Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pashley and a Burning Bush

The Co-Habitant's Pashley Roadster Sovereign has not made an appearance here in some time, but today he demanded to be featured by posing handsomely next to this beautiful "burning bush." The Co-Habitant loves this bicycle. He has been commuting to work on it since May, and says that it only gets more comfortable with time and that he is even happier with it now than on the day he got it. That is a pretty glowing review! Lately, he even seems to prefer the Pashley for longer rides, like the 25 mile trip we made today.

He is also extremely pleased with the B33 saddle, which is super-sprung to support the weight of a large man in an upright sitting position (the Co-Habitant is around 6ft and 200lb).

Tall, dark, handsome and brooding. Perfect.

You can't really tell in this photo, but the bicycle is enormous for someone with my body-frame. The saddle reaches past my waist, the handlebars to my armpits, and I can't clear the top tube. Still, I like to pose with it and pretend that I can ride it. It is a beautiful bicycle and a great partner to my Eustacia.

28 comments:

  1. ya'll are cute. All of your reviews make me want a pash you know...

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  2. I guess in the Co-habitant's case, that'd be a coat guard as opposed to a skirt guard.
    ;-)

    Note to self - must avoid reading this Pashley propaganda. It's effective, even those saddles with all the weird wiring underneath..

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  3. Thanks Vee : )

    Steve - Why fight it? Surrender to the ginormous hi-ten and sprung leather, rolls-oh-so-smoothly goodness!

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  4. Hear hear for the Pashleys! The Roadster Sovereign looks superb - but yeah, a very big bike. Lovely pics (as always).

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  5. Just gorgeous fall colors! 25mi Pash rides on top of it. This must be a Fall to Remember... Nice!

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  6. Yes, that bike is almost as tall as you! Great to see more of the stable, especially with the beautiful leaves.

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  7. Thanks all! It is a beautiful Fall, and I am grateful for being home right now rather than working abroad. We both have unconventional work schedules, so we can do things like go on rides together on weekdays. Of course, working on weekends (and for me, abroad for weeks or months at a time!) is the downside.

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  8. Are those pockets on your gloves?

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  9. @ Lady Lelana,

    Mittens where the front flips up so you can use your fingers. I have a couple of pairs and love them!

    @ Filigree are you SURE you aren't on commission from Pash? ;-)

    I have been looking at the Pash line up again, and again. If and when we move closer in they will definitely be on the short list for our in town bikes.

    Aaron

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  10. Aaron - I try to be informative, and voice my opinions about both the positive and the negative aspects of products. For example, I think that for a woman, a Pashley (or a Dutch bike of equivalent weight) can be problematic unless she parks it outdoors or keeps it in a garage. I know that I would love and ride mine even more if it weren't for those 4 front porch stairs.

    Lelana - Those are wool "convertible mittens" from Banana Republic. I'll be making a separate post about them : )

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  11. @ filigree:

    *4* porch stairs??? i could only wish!!! i have to carry each and every one of my bikes up 18 steps to my porch! sometimes with groceries and other accoutrements attached to the bikes, like my child's seat!

    not to minimize the hassle you have with 4 steps and a heavy pashley, but i'm so used to dealing with 18 steps daily (this after cycling up somerville's steepest hill) that 4 steps would feel like a luxury to me!

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  12. somervillain - It depends on the bike and on the individual's physical strength. I weigh 120lb. The Pashley weighs over 50lb with basket and saddlebag (no groceries or computer bag). That's almost half of my weight to haul up and down the stairs. I am not an athletic person and have a variety of health problems that make me pretty weak, so perhaps I am a particularly bad candidate for this. But when I first got the bike, I could barely lift it off the ground, let alone carry it up and down stairs. Now I can do it, but it's still not the highlight of my day. Even for an average female who is not an athlete, I think half her weight is unrealistic to expect to carry up and down flights of stairs.

    I have no problem carrying my other bikes, even for long stretches - including the Raleigh 3-speed (which feels like it weighs 40lb tops) and the Motobecane (feels like 30lb or so), and I could see myself carrying them to a 2nd floor apartment. But not a bike that weighs nearly half as much as I do.

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  13. The bicycle is lovely... but I could stare at the fall leaves all day! It makes me want to move north. Thanks for the color!

    Re: heavy bicycles & stairs. I got tired of carrying my Surly up and down and now just lock it in the stairwell with a heavy chain.

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  14. Dear Filligree,

    Marvellous to see the Roadster have some web inches! My own Roadster Classic is currently in my spare room while I try to diagnose the cause of a slow puncture (typically to the rear tyre!).

    What size is your chap's bike? Mine's got a 22" frame and a 5'10" friend can't reach the pedal on the downstroke! Mind you I'm 6'2" so the roominess is appreciated.

    Enjoy those lovely autumn colours!

    - With envy from England.

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  15. They make three, (I believe 20.5", 22.5" and 24.5"), the largest model with double top tubes. Mine is the middle one, the 22.5".

    If I were 6'2" I wouldn't hesitate to get the 24.5" version. Double top tubes...

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  16. The sovereign is a great bicycle, I do some commuting on mine and have used it for longer rides of up to 50 miles. It is just so super comfortable. I did not like the B33 at first, but now I'm used to it, I have grown to appreciate how comfortable it is. I have to agree with you that the only draw back to a Pashley is lifting it up and down steps to get it out of the house. I have a small folding bike and often grab this as it is light and easier to make a quick get away on...indeed for this reason I have the other British bike on order, black to match my Pashley.

    Love your blog...reading it all the time.

    Best
    Nipper

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  17. How do you diagnose a slow puncture? Your time and effort are hardly worth the trouble. Just buy a new Schwalbe inner tube, I would think. You probably have a leak in or around the valve. I hate how the valves sometimes get pinched--I always expect it to leak there.

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  18. Thanks everyone : )

    Frustrated Applicant - see MDI's answer re sizes. He is my chap. Oh, and during my first year living in England I was very surprised that Autumn there was not "even better" than in New Engand : )

    Nipper - Oooh are you getting a Brompton? Do tell all about it! I am coveting one with a clear coated finish, but finances won't allow that any time soon.

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  19. Seeing how you only have 4 porch stairs, perhaps put a flat narrow ramp up one side? That would allow you to roll the bike up instead of having to hoist it. I have seen pictures of a similar setup used in NL to allow bikes to roll up and down stairs for trains and subways.

    Aaron

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  20. Aaron - I don't think our landlord or neighbors would go for that; the entryway is quite narrow. It is a good idea though!

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  21. I've ordered one!

    I've been researching my next bike for what seems like years, really about 3 months, and this post has tipped me over the edge.

    I only live about 20 miles from the Pashley factory but its still going to take 8 weeks to be made. Worth the wait i hope, and just in time for christmas.

    Fortunately I only have one step to lift it over.

    Having only tried the bike out for size in the shop, I'm interested to know how it rides. Specifically how it sounds. My current ride rattles a lot, i get quite fixated on the noises it makes - mudguards & racks clatter when i go over the smallest bump in the road.

    I'm imagining the Pashley purrs.

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  22. Bruno - Congratulations! How cool that you live so close to the Pashley factory, though I'd probably find that too much of a temptation. I hope that your rides will "purr" as much as ours do : )

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  23. Thanks for the advice guys... I might well just get a new tube.

    I didn't go for the 24.5" for the same reason that I only bought a Classic rather than a Sovereign - cash (or lack thereof)!

    Do keep the blog coming, your prose is excellent and the pictures a delight, you lucky pair!

    R.

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  24. Bruno-

    The Pashley Roadster is silent in regular operation, except for several distinct noise categories:

    1- The SA hub makes quiet ticks that vary in intensity and rhythm depending on gear (for example, direct drive is nearly completely silent). To me, these noises are rather pleasant and remind of a nice mechanical watch. I've noticed that 6 months/~800 miles later what little noises existed became even more subdued.

    2- The Brooks saddle almost always starts to squeak in loud and mysterious ways (that's not a Pashley-specific complaint!) and takes some real detective work to quiet once and for all, but once done it's mum.

    3- Tolerances inside the chain-case are tight and the chain may slap the inside of the plastic guard if you go over serious bumps in the road. You can tighten the chain by moving the rear wheel back (or having a shop do it for you), but there is some benefit to having a little slack in terms of smoothness. I've had months to think about this issue and it hasn't bothered me enough to move the wheel back.

    I still manage to startle other trail/path/road users unintentionally, so the bike must be whisper-quiet indeed.

    In contrast, the bell is so loud that you better not ring it when close behind pedestrians, lest you wish to scare them to death.

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  25. Thanks MDI.
    Yes, I tried the bell in the shop and it certainly was a massive sound.

    Some noises make me tense - previous bad experiance has led me to associate niggling noises with mechanical issues which need attention, and I'm not very mechanically minded.

    Thats one reason why i chose the Pashley Sov - build quality and low maintenance, hub gears and brakes that dont need adjusting every week.

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  26. To be perfectly candid, if you want a bicycle with no problems/adjustment issues you need to get a bare-bone fixie with no brakes. :)

    I would be lying if I said that it took me no time or adjustments (or even trips to the shop) to get to where I am now with my Pashley. But I think that's applicable to any complicated bicycle.

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  27. @Filigree
    Indeed I have a 2009 Brompton on order, black, M type with mudguards and 6 gears (lowered 12%). I will be fitting my black B17 (22 years and still going strong). I test rode a Brompton a couple of times and fell in love with the tiny little thing... it is the sopranino ukulele of the bicycle world. I thought about the 3 speed but I like to spin my legs a lot and so plumped for the 6 speed to get lower gears, I also wanted to have the new Brompton WR hub gears. Delivery of my bike should be at the beginning of December... I can't wait!

    I do like the look of the laquer finish and think it would suit you perfectly. There is a folding bike gap in your bike stable...


    Best
    Nipper

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  28. Please help me!
    I´m going to buy a Roadster Sovereign, but as I am from Spain, I can´t try it out, and I´m not sure what size is better for me.
    I´m 5´9 feet tall and my inside leg is about 32.2".
    Do you think that the 22.5" is very high for me?

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