FULL REYNOLDS STEEL FRAME
Dom has a close working relationship with Reynolds Technology and he worked extensively with them to create custom shaped and butted tubing to optimize the performance of the Strael frame. The tubes are made in Birmingham and then shipped to mainland Europe where each and every Strael frameset is hand built. Every tube was considered individually to produce a frame with class leading weight and a refined balance between stiffness and comfort.
Scroll through to learn more about the tubing designs.
REYNOLDS 631 XX44 HEAD TUBE
The oversized headtube allows the usage of a 1.5”- 1.1/8” tapered steerer fork. The head tubes are 1.2mm thick and were CNC machined in Birmingham especially for us in the lengths required for our frames.
REYNOLDS 853 OVALFORM TOP TUBE
The top tube starts life as a 25.4mm round tube and is then mechanically flattened to become a 20x30mm oval. The forces acting upon this tube are in the horizontal plane (side to side) therefore in that plane the oval tube has stiffness equal to a round 30mm tube. In the vertical plane the tube only has the stiffness equivalent to a 20mm tube therefore the extra compliance helps to absorb upward forces from the road.
REYNOLDS 853 PRO TEAM BI-OVAL DOWN TUBE
The down tube is formed from a 34.9mm round tube. The tube is mechanically ovalised at both ends to become 30x40mm but the ovals at either end oppose each other (. i.e. they are in different planes). At the BB the 40mm wide oval creates a very stiff area to help counteract the horizontal pedaling forces. At the headtube the 30x40mm oval is in the vertical plain to help resist forces from the ground and create the strongest possible weld in the most high stress area of the frame.
REYNOLDS 631 ROUND CHAIN STAYS
Oval chain stays are good for creating tyre and chainring clearance but not ideal for improving BB stiffness because they are ovalized in the same plane as the forces acting upon them. Large round chain stays (22.2mm) help to increase BB stiffness by increasing width in the horizontal plane, they also benefit rear end comfort because they are narrower in the vertical plane than an oval chainstay.
REYNOLDS 725 NON TAPER SEAT STAYS
Seat stays usually taper to a smaller diameter towards the dropout (to assist joining if brazed), these seat stays were made for us with no taper and they maintain a constant 14mm diameter. The smaller than normal (usually 16mm) seat stay helps to improve comfort in the vertical plane while the horizontal stiffness is offset by the chainstays. Heat treatment adds strength and allows us to use a thin walled 0.6mm tube.
ANRAED CARBON FORK
ALL SEASONS RIDING
Disc brakes ensure responsive and predictable braking performance in all weather. The stopping power of the latest generation disc brakes means that you can brake later into corners knowing that the brakes will react predictably, even in wet conditions.
The ‘flat mount’ disc brake standard introduced by Shimano in 2015 means that the calipers are now inbound specific (sit within the rear triangle) and are both smaller and lighter than previous generations. For the Strael frame we have used an investment cast dropout, which guarantees the correct position of the flat mount caliper. The casting is incredibly stiff and negates the use of a thru axle.
The Strael frameset is designed to fit up to 32c tyres (or 30c with full length mudguards) yet still give good clearance between the tyre and the chainstay. Higher volume tyres mean that you can run less pressure, which gives greater traction against the road surface and therefore increased comfort and efficiency.
When combined with a wide rim a larger tyre will give a more rounded profile which translates to faster cornering on a range of surfaces, from Belgian cobbles to pristine French tarmac.
MUDGUARDS AND RACK
Mudguards are a necessity for comfortable all season riding in the UK and for many hardy journeymen they are a permanent fixture. We have included eyelets on the dropouts, plus threaded bosses on the chain stay and seat stay bridges to make fitting full-length guards a doddle.
We believe that a true all season road bike should be able to double up as a fast daily commuter or even a lightweight weekend tourer, so to that end we have included rack mounts on the dropouts and seat stays. For a strong but lightweight and minimalist rack we recommend either the Tubus Vega or Tubus Airy.
FUNCTIONAL DESIGN ETHOS
68MM THREADED BOTTOM BRACKET
Ask any seasoned bike mechanic what is their most hated feature on modern bikes and most will mention press fit bottom brackets. They are a common source of creaking and often wear out prematurely because of poor execution relating to the very fine interface tolerances required.
Steel is a very stiff material so the combination of our heavily ovalised down tube, our large round chain stays plus a tried and trusted 68mm threaded BB shell, produces a frame which is laterally stiff but without all the fuss of press fit. You will enjoy year round creak free riding without any sacrifice in performance.
EXTERNAL CABLE ROUTING & DI2 COMPATABLE
One of the first decisions we made for our frames is that we wanted to keep the gear cable routing external. It just seemed like the most functional and utilitarian solution so that they are straightforward to fit, adjust and replace. In the extremes of aero road bike design there are said to be aero benefits in routing cables internally but for a British all season road bike the servicability of the product far outweighs any nominal aero advantages.
For those prefering a DI2 build, or perhaps wishing to upgrade in the future, the frame includes DI2 holes on the downtube, seat tube and chainstay. The holes are reinforced to reduce stress on the thin walled steel.
TOUGH DURABLE FINISH
We use a three-layer powder coat process to give a deep glossy aesthetic and an incredibly tough and durable finish. Firstly we use a zinc primer, which creates an anti-corrosive layer under the paint. Then we apply the color and the frame is baked at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. Then the water slide decals are skillfully applied and left to dry for 24 hours. We then add a clear powder lacquer to the frame to protect the decals from scuffs and scratches and the frame is then once again baked in the oven for 30 minutes. Finally we treat the frame internally with an anti oxidization chemical to prevent rust from forming in the places you don’t see. The end result is a frame that looks beautiful with a paint finish that we guarantee will last!
BETTER FITTING BIKES
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 regular and tall versions so that you can find your perfect fit.