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Fairlight Secan vs Mason Bokeh Video Comparison Review

David tests two British designed gravel bikes to see which is the best

What gravel bike should I buy? It's a question we hear a lot here at, and there's a serious amount of choice at the moment. In the above video we've narrowed the choice to two of the most interesting British designed gravel bikes, the Mason Bokeh and Fairlight Secan, and compare the differences. 

Why these two bikes? Because in many ways they are very similar. They're both designed in the UK and made in Italy. Each has been designed by a Dom too, make of that what you will. Each bike has clearance for wide tyres including on-trend 650b, disc brakes, geometry tuned for mixed-terrain riding and various mounts for mudguards, racks and extra bottles.

Mason Bokeh GRX.jpg

The one big difference is in the frame material. The Mason Bokeh uses an aluminium frame, the Fairlight Secan uses a steel frame. To try and remove some of the variables, both bikes were rolling on Hunt 650b wheels with WTB Sendero 47mm tyres.


 I don't want to spoil the video so hit play above and then let's hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. Which one would you choose?

You can read a full review of the Fairlight Secan here and there'll be a review of the updated Mason Bokeh very soon, but in the meantime here's the review from when it first launched a few years ago.

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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Callum Nicklin | 4 years ago

"They're both designed in the UK and made in Italy"


Are they? Mason, for sure. I thought Fairlight was elsewhere in Europe.

bikercat | 4 years ago

David, I appreciate the response. I do have a M/L Defy so will probably go for 54T you mention. Thank you.

Russell Orgazoid | 4 years ago

I would add a 3rd, budget choice to this test.

I have been super impressed by my Boardman ADV 9.0.

As much as I was tempted by both of these bikes on test, I couldn't justify £3k+.

I found my CX bike too racy in geometry and wasn't practical for bikepacking (few mounts).

The Boardman has been a revelation. The geometry is wonderful; just like the Mason & Bokeh.

It has lots of mounts for my bikepacking plus comes with 650b rims and good tyres...all tubeless ready out of the box. The fit and finish is really very good albeit not nin the league of the 2 bikes in the video, but given that the Boardman gets a hard time with the sort of riding I use it for, then that is a minor issue. These bikes are for using and abusing as they are so much fun!

Other spec includes ful 1x11 Sram Rival, a Fizik saddle and lovely flared 'bars.

The Boardman cost me £1350 and IMO aces the Mason & Bokeh with value for money. I don't think either bike can do anything the Boardman cannot, they are just more boutique with finer minor touches.

As an N+1 bike the Boardman is terrific....all day comfort and so, so useable.

bikercat | 4 years ago

David, been thinking about a Fairlight for a while but nervous about buying without trying. How is sizing compared to a Giant Defy (if you’ve tried one) thank-you.

David Arthur @d... replied to bikercat | 4 years ago
bikercat wrote:

David, been thinking about a Fairlight for a while but nervous about buying without trying. How is sizing compared to a Giant Defy (if you’ve tried one) thank-you.

Good question. What size is your Defy?

A Secan 54T has about the same stack and reach as a size ML Defy, if that helps at all? It's worth dropping Fairlight a line as they are very helpful when it comes to sizing

kil0ran | 4 years ago
1 like

Can't comment on either of the bikes other than that they look like they'd fit what I'm riding currently. That's a mix of debris-strewn country lanes and deep rutted and muddy bridleways with a bit of sandy gravel forest access road thrown in. The "is it a river or is it a farm track" experience towards the end of the video is very familiar.

I think for this sort of riding as long as the geo isn't too aggressive almost any bike with the clearance will do. They tyres are the biggest differentiator. I've been running the Senderos for about a month now - tubeless on FSA Afterburner wheels - and they are the key that unlocks so many more tracks for me. I can easily navigate the dense sandpit sections in the New Forest and also cope with deep mud and puddles. They cope with everything I've thrown at them and certainly don't feel slow on the road. In fact, there's this incredibly satisfying thrum on tarmac and the huge volume means I can just hammer through potholes and across what passes for smooth tarmac around here. Less road buzz/judder/shocks means more efficient pedalling. Highly recommended if you've got a set of 650B wheels hanging around.

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