Masi SSCX Long Term Report



The Bike in it’s original setup running 45C tires.


My MASI CX bike has been my commute bike for many years now.  I originally ran the bike without a computer so I have no idea what the total mileage is.  I have done 6500+ miles since I started recording mileage on Strava on it.  I estimate the bike has done more than 10000 miles. The Masi has not been without problems and has had a fair few repairs in this time. I ride the bike regardless of the weather.



The forks developed a crack behind the brake bosses and I had to replace them.  I was gutted in having to replace the forks as the paint job was one of the things that drew me to this bike.  Masi doesn’t have a good frame warranty like other brands.  The cost of a new pair of forks was almost enough for me to scrap the bike but I liked it too much.


I have had several freewheels and several chains before finally settling on the Excess components single which was much better than the Shimano junk.  The original chainset failed and had to be replaced and I have gone through two bottom brackets.

I recently swapped out the bottom bracket after the Token model died a horrible death.  It was a fairly high end item with Carbon and Titanium but it didn’t take kindly to the river crossings I encountered this winter.  The bearings were absolutely destroyed in less than 1000 miles.  (The same river crossings that also ruined the bearings in my Deore XT SPD pedals)


It may be Carbon and Titanium but it didn’t even give me 1000 miles.


I originally ran Crank Bros pedals but found the cleats were a little fragile.  I changed to SPD 12 months ago on all my off road bikes.  I prefer the feel of the Shimano solution and it seems a little more robust. Unfortunately all the wet commutes this winter have put the bearings in a really bad way. You expect better from Deore XT pedals.

 Saddle- Seatpost:

I fitted a new seatpost and saddle as the original fitment were not very good.  I love the look of the classic Flite saddle but it is not very comfy at all


 The bike originally came fitted with some monster Panarcer Firecross 45c tires (see original picture) but these proved very unreliable. I changed to some Schwalbe Marathon Racers which felt a good bit quicker but proved to be equally unreliable. I eventually updated these to some continental speed which were great tires but I was worried they were a little fragile. I finally changed to a set of Continental Contact tires back in December 2013 and have covered over 6000 miles on them with zero punctures or problems. These tires are as hard as nails, very heavy and feel very sluggish. I eventually got bored with them and decided to get a budget pair of Ritchey Speedmax Cross Comp Clinchers (700x40c) at a mere $35 per pair to try them out. At this price they seem a very low risk purchase. My commute involves a few miles of gravel trail but nothing too technical so these should work well.  The only downside is that they really look like cheap tires.



Ritchey Speedmax budet 40c tires

My first riding impressions of the Speedmax tires are very good. The tires roll  quite fast and are pretty much silent. They feel much faster than the contacts. Unless you ride them back to back with some 23c road tires you don’t really notice the drag. They are supposed to be 40C but I think they look nearer to 33C. A guy on the train has 40C on his Salsa Vaya and they look huge compared to the Speedmax. When swapping between these tires and my single speed with the Vittoria CX’s they difference is massive.  They really do drag compare to a narrower fast 320 tpi road tite. 

Reliability therefore hasn’t been so good but I really like how the bike rides and it is ideal for my pretty flat commute.  I run a 42×18 gear which is just about perfect especially now I am running an Excess Freewheel rather than the crappy Shimano models. The bike can run fixed or single free but I never run it fixed as I prefer being able to freewheel negotiating the various obstacles I encounter. 42 x 18 gives a pretty good cruising speed of around 17-18 MPH which is perfect for my commute. Unfortunately the frame is pretty scratched up due to the Wallmart specials that get rammed next to it on the train but it still looks pretty nice.

If the frame fails I would consider getting another Masi although they don’t make the CXSS model anymore. I quite like the Speciale Sprint but you cant put big tires on it. I would quite like a Raleigh RXS but the eccentric BB puts me off a bit.


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