TECH SPECS: FAIRLIGHT STRAEL
Price £3,299 (£100 upcharge for iridescent plum colour)
Groupset: Shimano 105 Di2
Wheels: Hunt 4 Season Disc
Tyres: Continental GP5000 S TR
Bar Stem: FSA Gossamer / FSA Energy
Saddle: Fizik Terra Argo X5
There are many and varied reasons why people pick one road bike over the countless others on offer. Price is obviously one, performance on paper another, while I think anyone who says a great number of bikes aren’t purchased as status symbols for the Sunday club run is kidding themselves. I’ve been using the Fairlight Strael for a good few months now as my long-term test bike, meaning I’ve used it in its ‘stock’ spec (although there isn’t really such a thing for a Fairlight), as well as using it to test out various wheels, tyres, saddles, bars etc. etc. ad nauseum.
I get to ride the absolute best of the best. I get to ride bikes that would set you back enough for a deposit on a house (…just, depending on where you live), and even with bikes like the new Pinarello F7, the Canyon Ultimate, and even the otherworldly fully custom titanium Sturdy Fiadh I really struggle to find a bike that is as complete a package as the Fairlight Strael in the best road bikes segment. It’s nearly faultless.
This is echoed by my colleagues, who agreed with me on giving it the Editor’s Choice nod after testing it back to back against a slew of other similarly priced road bikes in the Cyclingnews Awards. While I’d also encourage you not to click away to rival sites, it’s also a bike that has been extremely highly rated by my friends/professional rivals at Cyclist, Cycling Weekly, BikeRadar and Road.cc.
It’s also worth noting that the brand’s gravel offering, the Fairlight Secan, I also deemed worthy of a 5-star rating. There are a great many similarities between the two, which we will go into, and while adaptability is one of them the Strael certainly isn’t as versatile in the broadest sense. It is a bike lover’s bike, rather than those who crave a status symbol. If, like me, riding a properly dialled road bike is a joy almost unrivalled then the Strael, in whatever spec you can stretch to, should be near the top, if not at the top of your list; it’s that good.
Image 1 of 4