Dom Mason has left Upgrade to work on his own brand of bicycle, Mason. He spent time at Eurobike last week telling industry folks about his plans.
Mason had been with Upgrade for 15 years and was the designer and brand manager for Kinesis UK.
“The Mason brand will be very different to Kinesis UK in look and feel and I'll be having the frames made in Italy, using Columbus steel and Dedacciai alloy welded by two makers selected for their specialism in those particular materials,” Mason told BikeBiz.
“I’ve also tooled up for my own full carbon fork because nothing I could find would match my requirements for the first Mason framesets.”
He added: “The fork is off the drawing board and I have the first rapid prototype to inspect for component fit and shape; next stage is tooling and non-structural sample, then onto structural samples for finish and ride testing.”
His brand’s full name is Mason Progressive Cycles.
“The idea is that angles, componentry, materials and purpose will all be modern and progressive and construction will be by makers with many years of experience and heritage,” said Mason.
“One reason I've made the jump to my own brand is because I really want to get back involved in the actual production process and be there when the frames are welded and painted – using Italy allows this.
There’s a holding site for the brand at http://masoncycles.cc/
Mason announced his departure on the Kinesis website.
“Kinesis UK is my baby, I’ve helped it grow from 5 forks almost 15yrs ago to the solid and successful complete bike brand that it is today.
“It’s been exciting to watch the brand grow, demand is high, [at times we struggle to keep up with it!] and the brand-allegience, support and respect that it has gained from both riders, industry and media is astounding. Winning the BikeBiz ‘Bike Brand of the Year’ was a real high point for me (unfortunately my slightly unhinged picture seems to have become the 'face' of the awards this year) and I’m so proud to see the range, ‘looking like a brand’ on the site and at trade shows. It feels like it’s reached a real pinnacle.
“I’m also extremely proud of my contribution to DMR and Upgrade & it’s brands as a whole through my ‘Creative Director’ role during the years, it’s all come a long way.
“Of course, leaving a stable, well paid job running one of the best bike brands in the UK for a growing distributor may look crazy from the outside, it’s also pretty painful to leave the brand that I have worked on for so long, worried over every detail and have so many plans for. But, I wonder what is worse, taking the chance to follow your dream or burying it and looking back in 30 years and thinking “what if?..”