Gravel: Mason Bokeh or Reilly Gradient

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  • Gravel: Mason Bokeh or Reilly Gradient
  • medlow
    Member

    I have a very fortunate but equally frustrating decision to make. Mason Bokeh or Reilly Gradient.
    Those are the 2 finalists and I don’t think I can budge from them. they fit on features, price, design, look and niche’ness.

    I’m talking just frameset as this is going to be a build project.
    Mixed riding not continent crushing. Evening and weekend gravel, bridleway, singletrack and the only road will be joining those bits together. 100mile bashers and some CX too.

    Mud clearance is key too, round here the bridleways get proper churned up and sticky..

    I love the design details and colour (orange) of the Bokeh, they really do market the frame well, and everything I read about this frame is very promising.
    I have seen one up close and it looks great, really very posh..
    Alu at this price does not bother me at all, as long as the ride feel and quality is there.

    The Gradient is equally nice, and Ti is a draw for me no doubt. I love the fact that stone chips are non existent on brushed frames. I want to try the Ti thing at some point. I really will cry if (when) my £1250 painted frame gets dinged.

    The geos are the same give or take, both 650b compatible, both offer the current ‘standards’ and both look great. Both review very well too.

    It comes down to boutique Alu orangeness or shiny titanium ruggedness.

    Views, opinions and suggestions welcome..

    Premier Icon scaled
    Subscriber

    There’s a Gradient downstairs in the bike room, wireless SRAM, it’s bloody lovely.

    Open UP though?

    medlow
    Member

    The Open is indeed a great looking machine. But price and I have done the carbon thing now, I am after some metal.

    Premier Icon fatmax
    Subscriber

    Toss a coin? They both look fantastic and get great reviews. I’d want to scratch my Ti itch!

    Premier Icon onewheelgood
    Subscriber

    I’ve been having a similar debate with myself. The Ribble CGR Ti also looks nice, but mainly because of those Zipp wheels. So I’m thinking that a Gradient with Zipp 303s and Di2 would be about right.

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Subscriber

    I’m biased, being a Bokeh owner, but I’d go for the Mason. Bloody brilliant bike.

    One of these days, when (if!) I can afford it, I’ll be upgrading it to a Ti Bokeh. I’ve no experience of the Reilly but it would need to be good to be better than the Mason.

    drlex
    Member

    Don’t think you can go wrong with either of them. I have an Orange Bokeh and love it- I note that the Ti frameset at £3.5k is just a bit more than it cost me to fully build up the alu frame with Di2 Ultegra, dyno hub on handbuilts with supernova lighting, plus spare set of tyres, so I can live with the odd scratch.

    I would get a Fairlight Secan, and actually just have (full-build rather than frameset). Fits all of the criteria you list above, and has clearance for huge tyres (I’ve got 42mms on, and could go larger).
    Fwiw I also seriously considered the Bokeh and Gradient.

    Premier Icon fatmax
    Subscriber

    The Mason and Reilly are too expensive for me, but I do love the look of the Fairlight Secan.
    OP, I know that this is your shortlist but Shand Stooshie and Enigma Escape would be on my list too at the price you’re looking at.

    Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Subscriber

    I wasn’t in quite your position in terms of cash-to-splash, but glad I scratched my Ti itch with my Pickenflick … Frame still looks fresh despite 14 months and 6000km later. You can scratch your orange itch with some blingy hubs, bottle cages, bar tape etc.

    Plus get some skinwall tyres.

    Rides really well too.

    medlow
    Member

    I have previously looked at the fairlight.. indeed a fab looking frame..
    It dropped off my shortlist due to me wanting something a touch lighter. Bokeh and Gradient are approx 1600gr for 50/52cm.
    I’m a light guy so I always aim for light bikes.

    Also the aesthetics of a chipped steel frame put me off. I had a steel 456 and where chain slap and stone chips started to go rusty, it looked pants. Avoidable to some extent but still an issue for me, especially on a £1100 frame.

    medlow
    Member

    The pickenflick was on my shortlist for my current build.. the stand over is too much for my short 30″ legs.
    The geo is too tall.

    Premier Icon dms01
    Subscriber

    I have been very pleased with my gradient, buying a second one for my partner this month. Build up with di2 1×11 hope tech cassette and USE components it’s 8.8kg without pedals, about 9.1kg as ridden.

    Premier Icon cheers_drive
    Subscriber

    The photographer brought his Ti Bokeh to our photoshoot last month, absolutely stunning.

    Little Piggy on To Bokeh by [/url] – Flickr2BBcode LITE

    The quality of the finishing was exquisite and the colour is warmer than the usual Ti grey.
    Serious want.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    I’ve got it down to Gradient or the Enigma Escape. Not solved the money side of the issue yet though!

    medlow
    Member

    Each time I make my choice, I go back to the other.

    Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Subscriber

    Each time I make my choice, I go back to the other.

    Have / can you test ride them both? It’s a lot of money to spend so worth being as sure as you can be …

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    Mixed riding not continent crushing. Evening and weekend gravel, bridleway, singletrack and the only road will be joining those bits together.

    given that they are more road bike than singletrack weapon based on the above fact that you’ll be riding hardly any tarmac I’d choose….

    …an mtb

    Premier Icon ibnchris
    Subscriber

    Another Gradient owner here. With two sets of wheels (some hope XC 27.5 and hope road wheels) I’m all set for pretty much anything the South of England can throw at me.

    Have had it for 9 months and it’s been awesome. Mark is also a top guy – great customer service and he’ll help you spec out what you want/need

    medlow
    Member

    I currently run both a hard tail and a gravel bike. I enjoy the gravel bike far more and since getting one 2 years ago the mtb only gets used for mtb specific stuff.
    Gravel bike all the way..

    medlow
    Member

    Yes Mark has been very helpful so far. So has Alex from Mason.
    I can’t get the time to visit unfortunately as I’m flat out with work and general life duties at the moment.

    I’m trying to arrange a visit with a mate who owns both in his fleet, to get a closer look. I’ve ridden his Gradient down the road only.

    Cheers for the insights guys.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Great looking bikes. I quite fancy that Bokeh.

    What others have clearance for wide tyres?

    Premier Icon Alex
    Subscriber

    My brother has a Bokeh. I couldn’t believe it was worth the money until I rode it! I really want one, but I don’t think I’d get the use out of it. He rides his on the road in winter, and lots of park type singletrack in the summer. Seems to work well on both.

    giantlee75
    Member

    A shameless plug – but I am currently selling a 57 2018 sram force gradient 😉

    Lee

    medlow
    Member

    Lee, why are you selling, any issues with the ride or likewise?

    giantlee75
    Member

    I stupidly also bought a ti Fargo – then the wife got made redundant …soooo !

    To be honest, I have ridden it a max of 10 miles, it’s such a waste – it’s a beautiful bike and rides like a dream – the frame is something I would happily hang on the wall, as well as being super versatile

    Lee

    medlow
    Member

    So…. As expected.. I still cannot really choose between them.
    Nobody on here has a bad word against either, only good things about both.

    I’m slightly leaning over to the Reilly but only because of the most stupid of reasons.. I like brushed frames (my MTB is brushed Alu too). I guess that’s the problem with extremely close contenders, you really start to pick the tiniest of reasons to buy / or not buy which sounds so fickle.

    medlow
    Member

    After much painful deliberation I ordered a Bokeh with a set of 650b rims. Monstercross here I come.
    And it should be with me by the end of the week, ready for building. I’m well excited.!
    No other bike purchase choice has caused me this much headache, crazy 1st world problems eh!?!

    four
    Member

    Bokeh is nice, Riley I don’t know anything about…….However if I wanted an ‘adventure’ bike I’d 100% go Ti for the durability of finish and comfort.

    I’d personally go with Enigma

    http://www.enigmabikes.com/bikes/discipline/off-road/

    My mate’s Bokeh’s forks came apart, so keep an eye on the dropouts. Mason warrantied it, no problem. We’ll see if it’s a one-off or a design fault.

    medlow
    Member

    Here we go, as soon as I ordered one, I hear the horror stories. 😉

    I have already sourced some 3M clear protective tape for the prime stone chip areas so have that covered (literally)
    And everything I read or people I speak with say the alu Bokeh is just as comfy as the Ti, especially as it will be on 2.0 rubber, so the need for some comfort from the frame is pretty much obsolete now with fat tyres at 30psi.

    The lines are very blurred now between the properties of frames, now we have so many variables open to us to make them behave like we require. The characteristic trail softening of Ti can be offset with big rubber, add that wider tyres are now proven to be just as good in most real world environments it’s a good thing.

    If I was sticking with narrower 700c tyres at harder pressures then I would’ve considered the Ti more.

    The Enigma is too £££ for me, although lovely I agree. The J Guillem Atalaya was up there too. Lush!

    scud
    Member

    I went over and over with exact same decision but settled on the Reilly, mostly because i wanted something for Torino-Nice last year and this year.

    Both rode brilliantly, with little between them, but i figured as i was going to be doing week long tours with bike covered in bags, that the ti would be best as i could just polish the frame and not have to worry about the paint.

    medlow
    Member

    Scud, very good point re the paint and it’s a big plus for the Ti frames.
    3M tape is my solution for that, I applied some to my current carbon gravel and its still spotless. A bit of a faff to apply but does solve the problem to an extent.

    I could not resist the deep glossy Flare Orange of the Bokeh, and the graphics, ohh and the smooth welds, and the internal cables, the headtube badge, ohh yeah and the all the good things said about them.

    I’m sure the Gradient would have been equally as good. They really are very closely matched.

    dantsw13
    Member

    I’ve got a 1st gen PX Tempest – Ti, designed by Mark Reilly, complete with SRAM Force Hydro for the same price as a Gradient frame. Good clearance, rack/guard mounts, bolt through both ends and rides great.

    medlow
    Member

    Yes I was tempted with the Tempest too.. My current MTB is a Scandal and my gravel/road is a Bish Bash Bosh and I love both of them. Truly great frames.

    I was after something a bit more special this time around so was wanting a niche/lower production/lesser known frameset..

    dantsw13
    Member

    I get that. Just wanted to put out there the Tempest is a great bike.

    Premier Icon harvey
    Subscriber

    i have just bought and built a Tempest. looks well built, feels really nicely balanced riding around my backyard, getting its first big spin tomorrow morning. easy to build up, plenty clearance for nano 40mm tyres, used a straight bar. – and it is very cheap !!

    medlow
    Member

    Aye the tempest is a interesting proposition. Great value as ever from PX.

    medlow
    Member

    Well, here it is, in its full orange form..

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/B73AzPTfnCqFXAaM7

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