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We put some ride time in to the brand new disc-equipped road bike from Dom Mason

Mason Progressive Cycles has been creating quite a buzz since its inception and if you’ve read our First Look on the initial two models to be launched you’ll understand why.

The bikes are simply stunning, especially in the flesh. When taking into account the level of detail and finish, I found myself wondering how many compromises I’d be willing to accept in terms of ride quality to have something that looks so gorgeous leaning against the café wall.

Thankfully, compromise isn’t necessary. I may have only been aboard the Resolution for 30 minutes but the performance exceeds even the looks.

The sample Resolution, built up with a Shimano 105 mechanical groupset and Mason x Hunt Four Season Disc wheels, was in my size, so with a break in the weather the hilly roads of Bath beckoned and I was straight out into the city traffic. Keeping pace with the buses and taxis instantly highlighted the fact that it may be able to take mudguards and be a ‘four season’ machine but the Resolution still accelerates like a race bike.

That performance continues once the road starts to ramp up – something it does a lot in this city. The buttery smooth feeling of the Columbus steel tubes when cruising along the flat now becomes one of stiffness and power transfer, the lightweight Hunt wheels complementing the frame here both in terms of weight and stiffness.

One thing designer Dom says he has really concentrated on is the cable routing for the best shifting. This involves everything from the position of the Multiport internal cable guides to the 3D printed cable stop under the bottom bracket, and it’s here on these climbs where this becomes apparent.

I don’t do a lot of riding around Bath so didn’t realise the hills were going to be as long as they were, hence the big gear attack strategy not working out to well! It turns out that you have to do a lot of changing gear in these parts.
The shifting from a 105 groupset is already pretty tidy but even under load when out of the saddle gear changes front and rear were smooth and quiet. They should stay this way too because the layout is designed to avoid any accumulation of water.

What goes up must come down, thankfully, and descending is more my forte than climbing. Coming into the city saw speeds nudging 45mph and that's when the Aperture fork really comes into its own. The steerer doesn’t just have a small section of 1.5in diameter material at the crown like many others, this one is properly tapered along its length for greater stiffness.

The steering is tight and direct but not twitchy in any way. Its smooth and direction changes are instantaneous as I found out when a pothole came rushing out from under a bus.

This sums up my first impressions of the Resolution. It’s easy to ride, making it ideal for long distances, but still fast and engaging if you want to take it out for a quick blast. Both stiff and comfortable, it's full of contradictions yet manages to pull it off.

This was just a short ride and these are just initial impressions. We’ll be getting the bike back in for a full review on road.cc soon when we'll find out what it’s like to live with long term. Personally, I’d place an order on the back of my nine mile First Ride; the Resolution really is that good.

Prices have yet to be finalised. As soon as we have them, we'll let you know. The Mason Progressive Cycles website is www.masoncycles.cc.

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

30 comments

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Ian Allardyce [62 posts] 2 years ago
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Can't wait for the wheels to be available.

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kitkat [471 posts] 2 years ago
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What are the brake callipers?

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therealsmallboy [169 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks like Shimano CX77 calipers.

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RobD [519 posts] 2 years ago
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The more I read about these bikes the more I really want to try one out. I know they won't be cheap, but I think this might just be my ideal 1 bike for almost everything I do.

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pants [239 posts] 2 years ago
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what nutjob wear no gloves in this weather?

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the infamous grouse [57 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

3D printed cable stop under the bottom bracket

having the exposed section of cable running over the nut that secures the cable stop to the frame can't be good for wear or tear ..

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Jonny_Trousers [278 posts] 2 years ago
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RobD wrote:

The more I read about these bikes the more I really want to try one out. I know they won't be cheap, but I think this might just be my ideal 1 bike for almost everything I do.

I share this sentiment. So far it's got the looks, it sounds like it's got the ride quality, it's got all year functionality and I could even easily pop a kiddy seat on the back and take my little boy out for a blast. It's just a question of price now. In a way I don't want it to be Equilibrium cheap, but I hope it's not Donhou Signature Steel exclusive, either.

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Dom [196 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks again for your comments. The positive response to my new designs is fantastic and heartening to read : ]

I'm buried in writing website text at the moment, but will endeavor to reply individually as soon as poss.

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alotronic [526 posts] 2 years ago
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Jonny_Trousers wrote:

In a way I don't want it to be Equilibrium cheap, but I hope it's not Donhou Signature Steel exclusive, either.

I really want it to be Equilibrium cheap! If it's much more than a Condor Fratello Disc I think he up there ^ is in trouble... Same production model (designed in UK, made in Italy) so it *should* be about the same?!?!

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arrieredupeleton [583 posts] 2 years ago
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I think the cable is likely to be in a kind of rubber sheath (fnar fnar) until it passes the screw head.

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Dom [196 posts] 2 years ago
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the infamous grouse wrote:
Quote:

3D printed cable stop under the bottom bracket

having the exposed section of cable running over the nut that secures the cable stop to the frame can't be good for wear or tear ..

Well spotted, I agree. The screws in that pic are not correct as it's a final sample and they drilled the BB incorrectly. The correct screws will be M3 Torx and the channel designed into the BB guide shoots the cable cleanly over the recessed screw head. The final bikes will also have an extra length of cable liner extending up from the stop towards the mech.

The BB on the Definition Alu bike is correct and as production.

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Jonny_Trousers [278 posts] 2 years ago
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the infamous grouse wrote:
Quote:

3D printed cable stop under the bottom bracket

having the exposed section of cable running over the nut that secures the cable stop to the frame can't be good for wear or tear ..

Edit* based on the above

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bendertherobot [1453 posts] 2 years ago
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alotronic wrote:
Jonny_Trousers wrote:

In a way I don't want it to be Equilibrium cheap, but I hope it's not Donhou Signature Steel exclusive, either.

I really want it to be Equilibrium cheap! If it's much more than a Condor Fratello Disc I think he up there ^ is in trouble... Same production model (designed in UK, made in Italy) so it *should* be about the same?!?!

Condor is £699. This can afford to be a bit more. But it can't be, IMO, more than the Ritchey Swiss Cross disc. £1149 at the moment.

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therevokid [1014 posts] 2 years ago
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If it's anything like his previous (i have a gran fondo ti v2) it'll
be sublime  1

columbus as well ... drooooooolllllll.

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davegreen70 [35 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks great, really want one. But as I'm strapped for cash I'm hoping it's Aldi cheap.

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 2 years ago
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I'll take an ally one with Ultegra DI2 (sorry Dom can't remember which was round the names are) for my best and the steel for my year round/light tourer duties. In my dreams sadly unless I can find a job soon.

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alotronic [526 posts] 2 years ago
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I continued to thrash a 4T around and it's given me great service (http://www.allenoleary.com/bikes.kinesis-4t-long-term-review).

The price issue is more about WHEN rather than IF. I would love to get one before Paris-Brest-Paris this year, but realistically I might have to wait for my 50th Birthday present next year.... but by then there might be a Ti one right?!

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darrenleroy [250 posts] 2 years ago
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pants wrote:

what nutjob wear no gloves in this weather?

Ha ha. The same nut job who goes really, really fast down a hill in Bath.

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userfriendly [616 posts] 2 years ago
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Sadly this is going to come a month or two too late. I've just ordered an alloy frameset for my next build. Oh well. Maybe I'll get the steel one later this year. I do like the look of them and the thought that has gone into their design.

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kitkat [471 posts] 2 years ago
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There are two good bench mark frames out there, the Equilibrium & Fratello not to mention any number of custom builders coming in at the £1k mark so pricing will have to be competitive. It looks ok but the Equil & Frat definitely have the edge in paint scheme terms

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Jonny_Trousers [278 posts] 2 years ago
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kitkat wrote:

There are two good bench mark frames out there, the Equilibrium & Fratello not to mention any number of custom builders coming in at the £1k mark so pricing will have to be competitive. It looks ok but the Equil & Frat definitely have the edge in paint scheme terms

I obviously cannot comment on the Mason, but I'd be very surprised if it could be considered similar to either the Equilibrium or the Fratello, both of which I've owned (though admittedly not the disc versions).

IMHO, the Equilibrium is a heavy old thing that really shows its sluggish nature once you get used to riding something lighter. The Fratello is more of an audax geometry and you can feel that too when trying to push hard. I'm not saying either are slow bikes; they just feel as though they are.

My hope would be that the Masons are sharper handling than both bikes mentioned above, but that remains to be seen.

We are all still being silly speculating on price, but as that's game, my guess is they'll be similar to the ti disc options out there, if not - heaven forbid - the Donhou Signature Steel.

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Colin Peyresourde [1819 posts] 2 years ago
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darrenleroy wrote:
pants wrote:

what nutjob wear no gloves in this weather?

Ha ha. The same nut job who goes really, really fast down a hill in Bath.

And tries to attack a Bath Hill.....

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Kadinkski [722 posts] 2 years ago
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Kudos to whoever did the graphic design on this. Nicely understated yet modern and interesting. I can't stand these modern bikes that are basically decal billboards.

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Dom [196 posts] 2 years ago
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Kadinkski wrote:

Kudos to whoever did the graphic design on this. Nicely understated yet modern and interesting. I can't stand these modern bikes that are basically decal billboards.

Thanks Kadinkski, that was me : ] Glad it hits the mark.

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thelighterthief [44 posts] 2 years ago
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Lovely bike Dom. This certainly goes on the shortlist

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gusstrang [7 posts] 2 years ago
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on Twitter - 105/Hydro will be around £2895 for the Resolution and £2395 for the Definition.

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thereandbackagain [173 posts] 2 years ago
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Great looking bike, Dom.

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Jonny_Trousers [278 posts] 2 years ago
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gusstrang wrote:

on Twitter - 105/Hydro will be around £2895 for the Resolution and £2395 for the Definition.

Well that's us shut-up, then.

I'm sure they're well worth it. Maybe I'll treat myself to a Definition super-commuter/wet weather bike if a chunk of decent work comes in.

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bobinski [278 posts] 2 years ago
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Actually those prices while high don't look so bad compared to other off the shelf choices. I have been holding off on a Cannondale synapse disc while waiting for prices to filter through. It's a similar price and you get a similar build but better wheels at least on the Mason. I think the temptation with the Cannondale would be to replace the wheels at some point. No need with the Mason. And both framesets look gorgeous.

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therevokid [1014 posts] 2 years ago
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now, how on earth am i going to swing a resolution when i
already have one of your fantastic gran fondos ... ?
This is going to get messy  1