4th January 2023
"In my opinion, it's faultless" | Exclusive MASON SLR Review
Following this original review, not only was the MASON SLR announced as road.cc 'Road Bike of the Year' 2022/2023 winner, but also OVERALL 'Bike of the Year' WINNER from all categories!
THE MASON Definition was also a finalist in both categories, so we couldn't be happier!
Read on for the full SLR review...
Stu Kerton from road.cc was the first journalist to ever ride a MASON.
Back in early 2015, when we had just launched our first two models, the Definition and Resolution, we hatched a plan to REALLY test them. This first test was key in launching our new brand, highlighting the strenghts and clever features of our new creations and showing that our thinking was different and innovative.
We delivered the Resolution to the road.cc offices in Bath UK and Stu rode over 130 miles to the MASON HQ in Brighton. He stayed overnight with us, and the next day, jumped on the Definition and pedalled it back to Bath!
The test really stood out. Stu had proper time in the saddle of each bike to really get to know their different characters and try them back to back on a long journey with very varied road and weather conditions.
These bicycles were really ahead of the curve in those days. Hydraulic disc-brakes, large volume tyres, thru-axles, 'endurance' geometry, internal routing and advanced metal frames meant that MASON was seen as a real disruptor and this test really grabbed attention.
Of course, Stu loved both bikes and we were introduced to his thorough reviewing and thoughtful and detailed writing style. Fully understanding and conveying the 'soul' of these two machines.
Since those early days, road.cc has reviewed nearly all of our models, so it felt really right that we chose them for the first ride review of the very important new MASON SLR.
Once again, in the experienced hands of Stu Kerton.
Here we summarise Stu’s 4.5 / 5 star, 9/10 rating of the New MASON SLR:
Simply stunning from every aspect, thanks to exceptional ride quality and attention to detail that sets it above the rest. In my opinion, it's faultless.
Full review here.
MASON has established a strong reputation for high-quality bikes over the years, and somehow with this SLR it has managed to push the boundaries even further yet again. The SLR is a truly impressive machine, beautifully created and finished while offering a stunning blend of performance and ride quality. In my opinion, it's faultless and it should be a shoo-in for our best steel road bikes buyer's guide.
A steel all-road and touring bicycle is how MASON describes the new SLR and I think it encapsulates everything that's great about a modern metal bike, with a passing nod to past tradition. But, there is nothing historic about the way MASON's SLR rides. The ride quality is downright excellent. The SLR is designed with big rides in mind whether loaded or unloaded, and it's here that it really excels.
A reassuring level of neutrality in the steering keeps things calm whether you are on unknown roads or when fatigue is kicking in. You'll get no surprises from the front end even on poor road surfaces or when straying away from the tarmac.
With tyre clearances as large as the SLR can accommodate, you aren't restricted to the road either. It's a capable machine on other surfaces. I didn't venture far away from hardpacked surfaces, often on light gravel sections or firm mud and grass the SLR tracks with confidence, allowing you to respond without overreacting.
The wheelbase length also adds to that planted feel, along with the fork rake and bottom bracket height. Basically, everything works very well together in unison.
That doesn't change with the bike loaded up either.
Descending is also a joy. For the type of riding it is intended for, the SLR still feels relatively quick in the bends and the geometry helps you push on quicker than you'd expect thanks to a feeling of stability and poise.
This gives confidence in the wet too.
Overall, from a ride point of view the SLR is a massively versatile road machine that gives the comfort and confidence of a big-mile tourer, with the fun of something much quicker.
Exquisitely crafted and beautifully finished is a quick summary of the SLR's frameset, but as we've seen and ridden MASON's bikes in the past, we know that there is so much depth involved in achieving the finished product.
Most of us buy with either our head or our heart, and whichever category you fall into if you take delivery of a MASON SLR, you will be incredibly satisfied. Either way, you'll end up with a piece of engineering excellence that looks absolutely stunning in the flesh, and every time you throw a leg over the top tube you will be truly stunned by the ride quality and the way it behaves.
"Simply stunning from every aspect, thanks to exceptional ride quality and attention to detail that sets it above the rest."
4.5/5 Stars | 9/10