The Pashley Guvnor
Put the fun back into cycling with retro style
Rarely do you see any particular bike inspire such devotion among its riders as the Pashley Guvnor. Its design is aimed to put the fun back into cycling, and its devotees seem to be having a whale of a time!
Your dream could be of leisurely jaunts through the countryside, stopping off for a pint of best with the chaps, or flying like a 1930s path racer, shirtsleeves in the wind – either way the Guvnor could be the bike for you.
It’s a machine for gents who will ride at their own pace, thank you; for whom the style of travel is as important as the speed, if not more so; but who can still show a clean pair of heels should the need and desire arise.
While the technology built into modern aluminium and carbon bikes is truly staggering, there’s no doubt that they do not feel like the sort of bike we all remember – directionally stable, substantial and secure, and essentially simple in design and lines. It’s a different style of engineering really. This is what the Guvnor embodies.
However, don’t be misled into thinking that this is a bike lacking in subtlety. The chassis is a diamond frame, hand-made in Reynolds 531 tubing. This material was actually the carbon fibre of its day – and Pashley have commissioned Reynolds to produce original tubing specifically for this bike. The frame comes in three sizes – 20.5, 22.5 and 24.5 inches (see the table at the bottom for sizing details). Colours – it’s just Black I’m afraid.
The result of the frame geometry, which incorporates quite a shallow head-tube angle and curved forks, is to give a long wheelbase and the easy, stable steering that is enjoyed by so many owners.
The Guvnor can be bought as a single-speed, real purist’s machine for those who like the minimum of distractions. It’ll save you £50, but I can’t help thinking that the 3-speed version is going to suit most people rather better. The traditional Sturmey-Archer hub gears are going to give you that extra versatility, and help on hills, that will increase your enjoyment of the whole experience.
The brakes are also hub-mounted Sturmey-Archers, so keeping the lines of the bike clean and uncluttered. While not having the efficiency that you get from modern dual-pivot or linear–pull designs, they are plenty powerful enough, and being enclosed are kept out of the weather and grit.
The wheels are beautiful alloy Westwood 28×11/2”, finished in black with gold lining, fitted with cream Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tyres. This rim/tyre combination is not the lightest, so acceleration is not going to be the Guvnor’s strong point (!) But on comfort and shock-absorption they will perform well, and once rolling will keep you bowling along.
Comfort is further increased by the splendid Brooks Titanium B17 saddle. As with all Brooks leather saddles, this will take a while to mould itself to your particular idiosyncrasies, shape-wise. But once run in, unbeatably comfortable.
The handlebar is a distinctive North Road vintage drop. So in harmony with the rest of the bike, and still giving you plenty of options to change your hand position whilst riding. The leather grips are handmade.
There’s a range of leather accessories available to choose from – saddle bags, handlebar bags etc. A great touch is the toolkit supplied – a tin containing a spare inner tube, saddle rub, spanner and Allen key. You even get a tin of special Guvnor blend tea!
So what you have here is a bicycle aimed at pure enjoyment – enjoyment of the whole gent’s bicycling experience. Not perhaps for speed or distance record-breaking, but for the sheer fun of getting out on the road in considerable style. At around £850 the Pashley Guvnor is quite an investment, but this is a bike intended to last a lifetime – as one owner has put it, “It’s like having a classic car in the garage”.
If you want to get a real feel for the fun these guys are having, take a look at the Guvnors’ Assembly website and judge for yourself.
Evans Cycles stock the whole range of Pashley bikes, and so would take care over the preparation of your new Pashley Guvnor. Click on the link below for their current price:-
|Frame||Traditional Lugged and Brazed Reynolds 531Tubing|
|Fork||Tubular Crown Hand Brazed Steel|
|Brakes||Sturmey Archer Hub Brakes|
|Handlebars||North Road with Handmade Leather Grips|
|Rims||Black Alloy Westwood 28 x 1.5", Gold Lining|
|Tyres||Cream Schwalbe Delta Cruiser|
|Saddle||Brooks B17 Brown, Titanium Rails|
|Sizes||20.5" Inside Leg 30 - 34.5"
22.5" Inside Leg 33.5 - 38"
24.5" Inside Leg 35 - 39.5"
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