbon bikes are too fragile]. I just yesterday lucked-out and bought a left-over '06 Speciale Carbon.

While I've not had more than a few blocks ride [rained yesterday and today], I absolutely adore the Speciale Carbon already. I'm very sad that it's being axed from the 2007 line-up.

Here's what I'd like. A Dedacciai 16.5 all-steel racer, with a choice of Ultegra-level or 105 level components [or better yet, Centaur or Voloce level components]. Without carbon stays I know I could keep the frame longer.

Also, a Dedacciai 16.5 all-steel sport-touring bicycle with long-reach dual-pivot calipers, like a Nuova Strada except in quality steel and better component options. All fender and rack tabs present also. This bike needs to be able to run 700c/28mm tires with fenders and racks.

Masi NEEDS to spec Campy instead of Shimano. Masi was Italian, and I've heard a number of people ask why Shimano is on an Italian bike. When the present components wear-out on my new Masi, Campy will go-on.

On women's bikes, just give a shorter top-tube option for a number of models; some shorter-torso'd men might even like them. Smaller hand levers would be good too, and the 650c tire-size is a good idea for small sizes.

Oh, my vote is for one dealer-show.

T-Guy J said...

Steel is the only way to go. Gone are the days where all steel bikes were 22 pounds. One bike builder just made a steel frame out of 953 that weighed in at 3.2 pounds.

On top of that, nothing is prettier than a fully-lugged steel frame...and as the kids say "Steel is Real"

As for the trade shows...only do a second one if it is on the east coast. There is no need for 1 in Vegas and 1 in Portland. That does not benefit anyone...however, one in Boston, that would be excellent (I should say that I am biased only because I would love to have a major show in my neck of the woods)

HelpATallBikerOut said...

How about "Tall Guy-Specific" bikes? I suffer like the women but with bikes that are too small or bikes that are big enough but look goofy. How about some cheaper 180+mm cranks and wider road handlebars? I'm only 6'2" - not exactly a giant.

Dabbo said...

How about a steel/road/cross/commuter/geared bike, if you want single or fix you can always convert it.
I love my Masi but I can not use it for cross and no fenders for commuting. Or I have to wait 2 years for a custom Vanilla?
Whatever you do keep up the great work. Vai Masi!

Anonymous said...

You're talking about making a versatile cross/commuter/tourer with braze ons, so it doesn't make sense to me to pigeon-hole it by going single-speed. That just limits its versatility. Or you can use semi-horizontal drop-outs to split the difference.