7th December 2018 / Comments (0)

Bike Check: Mark’s Fairlight Secan

Fairlight Secan

Every now and then we bump into someone in the cycle industry who shares our passion for gravel cycling. A few months ago we caught up with Jordan Lunn from Ison Distribution and got the chance to drool over his very trick looking All-City Cosmic Stallion.

This time, we meet Mark Downie from Edinburgh. Delighted as we were to meet Mark, and charming as he was, his Fairlight Secan stole the show and our attention drifted.

Secan on tour

Fairlight on tour

The Fairlight Secan

The Secan is in high demand. If you want one, you’ll have to cough up a deposit and join the fairly lengthy waiting list. Just looking at the frame, you can see why this Reynolds 853 beauty is proving so popular. It’s a classic design that manages to blend seamlessly with the stout carbon fork, a trick many steel frames struggle to carry off quite so elegantly.

Casting light on the Fairlight

Casting light on the Fairlight.

Mark explained that he had spent a lot of time considering different frames before settling on the Secan. Its’ versatility as an all purpose rig for everything from road, gravel and trail, commuter, tourer and just pure and simple cycling helped the frame choose itself.

“The Fairlight was chosen over many options for fit, comfort, all surface ability, all the mounts I can ever need and full fender capability. There’s no limits to wheel types/tyre size within the confines of a drop bar bike type of riding. I love it”

A true ‘all weather’ bike

Rather than bling the bike up as a show pony, Mark chose components that are robust and cheap to maintain. As he uses the bike for his daily commute, whatever the weather, there was little point in using Ultegra only for it to be ridden into the ground in record time. So the, workmanlike, Shimano 10 Speed Tiagra group set was chosen for drivetrain duties.

Fairlight Secan Groupset closeup

Shimano Tiagra is the thinking-mans groupset for the day-to-day commuter toil.

Unsurprisingly Mark’s build features some choice goodies from 2Pure’s brand portfolio. This includes Donnelley XPLOR MSO 700 x 36c tyres (Mark will switch these out for the chunky 650b x 50c version) which are setup tubeless.

“I always run tubeless as I love the low pressures and it rides awesome over all surfaces”


The Knog PWR is the shining light that guides this Fairlight on the straight and narrow.

Illumination is handled by the Knog PWR Road, which delivers 600 lumens in a clever, cable free, design and incorporates a detachable power cell. The PWR series straddles Outdoor and Run, handled in the UK by 2Pure . Knog’s Cycling offerings, are part of the Silverfish lineup. Take it from Mark, the PWR is a seriously capable light for commuter duties. 

Fairlight up close

Commuter bling. One of the many glowing benefits of disc brakes means you can use your carbon rims all year long.

Riding in all weathers, you soon appreciate the benefits of grippy bar tape. To be honest, there isn’t much that can beat Lizard Skins DSP for comfort and grip, even in Biblical rain conditions. It’s also hard wearing and will withstand day long abuse. Qualities which make it worth the extra price. 

4 Season Carbon Wheels

One of the cool things about disc brakes is that your ‘summer wheels’ automatically become 4 season wheels. The merest hint of moisture, that would usually have us swapping carbon for heavy old aluminium training wheels, is no longer an issue. Consequently, Mark’s Fairlight is rolling on a very special pair of carbon hoops from Netherlands based carbon wheel boffins, Scope.

Scope build the R4 Disc as a system, with hub, rim and spoke all designed for optimum stiffness. For days when comfort or journeys that are more off-road biased, Mark uses a 650b pair of Hope Tech XC wheels and WTB Byway 47c tyres.

Build Specifications
Frame: Fairlight Secan 54R
Groupset: Shimano Tiagra 10 speed. Robust and cheap to maintain.
Wheels: Hope Tech XC 27.5 – I am trying out the Scopes for a different feel.
Tyres: WTB Byway 47c – Currently on the Scopes are MSO 700x36c tubeless too.
Cockpit Components: Bars and Stem – Deda Superzero. Seatpost is a Deda too. Chosen as it is amazing value and looks the nuts!
Saddle: An Ergon carbon model. Very flat! I like flat.
Bar tape: Lizard Skins 2.5mm DSP in Black. Look up ‘the best bar tape in the dictionary and there is a pic of this tape.
Lights: Front – Knog PWR Road front. Rear – Knog PLUS.
Pedals: iSSI III. Nice and smooth and great sealing.
Fenders: SKS Blumels 700×50 so they fit any wheels I want to use with no adjustment.
Fairlight Secan, Mark Downie

Last modified: 7th January 2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *