“ JAMES IS A GIFTED ATHLETE WITH A NATURAL TALENT FOR ULTRA DISTANCE CYCLING. TO WIN THE TRANS CONTINENTAL RACE TWICE IS AN UNBELIEVABLE ACHIEVEMENT, IT REQUIRES PHENOMENAL ENDURANCE AND EVEN GREATER MENTAL RESOLVE. BEYOND HIS OBVIOUS RIDING TALENT, JAMES IS ALSO A GREAT PERSON; HUMBLE AND DOWN TO EARTH. HE IS A PERFECT AMBASSADOR FOR OUR BRAND. JAMES PUTS AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF MILEAGE INTO OUR PRODUCTS AND TO HAVE OUR DESIGNS TESTED ‘IN THE FIELD’ TO SUCH EXTREMES IS AN INCREDIBLY VALUABLE RESOURCE ”
I started cycling aged 21; with time on my hands and energy to burn cycling quickly enveloped me. I went from being a recreational cyclist to a racing cyclist in little time. That said, cycling for me, from the beginning was always about exploring the new, just being out there. As I raced I got stronger and I could explore further and faster. I started touring into Europe, in search of the highest mountain passes, wild camping and just allowing my mind to escape.
The further I rode, the more I explored, and the more I realized this was what riding bikes were about to me. To push myself over long distances and travelling to new places, to see what I was really capable of, where my limits were. I left my pursuit of road racing to follow my found dream of ultra-cycling. Just myself and my bicycle against the open roads.
I’ve been helping to test and prototype various iterations of the Fairlight Strael for three years now; it’s a really interesting bike. Combining the best of all worlds, with fast-handling geometry, eyelets for mudguards, carbon forks and a super compliant Reynolds 853 steel frame. Dom really thought about the tubing designs and the outcome is a frame that feels efficient to climb on yet incredibly comfortable. The bike meets in the middle and works anywhere you take it, from pushing long distances on fresh tarmac to getting lost down bridleways and back roads. With large tyre clearance, I can run wider tyres offering better comfort and rolling resistance. It climbs mountains as well as anything, and descents as fast as I’ll dare go, with quick handling and disc brakes, stopping and turning on demand. In short, the Strael does all I ask, without pause.
My 2018 Bike Setup:
Fairlight Strael 2.0 size 58R (click here for more info)
Black Hope headset & seat clamp
Shimano Ultegra Di2 Hydraulic Disc
Rotor Power2Max chainset – 46/34 chainrings
Custom 13-34 cassette (made from two other cassettes)
FSA bar and stem
Canyon VCLS shock absorbing seat post
Rapha custom frame bag
Prototype Rapha Saddle bag
Platypus hydration bladder
Son Deluxe Dynamo Hub
Hope RS4 rear hub
Hed Belgium Rims 32H
Conti GP 4000s 25mm tyres with inner tubes
Sinewave Usb Charger
Supernova Rear dynamo light
2 x USE Blaze rear lights
Custom ISM saddle
Garmin Etrex 30 (backup)
The component choices I make are based on no compromise, I use the best and most reliable equipment. I don’t take risks, I run stuff I trust and have used an abused in training so I know it will stand the test of time as I push across a continent.