Mason Exposure Ekar 13s x Classified Hub review - exquisite tech but lacking in focus

A beautifully designed bikepacking frameset built up with some 'up to the moment' componentry but the compromises don't quite hit the mark

Mason Exposure Ekar Bike
(Image credit: Paul Grele)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

A beautifully designed and built frameset that has maximum versatility at its core. The Classified two speed hub allied to the Campagnolo Ekar 13 speed groupset, whilst all individually really good, led to a compromise in purpose. Is it an aero-esque road bike with off-road capability or a load carrying, bikepacking machine? A little more focus in either direction would make a good offering into a great one. The good news is that it is easily remediable. Just decide on your primary purpose for the bike and specify accordingly when buying.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Good looking bike with great versatility

  • +

    Well made frameset

  • +

    Full range of the cassette with no cross chaining

  • +

    Uses a Thick/Thin chainring for chain security

  • +

    Quick and slick change (Classified hub)

  • +

    Wireless Classified hub with minimal drag detectable

  • +

    Less need for a wide range cassette which can keep closer ratios for road use

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Cost of hub

  • -

    Proprietary cassette

  • -

    Closer ratios mean multiple clicks needed off-road

  • -

    No indication which 'front' ratio you're in

  • -

    Tyres are good off-road but a little draggy on-road

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

The Exposure is Mason's frameset and bike that will allow maximum adventure, featuring, as it does, a wide set of attachment points for bikepacking bags. It is suited to the other end of the gravel bike spectrum to their Bokah model, which is purposed for faster adventure trips. The Mason Exposure is capable of longer trips with wider tyre clearances, very stable handling and kit carrying options.

The RangeFinder AS fork has 2x bottle or accessory mounts, as well as traditional pannier rack mounts. There are standard frame mount bosses: four on the down tube upper side; three on the under side of the down tube; three on the seat tube; two on the top tube for securing a top tube pack, and two on both sides of the seat stays. It has been designed for maximum adaptability and adjustment when using larger or full-frame bags.

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Over 40 years cycling in a variety of disciplines including road riding, commuting, a self-supported Land's End to John o' Groats trip, XC mountain biking and several Polaris Challenge two-day events. Adventure, escape and fun are the motivations for my riding. I also love bike and kit design and have fillet brazed a couple of framesets using Reynolds 853 steel tubing for myself. A very satisfying experience to ride your own bespoke bike!

Height: 180cm

Weight: 66kg