Carlton Reid 29.10.17
The new Santander Cycles public hire bike, unveiled in London this morning, is a big improvement on previous models. It is quicker, slicker and features 24-inch wheels instead of the existing 26-inch wheels – this improves the bike’s acceleration from a standing start. The bike is assembled in Stratford-upon-Avon by Pashley. The bike’s aluminium frames are shipped in from Asia, and some are given a polyester coating and top lacquer in the Pashley paint-shop.
BikeBiz was given an exclusive first look – and first ride – on the “Prospect” bicycle. Audio of this ride, and a Pashley factory tour with general manager Steven Bell can be heard on the Spokesmen podcast, published today.
Pashley is patenting the bike’s headstock (existing “Boris bikes” suffer from wobbly front-ends because of problems with the current headstock).
The new lighting system is better positioned, brighter and more effective, says Ashley.
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The new design provides increased comfort and safety for smaller riders, with a lower bottom bracket and frame step-through height
The new mudguards have lower ‘tails’ and more of the rear wheel is covered, providing better protection for the rider in the wet. The wheels are shod with new-style lower-profile tyres with an Aramid belt and a 4mm internal puncture protection layer.
The new bike has a signature new “sound” because of the new wheels and the slimmer tyres. Saddle adjustment is now much simpler with a new one-handed seat clamp.
Pashley was founded in 1926 by William ‘Rath’ Pashley. The company’s factory is in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Shakespeare’s birthplace. The firm employs 53 people. While the new frame is currentnly shipped in from Asia, Bell said Pashley will be evaluating whether the alloy frame can be made in the UK at point point in the future. Pashley currently hand-builds a large range of cycles, including traditional bicycles and tricycles for the consumer market as well as workbikes.
The firm makes 10,000 bikes a year. Its welders are capable of fabricating aluminium frames, but the firm would have to invest in T46 frame welding facilities, a rareity in the UK.