2018 Masi Giramondo

The New 2018 Masi Giramondo Touring Bikes

Founded in 1926, Masi Bicycles has been making and selling bikes for almost a century. It was only recently, however, that they put together their first dedicated touring bike range. And they didn’t mess around, the 2018 Masi Giramondo touring bikes are currently some of the best value!

Using double-butted steel as the frame/fork material, the Masi Giramondo is already off to a good start in most burgeoning bike traveller eyes. The tall headtube, long wheelbase and slow steering speed will equate to a comfortable upright position and stable ride, even with a heavy load. There’s a new XS frame size that will better suit smaller riders, although the ‘standover’ height is more in line with the size small from other brands…

Let’s take a closer look at the two models available in this year’s lineup.

The New 2018 Masi Giramondo Touring Bike

2018 Masi Giramondo
The new 2018 Masi Giramondo 700c

The Giramondo 700c has been designed with long-distance road touring in mind. While it comes with 40mm wide tyres, the frame will accommodate 50mm slick tyres if you’re spending a bit more time on gravel.

The Giramondo comes with a mountain bike crankset and 11-36 tooth rear cassette that achieves some of the lowest gear ratios available on any touring bike – it’s an 18-109″ gear range. These low gears allow you to ride as slow as walking pace up steep hills and at the other end, the largest gears won’t run out until well over 50km/h.

With three bidon mounts on the frame and two on the fork, there’s ample space for water or cargo cages.

2018 Masi Giramondo
A Tubus Tara front rack comes with the bike.

A Tubus Tara front rack and Tubus Cargo rear rack are supplied with the Giramondo. These steel racks are the best in the business with a lightweight construction, huge weight capacity, 25-year guarantee AND worldwide free-of-charge replacement service during the first three years. Yep!

I have personally used these racks without issue for the last 10 years including a 32,000km trip from Europe to Australia. I can’t recommend a better product. The retail value of these items is US $260, so it’s rather surprising to see them end up on this bike.

2018 Masi Giramondo
A Tubus Cargo rack is supplied with the Giramondo.

The Masi Giramondo comes with a slightly flared road handlebar and barend shifters. While this style of gear shifter is highly unlikely to ever fail (this is the reason why touring bikes tend to come with them), you may fancy getting yourself a set of Shimano Sora R3000 3×9 brifters which will make changing gears quicker and easier. They’re available for under US $150 and may be a good reason to switch across to a black bartape.

Considering the value of the Tubus racks, the asking price of US $1299 makes the Giramondo 700c one of the best value touring bikes on the market.

2018 Masi Giramondo
The red handlebar tape is a bit of an odd specification choice but is easily changed.

The New 2018 Masi Giramondo 27.5

2018 Masi Giramondo
The new 2018 Masi Giramondo 27.5

Perhaps off-road adventure riding is your game?
No worries, Masi has a Giramondo with 27.5″ wheels as standard that are and fitted with 2.1″ wide mountain bike tyres.

While the frame stays the same, the fork is different. It uses a segmented design to achieve greater tyre clearance. It also has two 3-boss mounts for cargo cages at the back, as well as dynamo cable routing on the inside of the fork leg. There are still mounting points for a front rack, but you also get the option for fitting a mini/porteur rack to the mounting points on top of the fork.

2018 Masi Giramondo
The fork is different on the Giramondo 27.5.

The splatter paintjob is sure to be polarising. It harks back to mountain bikes that I used to drool over in the 1990s, so I must say… I really like it! The integrated seat collar is also a bit of a throwback too, and while I don’t normally like them, it isn’t a dealbreaker. Just make sure you grease up the thread on the bolt!

2018 Masi Giramondo
The paintjob is a unique touch to the bike.

The Giramondo 27.5 comes with even more flared handlebars with a super wide drops section to provide additional stability in the rough stuff. Masi has also fitted a 30-degree stem to shorten the reach and achieve a slightly more upright position on this bike.

You can get your adventure mitts on a 2018 Masi Giramondo 27.5 for US $1199.

2018 Masi Giramondo
The WTB dirt drop handlebar is nice and wide in the drops.

Want To Compare These Touring Bikes With Dozens of Others?

Check out The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide which compares touring bike steering, sizing, gear ratios, specification, pricing and more. The Bikepacking Bike Buyer’s Guide does the same thing, however, with a focus on lighter bikes and models with more off-road capability. Both of these guides are updated annually with the latest models at no extra cost!

Helpful Resources

All About Touring Bike Brakes
Frame Materials for Bicycle Touring
How to Select Touring Bike Gearing
Understand Bicycle Frame Geometry
What’s the Difference between Cyclocross and Touring Bikes?

Touring & Bikepacking Bike Overview

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  1. The choice of 9 speeds was a good one — mountain and road shift cable pull compatibility makes for lots of choices in shifters and wide range derailleurs. The incompatibilities with 10 or more speeds, even between road groups is annoying.

    I did have a DuraAce barend shifter fail on me, it lost some of the middle clicks. But it took 15 winters of storage in an unheated building in a humid location to cause it — I went through lots of shifter cables over that period. Turns out friction shifting 9 speeds is pretty tricky, so you won’t be able to shift as much as when it was indexed, but it does let you still get into the gears you need. With either barend or brifters it would be pretty simple and inexpensive to carry a downtube shifter as a backup on a long trip. Would need to shorten the cable, but you could even just coil it up at the rear derailleur in a pinch. That’s a good reason to have the downtube shifter bosses like this bike instead of just cable stops.

  2. Pity of the industry decision to force obsolescence on 26″ wheels for a marginally different 27.5″ “standard” (less than 1.25 cm, or less than half-inch radius difference).
    The Masi in 26″ would have:
    a) more spare availability anywhere increasing its adventure/expedition appeal (even outside cities in Europe is hard to get 700cc tires, a much more established size than 27.5″)
    b) bigger clearance for fatter tires, all things being equal
    Other than that, I really like the design, specs choice, and overall look of the bike!

  3. Hi Joe. I generally agree with you that 27.5″ as a replacement size for 26″ is largely unnecessary. There is one really cool aspect to it all though, and that’s the wheel interchangeability between 27.5×2.1″ and 700x35c wheels. That’s allowed brands like Masi to produce one frame that can be a bit more of a do-it-all bike. Throw in some 27.5″ knobby mountain bike wheels for the off-road stuff, and some 700c slick road wheels for the on-road stuff. Alee

  4. Thanks for the answer. Seen like that, you are right, it allows to combine a commuter & mtb into one frame, it could become the “only one bike” many of us dream of. I just checked in here (http://www.bikecalc.com/wheel_size_math) that to match the same diameter in a 26″ wheel it would have to mount a 2.5″ tire, not sure if the bike has enough clearance for that. Pity I’m currently not on the market for a new bike, or this one would be a prime candidate!!

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