Mason Cycles unveiled its brand new InSearchOf (ISO) gravel and adventure bike at the Cycle Show and we were there to film the big unveiling, which you can watch in the video above.
The ISO follows on from the Bokeh and is a natural evolution with an even bigger appetite for off-road terrain and wilderness adventures, with a new steel frame designed around 29er wheels with huge tyre clearance, long carbon fork that can be swapped for a 100mm suspension fork, dropper post compatibility and a new custom front mudguard and rack accessory.
A custom Dedacciai Zero steel frame has been developed with a swoopy downtube to provide clearance for a suspension fork, while the top tube is also curved to provide extra frame bag clearance. There’s all manner of mounts for racks, mudguards, a dynamo light and internal routing for both 1x and 2x groupsets. The frame is accepting of both 29x2.4in and 27.5x2.8in mountain bike tyres.
The all-new carbon fibre fork has a 3-bolt mount on the front onto which the company’s new mudguard or rack can be fitted. The mudguard is obviously designed to keep mud and water out of your face, but rather neatly it has an integrated rack onto which you can strap up to 500g of kit, say a sleeping bag, or a keg of beer perhaps? There’s also a more conventional rack which can accommodate a dynamo light.
The development of the bike owes a lot to the exploits and demands of TCR winner Josh Ibbett. His adventures were getting into more challenging off-road terrain and the idea for an even more capable and rugged Bokeh was dreamt up.
“Josh found himself deep in the Mexican desert, fully loaded in deep sand. I found myself smashing down blue runs in the French Alps and linking runs together on isolated, steep, Rocky Mountain trails. The Bokeh handled this stuff incredibly well, it was amazing fun but it got us thinking again and after a long distance call from Josh [he was actually in his bivvy bag way out in the desert], I started sketching,” explains designer and founder Dom Mason.
“This is how our radical new bike the ‘InSearchOf’ or ‘ISO’ was born. This new bike is still firmly in the #FastFar, #ContinentCrushing vein but a progressive new frame and fork design allow it to use 29 x 2.4” or 650b x 2.8 wheels, meaning steeper, rougher and deeper terrain are well within its capabilities. Multiple mounting points, a bespoke load-bearing mudguard, specific rack systems, 160/180 flat-mount braking and 100mm suspension-ready geometry mean that the InSearchOf, once again, does not shy away from the ‘Progressive’ word in our title.”
The new ISO costs £1,495 for the frame and fork, a ‘rolling chassis’ which includes a choice of 27.5” or 29” wheels and seatpost costs from £2,000, and a complete bike with SRAM Rival or Force 1 starts from £3,195, again with a choice of wheel sizes. Availability is scheduled for December or January.
Hit play on the video above to watch Dom Mason talk through all the key details of the new bike. We’ll hopefully be able to get a first ride on the bike soon so watch out for that, it should be very interesting.
More info at www.masoncycles.cc
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com 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.