3rd January 2023
My Mason Exposure - "makes you feel good-even when tired"
I always think a test of a good bike is does it make you ride in weather conditions that are less than ideal? The Exposure does.
Does it make you commute more, take a long way home and use the car less? This bike does.
Does it make you urge to keep pedalling and spinning away with no soft-pedaling...even on an easy ride! The Exposure does.
It's because the bike is fun and communicative to ride and just makes you feel good- even when tired too! A recent leisure ride kept being extended using a variety of terrain and I missed lunch by a couple of hours.
I actually loved the Bokeh for the same reason, but always wondered how a steel Bokeh would be the perfect bike for me as I do love the way steel rides and watching the progress of MASON, I had a hunch that one day a steel frame may be sold. I have never bought a frame so quickly. The Ltd Edition was a bonus really.
My Bokeh is now very much set up for muddier rides and the Exposure currently is (sadly) a bit hidden a bit beneath mudguards and bike packing bags left on it for the commute but with bigger 38mm allrounder tyres. I can still ride into the forests even with the mudguards on and stay pretty clean too, using the mudguards on gravel is a bit of an experiment but living on a minor road with farm traffic (filthy roads) the easier bike cleaning is very welcome and so far seems to be working and I stick to familiar trails when off road.
My setup is the same as my Audax bike, I went down a frame size to achieve this and I think helps the feel of the ride for what I wanted. Although during the long wait for delivery I did panic that I thought I had ordered the wrong frame and remembered I did all my checks on a tape measure and my steel Audax bike and not like for like Bokeh frame size!
Familiar rough Scottish forest fast descents were confidence-inspiring and handled in style by the ride of this frame. The front end feels like the Bokeh, but the frame is noticeably marginally more compliant.
Today I was loaded with approx 3kg of weight in the top tube bag and the character of the loaded stable handling was felt for the first time with that steel feel as well, but still a responsive pedaling efficiency. This is not felt in the same sporty way on my touring bike, a traditional British Tourer Geometry and now not used much, its comfortable but feels like a bit of a barge after the nimble MASON Exposure, it could be called a “SuperTourer!
The Ekar so far has exceeded expectations as well, closer ratios on the road are fantastic and lower gears are there when needed at the other end of the cassette. The brakes "feel" is great and useful, especially with a compromised tyre on the muddier off-road sections. I was really really worried about choosing this groupset as well!
The bike can be used as a training bike as well with ratios not too compromised. Changing the rear wheel needs a bit of practice as the Ekar spring is very strong but practice makes perfect.
I am very lucky to own a Bokeh and an Exposure both really fantastic bikes, very similar but very slightly different. I was supposed to part with my Bokeh but I cannot see it now as we have had so many adventures.
Living where I do in the Tweed Valley my current setup on the Exposure is ideal, a sporty gravel touring multi-surface bike that is great on the road too.
If I ever do the Great North Trail it can be stripped and big tyres put on, it's a super versatile bike.
My bikes are ridden and not polished but I do polish this one a lot! The finish is outstanding. I think my 15-year-old Audax bike may be retired and a second set of road wheels with road tyres be used on the Exposure for Audax duties, watch this space.
Thanks, Graham for sharing your thoughts on the Exposure so far, we look forward to hearing more about your riding adventures in 2023.