Author Topic: Mason Definition  (Read 6459 times)

Mason Definition
« on: March 11, 2016, 05:09:58 pm »
Time for a review of my Mason Definition.  Since mine is a slightly quirky build, I'll talk about the frame, fork, and wheels first.



The Definition is a sophisticated aluminium frame designed by Dom Mason, who used to design bikes for Kinesis, and built from Dedacciai tubing.  It's made in Italy, and finished to an extremely high standard.  The smooth welds and tube profiles mean the bike looks more like a carbon machine than something fabricated from bits of metal tube.  There are rack mounts and discreet mudguard mounts, plus clearance for at least 28mm tyres with guards.  The full carbon fork, with tapered steerer, has hidden mudguard mounts and is Dom's design.  The frame is designed for disk brakes, and the fork will take a 160mm rotor.  Cable routing is internal, with neat blanking plates that allow Di2 builds, builds with cable operated mechs, and cable or hydraulic disks.  There's a proper threaded bottom bracket shell.

The wheels, developed to suit the frame, are by Hunt: wide, tubeless-ready, light, moderately aero, and with notably smooth bearings.  I'm running Hutchison Sector 28 tubeless, at between 70 and 80 psi.

How does it ride?  Quick, light, responsive, and astonishingly comfortable.  I find myself riding 100k or more without a break without a second thought.  I tend to suffer from tingly fingers, but have not so far experienced even a hint of this on the Mason.  The bike climbs well, even with me on top of it, descends like lightning, and shrugs off bumpy roads.

A loaded Carradice Nelson Longflap on a Carradice Classic rack mounted on the saddle has no detectable effect on handling.

I really really like it (can you tell?).

Mason offer a range of Shimano-based builds, or else you can buy a frame and forks, plus the wheels separately from Hunt.  Which is what I did.

My Definition is built up with a 1x11 SRAM Force 1 groupset with hydraulic brakes.  38-tooth chainring, 11-36 block.  Hope bottom bracket, Nitto Noodle bars, Nitto stem, Deda carbon seatpost, and Rivet Pearl saddle.

Why the single chainring?  On my old Omega I spend almost all my time in the middle chainring, and the SRAM setup means I sacrifice one -- rarely used -- high gear and one and a half low gears when compared to the 10-speed triple on the Omega.  The loss of gears at the bottom end of the range is counterbalanced by the zippiness of the bike.  Though wide-range, the SRAM block has closely spaced gears at the top end and doesn't feel gappy.  Having a single chainring makes for a clean-looking bike and is mentally restful, almost like riding fixed or single-speed.  It also eliminates a potential source of mechanical problems.  I find I like the simplicity of the single-paddle SRAM shifting system:  just touch to shift up; move through 15 degrees to shift down.  The drivetrain is astonishingly silent.

The SRAM hoods are ugly but very comfortable, and the pronounced 'horns' provide an extra hand position.  The SRAM hydraulic disk brakes require little hand strength, have excellent modulation, and are generally silent.  They don't rub, but in wet weather or on dirty roads will occasionally pick up muck and make a pinging noise for a revolution or two.

If you're looking for a lively mile-munching audax-type bike, the Definition is an excellent bet (and if you fancy a similar deal in steel, there's always the Mason Resolution).

I'm entered for the 2,100-km Wild Atlantic Way audax in June.  As things stand, I reckon I'll be riding the Definition -- tremendous comfort ad the ability to handle poor roads, with zero penalty in performance.  Says it all really…

Re: Mason Definition
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 05:16:12 pm »
Wow. What a smart set up and nice looking bike. Clearly a lot of thought gone into both the design and your build.
Rust never sleeps

StuAff

  • Folding not boring
Re: Mason Definition
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 11:03:05 pm »
Very nice. I have the 4 Seasons wheels on my Litespeed, most excellent so far.

Samuel D

Re: Mason Definition
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2016, 01:19:25 am »
Looking good. (And great review.)

What are those long mudguards and flaps?

Re: Mason Definition
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2016, 11:27:17 am »
What are those long mudguards and flaps?

SKS Longboards.  Might trim the front one down a bit...

Re: Mason Definition
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2017, 06:10:50 pm »
It's been nearly a year since your really useful post, which I studied at the time, having followed the launch of the brand. How are you getting on? Any failures or things you would change? I'm thinking of a Definition and the 1 x 11 gearing looks interesting - I'm currently running a 22/32/44 XT triple, which gives me some lovely low gears. Most of the time I stay on the 32, which gives me a range of 27" to 78". Your 1 x 11 would give me 28" - 92".

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Mason Definition
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 08:23:28 pm »
nice

Re: Mason Definition
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 10:03:29 pm »
How are you getting on? Any failures or things you would change? I'm thinking of a Definition and the 1 x 11 gearing looks interesting

I'm still extremely happy with the Definition.  Since getting it, I've used it for virtually all my riding even though I have other bikes available (it was supposed to be just the fastish bike for when the weather was too crap for carbon).

I fitted a 36 tooth elliptical chainring before the Wild Atlantic Way last year, which lowered the gearing slightly.  I still really like the 1x11 setup: The 11-36 block doesn't feel gappy at all.  At some point I might be tempted to try SRAM Etap with a 46-30 super compact double, perhaps on a Mason Ti frame if I win the lottery...

Nothing has failed or broken.  The freehub (I think) got a bit creaky after the Irish ride.  Replacement freehub bits are available quite cheaply, but I had a spare Mason rear wheel after the crash that put paid to my original frame so just used that.

Re: Mason Definition
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 08:45:45 am »
Thanks, that's good to know. I think I'm a gear or two short each end with the 1 x 11 - I've spoken to Mason who seem to think a triple XT will fit, although they haven't heard of anyone else doing it. They've updated the fork since you bought yours I think to take a 12mm Thru-axle. They're working on a titanium refinement of the Definititon/Resolution frame shape - the Aspect, which will be a touch slacker I understand. Mooted for the summer, I can't decide if to wait (or have both!).

Re: Mason Definition
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2017, 09:23:06 pm »
Well, I took the plunge and bought a Definition frameset and my lbs expertly built it up for me. It’s been a bit of a revelation! The handling is superb, it is fast, comfortable and the build quality, detailing and finish of the frame is exemplary. 500 miles in I have no complaints save for the occasional concealed cable rattle, which is fixable. Built with 10 speed Deore XT triple and 105 triple STI shifters, I am finding it is under geared compared to my other bikes with a similar set up, probably because it is lighter and encourages a faster ride! I've not used the granny ring as yet, even around the foothills of Cadair Idris where the picture was taken. I'm now seriously considering a di2 or (more likely) an etap upgrade - the frame is certainly good enough.