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Thread: Mason HT

  1. #1
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    Mason HT

    So the mason HT looks SICK. I'm heavily considering pulling the trigger off jenson. Looking for some thoughts on the bike, anyone else thinking it looks like really fun and capable bike?

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    I would if it was a 27.5r

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    Rode one for two days...

    Here's my take...

    At MBO, DB was there with a full fleet of Mason Demos. I was looking for something different then my Niner RIP9 and that would be comfortable on my next ride which was almost all down and gnarly. After walking through the vendor area, a friend mentioned the Mason. I totally forgot about it (originally it was called the Dixon at Interbike).

    I am mostly a cross country endurance rider with a background in racing downhill and motorcycles. The Mason completely floored me. This bike was wanting me to drop down all that I encountered on a trail that I had never been on. My RIP9 was really nervous on the long downhills at MBO and really was thinking of selling it before last years event. I think my Moots Mooto-X is more "comfortable" on the downhills in and around MBO than the RIP. The Mason makes the downhills super fun now. And the responsive and stiff rear end makes the climbs go by fast. Never felt the weight of this bike either. I know it's not light stock but rolled nicely (Twentynineinches.com is reporting 31lbs). I came back to camp and went for some DH runs with a couple other guides that got Mason demos. We were all impressed!

    Talking with the Demo guys at DB, they let us keep the Mason's for Sunday's ride. Sunday, I took the Mason on a trail that I was familiar with and that was similar to my trails at home. Again, this bike rocked the downhill portion, this included the climbs. Even the short steep climbs were not hampered by the slack headtube angle. I thought this may be an issue but never had one. On the more XC portion of the ride, following a flowing river and steep ups and tight rooty/rocky singletrack. The Mason handled it well. I was in and out of the shorter travel and longer travel portion of the fork. After a bit, I stayed in the 140mm mode. If I get a chance, I would swap out the TALAS for a regular Float fork. For me, there's almost no need to drop the travel unless it's super steep, but then the gearing would make you pay for it.

    As of now, I'm purchasing a Mason and will post my findings here on the forum. I've sold the RIP9 and am looking forward to some fun riding. I've looked at other brands and this is a pretty complete package. The DiamondBack guys are super nice and very enthusiastic about the bikes. Not in the sales kinda way, more like they love bikes and the brand. The feeling I got from them is that there are great things to come.

    L8
    Let us Ride!

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    That bike looks super sick, DB4L!!

    Still on training wheels

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    Quote Originally Posted by l84biking View Post
    Here's my take...

    At MBO, DB was there with a full fleet of Mason Demos. I was looking for something different then my Niner RIP9 and that would be comfortable on my next ride which was almost all down and gnarly. After walking through the vendor area, a friend mentioned the Mason. I totally forgot about it (originally it was called the Dixon at Interbike).

    I am mostly a cross country endurance rider with a background in racing downhill and motorcycles. The Mason completely floored me. This bike was wanting me to drop down all that I encountered on a trail that I had never been on. My RIP9 was really nervous on the long downhills at MBO and really was thinking of selling it before last years event. I think my Moots Mooto-X is more "comfortable" on the downhills in and around MBO than the RIP. The Mason makes the downhills super fun now. And the responsive and stiff rear end makes the climbs go by fast. Never felt the weight of this bike either. I know it's not light stock but rolled nicely (Twentynineinches.com is reporting 31lbs). I came back to camp and went for some DH runs with a couple other guides that got Mason demos. We were all impressed!

    Talking with the Demo guys at DB, they let us keep the Mason's for Sunday's ride. Sunday, I took the Mason on a trail that I was familiar with and that was similar to my trails at home. Again, this bike rocked the downhill portion, this included the climbs. Even the short steep climbs were not hampered by the slack headtube angle. I thought this may be an issue but never had one. On the more XC portion of the ride, following a flowing river and steep ups and tight rooty/rocky singletrack. The Mason handled it well. I was in and out of the shorter travel and longer travel portion of the fork. After a bit, I stayed in the 140mm mode. If I get a chance, I would swap out the TALAS for a regular Float fork. For me, there's almost no need to drop the travel unless it's super steep, but then the gearing would make you pay for it.

    As of now, I'm purchasing a Mason and will post my findings here on the forum. I've sold the RIP9 and am looking forward to some fun riding. I've looked at other brands and this is a pretty complete package. The DiamondBack guys are super nice and very enthusiastic about the bikes. Not in the sales kinda way, more like they love bikes and the brand. The feeling I got from them is that there are great things to come.

    L8
    Glad to hear, I just got an E-mail that my Mason has been shipped. Hopefully I'll have a ride report in a week or so.

  6. #6
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    The Mason is such a sexy beast. Really like this bike.

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    Mine is in the mail!

    I had been considering the Stache and the Yelli as well but the slightly slacker head angle/extra 20mm of travel and the better component spec pushed me towards the Mason. I was a little worried about the weight as first but I figure I can make it 30# or better just with new rubber and stans strips and possibly some new wheels down the road.
    Here is the thing about equality, everyone's equal when they're dead. - Gavroche, Les MisÚrables

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigkat273 View Post
    Mine is in the mail!

    I had been considering the Stache and the Yelli as well but the slightly slacker head angle/extra 20mm of travel and the better component spec pushed me towards the Mason. I was a little worried about the weight as first but I figure I can make it 30# or better just with new rubber and stans strips and possibly some new wheels down the road.
    I ordered mine before I knew the weight and when I learned it I was a little worried, my Yeti ASR5-C weighed 25 lbs. But I looked into the weight of a lot of the individual parts and the stem, bars, crankset, tires etc are all pretty heavy. I have a few parts I'm going to swap right away but my long term goal is to upgrade parts as needed and lose some weight along the way. My plan is to have it around 27 lbs without losing any burliness or usability. Tracking says it will be here on Thursday

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    Mine arrived this morning! Unfortunately, it'll have to wait until next week to build up, as we head up north for the long weekend for some riding. As others, I have a ton of parts that will replace the stock ones once I get a base line. No super weight weenie stuff, just smart parts that'll lighten it up and keep it burly.

    I'll post up the weight once all built up stock. Mine is a large/19".

    L8
    Let us Ride!

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    Built Mine up. I swapped out a few parts right off the bat, I'm still waiting on a crankset, brakes and tires to swap out. Here are a couple pictures, I'll post my initial thoughts and observations when I get a little more time.









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    Looks sweet. Just got mine in yesterday and threw it together. I was actually kinda shocked when I opened the box. Just browsing pics online, I thought this bike was white. Like the clear though.

    I thought the stock seat kind of odd. The dude's face is printed on the front of the seat, such that your junk rests right on top of it. "Hey look, I'm famous... wait, what?? Noooooo!!!!" :-0

    Swapped on some Ergons, but otherwise stock for now. Itchin' to ride it, but it's fatbiking weather outside.

  12. #12
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    Love it!

    Been on two rides since I got mine. I am coming from a 7X7 in. travel Giant Reign X and decided to get something that would thrive on my local trails that I wouldn't have to push up. This bike is sweet! Does great on the descents and I don't miss the 7 inches at all! I highly recommend this bike.

  13. #13
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    I caught a glimpse of this one grazing in the wild:



    All stock but the grips. Not much I want to change except for the tires.

    I'm coming from a HT 26er, and these new geo 29ers got me interested in making the jump. I had ridden a Yelli, which is similar enough, and liked the ride. For me, it is a nice compromise between my local riding and the out of state riding I do on trips. HT and big wheels will be good for longer XC rides on mostly non-tech terrain, and the travel and head angle should be appropriate for gnarlier venues.

    Only a couple rides in, but I don't really see a downside. Seems to climb well, and is built to go down. Won't be able to completely evaluate the handling until the weather improves, but early indications suggest it'll do just fine. Already crashed it twice and bent my RD hanger once. Some fool put ice on my local singletrack. :-)
    Last edited by AllMountin'; 01-25-2013 at 07:04 PM.

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    For those that have received their Mason's, are the frames made in China or Taiwan? Just curious.

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    China

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    Alright bare with me I might get a little lengthy with my initial thoughts on the bike. Due to weather, work and waiting on a few parts I haven't actually gotten a ride on the Mason but having been a fan of this bike since I first saw it at Interbike in 2011 and also being a mechanic for 5+ years I have some initial thoughts, observations and suggestions for anyone that's considering a Mason.

    I've been riding for 14+ years, a mechanic for 5+ and raced DH, XC and Slalom for 6+ years. This bike was exactly what I was looking for 2 years ago when I converted my Stumpy HT 29er to 1x9, added a longer travel fork with a thru axle and meatier tires. But alas, it just didn't have the AM geometry I was really looking for. Since then I've had a Blur 4X, Yeti ASR5-C and a Santa Cruz Chameleon as trail bikes, when I saw the Dixon (mason) it looked like it was a mash-up of everything I liked in those other bikes.

    last few trail bikes






    First things first, I noticed a few things on the bike that are different than the spec's on the website.

    Rotors - Instead of the 200/180 mine was equipped with 180/160. Not a huge deal, I kind of thought the 200 was overkill for a HT all mountain bike. I had always planned on swapping the brakes out anyway, I'm a Formula homer so a set of Formula The One's went on.

    Tires - the website says Folding, but they are both in fact wire bead tires. I weighed a few of the parts including the tires, Front was 975grams and rear was 820g. The rear tire looks to a joke, especially for this time of year so I have two 2.4 Ardents on the way. They should be good for a few months then I'll switch to some slimmer/faster summer tires.

    Seatpost - The pictures on the website and the Pinkbike article show the cable for the seatpost running up the back of the post. I took the stock seat off and put my own on but when I put it on my bike it was obvious I had to switch the seat to get the correct angle. The pictures also show some sort of little guard for the cable, mine didn't come with one.



    Wheels/rims - I got really excited when I saw the spec's for the bike because I thought the wheelset would include the WTB i23 frequency rims, but they are actually Speed Disc i23 rims which are a lower end model. The website just says i23 rims and doesn't specifically say what model they are, I should have assumed they were a lower spec since the MSRP for the bike is 2500, shame on me. The wheelset is also quite heavy, 2410 grams for both wheels, that's heavier than my last couple sets of DH wheels. I plan on riding the stock wheels till they explode then build a set myself. The tubes were 440grams total, so by the time you swap out the wheels, tires and convert to tubeless you could lose anywhere from 2-4 lbs of rolling mass

    Shifter - Just an FYI, the shifter comes with a matchmaker mount. i.e it's integrated with the brake perch. While most would see this as a plus (less clutter on the bars), I was forced to steal a standard mount from another bike to get the shifter on the bars with my new brakeset. Just wanted to let people know in case anyone else plans on swapping brakes.

    The fork - I knew it was an OE specific Talas with no kashima coating to keep costs down but I didn't realize that it also doesn't have any compression adjustment, just 3 positions for the new CTD. So the only means of adjustment are rebound damping and adjusting air pressure. This could turn out to be a blessing in disguise because there's less things for me to screw around with and I can just set and forget the fork. Obviously some seat time is the only way to know for sure, it could turn out to be the best fork I've ever owned. I'm also curious if it has the SKF seals everyone has been raving about, I tried to look on the seals but my eyes aren't good enough to read what was on them, maybe someone else knows?

    Chainstay length - DB's website and several others are still advertising 426mm stays which is a key measure most people are looking for in such a specific bike category as AM 29er. Unfortunately, the chainstays are actually 433mm, not a crazy difference and not enough to sway my choice to buy the bike but I still want people to have the correct information when investigating the bike.

    Other items noticed

    Water Bottle Mount: I put an water bottle mount from another bike on the frame and immediately noticed it's really high up the downtube making it a tight fit for larger bottles. I'm not sure why they didn't slide the braze ons a few more inches down the downtube to make it a little easier to get a bottle in and out. I'm not the biggest fan of riding with a camelback so I'm probably a little more picky about bottle mounts than most people. Depending on how the first few rides go I might look into a side entry bottle mount.



    Paint: Or lack there of, the raw color looks awesome in person. I love when manufacturers will clear a raw frame and you can see tiny imperfections and marks under the clear. The other areas with paint and graphics look great as well, I think the bike is subtle enough without being boring. You'll notice in the pictures I removed all the stickers from the wheels, personal preference, the last couple wheelsets I built for my own bikes were all de-stickered and black on black.

    142mm Axle - When I first removed the rear wheel and reinstalled the axle I noticed the nut for the axle is separate from the frame and popped out onto my floor. I thought this kinda sucked at first, I imagined myself losing it while changing a flat on the trail. But when I inserted it back into the frame I realized it was actually a good thing; I always cringe when I see something with threads on a main frame or swingarm. If the threads were ever damaged or stripped it's a lot easier/cheaper to replace a small nut than a whole swingarm. Same reason replaceable derailleur hangers became standard years ago.



    Changes to stock spec's: So far I've swapped the saddle (5th bike it's been on), handlebars, crankset and handlebars. The bars I had lying around and were the exact same width as the stock bars and saved about 40 grams, the brakes are personal prefernce, I've been riding Formula brakes on all my bikes since 2007 and don't see myself running anything else for the near future. They also shed some grams from the bike. The crankset is just as burly as the Respond but I lost 190 grams, got it for 75 bucks and will probably make at least that when I sell the Respond. I also wasn't feelin the while cranks. You'll see I added some XT trail pedals as well, these will be my first shimano pedals in about 6 years but a few friends swear by them so I'm excited. My 2.4 Ardents should be here on wednesday or thursday and they'll go on right away. More upgrades to come, Stem next then I'll start thinking about a custom wheelset but that will probably be 7-8 months from now.

    I did want to say that I don't think their is anything wrong with the stock spec, it's one of the reasons I bought it. I had originally planned on riding it stock for a while but I have so many parts I couldn't help but swap a few things.









    And my riding buddy



    Weather looks good for Thursday, hopefully I'll actually have a ride report in addition to all my nerdy observations

  17. #17
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    Mattamathew,

    What size is your Mason!

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    Quote Originally Posted by the.vault View Post
    Mattamathew,

    What size is your Mason!
    Large

  19. #19
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    You don't happen to have a frame weight do you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes475 View Post
    You don't happen to have a frame weight do you?
    I didn't break the bike down to just the frame so I don't have an actual weight, but using the weights from all of the parts and also knowing the complete bike's weight I was able to figure that the frame is somewhere between 5-5.5 lbs. Hope that helps.

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    Ordered up my XL Mason, going to have to wait at least a month for delivery, but it's a small price to pay for paying wholesale. Will update when I receive it.

  22. #22
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    Could someone recommend a dealer who shippes a mason frameset to europe?
    Thanks and best regards, Max

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    seriously looking at getting a Mason but stuck on the size. I am 5'6" with a 29" inseam which according to the sizing chart puts me on a small frame.
    I already have a Superfly AL 100 with a small frame and had to get a set back post and long stem since the bike was too compact and I couldn't keep
    the front wheel on the ground on steep climbs.
    Any suggestions?

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    Its very hard to say without seeing your build vs comparing geo, but just generally speaking, I'd go up in size, you can always shorten the stem, which I find preferable. I'm usually a "size up if inbetween" guy, but I don't like having maximum seatpost extension either.

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    Wouldnt mind picking one up. Love the unfinished alum color styles manufacturers are starting to do again.

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