Our latest addition to the bike park, The Mason InSearchOf has quickly proven to become the talk of the town. And the trails! This rigid steel drop bar mountain bike made for bikepacking catches everyone’s eye with its oversized tires and sleek look.
But why a new bike? Well, why not! Simply following the rule of N+1, the correct number of bikes to own is N+1. But there were a few other good reasons for purchasing a brand-new workhorse. Or better said, I self-designed a few good reasons.
Drop bar mountain bike versus a gravel bike
After 10,000+ kilometers on my 3T Exploro aero gravel bike, I’ve come to a realization. The Exploro might not be the right bike for off the grid-bikepacking adventures. The racey geometry, the limitation of max. 42 mm tire clearance (with 700c wheels) and no mounts on down tube and fork made me long for a new companion. And there was one candidate who checked all my boxes: The Mason InSearchOf bikepacking bike.
The Mason InSearchOf bikepacking rig
It is obvious why the Mason ISO triggers responses. It’s safe to say that the bend on the frontside, exorbitant tire clearance, radical full carbon ‘HotShoe Fork’ and mega dropbar can be called pretty unusual. But what kind of bike is it, and why do I like it so much? The bike – made of steel – is a bikepacker’s dream, it rides stable and comfortably in rough terrain.
’I am a huge fan of steel bikes. I personally love the look of the frames and the shapes of the tubes. The distinctive kink in the frame reminds me of my good old Avaghon X29, which escorted me from Georgia to India’.
The frame is made of Dedacciai ZERO tubes. To add a little extra strength the seat tube is made of Reynolds 853 tubes. One of my favorite qualities is the boost spacing. With just 6 mm extra, boost spacing allows for much bigger tire clearance than the standard 142 mm spacing. With a max clearance of 29 x 2.4” or 650b x 2.8” the bike tackles those rough and rocky Moroccan singletrails without any problem.
Besides these obvious features, there are innumerable little details to be found. An abundance of lugs and mounting points and internal cable routing through the fork for a dynamo powered light to name a few.
The frame is finished off with a Sram Rival 1X group set. Simple, solid and easy to fix, so perfect for adventures in remote places. The 34T crank set combined with a 10-42T cassette allows me to spin fast enough to get over steep hills. Also when fully loaded with bikepacking bags.
The Mason x Hunt The Search Son Dynamo wheel set paired with Teravail Sparwood tires rolls pretty nicely. Both on gravel and pavement. The Son dynamo is connected to a Sinewave Cycles Beacon front light, which also works as a USB-charger. Equipped with Revelate Designs bags and some other attachments like the Profile Design aero bars and King Cage bottle cages, and the bike is ready for ultra racing and bikepacking adventures. Ready for the Trans Balkan Race, L’Esperit de Girona and Atlas Mountain Race.
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