With the Resolution Ekar, British brand Mason have sent a road bike with a Columbus steel frame and Campagnolo EKAR groupset into the group test. Does the English-Italian liaison stand a chance against 14 of the best road bikes of the 2021 season? You can find out here.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best road bike of 2021 – 15 models in review

Mason Resolution Ekar | 8.72 kg in size 56 | € 4,300 | Manufacturer’s website

British bike brand Mason have made a name for themselves amongst enthusiasts, individualists and adventurers with the motto, “Fast Far”, and with the Resolution Ekar, send one of their steel bikes into the group test. Their portfolio might include lighter titanium and aluminium frames, but company founder Dom Mason wanted to underline the comfort, robustness and secure ride of this steel road bike, which weighs 8.72 kg in size 56. The frame is constructed from Columbus tubing with a 68 mm BSA bottom bracket and has swappable inserts, dubbed Mason MultiPort, allowing it to be adapted to route both mechanical and electronic groupsets internally. The in-house developed Aperture 2.2 carbon fork for Flat-Mount brakes integrates both a brake hose and a cable if you’re planning to use a dynamo wheelset. If you don’t make use of the mudguard mounts, tires up to 700 x 35C will fit in the frame. With mudguards, the Resolution will fit tires up to 32 mm wide. At 1,347 g, the HUNT 30 Carbon Aero Disc wheels keep the rotating mass competitive, are tubeless compatible and come set up as such. These wheels also stand out for the fact that they are easy to service with standard tools, while the 33 mm deep rims are a good compromise between crosswind stability and aerodynamics.

Mixed feelings
We’re big fans of the braking performance, the 1-tooth jumps in the “hard” top third of the cassette and the high-end finish and design of the Campagnolo EKAR groupset. However, the limited gear range and vague and clunky shifting performance didn’t impress us.
Has flair
The drops of the 440 mm wide Deda GRAVEL 100 bars flare out slightly. Typical for gravel bike drop bars, this increases control and stability with the rider’s elbows pushed slightly outwards in the drops. The concept works perfectly on the Resolution!
Anything but a bad choice in 2021
Despite the supposed weight penalty, a steel frame can be very competitive. Mason proves that fact with the Resolution, which puts intuitive handling and a high feeling of security ahead of the lowest weight.

Mason Resolution Ekar 2021

€ 4,300

Specifications

Seatpost Mason Penta Carbon 27.2 mm
Brakes Campagnolo EKAR 160/160 mm
Drivetrain Campagnolo EKAR 1 x 13
Chainring 40
Stem Deda Zero 100 110 mm
Handlebar Deda Gravel 100 440 mm
Wheelset HUNT 30 Carbon Aero Disc 12 x 100/12 x 142 mm Thru-Axle
Tires René Herse Stampede Pass 32-622 (700x32C) 32
Cranks Campagnolo EKAR 172,5 mm
Cassette Campagnolo CS21-EK13 9–36

Technical Data

Size 50 52 54 56 58 60
Weight 8.72 kg

Specific Features

classic look with comparatively little integration
mudguard and rack mounts
ready for dynamo wheels and lights
Columbus tubing steel frame made in Italy


Lots going on up front
The in-house developed Aperture 2.2 carbon fork is polarising with its lascivious design language. On the other hand, features like being able to mount mudguards and the internal cable routing for hub dynamos and headlights are undeniable advantages over many of the other bikes in the test.
Not as planned
Originally Mason wanted to send the resolution with 700 x 35C tires into the test. However, the bike came with René Herse Stampede Pass 700 x 32C and their comfort seeks its equal. Solely the braking traction of the rear wheel left a little to be desired on smooth surfaces.
Forgotten helper
The right seat stay lets you hook the chain when the rear wheel is removed. What was standard on traditional steel frames has long been forgotten on modern carbon racers. A successful comeback!

Like the Mason, the 1×13 Campagnolo EKAR groupset is manufactured in Italy and is supposed to impress with its intuitive use. While the power and modulation of the Campagnolo brakes convinced us completely, it’s a different story when it comes to shifting performance. The vague and clunky shifting couldn’t keep up with the performance of the other groupsets in the test. The 9–36 t cassette is paired with a 40 t chainring and while the 1-tooth jumps in the “hard” top third of the cassette were exceptionally well-suited to rolling terrain and the short steep ramps prevalent in Tuscany, the smallest available 38 t EKAR chainring will still be too big for the largest 10–44 t EKAR cassette. That means long and steep climbs in alpine terrain will never be the prime example of the groupsets capabilities.

Size 50 52 54 56 58 60
Seat tube 500 mm 520 mm 540 mm 560 mm 580 mm 600 mm
Top tube 533 mm 537 mm 552 mm 561 mm 581 mm 586 mm
Head tube 130 mm 140 mm 155 mm 170 mm 180 mm 190 mm
Head angle 71.5° 71.5° 71.5° 71.5° 72.0° 72.0°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.5° 73.5° 73.5° 72.5° 72.5°
Chainstays 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm
BB Drop 73 mm 73 mm 72 mm 72 mm 72 mm 70 mm
Wheelbase 999 mm 1,004 mm 1,010 mm 1,020 mm 1,025 mm 1,030 mm
Reach 381 mm 383 mm 383 mm 388 mm 395 mm 397 mm
Stack 543 mm 553 mm 566 mm 580 mm 591 mm 599 mm
Helmet POC Octal MIPS | Glasses POC Devour Clarity | Jersey Isadore IAR T-Shirt
Jacket Specialized Men’s Race-Series Wind Gilet | Pants Campagnolo Uranio Bib Shorts
Shoes Specialized S-Works Ares | Socks Specialized Hydrogen Aero Tall | Watch Sinn 556 I

The Mason Resolution Ekar in review

Our € 4,300 Mason test bike misses the light footedness of most of the other bikes in our group test. In the duel of the “slow accelerators”, it gets up to speed more quickly than the ROSE REVEAL FOUR but is distinctly slower than the MERIDA SCULTURA ENDURANCE. What the Mason is missing in sprightliness when accelerating it makes up for with its efficiency on the flats. There, with the good rolling characteristics of its tires and the integrated, sporty riding position, it’s happy to maintain speed. The Mason stays true to its creed and maintains its motto, “Fast Far”.

The Mason is the heaviest non-ebike in the test and perfect proof of the fact that weight alone is of secondary importance – it’s about distributing it cleverly!

The forward-biased weight distribution generates a pleasant amount of pressure on the front wheel which, together with the high cornering grip of the tires, leads to a lot of fun on winding roads. Despite the comparatively large tire volume, the Resolution corners willingly, even if precision might be just a touch too little for the most ambitious uses. However, in terms of good-natured and intuitive handling, the Mason gets top marks! It displays a good balance between agility and stability, and is neither sluggish nor nervous, letting its handling shine in comparison to the test field.

Comfort is also very balanced: the vibration damping of the René Herse Stampede Pass tires is outstanding. As a result of the comparatively high tire volume, they can be ridden at low pressures which, together with their supple casing, leading to a very plush ride. The compliance of the frameset also harmonises well with them and makes the Mason easy on your back even over long rides. Thanks to the slight flare of the bars and the stable handling, the Mason conveys a high feeling of security. You don’t feel like you’re riding on top of the bike but in it, making it a lot of fun to try and find your limits. On challenging surfaces i.e. gravel and hardpack, the Resolution transforms into a gravel bike, where it’s able to take blows in its stride and leaves all the other models in the group test behind.

Tuning tip: Shimano Di2 groupset for defined and quick shifting

Riding Characteristics

4

Agility

  1. cumbersome
  2. playful

Stability

  1. nervous
  2. confident

Handling

  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Fun factor

  1. boring
  2. lively

Comfort

  1. firm
  2. comfortable

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data

Mason
Resolution Ekar

Size: 50 52 54 56 58 60
Weight: 8,72
Price: € 4,300

Indended Use

Smooth tarmac 1
Allroad/Gravel 2
Everyday/Commuting 3

Conclusion

The Mason Resolution Ekar is the perfect road bike for all those who don’t want to be tied down. Everyone from novices to pros will get a bike that stands out with its versatility, intuitive handling and first-class long-distance comfort. While there are better bikes for alpine terrain, very steep climbs and races, the Mason is the best fit for all those looking for less “race” and more “bike” at a fair price. Congratulations on your well-earned Best Buy!

Tops

  • balanced handling
  • high long-distance comfort
  • great braking performance of Campy stoppers
  • high-level of trust and security on demanding surfaces
  • very good efficiency on the flats

Flops

  • vague and clunky shifting
  • limited sprightliness

For more information head to masoncycles.cc

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best road bike of 2021 – 15 models in review

All bikes in test: BMC Roadmachine 01 ONE (Click for review) | Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc Ultegra (Click for review) | Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 eTap (Click for review) | Cervélo Caledonia-5 Dura Ace Di2 Disc (Click for review) | Mason Resolution Ekar | MERIDA REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM (Click for review) | MERIDA SCULTURA ENDURANCE CUSTOM (Click for review) | OPEN MIN.D. (Click for review) | Orbea Gain M20i (Click for review) | ROSE REVEAL FOUR DISC Ultegra Di2 (Click for review) | SCOTT Addict eRIDE Premium (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Aethos (Click for review) | Storck Fascenario.3 Comp Disc Ultegra (Click for review) | Trek Domane+ LT 9 (Click for review) | Wilier Filante SLR (Click for review)


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Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Valentin Rühl