First Impression: Diamondback Mason

By Eric McKeegan

The more bikes I ride, the more I get excited to try models at the edges of acceptability. The Mason is going to bike that many find unacceptable, after all, a 66.5 degree head angle can’t really work on a 29er, right?

That is very, very slack, the slackest of any production 29er that is on my radar. Match that head angle with 140mm travel Fox 34 fork, a KS dropper post, and chainstays shorter than 17 inches and you can expect a 29er hardtail that wants to find the big boy lines down the hill.

The rest of the spec is up to the task too, except that tiny stock rear tire. The 2.0 Kenda Straight Six is a great tire, just not for the way I’m riding this bike. Maxxis Ardent 2.4 to the rescue, and it fits with plenty of room to spare.


I’m happy to say I get to find out how all this is going to play out, and I’ll be reporting on it in the next issue of Dirt Rag. I’ve been riding the Mason a bunch, looking for the ugly lines, taking it on long exploratory rides, even riding it into work a few times.

I’m not one to reveal to much in first impression posts, but I will say this: This will not be a bike for everybody, and that is fine. But it will make a certain group of riders very happy.  


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