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  1. #1
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    New question here. Budget Options from DB.. Sync'r, Mason 1, etc...

    Hello all,

    I do a lot of on and off road motorcycling, and would like to use mountain biking to help improve my skills in the latter, and get in a bit better shape while I'm enjoying myself. Been playing around on my old '90s Trek 800, and would like to move to something a little more modern. There is some fantastic riding near where I live (Central/Western NC), and it would be great to experience some of that.

    I walked into my LBS, and was amazed at just how far bike suspension has come along. Everything looks like a dirtbike! Large knobby tires, forks and shocks with preload adjustment, high/low speed compression/rebound, etc... It is great to see that technology trickle down into pedal bikes.

    The bikes that have caught my interest (and fit my budget of around ~$1k) are the Sync'r and Mason 1 & Mason 2. With the DB corporate discount, the price on those comes to $875, $640, and $1140 respectively.

    I do like the idea of 27.5+ on a hard tail. The lack of rear suspension is somewhat compensated by the larger sidewall of the plus tires. But.. the component package is quite a bit different between all of those bikes.

    Bang for the buck, how do you all feel about these? I'm tempted to purchase the Mason 1, throw on some hydraulic Shimano brakes, and upgrade from there as time goes on. Hell, you can even find the same RS Recon RL fork on eBay right now for fairly cheap, making the Mason 1 fairly similarly equipped to the Sync'r, but with the plus of a frame that can handle 27.5+.

    Anyway... thoughts on a budget hard tail?
    Last edited by Speireag; 06-14-2018 at 07:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    Well, I'll reply to my own thread in case anyone looks for this information later.

    On the Mason 1... For some reason I hadn't quite caught it, but it appears Diamondback has changed the frame from the bottom bracket rearward. Smaller diameter tubing is used, and it goes back to a 9mm QR axle that is totally different from the setup seen on the Masons of the past. I thought perhaps some adapter had been used, but that's not the case at all. That change alone eliminates it from contention for me.

    Now I just need to decide between the Sync'r and Mason 2...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speireag View Post
    Well, I'll reply to my own thread in case anyone looks for this information later.

    On the Mason 1... For some reason I hadn't quite caught it, but it appears Diamondback has changed the frame from the bottom bracket rearward. Smaller diameter tubing is used, and it goes back to a 9mm QR axle that is totally different from the setup seen on the Masons of the past. I thought perhaps some adapter had been used, but that's not the case at all. That change alone eliminates it from contention for me.

    Now I just need to decide between the Sync'r and Mason 2...
    If you plan on longer rides, chunkier trail tha mason y a way better choice. If more smooth trail, street practice for skills the Syncír frame is easier to jump and lighter

  4. #4
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    I'm looking at a Mason... Can you tell me more why the 9mm QR was a deal breaker? Is there a conversion or upgrade that could be done to make it more suitable? I've never educated myself on axles or hubs.

  5. #5
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    For me, it was a matter of giving the bike a little more future-proofing. How long will Boost 110/148 stuff stick around? Good question... but for the moment, everyone seems to be embracing it.

    And again, on the Mason 1, it appears that the rear of the bike was 'slimmed' down quite a bit. Thinner chain stay and seat stays. Will this impact the strength of the frame? Who knows, but the regular Mason design is proven, and I don't want to really deviate from that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speireag View Post
    For me, it was a matter of giving the bike a little more future-proofing. How long will Boost 110/148 stuff stick around? Good question... but for the moment, everyone seems to be embracing it.

    And again, on the Mason 1, it appears that the rear of the bike was 'slimmed' down quite a bit. Thinner chain stay and seat stays. Will this impact the strength of the frame? Who knows, but the regular Mason design is proven, and I don't want to really deviate from that.
    Just took delivery of my first 27.5+ bike this week (Catch 2). FWIW, I really like the plus-size tires on a 27.5 platform. You basically get the circumference/roll-over ability of a 29'er with some of the nimbleness of a 27.5. On the other hand, there are some compromises as well, but overall the plus sized tires seem like the best choice for me. I don't think it's a fad. In fact, I'd wager that if anything, the sale of 29'ers might be impacted negatively as the 27.5 Plus gains more fans.

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