We joke sometimes that fixed gears were the gateway drug for cyclists, leading them to geared bikes like road, gravel, mountain, and touring bikes. David shares with us his journey from fixed riding to his latest bike, a Fairlight Strael 3.0 All-Road. Let’s check it out below!
After years of fixed gear riding – streets, out of the city long rides, centuries, local racing, overseas bikepacking and many more sketchy things I was almost mentally ready to move to geared bikes. I just needed that last push and it happened – a friend brought me his old cyclocross frame (not that old though). After sourcing parts from here and there I built my first road bike, yeah with a cx frame (why not?). It came out a great bike that served me well for 3 years, we’ve been together through many adventures and this bike is still with me as my spare roadie now.
But it’s not the story about it, it’s another one – from the very first day I moved to road bike I started dreaming (and saving money) about something more special, with character, made out of steel. As I’m not a fan of carbon bikes and parts at all, it never was a choice for me. Through these years I was thinking about the concept of it, how I want it to look and feel, which parts I want to put on it. At first I wanted something custom, ehh like all we of course do (aren’t we?), but after scrolling through hundreds of builds and tens of builders I understood that I’m not there yet – I wasn’t ready to throw a ~4k$ just on a frameset and wait 1-1.5 years for it.
And at some point a Fairlight Strael caught my eye – it looked good and practical, I searched the internet for some reviews and was really surprised, then I looked at their website, found a pdf with ‘design notes’ and everything was decided right there. So much attention to details, lots of features and aesthetically very beautiful – it was everything I looked for. I put a deposit down and started thinking about what parts I want.
I clearly knew that I want to go full Chris King on this (hubs, headset, bb) – I always dreamed about silver polished set and wanted to use more silver parts in general. But I just couldn’t get past new CK’s color – Midnight and decided to go for it. In the end it came out a great combo with Sram Force brakes as their color is pretty close. I was searching long time for a nice silver dropbars – but nothing caught my eye, everything was just not that I wanted it to be, so I went here with carbon – Tune Geweih bars has such a great profile and so unique carbon pattern!
The concept around this bike is that I want it to be used as an all around road bike – centuries, fast laps in the park, weekend trips and abroad vacations. As I’m not racing – I don’t care about its weight at all, I look more for that special steel feeling and it definitely has it! The bike feels just great and to ride it is a pure joy, it’s very responsive, but not too stiff, so even after the whole day in the saddle it feels comfortable. It climbs well and descends even better, and it feels just right in turns.
I’d like this bike to serve at least a decade, of course there will be other bikes, but this is the one that doesn’t make you dream of another bike while riding it.
- Frame and fork: Fairlight Strael 3.0
- Wheelset: Chris King RD45 Midnight to Velocity Aileron laced with Sapim CX-Ray
- BB + Headset: Chris King Midnight
- Groupset: Sram Force Axs 2x
- Rotors: Hope
- Lockrings: Wolftooth
- Seatpost: Thomson titanium
- Seatpost collar: Thomson jungle
- Stem: Thomson x4 silver
- Handlebars: Tune Geweih
- Handlebar tape: Grepp
- Stem cap: Fairlight titanium
- Spacers: Tune
- Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Boost ti
- Tires: Vittoria Corsa Control 28mm
- Saddle bag: Snek
- Frame pump: Topeak
We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!