Shand Stooshie

8
£3,195.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Comfortable and relaxed-handling all-road and light gravel bike, with lots of versatility, available in a range of options
Smooth handling
Comfortable ride
Customisable finish
Versatile
Price
Weight: 
10,020g

The Shand Stooshie is a comfortable and relaxed-handling all-road and occasional gravel bike with enough versatility to serve multiple uses. This new version with regular dropouts makes it more affordable than the Rohloff model if you only ever want to run a derailleur-based drivetrain.

> Buy this online here

Ride and handling

This is a bike that feels right at home cruising along country lanes, with a big route planned that may or may not include some forays into the wilderness via forest tracks and abandoned byways.

It's a comfortable bike for going the distance, the skinny steel tubes and big tyres helping to soak up vibrations effortlessly. It still impresses me that despite modern material and technology advances, a really good steel frame can be so silky smooth.

Handling is on the relaxed side, the steering a little slow and, dare I say it, lazy, but it wafts from corner to corner without hesitation, enabling you to string together the corners with a lovely flow.

The Stooshie's geometry leans towards the endurance road bike with a hint of gravel bike, more so than the cyclo-cross roots of the original bike before it was updated in 2016, and it's paid off. Here's a bike that is lovely to take on a long road ride with the ability to chuck a few gravel tracks into the mix.

It wouldn't be my first choice for hustling around a cyclo-cross course, though it would undoubtedly handle the occasional 'cross race if you wanted to dip your toe into the sport. For exploring the vast network of bridleways and byways around the country, though, the Stooshie is in its element.

Bumping and grinding down a rocky descent, scrabbling up a rooty climb, darting down rutted gravel tracks, a short section of tarmac before diving back into the woods again, the Stooshie makes exploring jolly good fun.

The Stooshie has the versatility you want from a bike in this category – it can do service as a daily commuter with mudguards and a rear rack, you can add a few audax events to your yearly goals, do a micro-adventure with a framepack and seatpack for your essentials... Or just go out on weekend rides and be able to mix up road and off-road to your heart's content.

Frame details

They sure know how to make frames at Shand. The company has been making frames at its Scottish base for many years now, and the workmanship on show with this Stooshie is first class. The welds are tidy, the attention to detail is excellent, and the paint finish is just lovely – and tough, too.

For the frame, Shand combines Italian sourced Columbus and Dedacciai tubing, with slim tube diameters, beefed up by a chunky 44mm head tube and carbon fibre fork.

Clearance is rated for up to 42mm tyres on 700C wheels without mudguards, decreasing to 35mm when you make use of the mudguard eyelets.

Finishing details include a threaded bottom bracket, external cable routing that's neatly done along the underside of the down tube and along the top of the chainstays, mudguard and rack eyelets, 12mm thru-axles and flat mount disc brake callipers.

The most important detail on this bike, and the reason we've got it in for review, is that this is a brand new version that swaps the modular dropouts of the Rohloff frame (allowing the use of hub gear and singlespeed setups) for a regular dropout designed for a conventional drivetrain. That brings the price down to £1,595 for the frame and fork and also looks nicer in my opinion. If you never intend to stray away from a rear derailleur, this is a good choice.

Geometry, the key angles and measurements that define how a bike rides, lean in this case towards an endurance road bike, with Shand evolving the frame in 2016 to take it away from its cyclo-cross roots.

You've got a choice of five sizes, with the medium here featuring a 582mm stack, 380mm reach, 1,027mm wheelbase, 68mm bottom bracket drop and a 71.5-degree head angle, numbers that are par for the course for this sort of all-road/light gravel bike.

Equipment

Now the tricky bit. If you wanted to buy the exact build I've tested, you won't see it listed on Shand's website, but you can buy a Shimano GRX 800-equipped model for £3,395. Shand was keen for us to test the bike and in the absence of GRX 800 groupsets, built up this GRX 600 model. That said, Shand can offer complete custom component choices, so if you don't see exactly what you want, just contact the company and ask.

I've ridden plenty of bikes now with all varieties of Shimano's new GRX groupset, so I've got a good handle on how it works. Mechanically this GRX 600 works identically to GRX 800, with slick mechanical gear changes and powerful hydraulic disc brakes. The revised hoods are nicer to grip in your hands and more tactile in bad weather, and the reshaped levers are easier to hook your fingers around.

I won't get into the pros and cons of 1x versus 2x, we all have our preferences, and Shand will put whichever you prefer on it. For me, the range proved good when riding on the road, with tolerable steps between the 11 sprockets on the cassette, and good low and high range for the climbs and descents respectively.

For rolling stock, it's a pair of Hope 20Five tubeless-ready wheels with 35mm wide Schwalbe G-One All-Round tyres.

I've ridden these UK-made wheels on several bikes (we'll do a separate in-depth review soon) and I've been impressed. A certain other UK brand might be getting all the attention at the moment, but these are a good alternative. They aren't that expensive, they're stiff, durable and reasonably light, and just go about their business with no fuss. Hope's CNC machined aluminium hubs have a stupendous reputation for reliability, and they're easy to service as well.

The rims are tubeless-ready and suit the 35mm tyres on the test bike.

Tyre choice is indicative of the sort of riding Shand has in mind for this Stooshie. The Schwalbe G-One All-Round probably needs no introduction to road.cc readers, it's been one of the most popular among cyclists embracing the 'wider tyres are better' mantra and for mixed surface requirements. They're fast everywhere, you can run them at low pressures for more comfort and traction, and they only really fall short in deep mud. But this isn't a bike for riding through hub-deep mud, is it David!

Elsewhere, there's a lightly flared drop handlebar from Ritchey, made from aluminium, a matching stem, and a Ritchey aluminium seatpost, while the comfy saddle is from the Shand parts bin. 

Is it the bike for you?

For many people, the Shand Stooshie in this build is an easy sell. It's great as a mile-munching road bike and suitable for weekend rides plus audax and long-distance touring, and adventure rides aren't of the question if sleeping in a ditch appeals to you. Or bikepacking, as it's more commonly called.

It's no rugged gravel bike, but in my experience it can handle dry to mildly moist off-road tracks without issue. You'll be surprised at just how capable a 35mm tyre is. And there's space for fatter tyres if you need. 

 

Price and value

When talking about value it's worth taking into account that the Stooshie is made in the UK, while most mainstream rival frames are made overseas. Another thing to bear in mind is the ability to customise the appearance of your Stooshie via a wide range of frame and decal colours, something few mainstream brands offer.

At £1,595, this new Stooshie frameset is cheaper than the Rohloff version (£1,795) and ideal if you only ever intend to run a regular drivetrain with a derailleur, and have no interest in hub gears or singlespeed setups.

Despite the lower price, it's still undercut quite considerably by the Fairlight Cycles Secan and Strael frames, which each cost £1,199, but here you've only got a choice of three colours.

> Buyer's Guide: 22 of the best gravel and adventure bikes

Condor's Bivio Gravel looks lovely and has recently been updated. It costs £1,299.99 for the frameset which is made in Italy from triple-butted, custom-formed Columbus Spirit tubing.

I should also mention the Enigma Endeavour, which I reviewed very recently. It, too, is a steel frame made in the UK with looks to die for. Costing £1,699 for the frameset, it's a bit more than the Stooshie, and remember the Stooshie offers a wide range of customisation whereas the Enigma comes in just one, though admittedly it is lush.

> Buyer's Guide: 21 of the best steel road bikes and frames

If money is tight but you crave a steel do-it-all road bike from a British brand, the popular Genesis Croix de Fer is worth considering. You can get a full bike with Shimano 105/GRX 810 parts on a Reynolds 725 frame with steel fork (there's a carbon fork option) for £1,999.

Overall

For comfortable road riding with enough versatility for commuting, touring, bikepacking and audax, and capable of taking in some gravel, with handling that is as relaxing as the steel frame is compliant over rough roads, and available a wide range of colour options, the Scottish-made Stooshie is a good pick. 

Verdict

Comfortable and relaxed-handling all-road and light gravel bike, with lots of versatility, available in a range of options

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Shand Stooshie

Size tested: Medium

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

Shand lists:

Frame Tig welded, heat-treated, Columbus/Dedacciai custom blend tubing. S-Bend stays for tyre and heel clearance. Sloping top tube. Front facing binder slot.

Fork TRP Carbon fork, tapered steerer, bolt-thru axle, mudguard eyes.

Headtube/headset 44mm. Cane Creek headset installed on complete bike.

Bottom bracket 68mm PF30 EBB compatible shell (T47 threaded option)

Seattube 27.2mm seatpost, 31.8 front mech clamp.

Rear dropouts Polydrop dropouts compatible (with additional inserts) with Rohloff, singlespeed, 142x12, direct mount and standard derailleur transmissions. Fully compatible with belt-dive.

Cable routing Down tube, full outer, bolt on guides.

Fittings 3 sets of bottle mounts, mudguard and rack mounts as standard.

Weight* Full bike : 9.8kg, Frame : 1.9kg, Fork : 450g

Tyres Schwalbe G-One All-Round 35mm

Wheels Hope 20Five-Pro4 tubeless compatible

Headset Cane Creek 110

Stem Shand ONE

Bars Shand ONE 6° Flared

Shifters Shimano GRX 600

Brakes Shimano GRX 600

Front Mech N/A

Rear Mech Shimano GRX 600

Chain Shimano GRX 600

Crank Shimano GRX 600

Bottom Bracket Shimano GRX 600

Cassette Shimano GRX 600

Seatpost Ritchey

Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Shand says:

If you're looking for an AllRoad bike and you're happy to sacrifice a little comfort for a slightly lighter, faster ride, then the new Stooshie could be what you've been waiting for.

From the same DNA as our mega popular Stoater models, the Stooshie uses an oversize, lightweight blend of tubes specially selected by us from Italian tube giants Columbus and Dedacciai. Pair this up with a stiff and lightweight carbon fork from TRP and you have the ideal bike for long, fast miles through terrain that only classic days in the saddle can throw at you!

As you'd expect from Shand, the Stooshie is based on a very versatile and practical frame design. The frame and carbon fork both have mudguard eyelets and rear rack mounts are standard, as are three sets of bottle bosses. If you're building a bike yourself using a frame or frame/fork package, the modular dropouts mean that the Stooshie will support the following transmission and brake configurations.

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

It's the company's all-road bike for road riding and light gravel action.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

It's all very nicely finished.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Tig-welded, heat-treated Columbus/Dedacciai custom blend steel tubing. TRP Carbon fork

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Splits the difference between an endurance road bike and a cyclo-cross bike.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The stack and reach is good, it sizes up as you expect for a medium.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Comfort is a big appeal of this bike.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

The carbon fork and 44mm head tube lend the front of the bike a good amount of stiffness for a direct and responsive ride.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

It's no race bike, but it's no slouch either.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?

None.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Very relaxed.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The handling is on the relaxed side, making it ideal for distance rides where comfort is a requirement.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

There's nothing I'd change, it all performed well and added up to a good package.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

I wouldn't make any changes.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

I wouldn't make any changes.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
6/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
6/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
6/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
7/10
Wheels and tyres
Rate the wheels for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
8/10
Controls
Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
8/10
Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At £1,595, this new Stooshie frameset is cheaper than the Rohloff version (£1,795) and ideal if you only ever intend to run a regular drivetrain with a derailleur, and have no interest in hub gears or singlespeed setups.

Despite the lower price, it's still undercut quite considerably by the Fairlight Cycles Secan and Strael frames, which each cost £1,199, but here you've only got a choice of three colours.

Condor's Bivio Gravel looks lovely and has recently been updated. It costs £1,399 for the frameset which is made in Italy from triple-butted, custom-formed Columbus Spirit tubing.

I should also mention the Enigma Endeavour, which I reviewed very recently. It, too, is a steel frame made in the UK with looks to die for, and costs £1,699 for the frameset.

If money is tight but you crave a steel do-it-all road bike from a British brand, the popular Genesis Croix de Fer is worth considering. You can get a full bike with Shimano 105/GRX 810 parts on a Reynolds 725 frame with steel fork (there's a carbon fork option) for £1,999.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
6/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's very good: it offers excellent comfort and performance, with relaxed handling and lots of versatility, and for a frame made in the UK and available in a wide range of colour options, it's not ridiculously expensive.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

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