Mason Resolution Ultegra Hydro review

Steel newcomer that's ready to compete with the classics

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Mason is so young as a company that our Resolution sample still wasn’t quite a perfect production example, but it throws down a new challenge to the steel status quo.

    The obvious distinguishing feature of the Resolution is the fact it’s disc brake specific. The rear calipers bolt into replaceable brass thread details inside the kinked dropouts and the hydraulic hoses vanish into down tube and fork leg to keep lines clean.

    Mason’s unique MultiPort alloy inserts give equally neat internal routing of full outer, split outer or electric cable runs or plain blanking plates for singlespeed or single-ring running. Ironically these seemingly tiny touches required the most intricate design and Italian hand-building skill to get them to work with the thin wall Columbus steel tubing while still adding minimal weight.

    MultiPort inserts make for neat internal cable routing:
    MultiPort inserts make for neat internal cable routing:

    MultiPort inserts make for neat internal cable routing

    Slightly extended chainstays and raised placement of the hooped seatstay bridge make the Resolution compatible with full guards with the 28mm tyres fitted, or up to 32mm without guards.

    At this point you’d be forgiven for thinking the Resolution is just a particularly neatly designed utility/light touring bike with plenty of existing parallels, but the ride confirms it’s genuinely special. Granted, the weight of the puncture-reinforced Gran Sport Extra rubber is obvious in the first few pedal strokes and there’s a bit of bounce in those long rear stays, but get the gear turning and you still get steel’s signature surge of speed like the turbo kicking in on a diesel car.

    Switching to lighter GP4000S II Continentals released the potential of the Resolution to punch up the steeper sections of our test loops and/or roll a big ratio over the summit.

    Don’t get hung up on the overall wheel weight either as that includes the weight of the 140mm Shimano Centerlock rotors.

    The 4 Season wheels are a close collaboration with another ‘UK upstart’ brand – Hunt – and a perfect complement to the Resolution. They’re responsively low weight, without sacrificing the stiffness needed to get maximum precision and longevity from the huge amounts of fingertip control from the hydraulic brakes.

    The slack head angle, long 'stays and discs make for a confident descender:
    The slack head angle, long 'stays and discs make for a confident descender:

    The slack head angle, long 'stays and discs make for a confident descender

    The all-weather control of the discs is backed up by a slacker than usual head angle, which combines with the longer chainstays for a stable and confident descending feel. A relatively short stem keeps steering keen and lively, so if you decide to go off piste you’ll have a good handle on grip in loose gravel conditions.

    As you’d expect if you were paying £1459 (about $2,283 / AU$3,116) for a steel tubeset, the custom Columbus tube mix screens out chatter and stutter from rough surfaces. Unlike many disc sets the full carbon Mason Aperture fork is light and smooth riding without any worrying twang or flutter when you anchor hard.

    The wheels are tubeless-compatible if you add a sealing strip and valve, adding another level to the existing survivability and smoothness advantages of the Resolution’s tyre compatibility. The way the Mason shrinks the miles adds credibility to the latest ‘bigger is faster’ rubber testing results.

    Mason has teamed up with UK contact point specialist Fabric for maximum bar tape and carbon railed saddle comfort to complete the excellent ride complementing spec.

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Guy Kesteven

    Freelance Writer, UK
    Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
    • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
    • Waist: 76cm / 30in
    • Chest: 91cm / 36in
    • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
    • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
    • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
    • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
    • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
    • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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