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Fairlight Secan build.

Old 08-19-19, 04:56 PM
  #1  
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Fairlight Secan build.

I had planned to build a gravel frame thru the winter, but after a ton of planning, I decided not to as the cost would have been too high due to the tools I would want in addition to what I already have. Basically, it was the thru axle alignment and alignment table that I kept coming back to for why it wasnt in the cards right now.

So I did the next best thing and bought a Fairlight Secan 61t frameset because I like the design approach and geometry after emailing with the owner, Dom.
Its Reynolds 853 main tubes and generic cromoly stays. Fairlight says this is to allow for easier tube manipulation, and I figure it's both that and to keep the cost down. Anyways, I like the mix of welded main triangle and brazed rear triangle and brazeons. I also like the straight forward build- external cables, 27.2 seat post, threaded bb, etc. The tubes they chose are not slight in diameter or butting profile, but I am not slight in mass, so I'm sure it's all for the best.

Since there isn't much info here on the brand, I figured I would do a build thread...slowly. The frame came in a few weeks sooner than expected, so my miscellaneous parts are still not yet in. I'll transfer most over from my current gravel bike and add to that new wheels, a clutch ultegra rear derailleur, and wtb resolute tubeless tires.

Frame and fork were well packed and delivered in 2 business days from England.
I got the Hope headset and seat post clamp added on- they match the accent color and it's cheaper than buying separately then installing.

The fork with a 330mm steerer but without thru axle weighs 445g.
The 61t frameset with flatmount but without thru axle weighs 2325g.
These are both within a handful of grams of what fairlight claims.

The blue is not navy(looks that way on their website to me). Its a bit lighter...like cornflower blue added to navy. I'm bad at describing colors though.






More to slowly come over the next few weeks.
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Old 08-19-19, 06:36 PM
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Nice! What drivetrain is going on it?
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Old 08-19-19, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelED View Post
Nice! What drivetrain is going on it?
2x11.
A Shimano 46/34 crank, sram 11-36t cassette, gevenalle shifters, r7000 105 front derailleur, and ultegra rx clutch rear derailleur.

I have a 5800 105 rear derailleur right now and want to try the clutch to see if its noticeably 'better'. Chainslap now is taken care of by a rubber folded tube, so it's basically not an issue either way, but the rx seems like a neat bit of tech to try.

It's basically the same parts as my current gravel bike. It's worked well enough so far...
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Old 08-20-19, 05:41 AM
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Great frame! Thanks for doing a build thread, there's not a ton of info on the Secan because they were so heavily back ordered. A friend has a Strael and he absolutely loves it so I've been interested to read more about the Secan.
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Old 08-20-19, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
Great frame! Thanks for doing a build thread, there's not a ton of info on the Secan because they were so heavily back ordered. A friend has a Strael and he absolutely loves it so I've been interested to read more about the Secan.
Yes, based on watching their staggered frame availability calendar this year, it looks like a new batch of each size is available every few months. The availability actually made the color choice for me even up until a few weeks ago I wasnt fully committed to buying a frame(still entertaining building it) and both the gray and blue frames were available to pre-order. Good thing I liked both as the gray had sold out once I finally came to terms with buying a frame.

They do sell quickly so I would be interested to find out how many are made at a time in each size. I would also like to know where the frames are made- all they say is the frames are fabricated in mainland Europe. Ive seen pics of where the frames are built on Fairlight's IG page(or something like that), but no info on the manufacturing partner.
Insatiable curiosity, I guess!
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Old 08-20-19, 08:12 AM
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Awesome frame, can't wait to see more of the build!
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Old 08-21-19, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I had planned to build a gravel frame thru the winter, but after a ton of planning, I decided not to as the cost would have been too high due to the tools I would want in addition to what I already have. Basically, it was the thru axle alignment and alignment table that I kept coming back to for why it wasnt in the cards right now.

So I did the next best thing and bought a Fairlight Secan 61t frameset because I like the design approach and geometry after emailing with the owner, Dom.
Its Reynolds 853 main tubes and generic cromoly stays. Fairlight says this is to allow for easier tube manipulation, and I figure it's both that and to keep the cost down. Anyways, I like the mix of welded main triangle and brazed rear triangle and brazeons. I also like the straight forward build- external cables, 27.2 seat post, threaded bb, etc. The tubes they chose are not slight in diameter or butting profile, but I am not slight in mass, so I'm sure it's all for the best.

Since there isn't much info here on the brand, I figured I would do a build thread...slowly. The frame came in a few weeks sooner than expected, so my miscellaneous parts are still not yet in. I'll transfer most over from my current gravel bike and add to that new wheels, a clutch ultegra rear derailleur, and wtb resolute tubeless tires.

Frame and fork were well packed and delivered in 2 business days from England.
I got the Hope headset and seat post clamp added on- they match the accent color and it's cheaper than buying separately then installing.

The fork with a 330mm steerer but without thru axle weighs 445g.
The 61t frameset with flatmount but without thru axle weighs 2325g.
These are both within a handful of grams of what fairlight claims.

The blue is not navy(looks that way on their website to me). Its a bit lighter...like cornflower blue added to navy. I'm bad at describing colors though.






More to slowly come over the next few weeks.
Very nice! I am also interested in that frame. Can you measure for me the distance between chainstays in the widest point near the bottom bracket and also in the point between fork legs close to the headtube? I need that to evaluate the maximal tire clearance of this frame
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Old 08-22-19, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by b0rderline View Post
Very nice! I am also interested in that frame. Can you measure for me the distance between chainstays in the widest point near the bottom bracket and also in the point between fork legs close to the headtube? I need that to evaluate the maximal tire clearance of this frame
1st pic shows the fork with a true 40mm wide tire.
2nd pic is the fork clearance where the tire would touch.
3rd pic is the seat stay where the tire would touch.
4th pic is the chainstay where the tire would touch.

What isn't taken into account is a wider tire is also taller. I dont yet have a rear wheel to accurately measure seat tube clearance.



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Old 08-23-19, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
1st pic shows the fork with a true 40mm wide tire.
2nd pic is the fork clearance where the tire would touch.
3rd pic is the seat stay where the tire would touch.
4th pic is the chainstay where the tire would touch.

What isn't taken into account is a wider tire is also taller. I dont yet have a rear wheel to accurately measure seat tube clearance.



Fantastic! Thank you very much for all that effort! It looks like this bike has a tons of tire clerance. Looking forward to the final build!
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Old 08-23-19, 10:49 PM
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Hit and miss so far.

Bar tape came in, love it. Its Cannondale Synapse 3.5mm tape which is identical to the Ritchey Pave tape I love, but $6 cheaper and actually available to buy. The only difference is it isn't embossed with the ritchey logo, which I'm good with.

The juintech flatmount brakes came in and I returned them immediarely to amazon. The replacement set came in and I just returned them too.
Both sets were scratched up. Come on! They were cheapest on amazon.

A new set is coming next week from ebay. Found a new listing for essentially the same price.
They weigh 147g for the front and 152g for the rear.




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Old 08-28-19, 08:20 PM
  #11  
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The Bikeinn order came today. Faster than expected, which is a relief based on so many reviews.

42mm wtb resolute tires, an ultegra rx rd, and a 105 r7000 fd. Oh, and some cable twists as I seem to be out of the stash I've had for years.

Now I just need the wheels and new brakes to come in.
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Old 09-02-19, 09:28 PM
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Coming together slowly.
Today I tore down my old bike and cleaned all the components going onto this new frame.

The tubeless tires are set up, saddle and stem are on, cassette and discs added, and crank is attached.
Brakes should arrive tomorrow, at which time I'll add the derailleurs and shifters to the bars, then tighten down the stem and compression plug.


I need to get some new hex attachments for my torque wrench. I cant find em. Its like a needle in a needlestack atop my bike workbench.

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Old 09-08-19, 05:21 PM
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It's pretty much done.
I ust need to put on tape, cap both brake cables, and eventually put on a different stem(100mm vs the current 90mm).
My favorite stem, a generic uno ul 7 that's a lot lighter than most anything else costing more, is out of stock on basically all of ebay right now.
Once I have the new stem, I'll address the steerer height and firm up where I want it.

I do need to fiddle with the rear brake a bit more as there is some rub that I haven't yet eliminated thru shifting and adjusting.



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Old 09-17-19, 08:28 AM
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Well except for the eventual stem swap(whenever my preferred 100mm stem is in stock), its done and is dirty. I rode it for a few hours in the Driftless region of Northeast Iowa- steep hills all around. Baptism by fire- I hit 45mph on a downhill less than 1 minute into riding!

So here are some thoughts on the frame, components, and ride. Since there is such limited info on the frame, beyond that David guy at road.cc, perhaps this build thread and some thoughts might help someone considering the frame.
Below is also a rundown of components and weights, for anyone that may stumble on this later on and is wondering about actual weights.

Frame-
- extremely well finished. Welding looks nice(small beads vs the toothpaste applied by a toddler look of Canyon or others) and the brazing on the rear triangle is clean from whats visible.
- the frameset isnt heavy compared to production alternatives, but it certainly isnt as light as a home built custom frame could be. The Secan frameset is overbuilt and this make sense due to liability. The 853 main triangle is great and all, but given the butting profile and tube size, it seems to have been done mostly for name. I dont fault anyone if thats the actual reason as its also what is expected in this pricerange. The weight comes from a massive 44mm head tube to allow for a tapered fork, large down tube that is gusseted to pass failure testing, and beefy stays to reduce flex.
- if I had all the money I wanted, I would buy a Black Mountain Cycles MCD frame and add a Whiskey no9 thru axle fork to compare. That setup would have mimicked the geometry of my old frame while providing disc brakes, thru axle, and carbon fork. It would be a 1 1/8 head tube too and slightly lighter than the Fairlight frameset. The MCD uses unbranded tubing that is the same wall thickness as the Secan(though different tubing profiles). I mention this since 853 isnt some mysteriously impressible offering- unbranded heat treated tubing can be made to have the same butting profile.
- the frameset comes with all the bolts and add-ons needed which is nice. The laser printed components are strong and precise.
- the seat tube water bottle mounts are low. Absurdly low compared to every other frame Ive ridden. I dont access water from that cage- I only ever use the downtube cage and swap bottles once the first is empty, so the seat tube cage being low only affects me for 5 seconds, but man is it low! I assume this is to give room to a framebag since the top tube slopes so much.
- external cable routing made for fast and easy assembly. I couldnt care less if cables are exposed- it doesnt look bad to me, so I will take easy assembly any day! The cable guides, specifically rear brake, are well placed along the down tube and route well around the BB shell.


Components-
- I used a mix of quality and 'budget saving' components. I have no need for the nicest of nice, but I do expect what I use to work properly.
- The wheelset is 28f/32r Bitex centerlock hubs with double butted sapim spokes and HplusSon Hydra rims. They weigh more than prowheelbuilder claimed by about 8%. The extra 130grams doesnt change my view of the wheelset, I just wish the weights were more accurate on the site since they are 0for2 when it comes to coming close to predicting the build weight. The wheelset is well built and I expect it will be reliable for years to come. I have come to learn that bitex hubs are viewed as low end by some here, but they have been great on one of my road bikes and thats what prompted me to use them here. They engage quickly, are relatively light, and relatively well priced- no complaints from me.
- I wanted to continue to use my 2x11 Gevenalle shifters, so I kept them along with my crank, cassette, an Ultegra FD, and chain. A clutch Ultegra RD was bought since I want to try it- the clutch works well...not much to say on that.
- juintech hydraulic cable flatmount brakes were easy to mount and set up. They are light, affordable, and work well so far. I am no featherweight and the brakes stop me confidently and scrub off speed easily.


Ride-
- the frameset is low trail and I was a bit hesitant since its so much lower than many(most?) production gravel frames from large brands. It is comfortable and stable while slowly climbing rutted rock filled farm roads and also descending on pavement- so I am sold on it.
- 43mm wide WTB Resolute tubeless tires are super comfortable and feel fast on pavement. They handle rocky farm access road climbs, gravel, double track, and pavement quite well- I wouldnt think twice to buy them again.
- I cant really tell what is a stiff front end vs a loose front end. I may not be a good enough rider to discern the differences. My old frame with a 1 1/8" steel steerer felt plenty stiff. This new frame with a tapered carbon steerer feels plenty stiff. I dont think the ride is jarring or uncomfortable, even with the large head tube and massive carbon fork. I am guessing the tire volume has something to do with that.
- the bottom bracket drop is 77mm, which is on the deep end of what is commonly seen with production frames(70mm is probably the average). The only time I noticed this was when rolling my bike up some stairs with a pedal down. So essentially, I didnt notice it in a bad way while riding. I dont feel like I am riding 'in the frame' more than 'on top of the frame', even though that is essentially whats happening with that difference in drop. Basically, its a non-issue for me either way and the handwringing prior to purchase wasnt necessary.


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Old 09-17-19, 11:35 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
the frameset is low trail and I was a bit hesitant since its so much lower than many(most?) production gravel frames from large brands. It is comfortable and stable while slowly climbing rutted rock filled farm roads and also descending on pavement- so I am sold on it.
I didn't know this, what's the trail number? I couldn't find the geo chart on the fairlight site.

Ah, found it in the lookbook. Mid-trail but on the lower side for a gravel bike. I prefer in the low 60s for gravel bike trail. 70+ should be MTB territory only despite what the trends are now. Anyway, good looking build, interested to see how you like it long term.


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Old 09-17-19, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
I didn't know this, what's the trail number?
Yeah, their lookbook is really detailed, but a pain to access.
Trail for my frame is 56.
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