After 15 years designing all manner of bikes for Kinesis, Dom Mason is heading out on his own adventure and launching Mason Progressive Cycles.
Born the in UK, the bikes will be made near Venice, Italy, by handpicked welders with experience in the individual metals each frame uses. Yes, that means the Dedacciai alloy Definition model will be made in one factory while the Columbus Spirit/Life steel Resolution will come from another. The frames will share the same spirit, though, being made to tackle any type of road you take it down. They’ll also share some rather nifty design features that make everything from assembly to riding them just a bit more pleasurable…
Here’s a nice bit of background Dom emailed us:
I spent 15 years designing and developing the Kinesis UK brand, I was very proud that it achieved many award winning and ‘best of test’ bikes and frames and eventually won the BikeBiz ‘Bike Brand of The Year 2013’. This turned out to be a pivotal moment for me and almost on that same evening I decided I wanted to start my own brand. I resigned from running Kinesis UK in Sept ’14 and have been working on the M∆SON brand ever since.
This brand has taken me into different territory and I’ve really enjoyed working with the small Italian makers after 15 years of dealing with the far East. I’m a trained engineer and a craftsman at heart and I had a yearning to get back in touch with the making process, talk with the builders and tube producers and hand pick the perfect custom tubesets for my frame designs.
The first two frames are made by small makers in the Venice region, I picked the best makers for steel and alloy rather than trying to find one maker for both. I’m a bit fanatical about detailing and finish, so I also spent a lot of time tracking down the best Italian paint and decal makers. The finish on the final production sample frames is incredible, far superior in look and durability to anything I have produced before.
I also visited the tubing factories and spent hours talking to the engineers before coming away with some beautiful tubesets that I knew were just perfect for my requirements. A great moment was driving away from the Columbus tube facility in Milan, heading for Venice with my first tubeset in the Fiat 500 hire car!
The steel Resolution bike doesn’t look like most steel bikes. The heavily formed box section downtube gives it a much more modern look and should make for a very interesting ride mix of stiff and lively. Dom developed the “MultiPort” cable stop design in conjunction with the steel frame makers, allowing for easy swaps between mechanical and electronic drivetrains. It’ll even let you choose between running full length cable housing or putting cable stops at each port. Unique in itself, it’s also pretty rare to see such a versatile design on a steel frame.
The fork is their own 365g carbon monocoque tapered design with internal hose/cable routing to the front disc brake. Both bikes are disc brake only, and both will share the same fork and MultiPorts.
Both will also use a standard threaded BSA bottom bracket shell. What’s unique about the design is that both models use a tapered seat tube design that’s flared out at the bottom to provide a larger welding surface area (stiffer BB junction) while spec’ing a narrow 27.2 seatpost. The result is a more compliant ride thanks to the thinner seatpost without sacrificing pedaling performance.
Both frames have their rear brakes mounted inside the triangle, but use different mounts. The Resolution uses a replaceable insert to thread the caliper into…
…while the Definition uses thinner, sleeker direct mounts that thread the caliper bolts directly into the frame.
The alloy Definition’s BB shell is even larger to accommodate the oversized downtube, reducing down to fit the standard threaded BB.
Both bikes will clear 28c tires with a fender, both are to be painted in Italy, and both come in two colors (the black or blue shown here). The first batch is in production now (January), then head to paint in February and start shipping in early March. Yes, they’re being a bit coy with full bike shots, but you can catch a few glimpses on their website en route to pre-ordering.
They’ll be offered as standard in 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 cm sizes, and 48 and 62 will be available as special pre-order options. Framesets and five complete builds (105/Spyre – 105/Hydro dis – Ultegra/Hydro disc – Ultegra/Hydro/Di2 – DuraAce/Hydro/Di2) will be offered. Pricing is TBD.
And for wheels? Dom worked with fellow UK upstart Hunt Bike Wheels to create the special edition Mason x Hunt wheelset we posted about a few days ago.