With the Mason Bokeh GRX, the UK bike brand sent us a race-proven machine to take part in our bikepacking group test. The mantra of the bokeh is “FastFar”. Read on to find out whether this is the formula for the perfect bikepacking bike.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best bikepacking bike in review

Mason Bokeh GRX | 9.94 kg in size 58 | Manufacturer’s website

Anyone who’s been keeping up to date with the ultra-endurance bikepacking scene will have heard the name Josh Ibett and of a brand called Mason. The Bokeh is one of the most versatile bikes in the British brand’s portfolio and designed for tires up to 650 x 50B or 700 x 45C. The frameset consists of triple butted Dedacciai aluminum tubing and the Mason Parallax2 carbon fork, available in a choice of three colours. It’s compatible with 1x and 2x groupsets, offers numerous bosses for bottle and gear cages as well as eyelets for mudguards. It even features internal cable routing for the lights. The frame’s classic lines are sensibly combined with modern details to form a coherent overall concept.

In addition to the seven aluminium frame sizes, the Bokeh is also in titanium. The Mason X HUNT 650B Adventure Dynamo disc wheelset featuring the SONdelux hub dynamo and aluminum rims is a result of cooperation between Mason and HUNT and it suits the bike perfectly. Paired with the high-quality Sinewave Cycles Beacon headlight and LED Supernova E3 Tail Light 2 on the rear, you can keep on riding long after sunset. You can even charge your electronic devices via the USB interface on the back of the Beacon headlight. A 2×11 Shimano GRX RX810 groupset and Panaracer Gravelking SK tires complete the € 4,400 package (stock builds start at € 3,600). Considering the spec and all of its accessories, our test bike’s weight of 9.94 kg in size 58 isn’t bad at all. Mason offer a wide range of components to choose from in their online configurator, allowing you to tailor the Bokeh to your specific needs.

Bombproof
One look at the wall thickness of the bottom bracket housing gives you a hint at how sturdy the Dedacciai aluminium frame is built. You can expect it to last for a long time.
Clever lights
The beam of the Sinewave Beacon headlight is symmetrical, allowing you to mount it upside down. From speeds of 13 km/h, it generates enough light, with the help of the hub dynamo, to get you safely through the night. Alternatively, it can also be operated via a power bank.
Three is better than one
There are a lot of different bottle and gear cage configurations for the triple cage mounts on the carbon fork.
For experienced riders only
The integration of the 140 mm brake rotor looks clean thanks to the direct mount bracket. However, it takes an experienced bikepacker not to overheat the small rotors going downhill.

Mason Bokeh GRX

€ 4,400

Specifications

Seatpost Syncros Duncan SL
Brakes Shimano GRX RX810 160/160 mm
Drivetrain Shimano GRX RX810 48/31 (11–34)
Stem Zipp Service Course SL 90 mm
Handlebar Deda GRAVEL100 460 mm
Wheelset MASON X HUNT 650B Adventure Sport Disc
Tires Panaracer GravelKing SK 48C

Technical Data

Size 50 52 54 56 58 60 62
Weight 9.94 kg
Wheelsize 650B

Specific Features

bosses on the fork, 3 per side
bosses underneath the down tube
rack and fender eyelets
SON hub dynamo and Sinewave light


DYED IN THE WOOL (DITW)
Harness und Dry Bag (Custom, from € 130) | Full Size Frame Pack (Custom, from € 150)
Seat Pack (Custom, from € 115) | Top Tube Bag (Custom, from € 45)
Size 50 52 54 56 58 60 62
Seat tube 500 mm 520 mm 540 mm 560 mm 580 mm 600 mm 620 mm
Top tube 520 mm 536 mm 551 mm 561 mm 581 mm 591 mm 601 mm
Head tube 115 mm 130 mm 145 mm 155 mm 165 mm 185 mm 210 mm
Head angle 70.0° 70.5° 71.0° 71.5° 72.0° 72.0° 72.0°
Seat angle 74.0° 74.0° 73.0° 73.0° 72.5° 72.5° 72.5°
BB Drop 50 mm 50 mm 50 mm 50 mm 50 mm 50 mm 50 mm
Chainstay 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
Wheelbase 1,014 mm 1,022 mm 1,028 mm 1,034 mm 1,045 mm 1,055 mm 1,066 mm
Reach 364 mm 374 mm 376 mm 383 mm 395 mm 399 mm 401 mm
Stack 538 mm 554 mm 568 mm 580 mm 588 mm 607 mm 631 mm

To put it in the words of our buddy Nobbi: this thing just goads you to keep on grinding!

Helmet POC Omne SPIN | Glasses POC Aspire Clarity | Jersey Dedicated Sunday Mountaineering
Shorts Specialized Men’s RBX Adventure Bib Short w/ SWAT
Socks MB Wear Stelvio | Shoes Specialized S-Works Recon

Without batting an eyelid, the Mason quickly gets up to cruising speed and turns out to be one of the most efficient bikes on test. Once there, it carries its momentum well on flat terrain and through corners. It’s handling is always predictable and extremely balanced through corners. The bike does exactly what you tell it to and never throws you any curveballs even when you’re pushing its limits, striking a good balance between composure and agility. It’s a lot of fun to ride! You’ll feel confident aboard the Mason the moment you swing your leg over the saddle.

This is important when you’re heading out on an epic adventure or want to push your limits. The frame’s relatively high stiffness ensures that its handling isn’t affected by a heavy payload. However, you’ll also get shaken up on rough terrain. While the Mason is relatively comfortable for an aluminum frame, there are other bikes in the test field that offer significantly more compliance. The Mason has to rely solely on the wheelset and tires to generate comfort – the rest of the bike is bombproof, sturdy and rock-solid stiff. This makes for consistent handling but also a sore back on long rides.

Tuning tips: Cane Creek eeSilk seat post for added long-distance comfort | save up for longer and take a look at the less stiff titanium version.

Conclusion

With the Bokeh GRX, Mason have kept their promise, having designed and built a thoroughbred adventure machine. It’s an extremely versatile bike capable of handling everything from fast gravel laps to epic bikepacking trips, no matter how heavy your luggage may be. The only compromise here is its lack of long distance comfort, which ultimately costs Mason the test victory. The componentry is good and can be configured to suit your preferences. The frameset basically has everything that competitive gravel riders, globetrotters and beginners are looking for.

Tops

  • predictable and very balanced handling
  • extremely versatile
  • efficient
  • well specced
  • lights with a USB charging port

Flops

  • limited long-distance comfort

For more info head to masoncycles.cc.

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best bikepacking bike in review

All bikes in test: Bombtrack Hook 2 (Click for review) | Canyon Grail AL 7.0 SL (Click for review) | Fern Chuck Explorer (Click for review) | Marin Headlands 2 (Click for review) | Mason Bokeh GRX | MERIDA SILEX+ 8000-E (Click for review) | RONDO BOGAN (Click for review) | ROSE BACKROAD AXS Mullet Build (Click for review) | Salsa Cutthroat GRX 600 (Click for review) | Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Epic HT AXS Custom (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 XTR Project One (Click for review)

Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Benjamin Topf, Robin Schmitt, Valentin Rühl