Shand Stooshie review
What is a Stooshie? Well, the Oxford English Dictionary describes it as a row or fracas, although the Scots say it’s a rather friendlier uproar or commotion. It’s also a folk band, and believe it or not, it’s a bike too.
Shand’s all-roader is designed and built in central Scotland from a combination of heat-treated Italian steel tubes from Dedacciai and Columbus. It’s TIG welded and the joints are beautifully finished, then painted with a satin paint, giving it a classy, utilitarian look.
Each frame is supplied with three bottle mounts, mudguard and rear rack fittings, and the clever modular rear dropouts mean it can accept quick-release, thru-axle, singlespeed, Rohloff, derailleur and belt drive options, and several disc brake fitting styles are catered for.
The rear brake hose has metal guides along the chainstay, but it and the gear cables are clamped by universal bolt-on guides beneath the down tube, which easily allow for different configurations.
Up front is TRP’s curved carbon fork, with internal hose routing, mudguard eyes and a 15mm thru-axle. My bike came with a quick-release rear, but wheels should now come with adaptors to cope with all fitting options.
As custom builders, Shand offers ‘standard’ builds, but customers can request alternate specifications and colours. A 1x transmission option is available, but I tested the Ultegra build with a 50/34 road compact chainset.
Although normally built with Ultegra-level RS685 hydraulic shifters, my bike deviated a little with 105-level RS505 hydraulic shifters, and a pair of Zipp 30 Course wheels, instead of the usual hand-built Hope 20Five tubeless rims on Pro4 hubs. These both affected the baseline £3,225 price a little, as the levers cost less than normal and the wheels £430 more.
With road-oriented gearing and 35mm Continental Cyclocross Speed semi-slick tyres, I inflated to 60psi and headed for my usual mixed terrain route. The 71.5-degree head angle of my medium model made things feel stable, but entering some more technical tracks, I found the steering more lazy than relaxed.
It’s easy to adapt to and very reassuring, but if you’re expecting crisp, snappy handling, you won’t find it here.
The 44mm diameter head tube plus stiff fork provide great front-end solidity, and the PF30 bottom bracket shell gives the frame a firm core to accelerate through.
The drive I expected from reasonably light wheels and tyres didn’t quite materialise. I hustled the Stooshie up to speed, but it needed coaxing. Still, flat speeds over 20mph weren’t a chore, and despite the 11-28 cassette (11-32 is standard spec), it climbed pretty well.
Loose gravel held no comfort concerns, thanks to the forgiving fork and well-shaped, well-padded saddle, and even without decreasing tyre pressures, the roughness was well damped. A little less air might have stopped the rear tyre slipping sideways on dusty cambers, but once back on tarmac I was glad of it.
The Stooshie looks great, and with the option to personalise it, could be your perfect bike. It has heaps of versatility, but limited room for tyres much larger than the 35mm (37mm inflated) ones fitted. Its lazy nature suits mixed terrain, and lightly laden gravel rides or commuting. It’s an utterly pleasant place to be.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.