Founded in 1926, Pashley is England’s longest standing bike manufacturer, and the company still follows their original business model of building both bikes and tricycles for recreational riders plus a line of utility bikes for workers on wheels. Despite many other companies moving production overseas, Pashley is proud to point out that all their bicycles are still hand built in-house.
Not too many bicycle companies get to celebrate a 90th anniversary, so Pashley is certainly justified in creating two special edition bikes to honor their tenth decade ahead. The Speed 3 SE and Roadfinder SE models have been created “to commemorate the past and present day activities of the business”, in their words.
Read on for the details on their special edition retro path racer and road bike…
Speed 3 SE
The Speed 3 SE is meant to remind onlookers of Pashley’s first year in business in 1926, when ‘path racer’ bikes such as this were popular. The frame-mounted number plate serves as an aesthetic nod to the Art-Deco style of the 1920’s.
The Speed 3 SE features a butted Reynolds 531 steel frame adorned in satin black with silver-lined lug details. The period-accurate geometry and raked out fork offer a long wheelbase and the swoopy, dropped North Road handlebars provide the 1920’s idea of excellent steering for bicycle racing (some things have changed…). One other tradition that died for good reason was threaded quill stems, but in the name of nostalgia this bike is stuck with one.
A Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub mated to a trigger shifter provides some gear range, and interestingly Pashley has equipped the bike with a half-link chain- they say it was chosen for its snazzy looks and durability.
The bike rides on puncture-resistant Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires, and comes to a halt via front and rear Sturmey Archer hub brakes. The wheels are fastened on by GB wingnuts for some added authenticity, and they’re manufactured in England using the original tooling, no less.
Brooks’ flagship B17 saddle and Pashley’s hand-crafted grips offer the soft touch of leather, and the Speed 3 SE’s frame features a unique 1920’s replica stainless steel head tube badge and a commemorative 90th anniversary plate on the seat mast. The Speed 3 SE comes in 20.5”, 22.5” and 24.5” sizes.
The Roadfinder’s frame is clearly a more modern looking design than the retro-look Speed 3 SE, although it’s actually hand made using 100 year old traditional lugging methods. It’s double butted, heat-treated Reynolds 725 steel frame comes in a dusk-silver finish and features a polished stainless steel chainstay. The frame also includes braze-ons for mounting fenders and two bottle cages, and replaceable stainless steel dropout face plates to prevent unsightly damage to the finish. Riders can run up to 700x28c tires without fenders, or 700x25c with.
As for components, the Roadfinder is set up with an Ultegra 6800 2×11 mechanical drivetrain, tubeless-ready Ultegra wheels with Continental tires, TRP dual-pivot caliper brakes, GB handlebars and stem and a Brooks Cambium C13 carbon rail saddle.
Like the Speed 3 SE, the special edition Roadfinder also boasts an old-school head tube badge and commemorative seat tube badge. One nice touch unique to this model is its turned brass gear cable adjusters. The Roadfinder SE is available in sizes 50, 53, 56 and 59cm.
Visit Pashley’s website to find a dealer near you.