Pendleton launches first road bike

Double Olympic gold medallist releases entry-level road bike

by Simon Stansfield   August 6, 2014  

Pendleton Initial 1

Victoria Pendleton has released the Initial, her first road bike under the Pendleton brand name, adding to the existing adult and junior bikes from the double Olympic gold medallist. All of the Pendleton bikes are female specific.

The Initial is an entry-level bike built around an alloy frame with a cromoly fork, and it comes with a women’s specific geometry. It has a 16-speed Shimano Claris groupset, Tektro calliper brakes and 700c wheels, The weight is given as 11.5kg (25.3lb) which isn't light although, as we said, this isn't a high-end model.

The Initial comes in a blue finish with some world champion stripes around the seat tube, and it's priced at £349.00. It’s available from Halfords in two sizes, 43cm and 46cm. 

The other Pendleton bikes in the range are leisure/town bikes and hybrids, all of them cheaper than the Initial.

22 user comments

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I thought she might release such a bike. Not a bad idea to go entry level.

posted by 80sMatchbox [22 posts]
6th August 2014 - 12:07

34 Likes

Nice paint job, it looks classy. Needs a higher-level counterpart as kiwimike says.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3601 posts]
6th August 2014 - 12:13

36 Likes

Why isn't this available in a sub-8kg 105 build for around £800?

Don't women like lightweight bikes? or is the 'women's market' still not large enough to support higher-end new product?

That said, this looks to be really taking the fight to the B'Twin Triban.

Although for the same £350, the Triban 300 gives you a carbon fork and is 1kg lighter. Oh, and you get a triple. Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on if it's hilly where you ride.

Actually, it's not that much of a fight, now I look at it.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [755 posts]
6th August 2014 - 12:22

27 Likes

Quote from Mrs Kes:

"At least it's not F*&king pink".

posted by Kestevan [45 posts]
6th August 2014 - 12:34

5 Likes

It does seem a bit odd that you can pick up cheaper men's Carreras with Sora.

Which bike is this supposed to be the 'equivalent' to? Is it competing with Boardmans and Hoys, or is it Carreras and British Eagles?

posted by farrell [1711 posts]
6th August 2014 - 12:44

29 Likes

Lovely paint job. Visually very appealing. Like its namesake.

posted by darrenleroy [186 posts]
6th August 2014 - 13:15

26 Likes

Seems dumb not to have a triple. The lowest gear on the rear cassette doesn't even look that big to me. I think any bike aimed at new road cyclists should very low gears available. I'm astounded how many people i see walking up moderate hills on sportives, when if they'd just had the sense not to buy a bike with the same gearing as the pros, they could have ridden up quite happily.

Seriously people, beginners don't have the strength of pros so stop being snobby about gearing!

I have a compact on my bike as that is what was available, but I frequently wish I had a triple, and I'm not that unfit.

DaveE128's picture

posted by DaveE128 [152 posts]
6th August 2014 - 13:20

2 Likes

Women's specific bike which is not Pink??
Will never catch on!

Sarcasm aside, it is a good looking bike, and a very good price. hope this does well.

posted by Must be Mad [243 posts]
6th August 2014 - 13:35

34 Likes

When my wife started shopping for an entry level carbon frame bike and I peered over her shoulder tutting it quickly became apparent they drop the spec on the group sets or mix and match with cheaper components compared to similarly priced mens bikes.

This might be to keep the costs down as the bikes are produced in dramatically smaller runs or, as the cynic in me believes, they think they can pull the wool over the eyes of female cyclists on components and weight.

As for this bike.. It's got Pendleton written on it.

posted by BillyElNino [11 posts]
6th August 2014 - 14:22

21 Likes

It's going to get hard not to see these retired-pro knockouts as little more than base marketing attempts by Evans/Halfords et al. Where's the insight/innovation? added value? Why not just release a sticker, that anyone can slap on their bike as a bit of fandom?

Maybe it's unfair to expect an athlete who was given free top-spec bikes for years to know how to spec a bike for the masses and know how the low-end retail game works?

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [755 posts]
6th August 2014 - 14:28

27 Likes

That very nice looking indeed. I know that's not the point, but it helps. I'm sure there will be higher spec ones in due course.

posted by deblemund [223 posts]
6th August 2014 - 14:56

17 Likes

It's not a sub 8kg bike for £800 because that would be a different bike.Maybe one that's planned for the future as the brand builds. She's going for a different market segment at the moment which is a smart move.

There probably isn't the same purchasing power as Decathlon and Halfords Carrerra available to her - that's always going to be the case for a more boutiquey brand. A bike purchase is often driven by attraction to the brand and paintjob as much (or more) than it is about getting a specification for the lowest price (even if the bike is actually made in the same factory).

posted by Pauldmorgan [188 posts]
6th August 2014 - 15:07

10 Likes

Love it! Classy, smart, simple.

If you are inspired to ride, spending big bucks kind of taints the excitement. This hits the spot for first timers.

As for low range of gears....really, how is that an issue?
Your new, you dont fully understand using them anyway. Too low of gear is hard to balance for anyone.

posted by Farky [186 posts]
6th August 2014 - 15:47

17 Likes

Farky wrote:

As for low range of gears....really, how is that an issue?
Your new, you dont fully understand using them anyway. Too low of gear is hard to balance for anyone.

Well, my experience of getting a few other people into cycling (both men and women) is that those who have a triple chainring can ride up hills without suffering too much, as they can choose a speed appropriate to their fitness, and those without can't, so absolutely hate hills. Which do you think stick at it better?

I don't know anyone who has had any trouble grasping the concept of gears once they have tried riding up a hill and see that it makes their life a lot easier.

DaveE128's picture

posted by DaveE128 [152 posts]
6th August 2014 - 15:59

19 Likes

DaveE128 wrote:
Farky wrote:

As for low range of gears....really, how is that an issue?
Your new, you dont fully understand using them anyway. Too low of gear is hard to balance for anyone.

Well, my experience of getting a few other people into cycling (both men and women) is that those who have a triple chainring can ride up hills without suffering too much, as they can choose a speed appropriate to their fitness, and those without can't, so absolutely hate hills. Which do you think stick at it better?

I don't know anyone who has had any trouble grasping the concept of gears once they have tried riding up a hill and see that it makes their life a lot easier.

Depends on your market - Ive worked at various sportives, female specific and open - and seen many riding various bikes that dont know when to use gears until showed but then struggled with really low gears as you go really slow and balancing becomes an issue. Talking real beginners here - pretty much who this is aimed at with the price point and groupset.
Not hard to find more options for £500 if your more confident/able/experienced etc.

posted by Farky [186 posts]
6th August 2014 - 16:20

24 Likes

Pauldmorgan wrote:
...There probably isn't the same purchasing power as Decathlon and Halfords Carrerra available to her - that's always going to be the case for a more boutiquey brand.

It's 100% a Halfords house brand, same as Carrera.

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/victoria-pendleton-halfords-team-u...

"Obviously with Victoria’s schedule we had a small window of opportunity as far as her help went," says Halfords bike designer and brand manager Justin Stevenson. "We usually take a year and a half to design and launch bikes like this, but we’ve moved more quickly with the Pendleton range and managed to get it done in a year. I'd go up to Manchester to speak to Victoria and discuss ideas with her but her time is going to get increasingly limited as London 2012 approaches."

Pendleton openly admits that she isn't as involved with the technical side of bike design ("I've always had people to worry about that side of things for me!") but as a female who is very passionate about cycling and about getting more women on bikes, she is in a perfect position to share her knowledge with Justin to create the perfect bikes for girls. "We've found that women don't want to be teched out." she says. " As long as a bike looks good and works well, they are happy."

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [755 posts]
6th August 2014 - 16:21

20 Likes

Women do like lightweight bikes. But some may not want to invest £800 on a dropped handle bar bike with massive Shimano hoods and STI levers which they may not be able to get on with.

As much as I love Decathlon (it has saved me many times when cycle touring around France), it's easier to get to Halfords. Ease of access plus slight branding effect equates to a higher price.

posted by dxp [3 posts]
6th August 2014 - 19:02

12 Likes

KiwiMike wrote:

That said, this looks to be really taking the fight to the B'Twin Triban.

Although for the same £350, the Triban 300 gives you a carbon fork and is 1kg lighter. Oh, and you get a triple. Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on if it's hilly where you ride.

Actually, it's not that much of a fight, now I look at it.


The Triban 300 has a steel fork but costs £279 (down from £299). The 500SE has a carbon fork and costs the same as the Pendleton.

posted by Beatnik69 [168 posts]
6th August 2014 - 21:40

4 Likes

dxp wrote:
Women do like lightweight bikes. But some may not want to invest £800 on a dropped handle bar bike with massive Shimano hoods and STI levers which they may not be able to get on with.

But they may prefer to spend 350 quid on a bike that is the same weight and same quality groupset as the mens bike from the same factory and manufacturer that happens to be almost a hundred quid cheaper.

posted by farrell [1711 posts]
6th August 2014 - 21:43

12 Likes

Beatnik69 wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

That said, this looks to be really taking the fight to the B'Twin Triban.

Although for the same £350, the Triban 300 gives you a carbon fork and is 1kg lighter. Oh, and you get a triple. Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on if it's hilly where you ride.

Actually, it's not that much of a fight, now I look at it.


The Triban 300 has a steel fork but costs £279 (down from £299). The 500SE has a carbon fork and costs the same as the Pendleton.

Totally deserved that, would hate to be accused of driving slavering hordes toward either shop only to cause mayhem when they realised they'd been hoodwinked by bad advice in Road.cc comments.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [755 posts]
7th August 2014 - 13:53

3 Likes

Quote:
But they may prefer to spend 350 quid on a bike that is the same weight and same quality groupset as the mens bike from the same factory and manufacturer that happens to be almost a hundred quid cheaper.

Which bike would that be?

posted by Must be Mad [243 posts]
7th August 2014 - 15:29

3 Likes

KiwiMike wrote:
Beatnik69 wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

That said, this looks to be really taking the fight to the B'Twin Triban.

Although for the same £350, the Triban 300 gives you a carbon fork and is 1kg lighter. Oh, and you get a triple. Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on if it's hilly where you ride.

Actually, it's not that much of a fight, now I look at it.


The Triban 300 has a steel fork but costs £279 (down from £299). The 500SE has a carbon fork and costs the same as the Pendleton.

Totally deserved that, would hate to be accused of driving slavering hordes toward either shop only to cause mayhem when they realised they'd been hoodwinked by bad advice in Road.cc comments.


It would cause chaos I tell you, chaos! Wink

posted by Beatnik69 [168 posts]
7th August 2014 - 15:49

3 Likes