British bike builders Stanforth have teamed up Sean Conway for their latest steel machine, dubbed the Stanforth Conway. It's described as "a sports tourer or performance tourer, designed for a cross-continent or shorter tour at pace", and has mounts for mudguards, racks and bottle cages plus plenty of tyre clearance.
Conway has made headlines numerous times for his super-human endurance feats which include cycling round the world (some of it with a broken spine after being hit by a truck) and swimming, cycling and running the length of Britain - and so you'd expect any bike with his name on to be built to last. Looking at the Stanforth Conway build and spec it doesn't disappoint, with mid-gauge Reynolds 853 steel used for the hand-build frame, optimal for carrying light baggage while still being light. The frame, avaialbe in Bahama Gold or Ash Green colours, is designed for 700c wheels and can fit up to 43mm tyres with mudguards, and you can also fit a 650b wheel with 2.0" tyres if preferred. Although it's far more of a tourer than a gravel bike, Stanforth say it can easily deal with gravel given the generous tyre clearance and robust frameset.
The spec includes mechanical TRP Spyre disc brakes with Shimano 160mm centre-lock rotors, DT Swiss R460 DB rims, a choice of either Schwalbe Marathon Racer 35mm or Panaracer Gravel King 43mm tyres and a Brooks Cambium saddle. The groupset is a mix of Shimano 105 chainset with Ultegra cassette and rear derailleur, although there's also an option to upgrade to full Ultegra or a Tiagra triple. Tubus Vega Evo rakcs and SKS Chromopastic mudguards are offered as further options, and you can also add extras such as bar-end shifters or a dynamo hub.
Conway has been answering queries on his Twitter page about the more nuanced features of the bike, such as the huge number of spacers on the version shown and the use of cable discs instead of hydraulic: the answers, respectively, being that the rider can opt for a more aggressive position if they wish (and presumably to fit a monster top tube bag on there), and cables for easier maintenance when you're out in the sticks.
The bike is priced at £2,795 for a bike with Shimano 105/Ultegra mix groupset. With mudguards and racks included this rises to £2,990, and you can also upgrade to a full Ultegra spec for £3,055, or £3,250 with mudgards and racks. You'll be able to see it in the flesh on the Yellow Jersey Cycle Insurance stand at the London Bike Show next weekend, with Simon Stanforth appearing on Saturday 24th February to answer questions. Check out the Stanforth Conway's own web page and Stanforth's website for more info and buying options.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.