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Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX 820 2x



Simply stunning from every aspect and hugely versatile for all kinds of gravel riding, and even road
Amazing ride quality
Loads of mounting points
Exceptional finish
Proportional geometry gives near custom fit
A chain pip would be a nice touch
9,770g Recommends

This product has been selected to feature in recommends. That means it's not just scored well, but we think it stands out as special. Go to recommends

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Fairlight's Secan 2.5 is a stunning looking steel gravel bike, finished to an exceptionally high level, although its beauty is more than skin deep. It has a weight low enough for fast and fun blasts on your local trails while huge tyre clearances and plentiful mounts mean the Secan is also the perfect choice for a loaded-up adventure.

Check out our guide to the best gravel bikes for more options.

> Buy now: Fairlight Secan 2.5 from £2,499 from Fairlight Cycles

If you've been following the site for a while, you'll know that Fairlight's Strael has impressed us over all of its three versions; in fact it's one of only three road bikes to ever score top marks in the 15 years that we have been reviewing them. The Secan 2.5 is no different, offering absolutely everything you could want or need from a gravel bike – well, as long as your main concern isn't the light weight that can be achieved by going carbon fibre.

The Secan uses Reynolds steel tubing, and while there is a massive cliché about the whole 'steel is real' thing, if you get to ride a Fairlight, you'll realise it's true. Quality steel tubes like these designed for the Secan provide all of the stiffness you need, while also having a smooth, rough-road-defying ride quality.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - riding 4.jpg

And how can I tell this on a bike fitted with large-volume squishy tyres? Well, I also ran the Secan with wide slicks pumped up hard to my usual preference for use on the road, and the ride quality is just sublime.

> Best steel road bikes 2023 — versatile, durable and comfortable steeds

The feedback is also great. It's one of those framesets that just talks to you as a rider, thanks to a mixture of the materials used and the geometry. By providing Fairlight with my measurements (one of the ways that it can put you on the right sized frame – more about its 'proportional geometry' in a minute), I ended up with a Secan that fitted me perfectly, and that all just adds to the ride experience.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - riding 3.jpg

I've touched on the weight, and as I've said the steel Secan isn't going to compete with a carbon fibre machine, but that doesn't mean the Fairlight is heavy. Far from it. In fact, at 9.77kg it is just 200g heavier than a carbon Ribble CGR SL I'm also riding at the moment.

It feels sprightly enough for hilly rides, and should you want to go out for a quick spin, or a spirited ride, it certainly doesn't feel like it's holding you back. It feels generally lively and nimble, too, so I'd have no qualms about entering some kind of gravel race or event on the Secan.

When loaded up with bags and kit the Secan 2.5 barely changes its mannerisms. Even adding weight to the front end doesn't make it become a handful, while its surefooted and planted behaviour means it doesn't become a handful even on loose terrain.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - riding 2.jpg

All of this is what makes the Secan 2.5 such an excellent bike. We see so many gravel machines being pigeon-holed into micro niches, but the Fairlight straddles the entire gravel genre with what feels like no compromises whatsoever. The fact that it can work on the road, too, as a large-tyred tourer or audax machine, is an added bonus.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - fork clearance.jpg

The combination of the geometry and the tyre clearance makes this a proper jack-of-all-trades, and a master of most.

Frame and Fork

This is where the Secan 2.5 really excels thanks to an exceptional level of finish, and excellent attention to detail when it comes to the overall design.

In fact, there are so many details that Fairlight creates Design Note brochures for each bike in its catalogue, which definitely make for an interesting read if you are into the whole design and engineering aspect of bike development. At the time of writing the design notes for the Secan are being updated for this 2.5 model, but we'll add a link once they become available.

The Secan shares a lot of its design with the Faran, Fairlight's hardcore gravel/adventure bike, with both using pretty much the same tubeset – the main triangle is Reynolds 631, although after the shaping and forming is completed, the down tube, seat tube and top tube of the Secan are heat-treated, meaning that it becomes Reynolds 853.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - frame detail.jpg

The 61R and 61T frames now also get size-specific tubeset designs.

Some of the tubing has custom profiles for Fairlight, like the down tube which starts life as a 34.9mm diameter round tube, but is ovalised at both ends to become 30mm x 40mm. By custom shaping the tubes in this way Fairlight can control the resistance of the tube to forces in certain directions, increasing stiffness. Here it adds lateral stiffness at the bottom bracket end, while at the head tube head it deals with braking and steering forces without the need to use a larger diameter tube throughout.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - front.jpg

You'll often see manufacturers describing tubes as double or triple butted. This relates to how many different wall thicknesses you'll find across the length of the tube. The down tube of the Secan has thicknesses of 1.0, 0.8, 0.5 and 0.8mm along its length.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - top tube detail.jpg

The top tube is triple butted and is also custom ovalised, while the triple-butted seat tube hasn't been manipulated. It's 26.8mm in diameter but is externally butted from the top – to 29.8mm – to give the inner diameter needed for the 27.2mm seatpost.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - seat tube junction.jpg

The Secan's head tube is CNC-machined from a single billet of 631 and is designed to work with a 1 1/2 to 1 1/8in tapered fork steerer.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - head tube badge.jpg

The seatstays and chainstays see a change of material to 4130 chromoly steel. The seatstays are 14mm in diameter, non-tapered, and heat-treated to add strength.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - seat stays.jpg

One of the changes to this 2.5 model over the previous Secan 2.0 is that the wall thickness of the chainstays has been dropped to 0.8mm from 0.95mm; this is thanks to them being heat-treated, giving the same amount of strength for a thinner wall. Fairlight says this brings increased compliance and reduces weight by 75g. Marginal gains, innit.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - rear.jpg

Fairlight has also managed to increase the clearance slightly to 69mm between the chainstays at their widest point. This means the Secan can comfortably accept a 60mm tyre in a 650B size, or 50mm if you are using 700C and a 1x chainset.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - bottom bracket.jpg

If you are running 2x with 700C, that drops slightly to 47mm. The largest chainset you can have is 50/34T, or 44T if you're running 1x.

This 2.5 model also gets updated MK2 dropouts. For this Fairlight has worked with Bentley Components to create a modular design that is beautifully CNC-machined from a single piece of aluminium, and looks absolutely stunning especially once painted.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - cassette and rear drop out.jpg

The dropout incorporates the axle housing, the disc mounting and the rear mech hanger, and being attached to the dropouts by bolts means they can be completely replaced should anything get damaged in a crash or cross-threaded. This modular design is also futureproof, highlighted by the fact that Fairlight can now provide a SRAM T-type insert, enabling its frames to be compatible with the latest hangerless standard.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX Sram T_type Adaptor.jpg

On the outside of the dropouts, you'll also find stainless steel washer plates which protect the frame if you're fixing mudguards and a rear rack.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - rear drop out detail.jpg

The rack and mudguard mountings are in a traditional position, so there is no need to fettle or bend the stays of off-the-shelf mudguards prior to fitting.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - seat stay bosses.jpg

You'll also find plenty more mounts, with three bottle cage positions – two in the traditional place and an extra set under the down tube – plus there are three bolts on each leg of Fairlight's own full-carbon fibre Cempa 2.0 fork for bottle or adventure cages.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - fork bosses.jpg

Both the frame and fork also get full internal routing for dynamo lighting, which is a very neat touch.

The cables and hoses are routed externally, which I find quite aesthetically pleasing on a bike of this style and design.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - cable routing.jpg

Things are kept neat and tidy thanks to a 3D-printed guide which attaches at the top of the down tube, and welded guides elsewhere, although if you were to go down the electronic or wireless groupset option then you'll be left with empty guides, which would spoil the look for me.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - down tube.jpg

Weight-wise, Fairlight claims 2,157g for a painted 54R including all bolts, mounts and axles, and 584g for the fork with hardware included.

Finishing off each frame and fork is a range of luxurious paint jobs including this limited-edition Iridescent Plum (+£100) which flips between purple and blue. You can also have Monochrome, which is a light grey with black detailing, Desert or Black.

Proportional geometry

Fairlight offers all of its bikes with proportional geometry, which it has created to account for differences in body proportions rather than just overall height. The Secan, as with all models, comes in either a tall or regular setup for each frame size, denoted by a T or R after the number.

Basically the R is lower at the front end and has a longer reach, designed for people with shorter legs and a longer back, or for those who want a lower, racier position.

The T is higher at the front and shorter in reach, designed for those with longer legs and a shorter torso, giving a more upright riding position.

From a numbers point of view that means the 54R reviewed here has a 553mm effective top tube length, which is the same as the 54T, but the T has a 150mm head tube at 71.5 degrees, and stack and reach figures of 589mm and 383mm respectively, compared to the 559mm and 386mm of the R. That's down to the R having a much shorter head tube length of 120mm at 71 degrees.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX.jpg

There is a difference of standover height too, with 789mm for the T and 771mm on the R when using 650B x 47mm tyres.

Other than that, the rest of the measurements are pretty similar or the same. The wheelbase is 1,030mm (T) and 1,029mm (R), chainstays are 430mm, and the bottom bracket drop is 77mm.

To get the right size and fit you can provide Fairlight with your details and it will create a Fit Report which includes the recommended frame size and component sizes such as stem length and handlebar width.

If, like me, you haven't had a bike fit, you can use Fairlight's online Fit Guide Tool to find the right size.

Build options

The Secan is available in a range of builds starting with a frameset for £1,399 which includes the frame, Campa fork, thru-axles and 3D printed cable guide. An FSA headset and seatclamp adds £35 to the price, while upgrades to Hope or Chris King options add £110 or £210.

Full bikes start with Shimano GRX 600 11-speed in either 1x (£2,499) or 2x (£2,549) builds. The jump to 12-speed starts at £2,699 for the 1x GRX 610 and goes up £3,049 for this 2x GRX 820 build.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - front mech.jpg

Di2 builds are £3,949 for both 1x and 2x although they are 11-speed as GRX hasn't made the jump to 12-speed yet for electronic shifting.

Various upgrades are available across all of the builds, including tyres and wheels in both 700C and 650B diameters, bottle cages and those headset/seatclamp upgrades mentioned on the frameset. You can also get dynamo light kit and wheelset upgrades too.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - front hub.jpg

Our build has the Hope headset/seatclamp upgrade in silver for £70, and the Hope hub upgrade to silver from black for another £50. This means that this exact bike, with the £100 Iridescent Plum paint job, retails for £3,269.


The Shimano GRX 820 12-speed groupset is pretty much brand new to the market, and I haven't actually spent a whole lot of time using it. When I received the Secan a few months back it hadn't been released, so the bike I had was running 11-speed GRX, and that's what most of the review miles were carried out on.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - rear hub.jpg

In the short time I have spent using the 12-speed setup it's very pleasurable, mostly because it doesn't feel that much different to the 11-speed version in terms of ergonomics, shifting feel and speed.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - Lever.jpg

Our 2x model has a 48/31-tooth chainset paired to an 11-34T cassette, which I found a great spread of gears, covering both climbing and descending. It works well on the road too for the kind of riding the Secan would be used for – quick but not necessarily high speed.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - drivetrain.jpg

Our sister site is running a full review on both of the new GRX groupsets, and they'll be live very soon.

Finishing kit

As for the rest of the components, Fairlight has specced stuff from FSA including the Adventure Compact flared gravel handlebar and the Energy stem. Both components are alloy and are mid-range offerings but good quality and work well with the bike.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - bars 3.jpg

The seatpost is an SL-K which is carbon fibre, available in both inline and set-back options.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - saddle and post.jpg

For the contact points Fairlight is using Fizik components: a Terra Argos X5 saddle and Vento Solocush Tacky bar tape. Both have a comfortable and quality feel.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - drop bar.jpg

Wheels & tyres

As standard this build comes with a set of Hope 20Five Pro5s, which are described as durable road/gravel and CX (cyclocross) wheels. They have 25mm-deep aluminium alloy rims with a 20mm internal width, and the 32-spoke build (Sapim Race) front and rear adds to their overall strength, giving a 130kg weight limit, which is higher than most.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - rim and tyre.jpg

They are tubeless compatible, and are machine built before being hand finished.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - tyre.jpg

Panaracer's GravelKing tyres always give an impressive performance and that is no different here. They come in a huge range of tread patterns, with the SK model fitted here being perfect for hardpacked trails and looser surfaces, as long as things aren't too muddy.

2023 Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX - tyre 2.jpg


Looking at how the Secan 2.5 compares with similar bikes, reviewed the Windover Bostal gravel bike back in July, and Patrick was very impressed overall. The frame is built from Reynolds 853 steel tubing, with a 653 head tube and a carbon fibre fork. The GRX 600 1x11 version is priced at £2,950 compared to £2,499 for the equivalent Secan. A Bostal frameset is £1,450.

It wouldn't be a Fairlight review without comparing it to offerings from Mason Cycles, because they both create similar kinds of bikes. They do things in slightly different ways, but they both focus on incredible attention to detail in terms of frame design, ride quality and the amount of extras you get, including mounts for accessories.

The latest Bokeh 3 from Mason is aluminium alloy rather than steel, but in a lot of ways it is very similar in terms of quality and how it behaves on the trails. It doesn't have the tyre clearance of the Secan, though.

As a frameset the Bokeh is available for £1,450, which includes the headset and seatclamp, or £3,300 with GRX 820 12-speed.


Fairlight has created a stunning bike here. Everything is just top notch – the way it behaves, the ride quality, the way it looks. It is one of the best bikes I've ever ridden, and I don't mean just on the gravel either. The geometry gives you a bike that feels pretty much custom made, and when you take everything into consideration, I believe the Secan offers a good return value-wise on your investment.


Simply stunning from every aspect and hugely versatile for all kinds of gravel riding, and even road test report

Make and model: Fairlight Secan 2.5 GRX 820 2x

Size tested: 54R

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

Headset: Hope (Upgrade)

Seatclamp: Hope Seat Clamp (Upgrade)

Chainset: Shimano RX820 48-31T

Rear Derailleur: Shimano RX820 12spd

Front Derailleur: Shimano RX820 with Band-on Adaptor

Shifters: Shimano RX820 2X Hydro Shifters

Cassette: Shimano R8100 12 Speed 11-34T

Bottom Bracket: Shimano Bottom Bracket

Brakes: Shimano RX820 Hydro Flat Mount Callipers

Rotors: Shimano CL800 C/Lock 160mm Front & Rear

Wheelset: Hope 20Five Pro5 32H

Tyres: Panaracer Gravel King SK 700 x 43

Tubes: Continental Tour 700 x 32-47 Presta

Handlebar: FSA Adventure Compact

Seat Post: FSA SL-K Carbon

Stem: FSA Energy

Handlebar Tape: Fizik Vento Solocush Tacky - Black

Saddle: Fizik Terra Argo X5 - 150mm - Black

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?

Fairlight says:

"The Secan is our gravel bike. The design of the Secan revolves around the simple idea that you can transition between road and off-road and ride fast everywhere. It can transform your local riding, as you begin to link up all the best lanes with farm tracks, bridleways, even woodland single track. To me, this is what gravel bikes are all about. An area that you think you knew, all of a sudden becomes a world of unexplored tracks and bridleways; you see and experience the landscape differently. A local loop in even the most ordinary of landscapes can become so much more. This idea of real-world riding drives the design of the bike. A performance tube set that feels lively and eager, not over-built. A light-weight and confidence inspiring carbon fork with cage mounts and internally sleeved dynamo routing. A geometry and ride position that feels familiar and efficient on the road but stable and predictable off-road. A more sloping top tube to aid manoeuvrability and increase comfort when things get rough. Huge tyre clearance but chain stays only 12mm longer than the Strael 2.0. The frame features ports for dynamo rear lighting, with clever solutions for every type of configuration; representing a level of care and detailing that you would normally only see in the custom world.

While the Secan could be your road bike, for all the reasons above it is an extremely capable off-road machine. James Hayden was joint winner of the punishing Italy Divide Race on a Secan and in 2020 three riders completed the Atlas Mountain Race on board Secan's, including a top 10 finish by Jonathan Rankin. Add to this, countless stories and adventures from our customers all over the world.

The Secan 2.5 is our latest evolution. The main changes vs the 2.0 are the introduction of the Bentley x Fairlight Mk.2 dropouts, increased tyre clearance (now compatible with a 27.5 x 2.4in tyre), lighter-weight chainstays, size specific tubes for 61 sizes and finally a colour-matched Cempa 2.0 fork as standard."

The Secan is a very capable gravel bike thanks to massive tyre clearances and loads of small design ideas, and it rides brilliantly regardless of whether you are gravel racing or heading out for an adventure.

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

The range starts with a Shimano GRX 610 1x build at £2,499 and tops out with two Di2 models, 1x and 2x, for £3,949. This model sits at the top of the mechanical gearing line-up.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork

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

Exceptional build quality and impressive attention to detail.

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

The frame is constructed from Reynolds 853 custom tubing, while the fork is full carbon fibre.

From Fairlight:

Tubes made in Birmingham, England. Frames hand-built in Taiwan

Reynolds 853 bulge butted seat tube for 27.2 post.

Custom butted and formed Reynolds 853/853-DZB front triangle.

Custom 0.8/0.5./0.8 Reynolds 853 top tube. 20 x 30mm oval. 25 x 32mm oval on size 61R & 61T.

Custom 1.0/0.8/0.5/0.8 Reynolds 853 Gravel DZB (double zonal butted) down tube. 30 x 40mm bi-oval.

Custom formed heat-treated 4130 rear end. 19mm round chainstays @ 0.8mm wall thickness.

Custom shaped heat-treated 4130 14mm non-taper seat stays @ 0.8mm wall thickness. 16mm x 0.8mm on sizes 61R & 61T.

Fairlight Cempa 2 100x12mm full carbon Fork with 1.1/2 x 1.1/8in tapered steerer. Adventure cage mounts (Maximum loading 3kg per leg). Internal dynamo routing. More info here

Bentley x Fairlight Mk.2 142x12mm flat-mount dropouts.

Front and rear Fairlight axles.

Fairlight 3d printed cable guide.

Di2 compatible.

Internal routing for rear dynamo lamps. Drive and non-drive mounting options.

Front and rear mudguard mounts.

Rear rack mounts.

3 sets of bottle bosses.

Sizes 58R, 58T, 61R, 61T have a 3rd bottle boss on the seat tube for mounting the bottle cage higher.

Tyre clearance with 1x (based on actual measured tyre width) – 650 x 60 or 700 x 50

Tyre clearance with 1x and mudguards – 650 x 55 or 700 x 45

Tyre clearance with 2x – 650 x 57 or 700 x 47

Tyre clearance with 2x and mudguards – 650 x 48 or 700 x 42

Note: Tyre heights can vary depending on tread pattern and brand. Rim widths can also have a significant effect on tyre height. As well as this front derailleurs can vary in size. So the above measurements are a guide only. They are based on CAD drawing information and actual physical tests with a range of tyres.

68mm threaded BB shell.

Compatible with 50Tx34T max double or 44T max single.

28.6mm band on front derailleur.

29.8mm or 30.0mm seat clamp.

27.2mm seatpost.

Maximum 160mm disc rotors front and rear.

SHIS Headset specificaiton – ZS44/28.6 | EC44/40.

Frame is phosphate dipped and ED coated for anti-corrosion protection.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

From Fairlight:

All Fairlight bikes have been thoughtfully conceived with the rider in mind. Everybody is different; our bikes are designed to account for differences in body proportions, not just overall height. We call this 'proportional geometry'. We offer all of our frame sizes in (R)egular and (T)all versions so that you can achieve your perfect fit.


Lower at the front and longer in reach. Designed for people with shorter legs and a longer back but just as suitable for riders wanting a lower and racier riding position.


Higher at the front and shorter in reach. Designed for people with longer legs and a shorter back but also appropriate for riders who want a more upright riding position.

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

With the proportional geometry offered (see above), you get two different height and reach measurements per frame size. I found that the regular model I rode was similar to many performance-biased gravel bikes I have ridden.

Riding the bike

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

The bike was very comfortable to ride. The ride quality of the steel tubeset is excellent, helped by the large tyres and clearances on offer.

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

I found both frame and fork impressively stiff for the style of riding it is intended for.

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

Power transfer is impressive throughout the frame and fork, and it feels generally light overall which helps the efficiency.

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


How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? On the fun side of neutral.

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

The handling is quick enough to be a lot of fun even when riding the Secan on the road, but it is never too quick to be classed as a handful.

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

The Panaracer tyres are supple, which helps the overall ride feel and comfort, and the rest of the components are well designed for general comfort.

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

The Hope wheelset is plenty stiff enough, and the FSA components don't lack either when you are riding out of the saddle.

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

The overall weight of the bike isn't exessive thanks to well-specced components overall, so the Secan feels efficient enough to ride faster events on.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
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Rate the bike for low speed stability:
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The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
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Rate the drivetrain for weight:

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Shimano GRX has gained an extra sprocket, and has maintained its crisp shifting feel and powerful brakes.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
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Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?

A very solid set of wheels from Hope, bringing durability, a good ride performance and a decent weight.

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Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?

Great all-round tyres that can be used on hardpacked surfaces, and they don't feel too draggy on the road either.


Rate the controls for performance:
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Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

All works well in terms of sizing and shape.

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

When you consider the amount of detail involved and the very high finish and quality, the Secan 2.5 is well priced against the opposition.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
Rate the bike overall for value:

Use this box to explain your overall score

A truly stunning bike in terms of its design and manufacture, with impressive attention to detail throughout. That's backed up with plenty of versatility and a stunning ride quality too, for a competitive price.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

Add new comment


matthewn5 | 8 months ago

It's a good weight considering those chunky tyres and disks. My 2000 Brian Rourke with its 2012 Chorus groupset and a dynamo wheelset built by DCR, including mudguards, lights, computer, and pedals, weighs 9.7kg. And it's the same gorgeous colour. I only wish the Rourke had the clearance this bike has!

kil0ran | 8 months ago

Glorious thing. I had a Mk1 Faran for a while and it did pretty much everything apart from being fast/light. Superb commuter, load lugger, and trailer mule.

That published weight is quite remarkable with alloy wheels. It's not that far off my current Revolt Advanced with carbon wheels and lightweight mudguards. Not that it matters much on a bike of this type but it should be easy enough to trim a kilo off with different component choices.

IanEdward replied to kil0ran | 8 months ago
1 like

Got to admit I'm sceptical of that weight, I've got an 853 rim brake build with 1700g alloy wheels, GRX 2x mechanical, carbon finishing kit and basically giving nothing away to this build in weight, and yet it's at least 1kg heavier?

I sometimes wonder if I got stiffed by the builder and somehow got plain gauge or lower grade tubing, but they are a very reputable builder so I don't really believe that would be the case.

Edit: actually I missed that all in frame weight of "2,157g for a painted 54R including all bolts, mounts and axles, and 584g for the fork with hardware included". That's very similar to my build but makes me even more sceptical of the complete build weight with disc brakes and 2x!

Metalfan1 | 8 months ago

Just a note about the cable guide.
It is removed when fitting electronic gears and the pip it sits into is the entry point for a Di2 cable so very clean and neat with modern gearing.
Using my Secan currently as my winter commuter and it's been doing its job admirably!

webbierwrex | 8 months ago
1 like

I'd love to know how much Fairlight pay for all these amazing reviews.

AidanR replied to webbierwrex | 8 months ago

They must be splashing the cash all over the place, as they seem to be getting great reviews everywhere. It's odd that a small firm can outspend the industry giants in this regard.

webbierwrex replied to AidanR | 8 months ago

Not when you see the price for a steel frame, I don't think they're even made in the UK. Also, Fairlight just needs to focus on the UK market whereas the industry giants need to focus on global reach. Good reviews are also less crucial for the big brands who will get sales anyway, especially from people emulating world tour riders. 

AidanR replied to webbierwrex | 8 months ago
1 like

I assume you are aware that the internet has global reach, especially articles in English? I also assume that you have something to back up your claims of corruption?

webbierwrex replied to AidanR | 8 months ago

Do you really think all advertising is the same as corruption? That's insane!

Sriracha replied to webbierwrex | 8 months ago

You're right on one point; made in Taiwan.

Jack Sexty replied to webbierwrex | 8 months ago

You can't pay for a review. Here's a link to all our sponsored stuff which has been paid for so you can see the difference:

webbierwrex replied to Jack Sexty | 8 months ago
1 like

That link goes to a webpage which says "Whoopsie, something is missing", which did make me chuckle

Jack Sexty replied to webbierwrex | 8 months ago

Sorry was busy covering up the moon landings, should be fixed now.

chrisonabike replied to Jack Sexty | 8 months ago
1 like
Jack Sexty wrote:

Sorry was busy covering up the moon landings, should be fixed now.

Wait - cyclists have been travelling to the moon?!

The only question I can think to ask is - what pressure ya running?

mark1a replied to Jack Sexty | 8 months ago
1 like

That link has a Unicode non-breaking space on the end of it...

chrisonabike replied to Jack Sexty | 8 months ago

I think webbiewrex might have been looking for this one:

You cannot hope to bribe or twist,
thank God! the British journalist.
But, seeing what the man will do
unbribed, there's no occasion to.

hsam replied to webbierwrex | 8 months ago

Maybe they just make great bikes and are nice guys to go with it?
I bought a Strael this time last year and it's ace for a whole range of rides. They were really easy to deal with too; discussing spec options, making last minute changes and ensuring it was set-up perfectly for when I collected it. 

kil0ran replied to hsam | 8 months ago

This is good to hear. I bought one of the first Farans and was pleasantly surprised by the personal service. On reflection I should have kept it but I disappeared down an MTB rabbit hole I quickly found the bottom of.

ped | 8 months ago

A Fairlight bike is right at the top of my wishlist, but I do wish they do away with the godawdful inaccessible 'look books' and 'design notes' and build a proper website! </rant>


quiff replied to ped | 8 months ago
1 like

I rather like the detailed design notes. And, having had experience with another small manufacturer whose website did not keep up with the spec changes of the bikes they were selling, I suspect doing it by PDF allows them to keep things up to date more easily.   

ped replied to quiff | 8 months ago
quiff wrote:

I suspect doing it by PDF allows them to keep things up to date more easily.   

Their website is built in WordPress. If they can, or pay someone who can, update and export a PDF from InDesign, I'm sure as hell they can do likewise in a CMS! Just words and pictures, innit?

There's a certain irony in a brand using 'fit, function, form.' as a strapline then forcing visitors to use a medium that neither fits nor functions at the expense of form. 

Anyway, their bikes are lovely regardless. 

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