The Mason Resolution is a steel endurance road bike that strikes a perfect balance between versatility, utility and style, with a super smooth ride quality that begs to be ridden far and hard.
Mason is based in Brighton on the south coast of the UK and is headed up Dom Mason, who is approaching two decades of bike design after a long and successful stint at Kinesis Bikes.
As a brand, Mason lives by its #FastFar and four-season design philosophies – in short, producing bikes focussed on efficient long-distance riding that are suitable for all conditions.
To give some context, the Mason lineup shapes up as follows:
- InSearchOf – steel adventure bike
- Bokeh – alloy gravel bike
- Definition – alloy road bike
- Aspect – titanium road bike
- Resolution – steel road bike
The Resolution is Mason’s steel all-road bike and, back in 2018, it was updated with 12mm thru-axles, flat-mount brakes and handsome custom dropouts designed by Bear components.
Constructed from a mix of Columbus Spirit and Life tubes, the frameset is welded by Mason’s contractors near Venice and assembled to spec in the UK. Out of the box with no pedals fitted, my size 56cm test sample weighs 9.05kg on the nose, which is on the lighter end of average for a steel road bike.
The bike is compatible with both mechanical and electronic groupsets. The ports for cables/hoses sit flush with the frame and give a clean look, even when built with a wireless groupset, such as the SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset pictured here.
The overall fit is fairly middle of the road, with a comfortable position that isn’t too long but, equally, isn’t too tall at the front end – it’s simply a nice place to spend all day.
The Resolution’s handling is calm, comfortable and predictable. It’s no race-ready rocket but it doesn’t feel sluggish.
Out of the saddle and mashing your legs into a lactic frenzy, the Resolution2 doesn’t have the wallowy feel of some steel bikes. Of course, it’s not got the ultra-stiff feel of a proper race bike either, but it is surprisingly unyielding for a steel bike.
To put this into context, I had been riding an All-City Mr Pink – a traditional skinny-tubed steel road bike with a straight 1 1/8in steerer – before I started testing the Resolution2, and I was genuinely surprised by how different they are. The Mr Pink feels like a wet baguette in comparison.
That isn’t to say the All-City is bad, the Mason just has a more spirited ride quality that combines ample stiffness with the much-loved buzz-taming feel of steel. Very nice indeed.
The voluminous 30mm Schwalbe Pro One TLE tyres play a large part in that smoothness. With the option to have these set-up tubeless for a modest charge, I confidently ran pressures as low as 60psi (for a 70kg rider), enormously improving grip and comfort.
The bike will accept tyres up to 35mm wide, or 30mm wide with mudguards, which is more than ample for road riding while allowing for a touch of gravel-compatible volume should an unpaved diversion take your fancy.
Keeping the tyre clearance reasonable also means that Mason doesn’t have to resort to weird dropped chainstays or yokes, keeping the lines of the bike very clean.
The bike ships with stock Mason x Hunt 4Season V3 Disc wheels but can be upgraded – as has been done here – to any wheelset in the Hunt range. My test bike was built with Hunt’s 34 Aero Wide Disc wheelset. The profile of this alloy wheelset is based on the brand’s carbon fibre 48 Limitless wheels, offering a claimed aero advantage compared to standard alloy profiles.
My experience with Hunt wheels has always been positive and the 34 Aero Wides feel predictably stiff and are very well built. Their 20mm internal rim width also gives the aforementioned tyres a nice round profile. The freehub buzz – sorry, make that scream – of the Hunt Sprint 7.5 hubs is outrageously loud. Whether you will love or loathe this comes down to personal preference.
If I was to really nitpick, I’m not a fan of the Deda Zero100 handlebar – it’s just a bit compact in the drops for my taste.
However, Mason is keen to stress that – alongside basic stuff such as stem length, which can be configured at the checkout – it is happy to accommodate your requirements. Just about any part can be swapped to suit your needs. This is a commendable approach; I wish more brands would follow suit.
The Mason Resolution2 has ample mounts to fit full-cover mudguards, a rear pannier rack and dynamo light all without turning the tubes into some kind of brass-brazed flute. The fork crown also features a threaded boss for fitting a dynamo light.
On that note, Mason has introduced a running change to the bike and the fork now has the provision to internally route the cable for the dynamo through the fork.
It would be reductive to assume that everyone buys a steel bike for the same reasons but, it is my belief that riders generally buy them because they want a versatile bike that can be adapted to many different roles.
Brands often take this a step too far and go deep into the versatility spectrum, festooning bikes with mounts and bosses galore, giving a bike an unsightly and unnecessarily pimply silhouette.
The Mason Resolution strikes a nice middle ground, with ample mounts to fit mudguards, a rear rack and dynamo lighting without turning the tubes into some kind of brass-brazed flute.
The Resolution2 is available in six builds and two frameset options – from £3,140 for a 105-equipped bike rising to £6,340 for a SRAM Red AXS build. A plain frameset costs £1,595.
This makes the Resolution one of the more expensive steel bikes on the market. For comparison, the Fairlight Strael 2.0 is a similar boutique steel bike and comes in at £3,899.
The Resolution’s delightful ride quality and well-balanced versatility go some way to make up for the high price, though, and if you’re looking for a steel bike that’s a joy to spend long days on, and can afford it, Mason’s Resolution2 will certainly not disappoint.
Mason Resolution2 geometry
|Seat angle: (degrees)||74.5||74.5||74.5||73.5||73.5||72.5||72.5||72.5|
|Head angle: (degrees)||71||71.5||71.5||71.5||71.5||72||72||72.5|
|Seat tube: (cm)||48||50||52||54||56||58||60||62|
|Top tube (effective): (cm)||51.9||53.28||53.74||55.15||56.11||58.13||58.6||60.1|
|Head tube: (cm)||12||13||14||15.5||17||18||19||21|
|Fork offset: (cm)||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5|
|Bottom bracket drop: (cm)||7.3||7.3||7.3||7.15||7.15||7.15||7||7|
|Available sizes||48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62|
|Cranks||SRAM Force eTap AXS|
|Fork||Mason Aperture2 full carbon thru-axle|
|Frame||Mason Resolution2 Columbus Spirit/Life performance|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM Force eTap AXS|
|Seatpost||Mason Penta carbon|
|Shifter||SRAM Force eTap AXS|
|Tyres||Schwalbe Pro One TLE 30mm|
|Wheels||Hunt 34 Aero Wide Disc wheelset|