Of the two special edition bikes, the Speed 3 SE is the one that really harkens back to the company's founding in the 1920s.
|With its long wheelbase, slack angles, long raked fork, and large volume tires, the Speed 3 should have a super cushy ride. Probably not a nimble-handling bike, but a cool-looking cruiser.|
|The frame lugs and the little number plate have art-deco details that recall the 1920s. I've seen where other bike blogs have derided the traditional quill stem as a piece of equipment that "died for good reason," and that the Pashley is "stuck with it" in the name of nostalgia. Jeesh. Nothing wrong with a quill stem, and does anybody think a bike like this would look in any way "right" with a threadless stem?|
|The special edition bikes also come with a classy stainless steel head badge.|
The Roadfinder SE model is more of a modern-meets-retro road bike. The bike combines a classic-looking lugged steel frame built with Reynolds 725 heat treated tubing, and a thoroughly modern Shimano Ultegra drivetrain.
|Notice that the Roadfinder comes with low spoke count Ultegra wheels (16 front/20 rear) which can make a retrogrouch cringe. Like the Speed 3, it does have a Brooks saddle, but in this case it's a Cambium C-13 racing saddle with carbon fiber rails. I can swallow hard and get behind those wheels as a nod to modern equipment choices, but one thing that absolutely turns me off visually is the bloated looking Ultegra crank, which looks horrid against those slim steel tubes. I've been hating these recent-generation Shimano 4-bolt cranks for a couple of years now, and pairing them with a traditional steel frame is an unfortunate choice.|
|Pashley says they still build their bikes in England -- not imported from Asia. The lugs are simple, traditional, and nice. The Roadfinder SE, like the Speed 3 SE, has the special edition stainless steel head badge.|
I should point out that there is a "regular" edition of the Roadfinder that has some component choices that might be a little more appealing to those whose tastes run a bit more traditional. Or there is a similar model called the Pathfinder that is designed more for touring and has room for larger tires (equipped with disc brakes).
I've seen prices listed for the Roadfinder SE at £2490 (around $3300). That's probably a good bit more expensive than a generic-looking made-in-China bike, but then, this isn't a generic made-in-China bike. For comparison sake, I've seen the Roadfinder regular edition listed at just under £2000 (around $2600).
Check out the Pashley website to check out more of their retro lineup.