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Verdict: 
Highly capable and feature-packed adventure bike
Weight: 
9,400g
Contact: 
Mason Bokeh Force
8 10

The new Mason Bokeh is a highly capable adventure bike with a feature-packed aluminium frame, splendid aesthetics, and handling that ensures it's as at home on the road as it is on the trail.

Adventure is a fast-growing segment of the cycling world, with the combination of versatility, capability and ruggedness appealing to cyclists who don't want or need the lightness and stiffness of a World Tour race bike. Suitable for just about everything, from winter training rides to commuting, touring and audax to off-road trail exploring and bikepacking trips, adventure bikes have few limitations.

> Buy this online here

The Bokeh combines an aluminium frame and carbon fork with all the key ingredients of an adventure bike, including wide tyres, disc brakes, thru-axles, relaxed geometry and mounts for mudguards and racks. The Bokeh goes the extra mile with a front dynamo mount, third bottle cage mount, 700C and 650B wheel size compatibility and fully internal cable routing.

Mason Bokeh - head tube badge.jpg

Mason Bokeh - head tube badge.jpg

The new Bokeh essentially builds on the solid foundations laid down by the Resolution and Definition. 'It's an AdventureSport bike,' says Mason founder and designer Dom Mason. 'It's a response to this move in cycling towards venturing off road and using bigger tyres, disc brakes and lightweight packs and having adventures, but not necessarily on bikes with masses of luggage.'

Ride and handling

As lovely as the Bokeh undoubtedly looks, its appearance is pointless if it's not backed by a high-quality ride. Fortunately, a high-quality ride the Bokeh most certainly does deliver. In a nutshell, it's a lovely bike to ride, whether on tarmac or gravel roads, or woodland byways.

Mason Bokeh - riding 3.jpg

Mason Bokeh - riding 3.jpg

In many ways the Bokeh mirrors the company's Resolution and Definition road bikes, but there are some important changes that ensure it feels right at home when riding on loosely surfaced and bumpy off-road tracks. The bottom bracket is higher for increased ground clearance (but lower than a cyclo-cross bike) and the wheelbase is longer and the head angle slacker. That sets the Bokeh geometry halfway between an endurance and cyclo-cross bike.

> Cyclo-cross bikes vs adventure/gravel bikes – what's the difference?

The stack and reach measurements (the vertical and horizontal measurements from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube) are very similar to the company's previous models, ensuring the position between the models has some similarity – ideal if you are lucky enough to own one of each – and provides the sporty ride that Mason was keen for this new model to provide. Though the fork is longer, the head tube has been shortened to 155mm on the 56cm size frame to keep the stack measurement about the same.

Mason Bokeh.jpg

Mason Bokeh.jpg

Those numbers gift the Bokeh a sporty and lively ride, backed up by the rock solid stability you want when blitzing down a fast gravel road descent chasing another adventure bike.

It's right at home on the road, with neutral handling that lends the bike an easy grace when carving through country lanes. The low stack height means it never felt compromised as a road bike, a fact backed up by the fitting of slick tyres: it's perfect on long road rides and climbs and descends very well. The wide-range SRAM 10-42 cassette paired to the 42t single chainring up front will get you up and down most climbs and descents without unduly running out of ratios.

Mason Bokeh - cassette.jpg

Mason Bokeh - cassette.jpg

But it's the Bokeh's off-road capability that is the real highlight, and how easily it transfers from one surface to another. Head off into the wilderness and show the Bokeh some muddy bridleways or gravelled roads and it feels even more home than it does on the road. Its stability, from the long wheelbase and slack head angle, is a massive boon when tackling rough tracks, and it inspires confidence on loose terrain.

The Bokeh can tame rough roads and gravel tracks better than most carbon, steel or adventure bikes at this price. Despite its comfy ride character, the Bokeh is responsive and agile. It's a little less nimble than a cyclo-cross bike at lower speeds when weaving between tightly spaced trees, but at higher speeds, it is confident and enjoyable.

Mason Bokeh - riding 2.jpg

Mason Bokeh - riding 2.jpg

This is a bike built for going the distance, or as Mason puts it, 'Continent crushing rides'. From my time riding the Bokeh, it's clear you could happily keep riding until you ended up in some far-flung corner of Europe. It's how it slips from rugged gravel blaster to smooth road tourer that is its real secret. It's not a bike of compromise, as some adventure bikes can be.

If your aims are a little less ambitious, the Bokeh is ideal for stringing together local off-road paths and woodland tracks with sections of road to make the ride a bit more interesting. And it's fun, so much fun. The Bokeh will tackle just about anything, and with the 650B tyres fitted it didn't feel a million miles away from a rigid mountain bike, unsurprisingly.

700C versus 650B

The Bokeh Force bike is sold with 650B wheels, but Mason supplied a set of 700C wheels for us to test and compare the two wheel sizes. Mason has designed the Bokeh to be compatible with regular 700C wheels, with clearance for up to 41mm tyres, and the increasingly fashionable 650B wheel size, with tyre capacity increased to 50mm. Mason is selling the Bokeh with a choice of two wheelsets: 700C Hunt Four Season Gravel Disc wheels with 35mm Panaracer GravelKing SK tyres, or – as on our test bike – a Mason x Hunt 'AdventureSport' 650B wheelset with Panaracer Comet Hardpack 650B 2.0in tyre.

Mason Bokeh - fork clearance.jpg

Mason Bokeh - fork clearance.jpg

Swapping between the two wheelsets is easy, and with just 12-13mm difference in the outside diameter with the slightly smaller 650B wheels, there's only a small difference in the bottom bracket height. The bigger difference is in how the bike rides.

With the 700x35mm wheels and tyres the Bokeh behaves like many other adventure bikes I've tested: it has all the manners and much of the speed of an endurance bike on the road and doesn't get flustered if you point the bike down a farm track or bridleway. The Panaracer GravelKing SK tyres roll fast on hard surfaces and offer plenty of grip in the loose; they particularly excel on the fast and smooth gravel roads around Salisbury Plain.

Mason Bokeh - rim.jpg

Mason Bokeh - rim.jpg

With the 650B wheels and larger Panaracer Comet Hardpack tyres fitted, progress on the road is a bit slower, with the extra weight and increased frontal surface area blunting pace. But what they lack in speed compared with the bigger wheels/skinnier tyres, they more than make up for with their sheer smoothness. The larger tyre provides much more cushioning than the skinny 35mm tyres, and that's a bonus on poorly surfaced roads where the comfort outweighs the slight loss of top-end speed. I would have loved to have tried a slick 650B tyre on the Bokeh but sadly I didn't have the bike long enough to experiment with different tyres.

Neither tyre can really cope with proper mud, but the Comets are certainly more capable off-road when the going is rough and unpredictable. You can delve further into the wilderness in more comfort with the bigger tyres. And there are enough good 650B mountain bike tyres and ample clearance in the frame and fork to dabble with more aggressively treaded tyres if you do want to fit a tyre that won't come unstuck in the gloop.

Mason Bokeh - seat tube decal.jpg

Mason Bokeh - seat tube decal.jpg

Which wheel size is better? They both have their pros and cons. If you're riding more road and just the occasional off-road and value speed, the 700x35 setup is a better option for you – faster certainly, with enough cushioning and grip for dealing with hardpacked gravel tracks. If you value comfort over speed and want to do a lot more off-road riding, the 650x50 combination is probably better, with vastly increased cushioning and only a small dent in top-end speed.

Frame and equipment

Mason has opted for a custom shaped 7000-series triple butted aluminium frame, made by hand, by Dedacciai, in Italy. The frame is exquisitely finished, all smooth welds and draped in a lusciously thick coat of gloss paint, with Mason's usual gift for sharply designed graphics finishing the frameset off a treat.

Mason Bokeh - fork.jpg

Mason Bokeh - fork.jpg

Each tube has a specific role. The down tube has the same oversized D-shape as the Resolution and it, along with a tapered head tube and ovalised top tube, provides the necessary lateral and front-end stiffness. Custom shaped bowed seatstays help to provide the necessary compliance, while the dropped chainstays provide chain and brake clearance. The seat tube accepts a 27.2mm seatpost, further contributing to the comfort factor.

Mason Bokeh - rear.jpg

Mason Bokeh - rear.jpg

The Bokeh is packed with details. It's disc brake-specific, naturally, and uses the flat mount standard with thru-axles to clamp the wheels into place. Mason has stuck with a conventional 68mm threaded bottom bracket but uses a wider-diameter outside shell to both increase the down tube weld area and route the cables and hoses through on their way to the chainstays.

Mason Bokeh - bottom bracket.jpg

Mason Bokeh - bottom bracket.jpg

There are three bottle cage mounts, with fully internal cable routing using the same Multiport adaptable design, as first used on the Resolution, providing Di2 compatibility. There are mudguard and rack eyelets on the frame and the new Parallax full carbon fibre fork, which can also be used with a dynamo hub, an indication of the sort of distance riding the bike is designed for.

Mason Bokeh - seat stays.jpg

Mason Bokeh - seat stays.jpg

You can buy a Bokeh frameset for £1,150 or choose one of four complete builds. You can choose Shimano 105 or SRAM Rival 1x11 for £2,795; Shimano Ultegra or SRAM Force for £3,100. The Shimano bikes come with 700C wheels and 35mm tyres, the SRAM bikes with 650B wheels and 50mm (2.0in) tyres. Hunt wheels, Deda finishing kit and Fabric saddles are used across the range.

Mason Bokeh - saddle.jpg

Mason Bokeh - saddle.jpg

The test bike is the top-end SRAM Force 1x11 with its wide-ranging 10-42t cassette and 42t chainring. The gearing provides all the range you need for most off-road and road rides, the lowest gear helping you scale all but the very steepest hill. And if you do find yourself over-geared, the chainring can be swapped for a small outlay.

Mason Bokeh - drivetrain.jpg

Mason Bokeh - drivetrain.jpg

SRAM's hydraulic brake levers might not be the best lookers on the market but performance is excellent, with plenty of power and satisfying modulation, and the tool hoods provide reassuring anchor points when hurtling down rough and loose tracks. If I'm being really picky, the levers don't have the same smoothness as a Shimano hydraulic lever.

Mason Bokeh - bar and shifter.jpg

Mason Bokeh - bar and shifter.jpg

The Hunt wheels collaboration continues, as I've already mentioned. The new Mason x Hunt AdventureSport 650B wheels use an extra-wide rim, making them the perfect fit for wider tyres and are tubeless-ready. Rims are laced via J-bend spokes to hubs rolling on replaceable cartridge bearings. It's a stiff and strong wheelset, as evidenced by the rigorous off-road testing it coped with easily.

Mason Bokeh - rear hub.jpg

Mason Bokeh - rear hub.jpg

A finishing parts package includes Deda SuperZero stem with an aero handlebar. The latter has an aero shaped centre section, which might reduce drag, but more realistically provides a comfortable place to rest your hands. I wasn't that impressed with its shape or appearance, and would probably swap it for a more conventional bar if I was buying this bike.

Mason Bokeh - bars.jpg

Mason Bokeh - bars.jpg

Mason specs Fabric Scoop Elite saddles across the range, with a colour-matched base which points to Dom Mason's fastidious attention to detail. It's a supremely comfortable place to plant your bum for as many hours as you want. A Mason branded carbon fibre 27.2mm seatpost clamps the saddle into the frame.

Conclusion

The big appeal of adventure bikes is their do-anything and go-anywhere capability, and for many cyclists they might very well be the only bike you need. They're more than n+1 – they could free up a lot of space in your garage or bike shed and replace several bikes at a swoop.

Mason Bokeh - riding 4.jpg

Mason Bokeh - riding 4.jpg

The Bokeh is expensive for aluminium, but it is at least extremely nicely finished and feature-packed for the price – you're certainly getting a lovely looking bike and the performance is without fault.

> Conversation Mason

Mason has managed to produce in the Bokeh an adventure bike that is highly capable and outlandishly smooth and controlled off-road, yet is sprightly and entertaining on the road. The Bokeh might be the last bike you ever need to buy. It's a brilliant bike, and if the price doesn't put you off, I'd recommend it.

Verdict

Highly capable and feature-packed adventure bike

road.cc test report

Make and model: Mason Bokeh Force

Size tested: 56cm

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Dedacciai, custom formed, triple-butted performance Aluminium frame with Mason Parallax full carbon Thru-Axle fork.

Unique Mason MultiPort adaptable internal routing.

Mason 'ThruBB' 50Ømm, internally routed bottom bracket shell.

Lightweight, full SRAM Force 1x HRD groupset with hydraulic disc brakes.

Precisely engineered 10-42T wide range cassette.

Clutched rear mech keeps chain securely positioned.

High peformance F160/R160 2-piece centrelock floating rotors.

Specially developed Mason x Hunt 650B AdventureSport wheelset.

Panaracer Comet Hardpack 650B tyres claw into trails and roll easily on road.

Ultra-light and triangulated for stiffness Deda Superzero stem with aerodynamic Superzero1 handlebar.

Mason x Fabric exclusive, UK designed, Alloy rail Fabric Scoop Elite saddle with colour matched saddle base.

Carbon Mason Penta microadjust post and Mason Macro clamp.

Fully and discretely eyeletted for rack and 'guards.

Integrated Parallax fork-crown boss for fixed light set-ups.

Clearance for full mudguards.

3rd Bottle cage bosses on the underside of the down tube designed to work seamlessly with Fabric bottles and tool kegs.

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Mason states on its website:

The new 'Bokeh' [Alu] and 'BokehTi' frame sets and bikes have been in development for over a year, they are AdventureSport machines for fast 'Continent Crushing' rides and they can use either 650b x 50mm or 700c x 41mm tyres. These new bikes are big news for us because they are the ones to follow up our first ever models, the Award Winning Definition and Resolution, these two bikes were a tough act to follow! The pressure was on and I knew that whatever I came up with had to be good.

We have started from the ground up with the Bokeh geometry the clearance is increased to take up to 650b x 50mm or 700c x 41mm, I think anything larger is MTB territory. The wheelbase is longer and angles a little slacker, with the fork using a 50mm offset to keep the trail dimension under control

I've kept the stack height very similar to the Definition and Resolution, I didn't want overly long head tubes because these are fast bikes and they need to accelerate and climb well. Sizes are 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60cm, click the link below for full geometry.

The carbon monocoque 'Parallax' fork has been developed in conjunction with our Italian frame builders, it uses a Ø12mm thru-axle, flat-mount and internally routed hose and weighs just 465g. As with the frames, there is a full compliment of discreetly sited rack and fender eyelets and an extra one at the front for a Dynamo light.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Top notch build quality and finish, as we've come to expect from Mason Cycles.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Triple butted and custom shaped aluminium tubing handbuilt in Italy.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

A bit more relaxed than an endurance bike like Mason's own Resolution, and differs from a cyclo-cross bike in a number of key areas.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Perfect.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

For an aluminium bike it was incredibly smooth, more comfortable on and off-road than many steel and carbon adventure bikes I've tested.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Despite its comfy ride, it didn't lack stiffness when putting the power down on the climbs.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Very efficient.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

None.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

Behaved very well on and off-road, and with both 700C and 650B wheels fitted.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The Hunt wheels and SRAM Force groupset and brakes all worked reliably.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

The carbon seatpost provides an extra measure of seated compliance.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

No changes.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
7/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
8/10

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

I wasn't that impressed by the aero shaped handlebar, and would probably swap it for a more conventional bar.

Anything else you want to say about the componentry? Comment on any other components (good or bad)

The Fabric Scoop saddle is a smart choice, it seems to suit most people.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10

Use this box to explain your score

The Bokeh is expensive for aluminium, but it is at least extremely nicely finished and feature-packed for the price – you're certainly getting a lovely looking bike and the performance is without fault.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

47 comments

Avatar
joules1975 [460 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

Some of the new road plus bikes remind me of something, and the Bokeh reminds me more than most.

http://fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/vintage-retro-classic/353279d1208545071-10th-anniversary-tomac-bike-tomacmtsnow90.jpg

That's not dissing the Bokeh, as I rather like it, but it does show how things tend to come back round in a tweaked and improved form, that nothing is entirely new, and that what you think is daft now could just be appearing before it's time.

Avatar
Crashboy [46 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

It looks fab, and I love this style of bike, but that price is surely way too high for an aluminium bike?

I wouldn't be surprised if, for that sort of money you could have a similar off the peg Ti or maybe even bespoke Steel? 

 

 

Avatar
drosco [315 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

Agreed, really nice bike, but hard to see past the pricetag.

Avatar
StraelGuy [960 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Agree, I would NEVER pay this kind of money for an aluminium bike, far rather go for Ti or steel.

Avatar
Crashboy [46 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Also, would I be right in thinking Ti/Steel are  more "repairable" than an aluminium frame? (Given the knocks a bike like this might take?)

I'm not saying aluminium is bad, BTW, and I'm not an expert (and couldn't probably tell the difference between a great Al fram and a pants quality Ti or Steel one) but at that price point, I personally would feel I wanted something a bit more "exotic".  

I do really love the look of it: and I appreciate it has some top end components, and you're paying for the clever design features (in the same way as you do with Dyson products for example - and I have, so I'm not averse to that)....I suppose if I were minted, or a pro, I might think differently...

Unless it was just totally, mind bendingly fantastic to ride I suppose. 

 

 

Avatar
Johnnystorm [68 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I think the idea of repairability is a red herring, I think a high speed crash on road totalling a bike is more likely than off road. Welding Ti is particularly notorious for being a PITA anyway.

Ignoring full builds for a moment as it's more difficult to make comparisons with other bikes... what other frameset can you get at rrp for £1100 that's made in Europe from branded tubing in Ti? Steel would be doable but it'll probably be heavier. The Sonder Camino is about the same but with a simpler fork, plain gauge tubes, etc.

Avatar
Batchy [379 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Why do you think that aluminium is going to fail anymore than ti or steel ? I have ridden thousands of miles on and off road with aluminium frames as have hundreds of thousands if not tens of millions of other cyclists and not had any failures !

Avatar
only1redders [107 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Crashboy wrote:

It looks fab, and I love this style of bike, but that price is surely way too high for an aluminium bike?

I wouldn't be surprised if, for that sort of money you could have a similar off the peg Ti or maybe even bespoke Steel? 

Bespoke steel or off the peg Ti, for a full bike? Even if your Ti frameset is built in Taiwan (which is fine by the way, given that's where so much bike production is done), then you'll be lucky to find a frame under £1500. Bespoke steel? A friend of mine is having a frameset built for him for £2k, again not a full bike

As with all of these things, I guess value is very much in the eye of the beholder and whilst it looks expensive, if someone were to suggest it was poor value, then you have to ensure you're comparing like-with-like. The bike got a very very good write-up in most recent Cycling plus

Ultimately, the market seems to be pretty crowded, which is a good thing for us, as standards are driven up and whatever you buy, it seems pretty likely you'll end up with a good bike

Avatar
Woldsman [156 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

"They're more than n+1 – they could free up a lot of space in your garage or bike shed..."

It looks lovely, and I'm sure it has beautifully designed features, but if this bike was stored in my garage or bike shed I don't think I would ever sleep a wink again.

Avatar
ktache [562 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Woldsman wrote:

It looks lovely, and I'm sure it has beautifully designed features, but if this bike was stored in my garage or bike shed I don't think I would ever sleep a wink again.

Ground anchor, massive chain and lock.  Better lock on the door.  £200-250?

Then insurance, £250-300 a year?

Oh, and boarding up windows.  Paranoia costs.

Avatar
Benjamin Nickolls [57 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Looks like a perfect rig for racing Battle on the Beach but about £500 overpriced IMO. 

Avatar
joules1975 [460 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
guyrwood wrote:

Agree, I would NEVER pay this kind of money for an aluminium bike, far rather go for Ti or steel.

 

Not sure what the equivilent word for a racist would be for someone who has an irrational issue with a particular metal, but I want to call you it.

Just cause it's alu doesn't mean its bad/should be cheap/is potentially frangile/is harsh/is not as good as steel/carbon/titanium.

Alu manufacturing has come a long way in the last 10 years and some alu bikes (maybe like this one) should be considered as better than equivilent carbon/steel/titanium bikes.

Don't look at the material, and instead look at the engineering and overall quality, and then the price doesn't seem quite so nuts.

 

 

Avatar
StraelGuy [960 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Ha, ha, I've never been called a metal racist before but you're right, I'm not a fan of aluminium. I do love steel however, the ride 'feel' is hard to beat. In fact, my next n+1 might well be a Fairlight Strael...

Avatar
graybags [87 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
guyrwood wrote:

Ha, ha, I've never been called a metal racist before but you're right, I'm not a fan of aluminium. I do love steel however, the ride 'feel' is hard to beat. In fact, my next n+1 might well be a Fairlight Strael...

You could do a lot worse than a Bob Jackson, fabricated in Leeds from steel tubing made in Birmingham, all for a very reasonable £565 !

Avatar
davel [1492 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

OK, OK, it's about time we dealt with the elephant in the room in all this.

 

 

Just how do you pronounce 'Bokeh'?

Avatar
pockstone [112 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
davel wrote:

OK, OK, it's about time we dealt with the elephant in the room in all this.

 

 

Just how do you pronounce 'Bokeh'

 

As in Hyacinth Bokeh.

Avatar
StraelGuy [960 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

As a bit of a photography enthusiast, I pronounce it bow-key but I've heard it pronounced bow-care.

Avatar
shay cycles [389 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
guyrwood wrote:

As a bit of a photography enthusiast, I pronounce it bow-key but I've heard it pronounced bow-care.

it is a Japanese term used, as you say, in photography. Correct pronunciation in that sense is "bow-Kay" (as in bow tie and the name of the letter K) - but when a word is used as a name the pronunciation can be defined by the name-giver.

Avatar
cyclesteffer [262 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Very nice, but flipping pricey compared to, say a top rated On-one Titanium Pickenflick. You could then still buy a GT Grade with the change. I'm surprised at the pricing, it is a lot compared to Bowman, who charge more like £600 for a really nice frame.

Avatar
drosco [315 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

+1 on the Bowman. Pilgrims looks a lovely frame.

Avatar
rjfrussell [390 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Personal obsv, obvs, but I don't like the yellow.

Avatar
Batchy [379 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Well, my Carl Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f2 lens on my Sony RX 1 R mark 2 gives me fantastic Booka especially it is when used wide open ! I have spent a hideous amount of money on this camera and therefore have the right to pronounce Booka any way I want! It costs more than a Mason Bokeh Force bike if you are interested!

Avatar
dgmtc [25 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes

Actually it is not that expensive.

This is not some generic "let's slap some tubes together"-frame. Every tube in the frameset has been shaped specifically for this bike, with a definite function.
I am not associated with Mason, but I did (and do still somewhat) consider getting a Bokeh frameset. I wanted to explore the 'adventure bike'-thing and when I started looking around for a frame, the bokeh wasn't out yet, but Mason were already teasing the Bokeh on their Instagram. I followed the development somewhat and mailed back and forth about geometries etc. and I believe it is one of the best 'adventure bikes' out there.

So why didn't I get one? Well, the offroad thing is new to me and I first wanted to get an idea of wether I'll be using this type of bike. So I decided to get a cheaper option (cheaper due to brexit-exchange rates as I bought it in the UK but I am in euroland and cheaper due to a short crazy 60% off sale). But  I know the frame I got isn't as good as the bokeh. If I decide that the fast-far/adventure/bikepacking thing is something I want to take seriously (and it's looking like it) then I will probably get a Bokeh.

And the whole steel vs. alu vs. carbon vs. ti thing doesn't really work anymore.
Like someone else said, alu has come a LONG way, just like carbon has for example.
You can get a sh!t bike in any material, just like you can get a great one in each of the available materials. It all depends on wether the builder knows what they are doing, from start to finish.

So before you start shouting that it's too expensive, maybe check what development went into this frame and consider that Mason aren't going to sell as many as Trek, GT or Specialized do since they have retailers all over the world.

And to Mason I say: it's great that there are still people willing to stick out their neck, taking huge financial risks developing bikes like these. I really hope to own one of these one day.
 

Avatar
slowTwitch [3 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes
davel wrote:

OK, OK, it's about time we dealt with the elephant in the room in all this.

Just how do you pronounce 'Bokeh'?

bokeh = bow - keh (where 'keh' sounds like the start of the word kettle)

https://youtu.be/iqipY-wQaxc

https://youtu.be/OR8HSHevQTM

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Crashboy [46 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
dgmtc wrote:

 

And the whole steel vs. alu vs. carbon vs. ti thing doesn't really work anymore.
Like someone else said, alu has come a LONG way, just like carbon has for example.
You can get a sh!t bike in any material, just like you can get a great one in each of the available materials. It all depends on wether the builder knows what they are doing, from start to finish.

So before you start shouting that it's too expensive, maybe check what development went into this frame and consider that Mason aren't going to sell as many as Trek, GT or Specialized do since they have retailers all over the world.

And to Mason I say: it's great that there are still people willing to stick out their neck, taking huge financial risks developing bikes like these. I really hope to own one of these one day.
 

 

I'm happy to stand corrected on the advances in Alu fram making, and the price of bespoke frames etc;  I did only put it out there that maybe you could go off the peg Ti or bespoke steel for the price - I don't know and that's partly why I posted the comment.

I'm just making the point that in my opinion for that kind of money I would want to feel like I was getting something a bit different than it seems I could get for a much lower price,  and as a non pro/non expert that means to me a more "exotic" material - I know it's shallow and not based on any science or engineering or even test riding evidence, but there you go!

And I get your point about the development that went into it: my point about paying for the design (e.g with Dyson products) was a reference to that - I also totally appreciate the whole paying more for a smaller, "local" innovative builder rather than lining the major players pockets, and I have paid through the nose on occasions for clever design, to support smaller producers, and product "kudos" in the past when the product itself was right for me.  I too hope Mason et al do well; and as I said a couple of times, I really love the look of this.

Perhaps I'm just a tightwad and don't really like premium pricing strategies, perhaps I don't understand the bikes enough.  However I do still believe there are plenty of strong contenders in this arena that look pretty similar on the surface, for a lot less money, and for the average person like me that's much more realistic.   i.e for my intended purpose and level of expertise it seems expensive.  

Either way, I'm more than happy to be proved wrong totally and eat my hat if FC drops one down my chimney in a few days time...

Avatar
Dom [196 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes

Hi All,

Thanks for your comments and nice to raise a bit of a debate over materials, pricing, pronounciation etc! The idea with Mason is that we are pushing things a little and producing something different and because of that our bicycles are bound to produce a bit of debate, even down to the name, but that's great because that's the idea. We don't want to be doing 'OK' products that stay under the radar.

My aim with Mason Cycles was to work with very small but very high quality frame makers to produce the absolutely best framesets that we could. I started with Italy and we use separate tiny [compared to the factories in Taiwan] specialist workshops to produce the Alu, steel and soon Ti. We also use a super high quality painter in another area of Italy and the decals are made by the best people I could find in Italy to do that. It is possible to get everything done in one place - all frame materials, decals and paint, this is MUCH easier but it causes compromise and we want to achieve the best in all areas.

So, as we grow, that will continue to be my aim and we'll hunt down the best makers for the particular frame, fork, material or finish. we aren't an 'Italian Bike Co' so these products could come from anywhere that can do the job best - Germany, Sheffield, USA...

The Bokeh has an almost ENTIRE custom tubeset, we produced our own tooling with Dedacciai, this doesn't normally happen with small makers like us but they liked what we were doing and actually got quite passionate about the whole thing and worked with us to make our perfect tubeset. It's very high end tubing and every shape and bend is our own. This took over a year to achieve because it was HARD, we had to make sure all the clearances were right and it rode beautifly and passed the ISO tests. We worked with TCR 2015 winner Josh Ibbett to perfect geometry, detailing and ride quality. 5 prototypes came and went...

Because every tube is designed with a specific function in mind for that specific bike [it's not 'just a tubeset'] the Bokeh is very functional in appearance and use.

As with our Resolution and Definition frames, we tooled up for our own fork too and collaborated with Hunt Wheels to make our perfect wheelset. Not quick or easy but we think, BEST. Our bikes are designed 'up off the wheels and back off the fork', we don't compromise on ride quality and handling by using an off-the-shelf fork and wheelset - harder, more expensive but best.

All this stuff, the materials, the development time, the tooling, the testing, the detailing, the finish quality, the use of tiny specialist workshops for all specific processes... it's all more expensive, but we didn't set out to make bikes to a price point, the idea was to make the BEST framesets that we could achieve and build them with a build kit that we had thought very hard about to perform in a very specific and purposeful way. 'We don't build down to a price point, we build up to a quality standard' ... I think I said that somewhere and I really stand by it and we'll continue to do that.

So yes, our framesets and bikes are more expensive than other brands for many of the reasons I've outlined above. Making custom tubesets in small batches with a top European tube maker and having them welded in tiny, super high quality workshops is not cheap [the tubeset alone is probably the same cost as an entire welded frame from TW]. But it does give a frameset that rides incredibly well and comes out on top of grouptests against other premium materials [Five stars and test winner in Cycling Plus]. The paint finish alone costs over 4 times that of a Taiwan paint finish, but it is the BEST and it's made to last.

These bikes are supposed to be an investment and be your friend for a long time.

Anyway...I waffled a bit.

These bikes aren't for everybody, we can't really compete on price and we aren't trying to do that. We are tracked down by very enthusiastic riders from all over the world because we are producing something unique, there are other bikes out there that are 'sort of like ours' but the riders who buy ours don't want that, they want a Mason.

Sorry I went on a bit but I'm very passionate about what we do and incredibly grateful to all those who have invested in one of our bikes and write to me from around the world telling me about their adventures! Amazing. I feel we are building something different here.

OK, I'm going on a bit again. Thanks for reading if you got as far as this! : ]

Dom | Mason Cycles.

 

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ru w00dsy [12 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

I'm I have to admit to being a fan, but I'm also sceptical of the Alu frame, not in terms of reliability but in terms of comfort for the type of adventure riding that the bike would be doing.

I've mentioned in another thread about previously owning a steel frame bike, running it tubeless with low pressure and a carbon folk - this was a cheap as chips bike but the frame material and the tubeless tyres made it a joy to ride, both on and off road.

I've since upgraded to a new high end Alu frame. Its just not the same to ride. I was hoping Alu frames had improved other the last few years, but I'm just not seeing the evidence.

I'm thinking that the mistake I made was buying a road bike with hydraulic brakes that can take wide knobbly tyres - thinking I could also use this as an adventure bike.

I'll definately look into the Mason next year when I've badgered Mrs W into letting me swap out my bike I've only recently purchased. My worry is that I could spend £3k on the bike and realise that all Aluminin frames aren't as good as the cheap steel frame I previously had.

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Dom [196 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
dgmtc wrote:

Actually it is not that expensive.

This is not some generic "let's slap some tubes together"-frame. Every tube in the frameset has been shaped specifically for this bike, with a definite function.
I am not associated with Mason, but I did (and do still somewhat) consider getting a Bokeh frameset. I wanted to explore the 'adventure bike'-thing and when I started looking around for a frame, the bokeh wasn't out yet, but Mason were already teasing the Bokeh on their Instagram. I followed the development somewhat and mailed back and forth about geometries etc. and I believe it is one of the best 'adventure bikes' out there.

So why didn't I get one? Well, the offroad thing is new to me and I first wanted to get an idea of wether I'll be using this type of bike. So I decided to get a cheaper option (cheaper due to brexit-exchange rates as I bought it in the UK but I am in euroland and cheaper due to a short crazy 60% off sale). But  I know the frame I got isn't as good as the bokeh. If I decide that the fast-far/adventure/bikepacking thing is something I want to take seriously (and it's looking like it) then I will probably get a Bokeh.

And the whole steel vs. alu vs. carbon vs. ti thing doesn't really work anymore.
Like someone else said, alu has come a LONG way, just like carbon has for example.
You can get a sh!t bike in any material, just like you can get a great one in each of the available materials. It all depends on wether the builder knows what they are doing, from start to finish.

So before you start shouting that it's too expensive, maybe check what development went into this frame and consider that Mason aren't going to sell as many as Trek, GT or Specialized do since they have retailers all over the world.

And to Mason I say: it's great that there are still people willing to stick out their neck, taking huge financial risks developing bikes like these. I really hope to own one of these one day.
 

Hi dgmtc, Thanks for 'getting it' : ]

Dom | Mason Cycles.

Avatar
Dom [196 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
ru w00dsy wrote:

I'm I have to admit to being a fan, but I'm also sceptical of the Alu frame, not in terms of reliability but in terms of comfort for the type of adventure riding that the bike would be doing.

I've mentioned in another thread about previously owning a steel frame bike, running it tubeless with low pressure and a carbon folk - this was a cheap as chips bike but the frame material and the tubeless tyres made it a joy to ride, both on and off road.

I've since upgraded to a new high end Alu frame. Its just not the same to ride. I was hoping Alu frames had improved other the last few years, but I'm just not seeing the evidence.

I'm thinking that the mistake I made was buying a road bike with hydraulic brakes that can take wide knobbly tyres - thinking I could also use this as an adventure bike.

I'll definately look into the Mason next year when I've badgered Mrs W into letting me swap out my bike I've only recently purchased. My worry is that I could spend £3k on the bike and realise that all Aluminin frames aren't as good as the cheap steel frame I previously had.

Hi w00dsy, Come and ride one : ]

The Alu Definition is already well renowned for it's ride quality and comfort and the Bokeh goes even further. I gaurantee you'll be impressed.

Josh won the TCR on the Definition.

Alu is a great material for this type of bike, it's light, tough and if treated in the right way very comfortable.

Our bikes are designed with comfort, ride qulaity and durability in mind, not ultimate light weight and they aren't 'race' bikes, so I think you'll be very impressed with the ride. Take a look at our FB or rider reviews on the site for direct feedback.

Dom | Mason Cycles.

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drosco [315 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

I think the problem with selling high end bikes is that there is a certain amount of elitism creeping into cycling and it's easy to get tarred with that brush. There are many of us remember a time before cycling became a lifestyle, with blokes throwing thousands at bikes and hundreds at Rapha clothing etc. For years, club runs and sportives for me were done on a £500 Schwinn Fastback Comp and nobody really cared. These days, you will get judged by a proportion of riders, for whom cycling is a hobby in which you can make a statement about how much you can afford to throw at it. So if people say 'that's a lot to spend on a bike', it's as much a reaction to that, rather than a comment on the relative value of the frame etc. I suspect.

 

 

 

 

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