The 2018 Masi CXRC is dipped in unicorn's blood

Built for cyclocross with a flashy paint job

California-based Masi Bicycles has been around the block, in terms of the ebb and flow of the cycling industry. Its 90-year path started with racing bikes, and the trajectory of the past few years brings it back to its roots.

The Masi CXRC carbon 'cross is in the running for our best cyclocross bikes feature and, if the “unicorn’s blood” paint scheme is any indicator, it should be a wild ride. 

2018 Masi CXRC highlights

  • Frame: Dirt Tuned MC9 Carbon (flatmount, 12x142)
  • Fork: Dirt Tuned MC9 Full Carbon (flatmount, 12x100)
  • Drivetrain: SRAM Force 1
  • Bottom bracket: BB30
  • Wheels: Stan’s GRAIL
  • Tires:  Kenda Kommando XPro 33mm
  • Saddle: Prologo Nago EVO
  • Size options: 49, 52, 55, 57, 60
  • Weight(size 55): 8.67kg / 19.11lbs
  • Price: $3,639 / £TBD

Dirt-tuned and bold looking

Masi claims its CXRC is dirt-tuned, but because it looks so good it’s hard to imagine getting this bike dirty. This bike was first spotted at Sea Otter, where the product manager referred to the paint scheme as "unicorn’s blood."

Call it what you will, when the sun hits the paint, this bike is a looker.

142x12mm rear axle spacing, nice cable routing and a fender mount occupy the rear end of the CXRC
142x12mm rear axle spacing, nice cable routing and a fender mount occupy the rear end of the CXRC

The flatmount disc-equipped frame has a couple of tricks up its sleeve, including fender mounts and a removable front derailleur braze-on mount. While those aren’t exclusive features, the execution is clean.

The CXRC Expert model cockpit comes with a 3T Ergoterra carbon bar and alloy stem with a Prologo saddle atop a two-bolt carbon post in back. 

1x or 2x is your option with a removable front derailleur braze-on
1x or 2x is your option with a removable front derailleur braze-on

Surely Masi's art department struggled to find the final name for the screaming paint scheme
Surely Masi's art department struggled to find the final name for the screaming paint scheme

Did I mention the paint scheme?

Since 40mm tires fit front and back, 33mm tires with mud won’t be a problem. After all, it is a ‘cross racing bike and 33mm is the UCI limit.

Masi worked some nice internal cable management in to the frame. The fork brake housing routing is laterally placed, but it doesn’t hit the down tube or prevent the bar from turning.

3T cockpits aren't exactly cost-savers, but they sure do ride nice
3T cockpits aren't exactly cost-savers, but they sure do ride nice

Of all the bikes we are testing for our best cyclocross list, the Masi CXRC is the only one with a rear seatstay bridge, with a massive junction of the seat tube, top tube and seatstays.

Like many other models on test, the Masi CXRC is flatmount caliper with 100/142mm thru-axle spacing with a press-fit 30mm bottom bracket. In short, it checks all the boxes for a CX bike’s must-haves.

The CXRC should have no problems managing muddy 33mm tires
The CXRC should have no problems managing muddy 33mm tires

Stay tuned for a complete review.

Pricing and availability

Of the current crop of 'cross bikes we are testing, Masi is the only one with a bridged seatstay
Of the current crop of 'cross bikes we are testing, Masi is the only one with a bridged seatstay

The 2018 Masi CXRC Expert, and other CX models, are currently available from Masi retailers worldwide.

The US price is $3,639 and the UK price is not yet specified. 

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