There are easy ways to make a bicycle and bring it to market, and then there’s the MASON way.
In 2014 Dom and Julie Mason founded MASON CYCLES, brimming with ambition, progressive ideas and a healthy disregard for convention and ‘The Rules’.
“At that time I already had 15 years of experience in designing bikes, I was looking at what other bike brands were doing and it all felt a little stagnant and uninspiring. There were really interesting developments in braking, wheels, tyres and materials and I was driven by the idea of utilising these progressions in ways that hadn’t yet been explored by others. I was also fascinated by the concept of working closely with the very small workshops and highly experienced frame builders in Italy, holding tubes and getting grease under my fingernails.
“I wanted to use traditional frame building materials such as steel, titanium and Aluminium, but in a very modern way. This, combined with the skill of the makers and the very progressive components, felt like it held some magic. I felt driven to get these bikes under riders and see the adventures that would unfold”.
“I had a strong belief that there was room for a brand producing premium, perfectly detailed and highly functional bicycles, that stood for something different. We weren’t going to be about ‘Aero’, super light weight, model years and planned obsolescence, we WERE going to be about high quality, beautifully built, modern bicycles, designed to work perfectly for the emerging riding styles I was seeing and to be the riders friend for many years.”
“I wanted to dig into concepts that others either hadn’t thought of, or were considered too difficult, and by doing so, invest in a more considered process that allowed us to craft bicycles with the specific function and high quality I was after. I had a hunch this is what a lot of people were looking for too.”
Despite all the associated risks with a strategy this bold, Dom left his job and using his inheritance, they took a leap of faith, pouring everything they had into the business. It wasn’t long after the first two models released - the Definition and the Resolution - that they knew they were onto something special. The initial reception was strong and it was clear there was a real appetite for Dom’s ideas about bicycles that didn’t look, feel or perform like others. Bicycles that were hand-built with care, possessed unique riding capabilities and that embraced materials, technologies and processes many others didn’t.
To complement this progressive thinking and an appetite for straying from the trodden path, Dom’s strong background in engineering, design and the cycling industry meant that MASON CYCLES has never been about putting just an average bicycle out into the world.
“I have many interests from outside the industry - skateboarding, snowboarding, music, interiors, design - and these influences often spark ideas I have about bicycles. There are a lot of parallels and it all feels part of a passion for style, form, detailing and the outdoors. This feeds into my love of engineering and making, as well as an obsession with producing quality products, without compromise. Our guiding mantra ‘Ride Driven Design’ stems from a fascination with anything on wheels and a lifetime of riding bikes. It means nothing is there for fashion and everything must come from function.”