Check out our Fairdale Collection.
Sometimes, if I’m testing something like a $5,000, featherweight carbon race bike, I find it changes what I’m willing to ride. I’ll come across something like a curb and I end up going out of my way to avoid riding off it. It’d be easy to do, and the bike would be fine, but imagining even the littlest huck aboard such an expensive machine always seems to hurt some delicate part of my soul. But a bike like the Fairdale Goodship feels a little different. I get on it and think, yeah, I could ride it off curbs, maybe stairs, maybe almost anything, and I’d be fine with it. The secret to such a solid feeling bike is steel.
The Goodship is Fairdale’s top-of-the-line road bike with race-inspired geometry, and it uses their proprietary Drawn Right Chromoly tubing. Because of their relationship with steel manufacturers, they are able to order custom tubes made to their own specifications.
While other builders use standard tubes meant to fit a large range of frame sizes, Fairdale can use double-butted tubes (where the tube is thicker on the ends for strength and thinner in the middle for compliance and weight savings) which are designed with the butting placed exactly where they want it for the best ride feel.
This results in a bike that’s relatively light for steel (18 lbs), extremely compliant, and surprisingly fast. With a crisp Ultegra drivetrain and ample gearing thanks to a long cage derailleur, I can ride it and race it all day and on any course.
It’s a bike that I’ll take for 100+ mile grinds up steep mountain passes, on rough unpaved roads, and off any curb without hesitation. It’s a bike that I can feel confident pulling Peter Sagan style moves on, because I know it can take the abuse.
What I love more than anything is that Fairdale is a company that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Look at their “R&D” videos (click here for some laughs) and you’ll see guys riding hilarious “test mules” made from 2x4s and old pallets, doing bmx tricks on bikes with rollerskates replacing the wheels, and repurposing discarded front derailleurs to make automatic light switches and cat brushers. Their branding is written across their beautifully painted frames in crosshatched bubble lettering and adorned with cartoon rabbits.
Fairdale lives by the motto, “Keepin’ it simple keeps it fun,” and their bikes reflect this. The Goodship doesn’t concern itself with the trappings of most modern bikes. It just uses a solid, high-quality material, and a tried and true design. The resulting bike speaks for itself. In a bike shop bristling full of space-age carbon machines, the steel Goodship is the one I’d pick to live with and ride every day. It’s a bike that represents all that is good about steel, a bike that’s a blast to ride can be ridden in any season, on any road, and can last for the rest of your life.
Bruce is a writer who loves getting his bikes dirty, trying new tech, and riding tough trails that make him suffer for hours at a time.