Saturday, August 25, 2007

I guess you like it...

Wow, I guess it is fair to say that new the Speciale SoulVille and Speciale Commuter are proving to be "hits". I mean, the SoulVille has been getting press all over the place- all over the world actually. I found blogs in Turkey and Hong Kong talking about the SoulVille and the Commute by Bike blog has seen some good discussion about the Commuter (as has Cycle-licious). Sure makes a Brand Manager happy... believe me. This is the stuff I live for!

There has been a lot of good dialog going on about these bikes and so I thought I'd pose a few questions and see what you all (y'all) think;

1) Is there enough interest in bringing that Masi leather saddle in as an aftermarket item? It'd sell for somewhere between $75-100 probably, unless I bought insane numbers of them. Would you buy one for that kind of money?

2) Should the Masi fenders be brought in too? They will have a laser etched Masi headbadge on the front and rear ends. Not sure yet of the price, but would they be worth bringing in for sale?

3) I'm already planning more versions of the SoulVille. Wayne (my product manager) and I are already working up different ideas, but what do YOU think the next version should be? 3 or 4 speed? 10 speed? Drop bar or flat/ curved bar? Frameset? Racing frameset- I admit I really want to do this personally- Reynolds 631 or 853 tubing and race geometry. But what fork? The same steel fork or a lightweight carbon fork? A fixie version?

4) Bringing back the Speciale steel road bike with carbon fork and 105/ Ultegra drivetrain. Do we keep it as it was in 2006, with 105/ Ultegra or do we go higher market? Do we even bring back the Speciale Carbon frameset or bike? That Speciale Carbon was the best riding bike I've ridden in 25 years of racing... but that Dedacciai tubing is darned expensive stuff... are you going to buy it? If so, is it a complete bike or just a frameset?

I know I had more... but I'm tired and my brain is turning to mush. So I'll be posting more questions in the near future. Maybe it's time for more Polls to be created for your enjoyment.

(Germany/ Eurobike just two days away.)

Tim

22 comments:

wrw said...

Tim,
Consider the following,
1) Saddle - MASI embroidered, Microfiber (directional nap) surface, faux appearance
2) Fenders - MASI stamped, ROUND aluminum fenders with matching support hardware.
3) SoulVille -
CAMPY (10 speed) components, Flat/Curved handlebar control group, carbon fork
4) Speciale -
CAMPY (10 speed) components, steel frame, carbon fork

Anonymous said...

i'd be interested in a reynolds frameset with race geometry. not enough [affordable] 853 frames around these days. 6-something would work too.

carbon fork. 105 with ultegra option.

Anonymous said...

Steel is real. The only thing to add the the commuter is an available set of fenders.

Gilby said...

1) Yes. Though minus the springs, more of a Brooks Team Pro style. You know, so I can put it on my Speciale racing bike.

2) I like 'em, but not sure they'd be profitable as an aftermarket item.

3) Do NOT put carbon on that bike, Tim! DO NOT. I am fairly certain you'd be punished in the afterlife for doing so. Do keep the leather saddle and deck out the traditional drop bars with natural cork, cloth, or leather tape. Downtube shifters would be the BOMB, but I'd settle for bar-end shifters. As a non-racing bike, moustache bars or something similarly curvy. Chainguard & bell. Single speed, but not fixie. Perhaps a mixte frame?

4) I love my Speciale, but I've always had a little bit of regret that I didn't buy the Speciale Carbon when I had the chance!

patrollers said...

Nice to see a practical, fun and tasteful looking commuter bike at a reasonable price. Are those attributes what cause people to call it "euro"?

As for the fenders, why would you bother importing something that is not functional? Perhaps if they had SIDES to channel the water down towards the ground... or is that not euro?

Chris said...

1) No, I've tried Brooks and while they look great, I don't like the shape.

2) The flat fenders seem more a fashion statement, they need to be curved... Would the alu look cool on the right bike, sure.

3) 8-speed hub drop bar with canti's. That would make a really nice commuter road bike for longer commutes. The internal hub would allow for single speed simplicity but provide gears. The Canti's would be great in foul weather. Steel would make a reliable durable bike.

4) A nice steel road bike would be great. How about 105/Tiagra and then a frame for those that want to go higher. Steel fork please.

Bret Moss said...

Since this is a Soulville and looks trump practicality, more coffee shop saturday market bike than long haul commuter.

Leather saddle if it works at this price point, it just needs to be padded and springy.

The new faux wood fenders with color choices are nice.

How about a rack that can be flip flopped front or rear and has a slot for the ubiquitous Latte.

Gears yes, three should be sufficient. How about the new carbon belt drivetrain?

I have two Specials one 16.5, the other 853. All I can say is keep at least one steel race bike in the line-up, think Paris-Roubaix, CX on a diet.

William Weidner said...

I just picked up a used speciale carbon (2005) and I can't say enough good about that bike. I would say definitely bring it back if you can find the margins.

brian@theroadbike.com said...

Tim- Love the stuff. Just got a Speciale fixed, and I would love to put a Masi leather saddle on it. From a merchant standpoint, it might be hard to sell next to Brooks, but you would have at least 1 customer here.

Would love to see the Speciale in steel again. I like the Ultegra/105 setup from a sales point of view. I would hope you could sell it as a frameset too, so that us geeks can do it up our own way.

mike said...

steel.
no carbon.
keep it simple.
single speed, 3 spd, 8 spd would be nice. SRAM or Nexus8 or Alfine would be cool.

chaincase, or chainguard.

fenders that curve. the flat ones look cool, but i think you need some curve to get the water away from the edges before blowing back.

hard to compete on saddles with brooks - either a b66 for a streetster, or a team pro or swift for a sporty commuter.

nitto albatross or moustache bars or some version of classic city bike bars.

what's the geometry on the soulville frame? slack enough to sit upright? adaptable enough to make a long distance commuter, grocery hauler?

steel.
no carbon.

i'd carry the soulville with some tweaks. i'd carry the commuter if you are serious about function and use long reach brakes (or canti's) and give me options for racks and fenders and clearance for 32mm tires (min)

mike
www.littlecirclesbikes.com

Anonymous said...

The first bike builder to build a cafe-racer euro style bike like the soulville with disc brakes, at least on the front has got my money. To me that is the epitomy of classic style and modern conveniences. I bet Steve McQueen would ride a bike like that...

I'd also be a big fan of putting the alfine hub and disc brake combo aboard the Soulville.

Anonymous said...

It needs a chain guard to be a true city bike. I won't touch a bike without a chain guard because I ride in street clothes.

It should also have a front brake for emergency stopping.

I currently own a Bianchi Milano (getting a bit long in the tooth after 5 years of daily commuting) but I'd drop it in a second for this bike if it were properly equipped.

As specified this bike is just for show.

-William in Portland, OR

Anonymous said...

I love my Speciale Carbon, my bestest bike ever! I have wondered how I might get another frame set like it and considered going custom. I would buy a Masi, *especially* if it was fillet brazed.

Chad Thompson said...

Some of the previous posters mentioned the fenders not being rounded enough and I agree. Also they are not long enough (the front one in particular) to prevent your toes from getting wet. And for liability's sake maybe put on breakaway fork connectors (like Esge). And if you're gonna do a leather saddle get some bag loops on it. Hell make traverse style saddle bags and sell those too. I also agree with the front brake idea. And I'd love to see polished components at least the cranks. Maybe some 650b wheels ....

Anonymous said...

Please, for the love of all that is holy, bring us the Soulville, saddle, fenders, the whole works. Please

Anonymous said...

may i know what handlebar that is on the road bike? thanks.

thoglette said...

As Chris Said
* more fenders
* hub gears
* front brake
* chainguard

I'm sick of derailleur/chain maintenance

Anonymous said...

"The first bike builder to build a cafe-racer euro style bike like the soulville with disc brakes, at least on the front has got my money. To me that is the epitomy of classic style and modern conveniences. I bet Steve McQueen would ride a bike like that..."

Agree 100%--a sportier offshoot with front disc would get my scratch!

Anonymous said...

Soulville with a front disc brake
and ss/fixed...please...please...
please.

Aidan said...

Someone took this beautiful picture of the Speciale Commuter (@ Interbike?): http://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/1444196772/

That reassures me I can run my winter studs on it: 35mm.

This going to be in Canada? When?

Anonymous said...

Nice bike - I especially agree with all the "rack" ideas.

My use cases - I live in Downtown San Diego, and need a convenient / stylish bike for 1) Riding to and from the grocery store 2) To and from my friend's houses in the area 3) To and from the SD airport (i travel a lot) 4) To the SD train station for the occasional Coaster trip.

I was considering the Milano, but this looks a bit sleeker. Racks of some sort would be very cool, especially if they were designed as well as the rest of the bike. I can relate to many of the other posts regarding brake and hub options.

Can you simply offer a "build your own Soulville"? Start with the basic frame, then allow us to customize the options as we want. You might even provide a few pre-built options similar to the Specialized offers a few "Lanster" variations. This creates a more personal experience between the Masi brand and its customers...

As an accomplished designer, I'd be happy to help design the experience in exchange for a few SoulVilles of my own - LOL!

jason said...

Any word on fender availability. I would like a pair for sure if you can get them. My local shop is a Masi dealer and says they are not available. Yes, please.