Fallen in love with a Princess

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
wobbly
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Fallen in love with a Princess

Postby wobbly » 6 Jul 2008, 8:07pm

with a Pashley Princess. I have to have one. But I live on a rather steep hill and I note that the Pashley has only 5 gears. I do use the granny wheel on my current bike to get up said hill and I am worried that I may find the going difficult with only 5 gears. Any advice most welcome...

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 6 Jul 2008, 9:35pm

wobbly

The number of gears does not affect ease of climbing, only the size of the smallest gear. Modern deraileur systems tend to have wider ranges than 5 speed hub systems, but the entire range of a hubgear set up can usually be reduced by a bigger cog or smaller chainring.

First you need to see what gear you use for the hill. Formula is wheel diameter in inches x teeth on chainring divided by teeth on sprocket. (There are gear tables published, such as in CJ's info on the CTC desktop here.)

Then you need to know what is the lowest gear on the PP. This is slightly more complicated for a hub gear in that the indirect gears are expressed as a percentage of the direct drive worked out by formula above and explained with charts in CJ's stuff. Manufacturer should know what the gear is. (Be wary of waffling by a retailer who does not know. Anything on the 'should be OK' lines could mean 'I have no idea but don't trouble your pretty head')

If the gear on the PP is significantly higher than your requirements, enquire about modification. A larger rear sprocket is a relatively simple modification for a retailer looking for a sale. A smaller chainring might be more challenging on a bike of this type. Depending on what you are riding at present, a Pashley Princess might be heavioer and a bit harder to ride up hills. If so, don't be tempted to think a bit higher will be OK.

fatboy
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Postby fatboy » 7 Jul 2008, 8:28am

My wife fancied one of these and I enquired as to the gear range from Pashley themselves and after some research he found out that it was from 37" to 82". An MTB might have a few gears lower than this. So if you use the granny ring but don't get too near the bottom gears on the back you should be fine, if not you might not. You might be able to get them to change the rear sprocket to get the gearing a bit lower?
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

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MLJ
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Postby MLJ » 7 Jul 2008, 9:02am

Ask what size the rear sprocket is. I believe the largest available is 23T, which would give the lowest gearing without changing the chainring. At the price of the PP, I think the dealer should be glad for the sale, even if the chainring needs changing! An ideal range might be 33"-73", about 10%reduction; if fitted with an 18T sprocket, then try a 20T to give this.

gilesjuk
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Postby gilesjuk » 7 Jul 2008, 9:59am

You can fit a larger front cog to make the pedalling easier.

You would need a longer chain too, but that's easy enough.

Alternately, push harder :) I do singlespeed mountain biking and your fitness increases rather rapidly due to the hills.

Lawrie9
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Postby Lawrie9 » 7 Jul 2008, 10:06am

I would get onto Pashley as they are bound to be very helpful. Its wonderful to see these wonderful traditional and very practical bikes still being produced .

fatboy
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Postby fatboy » 7 Jul 2008, 10:10am

gilesjuk wrote:You can fit a larger front cog to make the pedalling easier.

You would need a longer chain too, but that's easy enough.

Alternately, push harder :) I do singlespeed mountain biking and your fitness increases rather rapidly due to the hills.


You want a smaller front cog to make peddling easier. And yes you need to change be chain but to a smaller one.
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 7 Jul 2008, 10:28am

I had to Google to see what you lot were on about!

http://www.pashley.co.uk/products/princess-classic.html
Mick F. Cornwall

GrahamG
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Postby GrahamG » 7 Jul 2008, 11:08am

I'd agree with what's been said, and also reiterate that the weight of the bike will probably make a bit of a difference too. My other half is going from a weighty old 3 speed which I built up to a modern hybrid as she found Bristol just a bit too hilly for it when we moved here - she did persevere for 7 or 8 months though bless her!

If it's just one hill then go for it - you can always walk up in a ladylike manner - but if you live in a generally hilly area you may find yourself making excuses for not cycling (god forbid!).

Just my tuppence worth...

james01
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Postby james01 » 7 Jul 2008, 11:23am

Pretty to look at, and ideal for a level local ride to the shops. But would any experienced cyclist choose to ride a machine like this, laden with shopping, up a steep hill?

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anniesboy
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Postby anniesboy » 7 Jul 2008, 3:18pm

My wife had wanted a Pashley for somewhile , a trip my local bike shop resulted in the purchase of one of these .http://www.bronxcycles.com/vintage.htm
She uses it for local shopping ,it only has 3 speed ,I'm sure its as heavy as Pashley , but at £280 new its cheaper than a Pashley .
It comes with hub brakes operated with cables.
She loves it as for uphill no,but then her other bike is a Thorn XTC

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 7 Jul 2008, 3:36pm

james01 wrote:would any experienced cyclist choose to ride a machine like this, laden with shopping, up a steep hill?


My own 'shopper' is a Cannondale fitted with the Nexus 7 and a sprocket combination giving a bottom gear of about 27". Only ever used for re-starting on a hill, but the second gear used to get a lot of use when I was in better health. I've regularly come up Batley Field Hill (signed 15%) with 4pints milk, 5 kilogs spuds etc., but it's not the 'basket on the handlebars, straw hat and floating up the hill' image conjured up by the Pashely ad.

Gravity is a strong force, most easily fought on a light bike.

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hubgearfreak
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Postby hubgearfreak » 7 Jul 2008, 3:47pm

james01 wrote:But would any experienced cyclist choose to ride a machine like this, laden with shopping, up a steep hill?


they're so well built that with a bit of servicing they'd outlast us all.

and that servicing doesn't include the time consuming and frequent variety that you deraillier boys have to do :D

some well respected cyclists rode them, yes :wink:

wobbly
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Postby wobbly » 8 Jul 2008, 8:55pm

Thanks guys. Went into Evans today and they have ordered one in for me to try out. I enquired about the changes to gearing you suggested and apparently they'd do that for me for about £15. All of which seems fair enough.

Close up they are beautiful machines: all glossy black. But SO SO heavy!! I may never end up riding it but it'll be lovely to look at :!:

MrsMothy
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Postby MrsMothy » 10 Jul 2008, 7:54pm

I think the Pure and Bliss in midnight blue look gorgeous!!!!