The range of bikes that Shand offers has since expanded over the past 14 years, and so has the team. Having moved out of Steve Shand’s backyard shed, Shand now employs five full-time staff members who take care of everything from tube mitring, TIG welding and fillet brazing, through to painting, prepping and building complete bikes as custom spec’d by each customer.
The frames are lovingly crafted from TIG-welded Columbus Niobium heat-treated steel. There are stock frame sizes, though custom sizing is also available. Each frame is painted in-house, and you can choose from no less than 30 standard colours. Want something special? Shand will also do metallic and custom colour options for an up-charge. And to finish the custom touch, each frame gets a proper metal head tube badge, as well as its own unique number plate that’s located underneath the bottom bracket shell.
While Shand has its roots in mountain biking, the company offers a range of drop-bar bikes too, including the Stooshie all-road bike, Stoater adventure bike, and the Drove off-road 29er. The Drove the drop bar version of the Bahookie 29er. Apparently that’s been confusing for some customers though. And so, during the test period, Shand announced that it will be ditching the Drove name, and simply offering the Bahookie designed around flat or drop bar setups, which should minimise confusion moving forward. Got it?
According to Shand, the Drove is the most versatile bike in its range. It’s built as a long-distance hauler for taking on self-supported multi-day riding adventures like the Tour Divide, with provisions for rear racks, three bottle cages and plenty of space for bikepacking paraphernalia. Perfect then for carrying food supplies and zombie-specific weaponry.
Built with curvy Colombus steel tubes and an unassuming Sage Green paint job, the Drove looks dead mean with its horned drop bars and chunky tyres.
The Drove frame is also disc brake specific, and it can be set up with a suspension fork, or Shand’s own suspension-corrected carbon fibre thru-axle fork. With loads of tyre clearance, the Drove came rolling in with a 2.35in wide Schwalbe Hans Dampf on the front, and a slightly quicker 2.25in Nobby Nic on the rear. All up, it’s a beast of a bike, and likely one of the most capable drop-bar bikes I’ve ever ridden.
Geometry is shaped around the dropped handlebar, but it’s very much equipped for singletrack. There’s a 69° head angle, a 73° seat angle, and a hefty 70mm bottom bracket drop that pushes your weight down further between the big 29in wheels. That helps to provide loads of stability, even when carrying extra weight. Shand has spec’d a 44cm wide Salsa Cowbell handlebar that has a 12° flare to the drops. Personally I’d prefer something a little wider again for further descending control, but, as with any build from Shand, you can custom-build a Drove any way you like.
There are loads of useful details hidden within the frame too. The seat tube binder uses a forward-facing slot to reduce internal contamination from rear wheel mud spray, and the external gear cables run full-length housing for added foul-weather protection. A plump 44mm head tube creates a larger welding surface area for the top and down tubes, while accommodating modern tapered steerer tubes.
Modular Paragon Machine Works PolyDrop dropouts enhance the Drove’s versatility by allowing for singlespeed, geared and Rohloff setups to be used on the same frame. A very subtle split in the frame’s dropout allows the necessary entry point for the one-piece belt drive.
The Rohloff Speedhub contains 14 gears inside the large diameter alloy hub shell. With all the shifting gubbins housed inside the rear hub, the design offers masses of durability with next to no maintenance required. Likewise, the Gates Carbon belt drive only needs a quick rinse with the hose and it’s clean.