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Anyone have any experience of Mason bikes

Discussion in 'off topic' started by cutting42, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. cutting42

    cutting42 Heading to Fish Hacker Erg \o/


    Following a earlier thread on getting a Gravel bike, I am pretty keen on getting a Mason Bokeh but don't know anyone with one. The reviews are glowing and I will be going to pay a visit and test ride but a personal experience be great.

    If anyone has/had a Mason bike of knows directly someone else who owns one I would appreciate some feedback on the brand please.
  2. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    What advantage does this style of bike have over others given what you want to use it for? I have a garage full of bikes, it wouldn't be on my bucket list, but you must have an intended use for it, so what makes it the tool of choice?
  3. cutting42

    cutting42 Heading to Fish Hacker Erg \o/

    At the risk of restating the previous thread. I only have a full sus bike currently which is pretty old and technology has moved on. Initially I looked at getting a new version of what I have but realised that I find myself wanting to travel longer distances and more on roads so originally was looking at getting a more a pure road bike. Following a discussion at a bike shop I was introduced to the concept of the gravel or adventure bike and I liked what I saw. The ability to ride with my friends on the roads (not serious roadies), more social cycling but at a reasonable pace. Also the ability to ride on green lanes, tow paths and trails, nothing too lumpy but part of a varied route on rides.

    It is not the only solution but it certainly is one solution and the one that appeals. I got my 2017 bonus and have not bought a bike for 20 years so fancy a nice one :)
  4. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    Looks like a cyclocross bike. Looks very nice - maybe a couple of sets of wheels and it would be a passable roadie as well, but it's a lot of money for a bike that's going to be abused and covered in filth if used as directed.

    I've always wondered about cyclocross bikes - just how rough can the trail get before you wish you had your XC front suspension mtn bike instead ? I can't see any use for them here in New England, but perhaps UK bridleways would be a little smoother than the trails here (which are all rocks and tree roots)

    Edit - just saw your response. I suspect it would handle the road duties very well, though you'll be working very hard if you leave the fat tires on, so a second set of wheels / tires might be needed for good road performance. As for off road, it doesn't look like it would handle much in the way of rougher tracks unless you're a very skilled (and lightweight) rider - fine for canal towpaths, not so much for the south downs way ?

    And at that price I think I'd be tempted to get a XC mtn bike with front suspension, and 40PSI knobblies and a true road bike, with slick 700x25 100PSI tires for the road.
  5. cutting42

    cutting42 Heading to Fish Hacker Erg \o/

    Very skilled and lightweight !!!!! LOL, this is not the rider you are looking for :)

    The Bokeh has two different wheel specs, 650b or 700C for more or less road use. I am no expert but from my research have found that many of these types of bikes were inspired by the Cyclocross scene and have evolved over the years to a less aggressive geometry and many have mudguard and pannier mounts to make a modern take on the tourer as well.

    Regarding trails, I am curious as well and hope a demo will help as they are on the borders of the south downs way and can demo there.

    Thanks for the reply
  6. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    How much? Just buy a sram force 1x Space Chicken from us and spend the spare grand that you'll save on a holiday. You don't want carbon wheels on a gravel bike. Alloy wheels can be just as light and is infinitely more fixable when you're in the back of beyond. Infact my Mavic/sapim xray wheels are lighter than any carbon gravel wheels I could have bought.
  7. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    I retired from serious bike riding last year after 50 years in the saddle. During that time I've had dozens of bikes.

    What never ceases to amaze me is the cycle industry's ability to reinvent the bike - and the wheels.

    It sounds like you've got money burning a hole in your pocket and as a fella who has bought £8k bikes and £2k wheels, I'm not going to preach about spending it. But I would urge caution.

    First things first, you don't need carbon wheels. Yes, they're bling and look lovely but from what I can assertain about you and your riding skills you're not going to get any benefit from them.

    For the sort of riding you're intending I don't even think you need a gravel bike. I think a hybrid will cover all bases.
  8. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    Mason Hunt have a great rep and their bikes are great. I also cannot see much difference between a gravel bike and a cross bike.

    I have a cross bike and with pannier mounts etc. but it doesn’t handle the Downs very well to be honest - I have done several Downs rides and it’s easy to pinch flat with tubed tyres. Then thrre’s the comfort factor.

    On the Downs Link it’s great though and I’ve also had some great rides where I’ve started on the road and then taken a few bridleway shortcuts.

    For reference, I’ve ridden mountain bikes
    on the South Downs for 30 years.
  9. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    OK. I'd never heard of Bokeh bikes but I've just had a look. The marketing stuff is like a game of bullsh1t bingo and I'm shocked at the price.

    For that sort of money you could easily get TWO very good bikes.

    Take a look at the Specialized AWOL Adventure bike. I bought one a couple of years ago and once I got used to a slower pace from my uber-bling carbon road bikes, I quickly fell in love with it.

    If you want to blow that money then I'd urge you to consider a titanium frame. Look at Van Nicholas bikes.

    Hope that lot helps.
  10. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    Interesting that the tyres are 41mm or 50mm. This will give you some added comfort and ability to cover some harsher trails than my bike as I have 35mm tyres. With tubeless (Hunt like tubeless tyres) I expect you will find 50mm is absolutely fine - that’s 2” in the MTB world so a decent size tyre for proper off-road.
  11. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    Tubeless. WTF?

    Tubeless is creating hassle you don't need. What's wrong with whacking a new inner tube in if you have a puncture?
  12. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    This current trend for fatter tyres to provide riding comfort is just more marketing BS in the same way that it was marketing BS in the 1980s when we were all being encouraged to ride 19mm tyres for speed.
    foxwelljsly likes this.
  13. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Tubeless punctures less often as they have gloop in but they remain light because no tubes. You carry a tube and pump for the rare occasion when the tyre gtoo fails.
  14. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

  15. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    Steve, I know how tubeless work. My son uses them. I help him faff on with them to get them to seal. Obviously, he knows everything there is to know about bikes.

    I simply do not see the need for tubeless. When I turned fifty I did my biggest mileage year (over 8,000 miles). Most of that mileage was done on shitty UK roads. I had one puncture in the whole year. That was in Majorca where the roads are generally much better. It was my fault as my tyres were under inflated due to lack of a track pump.
  16. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    By coincidence I've just built a Bokeh for someone with a Sram Force 1x groupset.

    Last year the same chap brought me another Mason bike (a road bikes but I forget the model name) to fit guards to it (his local bike shop had refused because they're a pain to fit).

    Mason bikes have lots of innovative design features which are extremely 'on trend' but don't necessarily make sense in the real world or aren't very well thought through or executed. To give you one example; the Bokeh has internal cable routing throughout which gives the bike a very clean aesthetic but makes maintenance a complete pain the backside. Building a Mason frame into a bike feels like you are assembling a prototype which hasn't had the design niggles ironed out yet.

    As a side note: I've also noticed that Mason bikes tend to have very high trail figures which makes for very stable and reassuring but quite slow handling and the sizing geometry tends to be very 'long and low'. If you are short in the torso you may need a shorter stem/sort reach bar/inline post.

    From the O.P.'s description I think a gravel bike or hybrid would suit him well. My Dad has a Boardman hybrid which was very good value for money.

    If it were my money I would have a steel frame custom built. It'll fit you properly, be more comfortable than carbon, last a lifetime and be fully repairable. However, I have to admit that I'm somewhat biased because I'm a hobbyist custom frame builder myself.
    mykel likes this.
  17. JezmondTutu

    JezmondTutu pfm Member

    Harry - do you have anger management issues?? If you disagree there are ways and means of saying so.

    Like I said, Hunt are advocates of tubeless, as are many. One key benefit is that it completely irradiates pinch flats, but it is not without its drawbacks.

    I have six bikes, a mixture of road and off-road. One is currently tubeless. Tubeless is lighter and the tyres roll better (less friction), you get better feel and punctures are self healing. They can be a pig to set up especially with certain tyres. I’ve also had a sidewall blowout (flint cut through sidewall on the Downs) with near instant loss of all air pressure - which was interesting!
  18. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    Mike P. I'm sure these "innovative design features" on the Mason bikes are more aligned to what is available from the Chinese and Taiwanese factories than any cutting edge UK design.

    I totally agree with your comments on internal cable routing. I built a gorgeous Isaac TT bike about ten years ago. The cable for the rear mech took me about four weeks, three cables and thousands of swear words to complete.

    I also agree with your comments re Boardman bikes. I've ridden a few and they were all incredibly good for the money.

    I totally disagree with your comments on steel bikes but as you say, you're biased :)
  19. HarryB

    HarryB pfm Member

    Ooh. Touchy. Apologies.

    I have nine bikes. No tubeless tyres :) Do I win a prize?
  20. vince rocker

    vince rocker pfm Member

    A bike like the Bokeh is on my bike wishlist too. I like the look of the Kinesis Tripster AT, Genesis do some nice bikes like the Fugio, there are bikes from Planet X and Cotic. OTOH I could get a hardtail and sacrifice road speed for offroad comfort and ability. Bloke in my club got a Cannondale Slate which is a good compromise, though I think I'd be looking a building up a frameset and I think the Slate is (was?) only available as a complete bike. As always, N + 1 applies.
    I have recently resurrected a Trek hybrid with front sus, cable discs and 700 x 38 tyres. It's as heavy and agile as a washing machine but for shortish slow rides its comfortable and soaks up the potholes.

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