Fairlight Strael 3.0 review - modern, versatile steel road bike with a sublime ride

Ready to adapt to varying roles across different seasons, this wonderfully comfortable bike delivers everything you need and is packed with fine detail

Fairlight Strael 3.0 steel road bike on a blue background
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

For reasons of objectivity I’ve tried to poke a few holes in the seemingly impenetrable design and ride quality of the Strael. It’s been a thankless task. With much reflection it's still hard to imagine where it could be improved; as a modern steel road bike it delivers all I need. It’s lively enough, insanely comfortable and ready to adapt to varying roles across different seasons. At £3,099 for the Ultegra build reviewed here, it represents good value and could last a lifetime if properly looked after.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Well-balanced ride quality, both responsive and comfy

  • +

    High-quality workmanship

  • +

    Equipped for four-season riding with plenty of tyre clearance and mounts

  • +

    Broad range of sizes

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Nothing - even the colour choices of orange, deep grey and putty should ensure nearly everyone is happy

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Fairlight is an independent UK brand that has gained a reputation for making some of the best steel road bikes for British riding conditions. Its range is small, and focused. There’s a gravel bike, an adventure bike and of course a road bike, the Strael. 

As the name implies the Strael 3.0 is the third iteration of the brand’s four-season road bike, designed to be versatile enough to ride year round across a range of disciplines.

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Freelance writer

Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for twenty five years. Across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He has been a cycling enthusiast from an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a keen follower of bike racing to this day as well as a regular road and gravel rider.