Mason Cycles Resolution
Beautiful handmade frames from former Kinesis man
by Colin Henrys
Dom Mason made his name at Kinesis Bikes, designing very good bikes, a couple of which became RoadCyclingUK favourites, so when he flew the nest to start his own brand, Mason Cycles, we knew the result would be something special.
In truth, it was almost impossible for us to pick between Mason’s two debut bikes, the Resolution and Definition, for inclusion in the RCUK100. They are beautiful frames and both handmade, the Resolution from steel and the Definition from aluminium.
Mason is a man of metal and painstakingly handpicked the tubesets for the two frames, and the two Italian frame builders to bring his vision to life.
Steel may be a frame material associated with a bygone era, but while carbon fibre is now de rigueur, the qualities of steel – its ride quality and durability – have endured
But we’ll focus on the Resolution. Mason is committed to the concept of ‘the four season bike’ – not the winter bike or the summer bike, nor the touring bike or the sportive bike. It’s one bike to rule them all and that’s where the Resolution comes in. Pitched as a jack of all trades, and a master of all. ‘4Season Dominance’ is Mason’s tagline for these bikes – see what he did there? Whether you can ride a bike this beautiful through winter is a matter for only your conscience.
Steel may be a frame material associated with a bygone era, but while carbon fibre is now de rigueur, the qualities of steel – its ride quality and durability – have endured and 21st Century steel tubesets can now offer plenty in the performance stakes.
Mason has opted for a combination of Columbus Spirit and Life tubing for the Resolution and each tube has been chosen and crafted with a specific job in mind.
The Resolution is dripping in clever design features. It has eyelets for mudguards and a rack but you wouldn’t see them at a glance as they’re hidden discreetly inside the stays.
The ovalised toptube has a wide profile to ensure it has plenty of stiffness and the oversized downtube is also designed with rigidity in mind, but the tube walls can be as thin as 0.4mm to reduce weight, making modern steel a different animal to that used by Coppi, Merckx et al.
Up front there’s a tapered headtube to keep the steering direct, while at the other end, the seattube tapers from 31.8mm at the bottom bracket to meet a 27.2mm seatpost, striking a balance between stiffness and comfort. The hourglass seatstays are designed to smooth out the ride and take advantage of the natural elasticity of steel, and the chainstays are beefed up for power transfer with a subtle bend to provide clearance for 28mm tyres (with mudguards) and disc brakes.
Speaking of which, Mason has pinned his colours to the mast by making both the Resolution and Definition disc-specific. It makes complete sense for a progressive, do-it-all, British-designed bike like this. Out-right weight isn’t as important as braking performance, and disc brakes offer smooth, linear and modulated braking in all weathers.
The Resolution is dripping in clever design features. It has eyelets for mudguards and a rack but you wouldn’t see them at a glance as they’re hidden discreetly inside the stays. A chain keeper on the seatstays keeps the chain away from slapping the frame when the rear wheel is out. The dropouts are shrouded to provide a larger weld area and improve stiffness.
The stainless steel derailleur hanger and wear insert have high chromium content, more durable than regular steel and reducing wear to the dropout. The MultiPort internal cable routing system can be adapted using five interchangeable alloy parts to run a full cable outer, hydraulic hose, split outer, electronic cable or be left clear. They’re small, considered details which contribute to the overall package.
- Price: From £1,459
- Website: Mason Cycles
The frame is available in six sizes and the geometry is relatively relaxed, with the bottom bracket a touch lower than a race bike and the wheelbase a little longer to give the Resolution stability.
It’s a geometry designed with long, all-day rides in mind, while seeking to retain enough excitement and liveliness to draw out the Resolution’s performance characteristics. Mason may not have designed this as a bike to race, but one which can be ridden hard and reward the rider’s effort.
Finally, the finish. It is, quite simply, a beautiful frame – that rare combination of understated but captivating. Mason Cycles offer the Resolution as a frameset only for £1,459 or in five builds from £2,595 to £5,595.