Pashley is a unique brand of bikes. For a start it is the oldest bike manufacturer in England that is still in existence. The company was founded in 1926 in Birmingham - it moved to its current location in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the 1960s.
It is also unique because it is one of a few British bicycle manufacturers that are left. Over the decades there have been many but they have fallen victim to changing technologies, globalization and changing consumer tastes. Pashley, however, has survived.
Those are all interesting facts but the most unique feature about Pashley is that it still makes its bikes, by hand, in its manufacturing facility in England. In the modern world of bike manufacturing this is highly unusual. Almost all other bike brands, including those with strong roots, history and heritage in France, the US or Canada, long ago outsourced bike production to Asia - particularly China and Taiwan. Things like research, development, design and marketing remain in the "home" country, but most of the leading brands of bikes on today’s roads, mountains, pavements and trails are made in Asia.
Not Pashley though, and this is something they are incredibly proud of. Despite the pressures of economics in a global market they have kept a local team of craftspeople who make their bikes. Many of the parts for those bikes are supplied by British companies who also retain local manufacturing facilities.
The bikes that Pashley produces are unique too. They are traditionally styled and at first glance would not look out of place rolling down a London street in the 1940s or 1950s. Further inspection would reveal modern technology and materials, but the bikes have a timeless, classic design.
In addition to bicycles Pashley also manufactures tricycles and carrier cycles. In fact in Britain the company is as famous for its carrier cycles as it is for its consumer range. This is because Pashley has for years designed, manufactured and supplied carrier cycles to the Royal Mail, Britain’s national postal service. Many of these bikes remain in operation today, and their carrier cycles are used in other parts of the world.
The flagship models in the Pashley range are the traditionally styled Princess and Roadster bikes. The Princess is a beautiful machine with a low step-through and upright riding position. It has a comfortable saddle, mudguards and a completely enclosed chain so it can be ridden while wearing any sort of clothing. There is also a rear luggage rack and wicker basket on the front.
The Roadster is a classically styled bike for men with swept back handlebars, comfortable seat and rear luggage rack. Both the Princess and the Roadster come in three, five or eight speed options.
In addition to these popular models Pashley also makes commuter bikes, beach cruisers and children's bikes. Special edition models are also regularly released.
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