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.