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Exclusive sneak peek: Mason Cycles Bokeh and Bokeh Ti

Brand new frames are 'AdventureSport' models aimed at fast endurance riding

Mason Cycles has unveiled two new 'AdventureSport' bikes under the Bokeh name, its first new models since the brand launched with the Resolution and the Definition at the start of 2015.

Last week we showed you the new Aperture2 fork that Dom Mason has been developing and suggested that you stay tuned to road.cc for news of further projects that are in the offing. The Bokeh, available in both aluminium and titanium, is the first of these and road.cc is the first to release the news.

The bikes in these pictures might look a bit raw but bear in mind that these are prototypes and the aluminium Bokeh will come in a choice of two different colours.

Mason new designs 2016 - 14.jpg

So what exactly is the Bokeh?

“It’s an AdventureSport bike,” says Dom. “It’s a response to this move in cycling towards venturing off road and using bigger tyres, disc brakes and lightweight packs and having adventures, but not necessarily on bikes with masses of luggage.

Mason new designs 2016 - 13.jpg

“To us, AventureSport is when you’re out there underneath a mountain, riding fast. I come from an off-road background – the first frame I designed was a Kinesis off-road frame – and now we’re getting back into that off-road stuff. 

“We’re not talking about gravel. The word gravel sounds a bit dull to me. AdventureSport is about doing it fast. That’s what our original Mason bikes do well, and that’s what we’re continuing here.”

Mason new designs 2016 - 19.jpg

Dom sees the Bokeh as following in the footsteps – or tyre tracks – of the Resolution and the Definition in that it’s designed to be ridden over long distances. The Mason brand’s 'FastFar’ mantra is something that cropped up a lot in conversation when Dom came visiting road.cc a couple of weeks ago. 

Check out our review of the steel Mason Resolution 105 Hydro here.

Check out our review of the aluminium Mason Definition here. 

The brand has become associated with this aspect of cycling partly as a result of Josh Ibbett winning last year’s Transcontinental race (TCR) on a Mason Definition. This year five competitors will be tackling the TCR on Mason bikes with Josh competing on a Bokeh Ti final production prototype. 

“As part of the Bokeh Ti development process, Josh rode this Bokeh Ti at the Tuscany Trail where he had a two hour lead before he was attacked by a dog,” says Dom. “Otherwise, his feedback was excellent and we’re really confident in the design”. 

The Bokeh’s geometry is new. The frame angles are slacker than those of the existing Mason bikes, the wheel base is longer, and the head tube is a touch taller, but the bike is still designed to be sporty. 

Mason new designs 2016 - 10.jpg

“The idea was to keep the stack height [the vertical distance from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube] quite similar to the bikes we’ve done already,” says Dom. “I didn’t want to have a really long head tube like a traditional gravel/adventure bike, because the idea is that you can get quite low if you want to. It’s not so aggressive that your neck hurts, but I wanted a bike that could cover a lot of different types of terrain fast. I didn’t want it to feel too upright and I wanted it to accelerate and climb well."

Mason new designs 2016 - 9.jpg

Both the aluminium and the titanium versions of the Bokeh are built in Italy. The aluminium one is made from custom formed/shaped Dedacciai tubing. Mason developed the down tube with Dedacciai to the same D-shaped profile as you’ll find on the steel Resolution. 

Mason new designs 2016 - 15.jpg

“It’s a signature shape for us and it gives a big weld area so it really works,” says Dom. “Dedacciai have been great. They’ve made us our own tooling so no one else has this down tube".

Mason new designs 2016 - 16.jpg

“Dedacciai also puts our own custom bends in the stays. The chainstays are almost dropped. This avoids chain slap and provides clearance for the brakes, plus along with the unique seatstay shaping [Mason calls them Boatail stays], it means we get more comfort.”

Mason has also worked with the Italian frame builders to develop a thru axle flat mount with integral mudguard/rack mounts.

MASON Bokeh alu prototype 2016 - 2.jpg

The aluminium Bokeh will be supplied with the same fork as pictured on the Bokeh Ti (below), not with the TRP one fitted on the version pictured above.

[All the pictures above here are of the aluminium Bokeh, all the pictures below are of the titanium version]

Mason Bokeh Prototypes 99 - 1.jpg

The Bokeh Ti is made from a mix of custom formed Dedacciai, Reynolds and Rewel titanium tubing.

Mason Bokeh Prototypes 99 - 7.jpg

Dedacciai made Mason a D-shaped down tube, an oval top tube, and a custom bend in the stays. The frame is built with 3D printed, hollow titanium dropouts from Reynolds.

Mason Bokeh Prototypes 99 - 10.jpg

Reynolds has been developing 3D printed titanium dropouts for a while but not in the exact form that Mason wanted for a 12mm thru axle and a flat mount disc brake. Mason helped in the development of these dropouts (internal structure below) and will be the first to use them on production frames, although other frame builders will be free to use them as well. 

ReynoldsDropout_Section_V5.jpg

“The Reynolds dropouts have tiny pin marks over a very thin 'cover' that hides drillings for Di2 and mudguards,” says Dom. “If we require Di2 and/or mudguard mounts on a frame we’re having made, the thin titanium part can be removed and then we can thread it for mudguards or pass the wire through the Di2 port. It’s all very neat and only achievable with 3D Ti printed parts.”

Check out a video of Charge's 3D printed titanium dropouts from a couple of years ago.

Mason Bokeh Prototypes 99 - 4.jpg

The Bokehs aren’t fitted with the Aperture2 fork that we told you about last week, but the carbon fork that has been developed in conjunction with the Italian supplier for these bikes does have eyelets on the inside of the legs and a 5mm eyelet at the front for fitting a dynamo light. 

The fork has a 400mm crown height and, like the frames of both the aluminium and the titanium Bokehs, it has enough clearance to take a 650b wheel fitted with a 50mm wide tyre or a 700c wheel with a 41mm tyre. It uses the Mason F-Stop thru-axle that was developed for the Aperture2.

Mason Bokeh Prototypes 99 - 5.jpg

The Bokehs will be available from September in complete bike options, including a couple of SRAM 1x builds, and also as frameset only. 

Read our SRAM 1x First Ride here. 

Bokeh prices have yet to be finalised but the aluminium version is likely to be similar to the Definition, so around £2,100 for a Shimano 105 build.

Mason Bokeh Prototypes 99 - 3.jpg

The Bokeh Ti frames are built by a small maker in the mountains of northern Italy. The frameset – including fork, headset, seat clamp, MultiPort inserts, F-Stop thru-axles and all bolts – will be around £2,500, with a SRAM Force 1X 650b build coming in at around £4,300.

Mason Bokeh Prototypes 99 - 9.jpg

One final thing:  what the hell does Bokeh mean?

According to the road.cc Dictionary of Words and That (okay, the internet), bokeh is “the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens”. 

So, if you didn’t already know, you do now.

“I think it has that adventure feel and sounds mysterious. It also reminds me of the blur from heat haze on a desert adventure and it follows the Mason way of using terms from photography,” says Dom.

https://masoncycles.cc

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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43 comments

Avatar
rjfrussell | 7 years ago
0 likes

Is it some sort of optical illusion, or just my untrained eye-  the Alu and Ti frames look quite different to me.

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RW | 7 years ago
0 likes

I doubt there'll ever be a bad- or even merely-ok-looking Mason bike, but my god that Bokeh Ti is beautiful.

I've been trying to decide between a Resolution and a GF-Ti Disc for my theoretical road bike replacement, but I'm not sure I'll be able to get past this. It looks like I'm going to have to find another AU$2000, especially if you can be sparing with the decals.

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fustuarium | 7 years ago
0 likes

O-M-G they've only gone and done it. I've resisted until now on the basis that it had to be orange. I am that technically illiterate and shallow lol (almost cracked on LeMond Washoe but prefer disc and British). Best put a day aside to tidy up the garage and make some space before Christmas.

Avatar
Dom replied to fustuarium | 7 years ago
0 likes
fustuarium wrote:

O-M-G they've only gone and done it. I've resisted until now on the basis that it had to be orange. I am that technically illiterate and shallow lol (almost cracked on LeMond Washoe but prefer disc and British). Best put a day aside to tidy up the garage and make some space before Christmas.

Hi fustuarium,

The Bokeh Alu will come in 'Element Grey' AND 'Flare ORANGE', so I think we may have ticked all your boxes ; ]

Let us know when you've cleared that space!

Dom | Mason Cycles.

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BikeJon | 7 years ago
0 likes

By the way, that chain looks to be in a right crappy condition. Quite offensive!

Avatar
Dom replied to BikeJon | 7 years ago
0 likes
BikeJon wrote:

By the way, that chain looks to be in a right crappy condition. Quite offensive!

You are quite right BikeJon. I'm pretty sure the entire drivetrain is still the same one that Josh won the TCR2015 with! We gave him a new one for this year though ; ]

Dom | Mason Cycles.

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BikeJon | 7 years ago
0 likes

I love the Ti. What is the max tyre size you could fit if running 700c wheels in the Ti, Dom?

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Dom replied to BikeJon | 7 years ago
0 likes
BikeJon wrote:

I love the Ti. What is the max tyre size you could fit if running 700c wheels in the Ti, Dom?

Hi BikeJon,

Thanks very much! Very pleased that you love the Bokeh Ti, the finished version will look even better with satin finish, bead balsted graphics and some discreet white/black/copper decals.

Max tyre size for 700c will be 41mm.

Dom | Mason cycles.

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Jessjess | 7 years ago
1 like

Really nice Ti frame, I really like it, but what about cabling rattle inside the tubes? Mudguards and rack mounts on Ti? 

Thank you.

 

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Dom replied to Jessjess | 7 years ago
0 likes
Jessjess wrote:

Really nice Ti frame, I really like it, but what about cabling rattle inside the tubes? Mudguards and rack mounts on Ti? 

Thank you.

 

Hi JessJess,

Thanks very much : ]

We don't have problems with cable or hose rattle, our builder makes sure the hoses/cables are routed and assembled properly to avoid this.

There are full 'guard mounts on the BokehTi and the Reynolds dropouts have special hidden eyelets that can be exposed and threaded for mounting a rack. We will make most of the Ti frames to order [lead time 9wks], so we can make with or without eyelets for rack on dropouts/seat stays on request.

Hope this helps.

Dom | Mason Cycles.

Avatar
Artem | 7 years ago
1 like

and all the best wishes to Dome, I've been seriously thinking on resolution, but steel rust in m

Moscow winters with salt on roads, so I went for Ti  1 Resolution is the best looking bike to me for now  1

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Artem | 7 years ago
1 like

as owner of gf_ti disc can say the ride quality is absoluteley admirable! Ti is really a great material and makes ride so much smoother without swaying, couldn't get it in alu or steel frames.  and it had all the right specs for me. but it looks like Dom's ti bike is more high-end. especially tubing. my kinesis 57cm size weights 1835 frame only and 2390 frameset, pretty sure this one is lighter. also 53,5 front angle feels bit too aggresive for daily commuting, it's hard to go no-hands or even with one had. maybe that can be changed with a different fork. and i still to find out what tire size i can fit for winter. as i live in moscow and i need winter tires, used contis topcontact 37mm  winter on other bike. looks like tis would take them... so really looks bit different bikes. 

Avatar
Jimthebikeguy.com | 7 years ago
2 likes

God. This is my perfect bike. No kids left to sell, and only one kidney left however. Hmm. 

Avatar
Dom replied to Jimthebikeguy.com | 7 years ago
1 like
jterrier wrote:

God. This is my perfect bike. No kids left to sell, and only one kidney left however. Hmm. 

Hair is worth quite a lot apparently jterrier.

Do you have nice hair?

Avatar
Ush | 7 years ago
2 likes

Based on seeing people's reactions to previous Masons they should just bite the bullet and re-name this one to the bukkake.

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Dom replied to Ush | 7 years ago
0 likes
Ush wrote:

Based on seeing people's reactions to previous Masons they should just bite the bullet and re-name this one to the bukkake.

Dismissed because it's not a photography term.

Avatar
VeloPeo replied to Dom | 7 years ago
0 likes
Dom wrote:
Ush wrote:

Based on seeing people's reactions to previous Masons they should just bite the bullet and re-name this one to the bukkake.

Dismissed because it's not a photography term.

Technically one could follow the other if the lens got to close to the action.

Aaaaaaaaanyway.....

Avatar
Batchy | 7 years ago
0 likes

Well I finally got the summit on my Carl Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f2. I'm well and truly boked now though !

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swerider | 7 years ago
0 likes

How would you compare it to the Kinesis GF Ti?

The Bokeh seems to be more expensive. Is it better?

Avatar
Dom replied to swerider | 7 years ago
0 likes
swerider wrote:

How would you compare it to the Kinesis GF Ti?

The Bokeh seems to be more expensive. Is it better?

Hi swerider,

The BokehTi is sort of the natural evolution of both the GfTi and TripsterATR. The idea is that it's a fast machine for covering distance in comfort and also has the ability to perform over a wide range of terrain and riding surfaces because of the large tyres.

'Is it better' depends on what you need and what your intended useage is. But It is certainly better at covering a wide range of terrain and hammering off-road than the GfTi. It also uses a custom Dedacciai tubeset that is more advanced than the Kinesis tubeset and a fork that we have developed specially for these bikes in conjunction with our Italian suppliers.

The Reynolds 3D printed Ti dropouts are also extremely advanced and of course more expensive to produce than the Kinesis ones.

The european made, custom tubeset, dropouts, fork and construction by a very small but extremely high quality builder in Northern Italy all add up to a frameset that is more expensive but considerably more advanced and adaptable than the GfTi.

I hope that helps to answer your Q's.

Dom | Mason Cycles.

Avatar
Batchy | 7 years ago
1 like

Just tried to ride my Carl Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f2 up Kirkstone Pass . Not a pretty sight !

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Batchy | 7 years ago
0 likes

There's one thing for sure that Bokeh is purely a photographic term and is fuck all to do with bicycles or cycling. Next we will be hearing about how good a lens performs when it is pedaled up Mount Ventoux !

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Mountainboy | 7 years ago
0 likes

Loved Mason frames since they first appeared, almost went for the Alu frame (can never remember if it's D or R), but, when you are spending a lot of money on the N+1 killer, that'll last forever (ha!) it's got to be ti, and the Kinesis Gran Fondo Ti Disc looked like the one.

Then Dom comes out with this.

Thanks.

Avatar
Dom replied to Mountainboy | 7 years ago
0 likes
Mountainboy wrote:

Loved Mason frames since they first appeared, almost went for the Alu frame (can never remember if it's D or R), but, when you are spending a lot of money on the N+1 killer, that'll last forever (ha!) it's got to be ti, and the Kinesis Gran Fondo Ti Disc looked like the one.

Then Dom comes out with this.

Thanks.

Hi Mountainboy,

Thanks very much indeed : ]

The Alu frame is the Definition.

Ti is great because it does clean up like new for many years. I designed the original GfTi and it's now uprated with discs and a great frameset but it's very different to the BokehTi. Actually, I look at the BokehTi as the evolution of both the Kinesis GfTi and Tripster ATR... fast and capable of taking large tyres and suitable for a large range of terrain and riding surface.

The custom Dedacciai tubing of the BokehTi is way more advanced than the Kinesis frames though and they are produced by a very high quality maker in the mountains of Northern Italy where the air is pure, ahhh... ; ]

Dom | Mason Cycles

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barbarus | 7 years ago
0 likes

What use is this frame if it can't protect against dog attack!?

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Dom replied to barbarus | 7 years ago
0 likes
barbarus wrote:

What use is this frame if it can't protect against dog attack!?

Josh's bony legs are way more attractive to a hungry dog than Ti tubes barbarus!

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daccordimark | 7 years ago
0 likes

I've been hoping Dom would have this type of frame as his next venture and these look like crackers. Would be nice to see a steel version too.

I'm surprised to read the angles are slacker than the Resolution and Definition given that they already have a pretty slack 71.5 degree head tube but maybe it's just the seat tube that's slacker?

Will the next evolution be an even more adventurous frame bristling with braze-ons for luggage toting types?

At the moment it's all acedemic as I haven't managed to find quite enough down the back of the sofa yet for a Mason frame but I love what Dom's doing with the brand.

Avatar
Dom replied to daccordimark | 7 years ago
0 likes
daccordimark wrote:

I've been hoping Dom would have this type of frame as his next venture and these look like crackers. Would be nice to see a steel version too.

I'm surprised to read the angles are slacker than the Resolution and Definition given that they already have a pretty slack 71.5 degree head tube but maybe it's just the seat tube that's slacker?

Will the next evolution be an even more adventurous frame bristling with braze-ons for luggage toting types?

At the moment it's all acedemic as I haven't managed to find quite enough down the back of the sofa yet for a Mason frame but I love what Dom's doing with the brand.

Hi daccordimark,

I really got fascinated with this type of bike in the run up to TCR last year and the fast off road/gravel sections that Josh Ibbett rode on the way to his win really cemented the idea of #FastFar and a Continent Crushing machine for very varied terrain and 'road' surface.

They are a little slacker for stability, more secure off-road handling and toe-clearance for larger tyres, but we've made sure to bring the trail dimension into line by using a 50mm offset on our new fork. During my time designing 29ers I learnt the lesson that big wheels/tyres and too much trail = ponderous handling and the feeling of 'following a wheelbarrow' when on slow climbs.

I decided on Ti and Alu for these bikes because of the 'AdventureSport' and FastFar angles, they are designed to be fast and sporty for lightweight frame packs, rather than loading them down for full-on luggage. I like the idea of a Mason for more 'expedition' useage and I think steel would be great for that, maybe with a steel fork, but that's a while off!

Thanks so much for your interest, input and positive words about the brand, very nice to hear you like what we are doing : ]

Dom | Mason Cycles.

 

 

Avatar
fukawitribe | 7 years ago
1 like

Boke... just as well it wasn't intended in the original Japanese sense..

 

Stunning bikes again, really need to get my shit together and win some lottery or something.

Avatar
Dom replied to fukawitribe | 7 years ago
0 likes
fukawitribe wrote:

Boke... just as well it wasn't intended in the original Japanese sense..

 

Stunning bikes again, really need to get my shit together and win some lottery or something.

The 'Kuk' abbreviation from my 'old' brand had some rather less savoury meanings in other countries fukawitribe, you can't please 'em all!

Thanks very much, glad you are liking the new bikes and good luck with the lottery!

Dom | Mason Cycles.

 

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