4 September 2012

Cometh the Clubman...

The Pashley Clubman is here...
All photography by Ian James*

So, you may have seen me tweeting about an exciting bike-related update coming to VCG, and last week it arrived in the form of the Clubman Urban! I'm over the moon to finally have this wonder for a review*, courtesy of Pashley.

The Clubman arrived direct from the factory in Stratford-upon-Avon, boxed-up and needing assembling. Now, I'm not going to lie - I've never put a bike together in my life (something I will rectify) and I wasn't going to risk "building" the Clubman and getting it very wrong... so I owe a massive thanks to the Look Mum No Hands workshop for bringing the bike to life.

Aesthetically the Clubman is a retro thrill. The bike has a classic stripped-down look: a Reynolds 531 Frame (constructed traditionally with butted steel tubes brazed into lugs) and its simple & non-fussy ivory paint job is gorgeous. This, teamed with the chrome detailing throughout the bike makes a stunning combination. 
The 'Major Taylor' style drop bars wrapped in brown Brooks leather tape and matching Brooks Swift Saddle are beautiful finishing touches to the bike. 

Of course, aesthetics is one matter - riding a Clubman is quite another. This Urban is the S3X-3 speed fixed gear version. Before Saturday, I'd never ridden a fixie bike before...
Having been on a rather different breed of Pashley for the past two years, getting on the Clubman has started off a cycling education! Getting it in my head "no coasting... keep pedaling... do not slam on the brake" (yes, ONE brake) was my mantra for the day riding it back home. This week I'll be commuting on the Clubman - already I can say the ride to work & back on Monday was a whole new experience...

Clearly this isn't all I have to say or have planned on the Clubman... more detailed reviews and cycling trips will be coming up over time on here while I have her. Let this serve as an introduction to this little light beauty... and another chapter in my love affair with Pashley.

*more photos in this Flickr Set by Ian James

*The Clubman was kindly loaned to VCG for a review / test ride. 
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12 comments

Liz H. said...

What a beautiful machine!

Anonymous said...

Love it!

Sallytangle said...

Oh she's a beautiful bike!!!!! I think i would find riding it hard compared to my Penny, it looks like your bum is in the air a heckv a lot more :-S You look fab!!!!

Sal xxx

RooPaprika said...

Eeeek! No coasting?! This is why fixies give me the fear!

It is a very beautiful bike, I always admire Pashley's vintage stylings. How are you finding the different riding position? I've been finding my new (to me) road bike a little challenging to my balance. It'll get there though.

Enjoy!

Lady Vélo said...

@Sallytangle: I thought it was going to be hard to ride it after being on my Princess for so long, but I've really taken to it! Yes - there is a lot more bum in the air with this one! x

@RooPaprika - No coasting at all and I can understand why that would give you the fear as that worried me too, but once you get used to the slowing down on the pedals, it's alright. The new riding position is SO different to my usual sit-up-and-beg... I feel like a sporty cyclist like this! x

L said...

So I'm curious why you've gotten a road bike to commute with; or are you just testing it by commuting by plan on riding it more often for other kinds of trips? I need a basket/panier and a relaxed position so I can get to work not too sweaty, but maybe I'm missing something? I'll admit I'm rather prejudiced against road bikes at the moment!

Lady Vélo said...

@L: I knew that there would be a bit of curiosity as to why I'm on this bike :) I'd been intrigued by the Clubman for quite some time: other than how beautiful the bike is (and my long standing love for Pashley), I wanted to try a bike at the other end of their spectrum and test out what it's like as a commuter bike compared to my Princess. I adore the Princess so much (she is my Baby) but I'm learning over time and with many a cycle-trip out she's not suited to certain rides... she hasn't gone away forever though!

rusty {rambles} said...

That is a seriously beautiful bike. I've never ridden a fixie, but I'd love to have a go. I suspect I've got seriously reliant on my many gears!

Anonymous said...

Any update on your experiences with this bike? I'm thinking of buying one of these and opinions are thin on the ground so your input would be really nice to hear.... Great site by the way, keep it up

Lady Vélo said...

@Rusty {rambles} - It's a stunning looking bike and feels fantastic to ride. It does get some getting used to, but there is a lot of "fear" around a Fixie which I was caught in too... but it's a lot of fun :)

Lady Vélo said...

@Anon: A further update is on the blog http://velo-city-girl.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/this-little-clubman-went-to-market.html - there is still a LOT more to come though... thanks btw :)

chia said...

She's gorgeous, and actually she looks a bit like mine!!! :p https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151254961689175&l=71d72608ab

I love my ivory bike (no name) - she's gone through a couple of different handlebars: 2 different porteurs, to straight, and after using dropbars for a weekend camping tour, I've decided to keep them on coz they look great :D I have my brakes on the tops instead of drops because I found this way easier for city cycling (I don't have hoods, my fingers are too small to reach brakes that far away), I'm still not comfortable on the drops, only using it for a few seconds when going uphill, I guess it makes me crouch too low otherwise (and my stem is as high as it can go).

Actually I just found your blog today via the Discerning Cyclist - it's great and I've added you to my RSS feeder now! Do hope you'll be able to push the Vulpine guys to make more women-specific clothing, especially cycling pants. I was really jealous of my bf's Levis Commuters, it really ain't fair! Also if Vulpine would go have some items in size 6 that would be wonderful ;)

Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

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