22nd November 2022
Definition Review - The best thing is its ride feel
One of the first reviewers of a MASON, the Resolution back in 2015, Cyclist Magazine is back reviewing another of the original models, the Definition. After a few years and a few bikes tested, the original intention of our first designs makes itself better known to James Spender. James rode the Definition built with Campagnolo Chorus, which is now in stock and available to order here.
Dom Mason takes us back to the beginning of Cyclist’s relationship with MASON bicycles:
Back in 2015, Cyclist was one of the first magazines to test one of our bikes, a Resolution. At that time, we were so ahead of the curve with our high quality, small batch Italian made, big tyre, disc-brake, fast/long-distance, mudguard & rack ready bikes, they liked it but just 'didn't really get it’. Now the same journalist at Cyclist has tested the Definition and the last paragraph says it all!
Cyclist, November 2022
Thus in a sense, I’d like to offer an apology to Dom Mason. Now, I can absolutely see what he sees.
So let’s go back to 2015 and see exactly how cyclist summed up their review of the Resolution...
The perennial question: Can you ride this bike year-round in all manner of ways and weathers? Most certainly, yes. But will you want to? From a personal perspective, the answer is no. Despite having the option to fit mudguards or panniers, for me, the frame is just too pretty for those add-ons. The finish is exquisite, and if I owned it I would want to show it off in its best light on every ride. At nearly £4,200 it’s also an expensive piece of kit to use as a winter bike. If it were mine, the first time it got a stone chip in the paintwork from a gritted road, the Resolution would be back inside and wrapped up in a blanket till spring.
On a summer’s day when the roads are clear and the sun is warm, you won’t find a better companion than the Resolution. It is the perfect bike for an all-day cruise. Yet there are other days when you want to blast your bike around, not just on the flat, but up hills and down dales. You want that dynamic feeling, where every muscle in your body is focused on the task of producing all-out speed. You want your bike to feel like a rocket, and the Resolution, no matter how hard I pushed it, never did.
The truth is that, while MASON has produced a very versatile bike, it’s not the only bike you’ll ever need. Something more expendable would be required for rotten conditions, and something lighter and stiffer would be needed for the days when all that matters is speed. But for those days when you want serene riding pleasure aboard a beautiful machine, the Resolution fits the brief perfectly.
Fast forwarding to 2022, Cyclist Magazine has just reviewed a MASON Definition. First off, we hear from Dom Mason:
We have constantly updated, developed, and refined both the Resolution and Definition since their launch, but geometry and purpose remain unchanged. Others are now starting to catch up, but the Definition and Resolution still remain in a class of their own.
Cyclist ended their review of the Definition with this:
I get it: Thus in a sense, I’d like to offer an apology to Dom Mason. Now, I can absolutely see what he sees and I can believe in the robustness of a bike such as the Definition in this build, but furthermore, seven years older, seven years wiser, I can now see the appeal of this bike. The Definition will still never replace the thrill of an aero racer or lightweight climber’s bike, but these days I’m less sure I need that. My approach to cycling has changed. It’s a bit slower, it’s a bit more about the journey, and it’s a bit less about the speed, and as such the Definition suits my riding perfectly. This is an honest road bike that will go most places, and you’ll have tremendous satisfaction pedalling it to get there.
The best thing about the Definition is its ride feel. The Schwalbe Pro Ones are some of the best tubeless tyres out there and they give the bike exceptional glide and grip, but more than that they help smooth the bike’s edges. There is a finessed feel to the frame – it feels compliant beyond my expectations of an aluminium bike – but changes in tyre pressure reveal just how useful wide, supple rubber is to the Definition’s case. The Definition is a responsive bike as well as a comfortable one.
Frame material and tyres don’t maketh the ride – geometry must underpin it. Here that geometry isn’t in race bike territory - but that’s the point, as the Definition is designed for surfaces and seasons that extend from tarmac to forest paths and from spring well into winter. Its geometry needs to be stable for some off-roading as well as sharp enough to feel satisfying on tarmac; it needs to feel relaxed for long rides with luggage, as well as nimble enough to take on winding descents. In this, the Definition’s design hits its mark square on.
You can find out more about the Definition here.