From March 2009 to September 2009 I happily rode many kilometres on my trusty but aging Repco Superlite, including 12 Audax Brevets. Although I have stuck with the Repco for over 3,000km this year, it has become increasingly apparent that it is too small. I initially had some hand and knee pain on my first 200km ride which I rectified by repositioning the saddle. This worked for a couple of months but on the last couple of rides I have noticed that I couldn’t get comfortable.
I began searching for a replacement bike a couple of months ago. After some research I settled on an all steel frame, 700c wheels and a compact double or triple chainset. Surprisingly, many manufacturers make bikes which fit these specs including Surly, Salsa, Bianchi, KHS, Masi, Allego, Kona and Fuji. I was looking for a relaxed geometry for many hours in the saddle, which knocked out some potential bikes and also something not too heavy, which knocked out some more. After considering many alternatives I shortlisted:
KHS World Tour (TR-101)
Masi Speciale CX
I really wanted to test ride the bike I wanted to buy before purchase but I could not find any of these in stock in Perth. I test rode a friend’s Masi Speciale CX and was very impressed. Compared to my bike, it was much smoother and felt a lot better balanced than my bike.
After searching, but failing to find a Speciale CX I finally stumbled across a similar Masi ’09 Speciale Randonneur. I wasn’t super impressed with the 34t (front) 25t (rear) combo but figured I could always upgrade if needed. What sold me was the price. RRP $1,999, sale price $999. I compared the bike with what I could get locally for the same price. Mostly local offerings were entry level aluminum bikes with cheap wheels and low end running gear.
After completing the Bumpy Boddington 150km Audax ride as a permanent where my Repco began making alarming grinding sounds from the bottom bracket area, I finally hit the button and ordered my new bike on Monday, 7 September 2009 from King of the Mountain Cyclery. The order process was very straightforward. A couple of hours after placing my order, KOM called me and offered me some delivery options for $300 I could get my new bike fast, or for $142 it would take a few days longer. Orginally the ETA was Friday but there was a slight delay and the bike ended up arriving today.
The bike was partially assembled and well packed. Everything arrived in one big box with the rear wheel attached to the bike and front wheel secured next to the bike in the box.
It did not take a lot of work to remove the cardboard and assemble the bike. I attached the handlebars, front mudguard, front brakes and front wheel. I didn’t realise the wheels were not quick release, but oh well. I am quite pleased with the weight. Fully assembled it seems a bit lighter than my old bike, 12kg compared to 15kg. Looks good too.
I am very happy with my purchase from KOM Cylery. The price was great, I was given options for shipping, the bike was well packed and arrived undamaged and assembly was straightforward. I have not test ridden my new bike yet. I will update this post when I do.