What’s behind the barn door?
I always look forward to visiting Mason Cycles HQ. Apart from the cycling delights hidden behind the barn door, the peace and tranquillity of their rural setting, is in stark contrast to the hectic trip down the motorway. Nestled on the edge of the South Downs, the Mason Barn exudes a zen like calm.
As usual this visit saw, the team feverishly working away on exotic bike builds. But this time the bikes rolling out of the workshop were not for customers, but for us to ride.
Meanwhile, the rich aroma of artisan coffee drifted out of the office along with the sounds of a well curated Spotify playlist. If this was not heaven, it came pretty close!
We had been invited along for the inaugural Sussex Bike Collab, an informal showcase of what some of the best cycle brands in this vibrant little county have to offer. This visit saw Mason, Hunt Bike Wheels and Morvelo, all eager to show off their latest wares. More of that later but for now, we will focus on what is big at Mason.
Mason Bokeh 2
Perhaps the news that will stun the Gravel Community more than anything else, is the release of a new version of the original adventure bike, the Bokeh. Having quite clearly got the recipe right first time, it is a surprise that Dom Mason has seen fit to change it.
Ask the boys in the Mason workshop what bike it is they build up most. The Mason Bokeh, SRAM 1x. Guaranteed build every day.
The gravel world has changed since the Bokeh was launched in 2016. Riders have far greater expectations of what a gravel bike should be capable of for one. Customer feedback and lessons learned during the development of the InSearchOf however, meant that they could move Bokeh 2 from the drawing board to production.
More evolution than revolution, the subtle changes improve the overall package rather than dramatically alter it. Don’t worry, the new version delivers the same great ride that we have always admired the Bokeh for.
A new ⌀56 bottom bracket shell let the builders weld right up to the edge, giving a huge weld area to improve stiffness. It also let Dom drop the drive side chainstay slightly to open up rear tyre clearance. It is nothing drastic, but gives a little extra ‘mud room’ when fitted with 650×2.1” tyres. The larger shell also means cranks utilising ⌀30 axles can now be used, for example the SRAM DUB BB used with the new AXS cranks. Cabling can be routed through, rather than under the shell.
Cable routing has been subtly revised with the cable port for the rear brake hose moved from the top of the top tube to the underneath. A subtle change which clears cables out of the way, reducing interference when using a top tube bag. Out back, the rear brake hose port has been repositioned to make routing work more smoothly with the latest caliper designs.
The carbon monocoque ‘Parallax’ fork is a work of engineering art . The clean lines match the sleekness of the Bokeh encapsulating the ‘Fast Far’ ethos that underpins everything Mason do.
Customer feedback has led to the development of a more ‘bikepacker’ friendly fork revision. Parallax2 features mounts for ‘anything cages’ or racks. The new (carbon) fork is subtly beefed up to withstand weight carrying duties with larger, stronger, M5 fender bosses. There is now also internal routing for a a dynamo wire to keep everything out of harms way.
Green is the new Black
The striking Filter Green first seen on the InSearchOf is available as a ‘limited release’ colour for Bokeh 2.0, replacing Shutter Black. The ever popular Element Grey and Flare Orange colour options will still be available. And for any giants out there, you’ll be pleased to hear that Bokeh2 now comes in a 62cm frame size. Make sure you spec that one in green!
Bokeh 2 are in stock now and Mason are taking orders. Framesets start at £1,250 with full builds starting at £2,795 for SRAM Rival 1x or Shimano 105 2x spec.
All new orders through Mason will be for Bokeh 2 with immediate effect. Filter Green frames are in stock now at the Mason Barn and will be available to order through their website very soon.
More information is available over on masoncycles.cc
Last modified: 31st May 2019