My review on the Pendleton Ashwell
Pendleton is the brand developed by Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton. These hybrid bicycles have a dutch-style city feel to them, and are very much a bike for leisure and commuting rather than road or race biking.
I recently purchased the Pendleton Ashwell, and have to say it is my favourite bike I have ever owned. I thought cycling would be a good way to work on my fitness each day without boring myself half to death on the treadmill. So I took a trip to Halfords in search of a bicycle.
Most people that know me, would say I’m sporty, not overly girly and have traits of a tomboy. I spend most of my time lifting weights in the gym, or in my combats teaching military classes rolling around in the mud. Despite that being the usual truth, when I saw this lovely ladylike bike I instantly fell in love with it. With its charming features, its cute but elegant appeal, I had to have it. The Pendleton Ashwell comes in three colours: sage, mint and black. I travelled all the way to Bicester from Cheltenham to get the Ashwell in Sage, I found the mint to be too garish and the black too plain. It really comes down to personal preference at the end of the day.
The ride, the performance and the likability factor
I always have a smile on my face when I am riding this bike. This hybrid bike has a charming 50’s style to its design. The bike has beautiful stitched leather handlebars and seat, along with gold stylish writing. It’s swept back handlebars and padded seat makes a comfortable ride. The bike adopts an upright ‘sit and beg’ position keeping the spine straight when riding. It also has a large padded leather saddle which adds additional comfort. It comes equipped with mudguards and chain guard, so your clothes don’t get caught in the gears, and you arrive to your destination oil and rip free. The bike also has a pannier rack at the back of the bike, which you can attach your luggage too. This makes the bike more ideal for commuting, especially if you have lots to bring with you.
The Ashwell is easy to maintain with a step through frame, it only weighs 18kg so very light and easy to maneuver, it has five gears, slender but fast wheels. Gear wise, I tend to stay in fourth or fifth gear, any lower I feel I would be going too slow. Fourth gear puts you at a nice leisurely pace, whereas fifth gear you have to work a lot more but get places quicker. The wheels glide smoothly over bumpy or smooth pavement. I took it down a gravel path once which I wouldn’t recommend, it wasn’t an enjoyable ride. I would recommend sticking with the roads and pavements with this bike.
The upright dutch style position makes for a very comfortable ride, I personally prefer this style. I carry a heavy bag, and being leant over handlebars would only make my back ache. When riding up hills, you can still rise off the seat and pedal hard without feeling like you are in an awkward position. The overall riding experience is very pleasant, and is a delightful commute for long and short distances.
The mudguards are slightly noisy when walking it over bumpy roads, or gravel. Rattly mudguards aside, for a bike under £350 its got some fantastic components and has some real style. The V brakes on the rims are effective, the braking ability is good but does need a fair bit of pressure to slow it down or bring it to a halt. I’ve noticed in wet conditions, the wheels can become quite slippery when pressure is applied to the breaks so be wary.
The Pendleton Ashwell is incredibly comfy, great to look at, relaxing and satisfying to ride. I highly recommend this bike for riders who appreciate style over speed and who ride for the sheer joy of it… and wants to get a tad bit fitter.