We were paid a visit by Dom Thomas of Fairlight Cycles recently - and as much as we were pleased to see him, we were even more pleased that he brought along their new Strael 2. The first Strael was one of our 2017 Bikes of the Year, so we were keen to see how it could have been improved.
The tubeset has stayed the same, with Dom saying it was pretty much impossible to improve without falling foul of ISO testing procedures. The headtube has changed from a 1.2mm down to a 1.1mm wall, saving a tiny bit of weight. It's a custom part specifically for Fairlight, made in Birmingham.
The bike is now optimised for flat mount disc standards with a thru-axle at the rear. It's allowed Fairlight to remove some weight by designing new, smaller dropouts. They're asymmetric, with a shorter one on the non-driveside to save a few grams.
Fairlight are now using a 3D-printed cable guide, as opposed to braze-on. While Fairlight say the braze-on solution was never a huge problem it could look a little untidy with Di2, so the new guide allows you to run the Di2 cable down the brake hose, making it look clean and without the extra weight of ports. The plastic has been tested extensively and Fairlight insist it's near-unbreakable and doesn't move.
The bike can be bought with various groupsets from Shimano and Sram, and is also available as frameset-only. We'll be testing the Fairlight Strael 2 over the coming weeks - check back to read the road.cc verdict soon.
If you haven't already spotted, we've got a mega comp on the site at the moment in which you could win a Fairlight Strale 2, worth £2,600! Entries close on the 19th February, get yours in now by entering here. You've nothing to lose, except perhaps a very nice bike indeed!
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.