16th December 2016
This is Mason.
Taken from the road.cc Bokeh Force review comments thread, 10:33AM Friday 16/12/16.
Heart on sleeve, Dom steadily lays down why we do, what we do, BEST.
Thanks for your comments and nice to raise a bit of a debate over materials, pricing, pronounciation etc! The idea with Mason is that we are pushing things a little and producing something different and because of that our bicycles are bound to produce a bit of debate, even down to the name, but that's great because that's the idea. We don't want to be doing 'OK' products that stay under the radar.
My aim with Mason Cycles was to work with very small but very high quality frame makers to produce the absolutely best framesets that we could. I started with Italy and we use separate tiny [compared to the factories in Taiwan] specialist workshops to produce the Alu, steel and soon Ti. We also use a super high quality painter in another area of Italy and the decals are made by the best people I could find in Italy to do that. It is possible to get everything done in one place - all frame materials, decals and paint, this is MUCH easier but it causes compromise and we want to achieve the best in all areas.
So, as we grow, that will continue to be my aim and we'll hunt down the best makers for the particular frame, fork, material or finish. we aren't an 'Italian Bike Co' so these products could come from anywhere that can do the job best - Germany, Sheffield, USA...
The Bokeh has an almost ENTIRE custom tubeset, we produced our own tooling with Dedacciai, this doesn't normally happen with small makers like us but they liked what we were doing and actually got quite passionate about the whole thing and worked with us to make our perfect tubeset. It's very high end tubing and every shape and bend is our own. This took over a year to achieve because it was HARD, we had to make sure all the clearances were right and it rode beautifly and passed the ISO tests. We worked with TCR 2015 winner Josh Ibbett to perfect geometry, detailing and ride quality. 5 prototypes came and went...
Because every tube is designed with a specific function in mind for that specific bike [it's not 'just a tubeset'] the Bokeh is very functional in appearance and use.
As with our Resolution and Definition frames, we tooled up for our own fork too and collaborated with Hunt Wheels to make our perfect wheelset. Not quick or easy but we think, BEST. Our bikes are designed 'up off the wheels and back off the fork', we don't compromise on ride quality and handling by using an off-the-shelf fork and wheelset - harder, more expensive but best.
All this stuff, the materials, the development time, the tooling, the testing, the detailing, the finish quality, the use of tiny specialist workshops for all specific processes... it's all more expensive, but we didn't set out to make bikes to a price point, the idea was to make the BEST framesets that we could achieve and build them with a build kit that we had thought very hard about to perform in a very specific and purposeful way. 'We don't build down to a price point, we build up to a quality standard' ... I think I said that somewhere and I really stand by it and we'll continue to do that.
So yes, our framesets and bikes are more expensive than other brands for many of the reasons I've outlined above. Making custom tubesets in small batches with a top European tube maker and having them welded in tiny, super high quality workshops is not cheap [the tubeset alone is probably the same cost as an entire welded frame from TW]. But it does give a frameset that rides incredibly well and comes out on top of grouptests against other premium materials [Five stars and test winner in Cycling Plus]. The paint finish alone costs over 4 times that of a Taiwan paint finish, but it is the BEST and it's made to last.
These bikes are supposed to be an investment and be your friend for a long time.
Anyway...I waffled a bit.
These bikes aren't for everybody, we can't really compete on price and we aren't trying to do that. We are tracked down by very enthusiastic riders from all over the world because we are producing something unique, there are other bikes out there that are 'sort of like ours' but the riders who buy ours don't want that, they want a Mason.
Sorry I went on a bit but I'm very passionate about what we do and incredibly grateful to all those who have invested in one of our bikes and write to me from around the world telling me about their adventures! Amazing. I feel we are building something different here.
OK, I'm going on a bit again. Thanks for reading if you got as far as this! : ]
Dom | Mason Cycles.