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First Look: Fairlight Faran 2.0 with a revised geometry for better handling

The frameset uses Reynolds 631 tubing and includes many neat touches

Fairlight has announced an updated 2.0 version of the Faran steel do-it-all adventure bike with a revised geometry that focuses on front end handling to give what the brand says is a good balance between loaded and unloaded handling.

Fairlight says that the release of this updated version has been a little delayed due to demand for their other models, but taking a look at the amount of neat integration and solutions for different setups, it looks like their time has been well spent.

Bike designer Dom Thomas swung by the road.cc garden earlier in the week (yeah, we have a garden; we're a bit like Blue Peter in that respect) to show us the new bike. We'll share the video interview we made with Dom on road.cc soon.

The Faran was originally designed as an adventure frameset, capable of tackling massive multi-day bikepacking trips, audax rides, commuting and just about anything else you wanted to do. The 2.0 version retains that focus with some small changes to the geometry that focus on the front end.

“On the Faran 2.0 we use low-mid trail to provide better handling with a front load and also fast ‘road-like’ handling when using no load and large tyres,” says Fairlight.

For the Faran 2.0, the trail has been reduced by roughly 10mm (depending on frame size) to give handling that Fairlight says feels fast and agile when unloaded and stable when loaded.

How to read geometry charts

Fairlight still offers its proportional geometry, allowing the rider to pick between a regular and a tall fit. The regular fit offers a lower and longer front end for those that either have short legs combined with a longer back or who simply want a lower, racier position.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-25.jpg

The tall option pulls the top of the head tube up and brings it back towards the rider, giving a more upright position. Each size from 51cm through to 61cm is available in both options.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-18.jpg

Aside from the geometry tweaks, the thing that we really love about the Faran 2.0 is the attention that Fairlight has given to the details. Take a look under the down tube, just below the lower headset cup and you’ll find the Modular Cable Guide. this 3D printed piece is customisable to your setup and offers a solution for everything from 2X mechanical shifting through to internal Di2 wiring and rear light.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-34.jpg

The rear dropout is another area worth a look. Fairlight has collaborated with Mark Bentley to design the dropout area using a “combination of laser-cut steel plate, turned stainless steel inserts and CNC machined aluminium brake mount to produce a dropout that is light, functional and elegant.”

Fairlight uses a 142x12mm thru-axle and flat mounts for the disc callipers.

Fairlight Faran 2.0 Frameset Tyre Clearance

Reynolds still provides the tubing, a mix of 631 butted tubes meeting at the 68mm threaded bottom bracket shell.

The down tube, for example, is the same as the one Fairlight uses on the Secan, but made from Reynolds 631 tubing rather than 853. It is ovalised at each end, the 40mm horizontal oval at the BB shell being designed to add lateral stiffness, where as the vertical 40mm vertical oval at the head tube is intended to resist the braking and ground forces.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-12.jpg

In the case of the Faran, with a standard 36mm head tube, the vertical oval also gives the strongest weld. The tube has double zonal butting, which means an extra butt at the head tube end for strength. Fairlight also uses a small gusset at the head tube end to provide extra strength for heavy front loading and for more severe terrain.

Read our review of the Fairlight Secan here

There is 68mm of clearance behind the BB, so plenty of space for a 2.2in tyre.

The frame has three bottle mounts. The ones on the seat tube are supplied with 3mm standoff washers so that a front derailleur band can be installed beneath the bottle cage.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-36.jpg

The mounts on the underside of the down tube are supplied with 8mm standoff washers so that the bottle cage clears the gear cables and the brake hose. All the standoff washers are stainless steel.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-54.jpg

The seat tube and down tube bosses are positioned as low as possible to give room for a half-frame bag. Size 58 and 61 frames get a third boss higher up on the seat tube for easier bottle access. In other words, you get three threaded holes and you can opt for either a high or low position for the cage.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-29.jpg

Speaking of mounts and holes, there are a huge number of options with Di2, mechanical shifting, dynamo light compatibility and mudguard and rack mounts.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-13.jpg

The new thru-axle, butted steel fork – the material chosen for its load-carrying capabilities – is similarly equipped.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-14.jpg

Deposits of £500 are currently being taken, and you can specify the build that you want when you put your deposit down.

Shimano builds start at £1,999 for GRX 600 1x and go up to £3,249 for GRX 800 Di2. Various 650B and 700C wheel/tyre combos are available.

That looks like good value for a premium steel bike that's suitable for various different types of riding on road and gravel. Fairlight's direct-to-consumer business model helps to keep the price down.

Fairlight Faran 2 builds-33.jpg

Bikes will be become available between early October and late November, depending on the frame size.

Get all the details on the Fairlight Faran 2.0 direct from Dom Thomas in our forthcoming video on road.cc. Stay tuned for that in the coming days. We'll eventually be running a review too, although that's a few weeks away.

fairlightcycles.com

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18 comments

Avatar
RyDavis | 3 years ago
0 likes

When will we see the video???

Avatar
kil0ran | 3 years ago
0 likes

4 weeks on I still have absolutely no need for this bike but it's still completely magnificent. The green version would look great with silver finishing kit/group (do Campy do a silver disc group?)

Might have to change jobs so I can go back to commuting!

Avatar
quiff | 3 years ago
0 likes

Argh! I love everything about this apart from the colours (though I seem to be in the minority judging by reactions on their social media). Think I'm probaby still going to order though...

Nit picking - image 6 looks like they've mounted the standard SON headlight upside down in order to mount it on the rando rack. SON sell a dedicated upside down version for this application - I think partly to address waterproofing the wiring connection, and partly because the optics are directional, so just turning your standard one upside down isn't optimal. Does anyone run a normal Edelux light upside down like this, and does it cause issues? 

EDIT: ordered!

Avatar
Bmblbzzz | 3 years ago
1 like

I should not allow myself to read articles like this. Now planning which parts I could transfer over from my Spec Sequoia (most), what I'd need new (rear wheel, probably shifters), and what I'd put on the Sequoia to sell it. Wouldn't really make sense to keep both as they're so close in purpose (wouldn't really "make sense" to buy a Faran – maybe I should just upgrade the heavy wheelset – but... ).

Avatar
RobD | 3 years ago
1 like

I love the attention to detail on this, I got the email with the link to the lookbook thing and ended up spending ages reading about a bike I have no real need for just because it was interesting to see all the ways they'd thought about it being used.

Some sort of clear coat only special edition finish would look great on this frame.

Avatar
Sriracha | 3 years ago
1 like

The nearside rear dropout has an aluminium brake mount bolted against the steel, with what looks to be a brass or copper engraved backing plate as well. How do they avoid galvanic corrosion?

https://www.pfonline.com/articles/fixing-corrosion-between-anodized-alum...
"The most common examples of galvanic corrosion of aluminum alloys are when they are joined to steel or copper and exposed to a wet saline environment."

Avatar
quiff replied to Sriracha | 3 years ago
0 likes

Presumably the intervening layers of paint on the finished product will help? 

Avatar
Sriracha replied to quiff | 3 years ago
0 likes

I hope not. A layer of paint is hardly a suitable substrate for a component that has to be aligned to fractions of a millimetre whilst enduring high forces. But maybe the surrounding paint stops any water bridging the interface of the two metals.

Avatar
quiff replied to Sriracha | 3 years ago
0 likes
Sriracha wrote:

But maybe the surrounding paint stops any water bridging the interface of the two metals.

That's what I was suggesting / asking, albeit from a position of zero knowledge.  

Avatar
Dhill replied to Sriracha | 3 years ago
0 likes

Because they know what they are doing.

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kil0ran | 3 years ago
1 like

Lovely. I've only just retired my Faran v1, a bike that's done everything over the years bar race. So versatile, I've run everything from slicks to 1.75" MTB knobblies on it. Come the depths of winter it will probably be back on the road as the MTB trails turn to slush

Avatar
quiff replied to kil0ran | 3 years ago
0 likes

Why retired? Very interested in the Faran 2, just waiting to see the paint options...

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kil0ran replied to quiff | 3 years ago
2 likes

My cycling has changed. Originally I got the Faran to do a part gravel commute to the office but I've been full-time WFH for over two years. It then got used as a shopping/school run bike with a tagalong, until my son moved schools. And so it turned into a full-time gravel bike with WTB Nano 40mm knobblies for a while. And finally ended up on 650B tubeless with WTB 47mm Sendero mud tyres. Having explored the limits of those tyres and getting interested in more extreme terrain I've gone to a hardtail MTB. Bigger tyres, front suspension, and full MTB geo were the main reasons. 

If I was still commuting I'd be beating down Fairlight's door to get one of these, particularly for the integrated dynamo routing, extra bosses, and flat mount brakes. It's the perfect bike for commuting in the week and adventuring at the weekend. It's not going to win any races but it will eat the up the miles very comfortably, particularly with the proportional geometry. 

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quiff replied to kil0ran | 3 years ago
0 likes

Thanks, good to hear. I'm very interested as it could be a perfect nursery run / commuter / rando / tourer for me, with the ability to dabble a bit more off road if I want. Looks like a really well thought out bike. Although as I have also been full-time WFH since COVID, I'm wondering if / when I'll need a commuter again... 

Avatar
kil0ran replied to quiff | 3 years ago
3 likes

The original was very popular as a rando (this is a great thread from a German site on a fantastic build - https://www.rennrad-news.de/forum/threads/fairlight-faran.146124/)

It's by no means fast, and not particularly stiff, but will cover ground comfortably. Of course the new bike might have different characteristics but what I found with mine was that it rewarded effort up to a point but eventually you ended up thrashing yourself for very little extra gain. That's not a criticism, it was still plenty fast enough for mixed terrain and UK B/C roads. The smallest tyres I ran it on were GravelKing SK 33m, there's nothing to stop you running 28mm slicks and getting more performance out of it.

It will certainly handle the nursery run and all the way up to Year 6 I would say. I used to run a rack-mount tagalong on mine - a Roland Add+Bike (https://roland-werk.com/addbike/) which was perfectly good for a bit of light touring.

Dom and the guys are also excellent to deal with and will help you get exactly the right frame size.

(And yes, that is mudguards over 47mm 650B tyres in the picture)

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RobD replied to kil0ran | 3 years ago
3 likes

That's a lovely looking setup in that picture, nicely done!

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kil0ran replied to RobD | 3 years ago
0 likes

Thanks. It's had a hard life on and off car racks with other bikes and being chucked around gravel tracks but the paint finish is still immaculate.

Avatar
quiff replied to kil0ran | 3 years ago
0 likes

Thanks, great feedback and a lovely build. I love the idea of something that can turn its hand to most of my riding and adapt as my riding changes. My current bikes are a bit more specific and one dimensional - so I won't generally commute on my 25mm max 'best' bike, and I wouldn't ride a brevet on my single speed commuter (though I know plenty of people would do both). I've been looking at various options like the Croix de Fer, Temple Adventure Disc and Shand Stooshie (the last one lovely but not really in budget), but this looks like it ticks the most boxes.        

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