Mason Bokeh Ti GRX Di2
Mason’s aluminium Bokeh is a long-time favourite of ours, even getting a rare five-star rating when we tested it three years ago.
We appreciated it for its superb detailing, quick ride on tarmac and its ability to hit the trails confidently. The only negative was that its unique frame detailing contributed to a £3,100 price.
At first glance, it looks like it could be more of the same for 2020’s titanium Bokeh – at more than twice the price in our build and a frameset that’s yours for £3,450.
Bent and tapered seatstays for rear-end comfort. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
Just as with Mason’s aluminium Bokeh there are loads of striking details, and a lot more going on than is the case with most titanium frames that usually major on round tubes.
This Bokeh has a gently flattened top tube (comfort), a rounded-off oversized rectangular down tube (stiffness) and 3D-printed titanium dropouts from Reynolds UK. The Mason-developed seatstays feature both a double-bend and tapering for increased rear-end comfort.
You can buy a Bokeh Ti with SRAM Force 1x but I went for the model with Shimano’s new-ish GRX electronic Di2 groupset, pairing a 42t chainset and 11-42 cassette.
The alternative 2×11 version comes with 48/31, 11-34 gearing, a wider-ratio setup with a racier top gear and slightly lower bottom.
This version of Di2 also has a few nifty tricks up its sleeves. Some of my testing was done during bitter, ice-cold days when thick winter gloves were a necessity, so I set the right-hand levers for all upshifts and the left for downshifting – but shifting modes are customisable.
A small bar-mounted display shows your gear and beeps when you reach first or top – more useful than it sounds when you’re hammering it.
GRX brakes: perfectly matched to Shimano Ice Tech rotors Robert Smith / Immediate Media
The wheels are a collaboration between Mason and UK wheelsmith Hunt. Its super-wide 25mm internal rim width takes tyres up to 50mm and they come tubeless-ready.
The thru-axles are finished with Mason’s SwitchLever, which you can remove to tighten both axles. Mason says that many Bokeh buyers buy a second set of wheels. Yes, it adds cost but a pair of slimmer 700c wheels ramps up the Bokeh’s versatility.
On the flat sections of my 17-mile commute I usually spin along at about 14 to 16mph; for the same perceived effort on the 47c Sendero-tyred test bike I was nearer 12 to 14mph. But when riding on icy roads those tyres feel a good deal safer than slick tyres.
And when I hit hard-packed grit, messy gravel and muddy tracks they really came into their own, gripping as if their life depended on it.
It’s no surprise that the combination of titanium, wide tyres, Fabric saddle and a carbon seatpost – even in a 31.6mm diameter – is comfortable.
Just as with Mason’s aluminium Bokeh, there are lots of striking details. Robert Smith / Immediate Media
The same is true of the moderately flared bar and gently flattened handlebar tops. Control is equally impressive, confident off-road with consistent braking and gearing that I couldn’t get to misbehave in spite of trying. The GRX’s lever hoods also provide a useful handhold.
Mason’s new Bokeh takes all that I loved about the original alloy bike and has amped it up to the all-roading, gravel-riding titanium max.
The combination of the Italian-made Dedacciai titanium frame, Di2 gearing and its wide tubeless-ready wheels and tyres delivers a sumptuous ride and there are fittings – super-neat, naturally – for more bottles and bike-packing kit.
Mason’s Multi-Port system keeps the lines as neat as the titanium frame’s welds.
Any criticisms? Well, all those well-considered details definitely deliver a first-rate long-distance “AdventureSport” ride (a description coined by Dom Mason), but quality like that is going to cost. Do you ever get that sense of déjà vu?
Mason Bokeh Ti GRX Di2 geometry
Size (* tested): 50, 52, 54*, 56, 58, 60, 62cm
Seat angle: 73 degrees
Head angle: 71 degrees
Seat tube: 54cm
Top tube: 55.1cm
Head tube: 14.5cm
Fork offset: 5cm
Bottom bracket drop: 7.3cm