Shand may claim the Leveret to be its answer to the commuter conundrum but I’d suggest this slender-steel, dropped-bar beauty is far more than that.
Of course, the Alfine 8-speed hub gear driven by an oil- and mess-free Gates belt drive makes absolute sense for a commuter. However, such a reliable drivetrain that uses a hardy, reliable threaded bottom-bracket shell also works well for touring, and the Alfine’s internal gearing mimics what you’d expect from a cassette with a 12-38 range.
When that’s combined with the 50-tooth chainring it gives a bottom 50/38 or a 36-inch gear, the equivalent of a 34/26 on a standard compact drivetrain with an 11-32 cassette and the same tyre size. A gear light enough for steady climbing duties, rather than alpine attacks.
At the other end, the 50/12 is ample for spirited speeds. Shifting is handled by a microSHIFT bar-end shifter that works seamlessly with the Shimano hub.
The compact drop of the bar means shifting in the drops is as easy as extending your right-hand little finger to pull or push the lever.
Shand Leveret frameset
The frameset is a thing of beauty boasting butted steel with impeccable welds and some nice details: the multi-purpose sliding rear dropouts are a particular highlight.
The all-carbon fork is a rare sight on a touring-style bike and unusual on a bike at this price too.
The frameset offers maximum versatility, featuring all the fixtures and fittings you’d expect from a globe-trotting tourer. It looks every inch a handmade steel beauty, and the metallic battleship-grey livery and reflective logos set it apart from the average circa £2k commuter.
Although designed and developed in Scotland, this Shand is actually produced in Taiwan. This isn’t to suggest that the quality is anything but excellent as Taiwan produces some of the best metal bikes in the business, and at a very competitive price.
While the frame’s slender tubes might suggest a springy, lively ride, in fact, the Leveret is pretty stiff and pleasantly responsive.
Comfort comes from large-volume (tubeless) tyres, which allow you to run low pressures. The Leveret’s wheels are neatly put together with Shand-branded alloy rims (tubeless-ready) on a neat, forged-alloy front hub running smooth cartridge bearings and, of course, the aforementioned Shimano Alfine rear hub that incorporates the bike’s eight speeds.
The wheels roll smooth and have proved themselves to be more than tough enough for off-road, encouraged by the 35c Schwalbe G-One tyres.
A shapely, compact drop-alloy bar has a little flare while an unbranded saddle with a nice curvy profile proved comfortable, even though the padding was a little on the squishy side revealing the harder hull underneath after a few hours’ riding.
Shand Leveret geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||72||72||72||72|
|Head angle (degrees)||71.5||71.5||71.5||71.5|
|Seat tube (cm)||51||54||56||58|
|Top tube (cm)||53.6||55.6||57.6||59.6|
|Head tube (cm)||15.5||18||20||21.5|
|Fork offset (cm)||5||5||5||5|
|Bottom bracket drop (cm)||6.8||6.8||6.8||6.8|
Shand Leveret ride impressions
Handling-wise, the Leveret is built to knock out the miles at a sedate pace: taking in your surroundings, rather than speeding through them.
It’s this comfort-orientated outlook that makes the Leveret such a great choice for commuting. The taller stack (the vertical height between the centre of the bottom bracket and the top of the centre of the head tube) and shorter reach (the horizontal distance between the same points) puts you in a more upright position, and yet the stiffness in the steel frame and the full carbon fork mean that when you want to give it some beans the Shand responds in kind.
It won’t enable you to be a segment leader, it’s a much calmer ride than that. Let’s say, it’s more a mug of Horlicks than a double espresso.
Braking comes from TRP’s Hylex hydraulic disc brakes with their own dedicated levers. The lever action is lighter than either Shimano or SRAM’s offerings but the brake power ramps up progressively and I didn’t experience any annoying rubs, ticks or squeaks from the system.
Out-and-out power doesn’t feel quite as high as the best from Japan or the US, however, I certainly had no complaints when running them in the foulest of conditions and that’s recommendation enough.
The full-alloy SKS mudguards are a welcome addition in winter. My first ride out revealed rattling from the rear guard, but after a quick inspection I found a split seatstay bracket was causing the issue. A quick repair sandwiching the bracket between two washers cured it.
Shand Leveret bottom line
The Shand Leveret is a brilliant commuter that doubles up as a very capable weekend warrior. It’s smooth enough to eat up big miles and plenty versatile to venture off road – all while getting you around town during the week in stylish comfort and at a good price too.
|Available sizes||S, M, L, XL|
|Brakes||TRP Hylex hydraulic disc brakes|
|Cranks||Gates belt drive, 50t|
|Frame||Tig-welded custom-drawn triple-butted steel|
|Handlebar||Alloy double-butted short-reach bar with 12-degree flare|
|Saddle||Unbranded cro-mo rail|
|Seatpost||3D forged head alloy|
|Shifter||MicroSHIFT bar-end / Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub gear|
|Stem||3D forged alloy stem|
|Tyres||Schwalbe G-One tubeless 35c|
|Wheels||Shand anodised tubeless-ready rim on Shimano Alfine rear hub, forged alloy front|