As 29ers become ever more prevalent, many companies are exploring how far they can take it. Geometry limits to some degree the direction some might go with this, and thus has led to a wide variety of XC oriented 29ers but not much more. For us riders here in the northwest, we needed a 29inch offering that was a little bit more capable.
Enter the Mason All Mountain hardtail. This rig is slack and low slung – meant for today’s shredder who wants to pedal up but charge down with aggressiveness.
Benefits of a 29” wheel are pretty apparent:
- Angle of Attack – Larger wheels decrease your angle of attack by allowing you to roll over obstacles easier and faster. Bigger wheel = smaller obstacle.
- Momentum – A larger wheel enables one to carry momentum easier though obstacles.
- Surface Contact – 29”wheels are less prone to sinking in soft material such as sand and mud due to the larger contact patch causing lower ground pressure. The longer contact patch increases cornering and straight line traction
- Stability – The relative position of the bottom bracket/cranks to the axles in the wheels also means that your relative center of gravity is lower. This results in a feeling of riding “in” the bike rather than on top of it.
- Tire Clearance – with more tire choices than any platform, the 29”wheel easily accommodates off road as well as commuting tires.
- Taller Riders – 29" bikes tend to offer taller riders a more “natural” frame geometry.
The Mason features an All Mountain 6061-T6 Weapons Grade Aluminum frame with a formed top tube, a formed and butted down tube, a tapered head tube, ISCG 05 tabs and a 142×12mm Maxle drop out.
A 140mm travel Fox 34 TALAS 29 CTD air fork features external rebound, a butted alloy 1.5” Tapered steerer, 34mm Easton aluminum stanchions with magnesium lowers, and a QR15 thru axle. This also lends to a slack, 66.5 degree head angle. Combine this with short, 426mm/ 16.77? long chain stays and you can clearly see where this is going. This keeps the bike maneuverable, easy to manipulate in downhill and aired out sections, and easier to get the front end of the bike up with the slack head angle.
Because the long travel fork lifts the front end of the bike up pretty high, we designed a formed, low top tube for better clearance over the bike.
The drivetrain is pretty well dressed up with a RACEFACE Respond 10 spd crankset with a 32t single ring and a bash guard. Combine this with a SRAM X-9 Type 2 rear derailleur and trigger shifter, and a SRAM PG-1030 10spd Cassette (11-36t) and you have a minimalist approach with a variety of options to get you up the hill with ease.
WTB I-23, 29" 32h, single eyelet, double wall disc specific rims are laced to 32h sealed cartridge bearing hubs for a stout yet lighter weight wheelset. AVID Elixir 5 Hydraulic Disc brakes with 200mm frt and 180mm rr rotors offer more than enough power to stop when and where you see fit. A RACEFACE Respond stem and bar complete the cockpit for a style and aggressive front end.
And finally, a KS Dropper seat post raises and lowers the DB MASON Signature saddle with the flick of a switch.
The Mason comes in a Raw Red paint scheme and is available as a frame only or a complete bike in four sizes: SM (15.5"), MD (17"), LG (19"), XL (21"). With all of the new 29ers on the market, isn’t it great to know that our gravity oriented friend can play too?