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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
Last modified: 7th January 2020