I have 242 miles on the Musashi and other than the noisy drive train, which I really do have to sort out, the bike is great fun to ride. I have been riding many of my regular training runs on it and I thought that despite it’s weight disadvantage it actually climbs better than the Bacchetta (there is absolutely no technical reason for why this should be other than its stability meaning more energy is concentrated on achieving forward power). It might also be pretty close on the flats too but the noisy chain makes me feel like I am putting in more work (my Bacchetta’s drive line is buttery smooth and quiet).
I decided to dust of the Bacchetta to compare how it climbs on a local favorite hill of mine. I rode the same hill on the Musashi on Monday of this week with just about identical wind conditions (Not very much wind at all) and I tried really hard to get a personal best time. My time up the hill was 9m49s which corresponds to an average speed of 8.8 MPH. Today on the Bacchetta I tried just as hard (my average pulse for both attempts were within 1 bpm) and it felt harder and slower so I was very surprised to see I was nearly a minute quicker with a time of 8:52 and average speed of 9.7 MPH. Now all this isn’t very scientific and I definitely feel happier climbing on the Musashi but it really does seem to be a slower climber.
Although the Musashi is a wonderful stable climbing platform I do find it to be a bit sensitive on fast down hills. The steering is so light that it is easy to overcorrect on bumps or ruts on fast descents which feels a little scary and has kept me from giving the bike free reign. The fastest I have had on the bike is 46MPH and the steering feels a little light at these speeds. I suppose fitting the considerably shorter Bacchetta bars contributes to this very quick and light handling. I think it is very close to the Bacchetta with respect to high speed handling.
So how does the Musashi compare on my regular training loops ? This information seems to illustrate the the Musashi is faster under certain circumstances but I had no control over weather. Interesting stuff though.
Altamont Pass: Win to The Bacchetta
Flynn Clockwise: Advantage Musashi
Cross Road: Advantage Bacchetta
Here are a couple of climbs that are Quite a bit steeper than Del Valle where the Musashi’s stability on really steep stuff comes into play:
Caroll Road Climb: Slight Advantage Musashi
Riding the Bacchetta today really hammered home to me how much I hate my Musashi’s drive train. The Bacchetta is such a wonderfully quiet beast.