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Verdict: 
The Pashley Pathfinder Tour looks the business, but it doesn't really live up to the marketing hyperbole
Weight: 
11,500g
Pashley Pathfinder Tour
4 10

There's no doubting that the Pashley Pathfinder Tour is a lovely looking bike, but unfortunately the ride doesn't appeal quite so much, and it also has some – to my mind – nonsensical kit specification.

In specifying the Pathfinder Tour for its return to road bike manufacturing, Pashley went all-out on the retro parts catalogue. You get a 'classic' bar, classic bar tape, classic mudguards and classic-ish Campagnolo mechanicals. Is this a good thing? Depends on whether you like to be comfortable on a bike apparently built for 'the longer adventure', but also 'a brisk Sunday ride'.

Pashley Pathfinder

Pashley Pathfinder

 

Having recently completed the 100-mile Eroica Britannia in the Peak District on a 1984 Raleigh Corsa, I feel qualified to comment on the relative penury that is/was cycling of yesteryear, and can add that there is indeed camaraderie, bonhomie and solace to be found in mutual suffering. But if you've just spunked £1700 on a modern bike with disc brakes and 20 indexed gears, should you expect to relive what cycling quite rightly evolved beyond?

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Keeping with the classic theme, the traditional drop (145mm) handlebar is wrapped with slate grey Brooks organic cotton handlebar tape. The bar tape may look elegant, but modern bar tape would provide greatly improved comfort and grip on the bar. Handlebar shape has evolved over the years and a compact drop handlebar would probably be a smarter choice for this bike as the deep drops can be hard to reach if you're not that flexible. Maybe I'm just used to modern bars, but this one required regular sessions out of the saddle to stretch the upper body and relieve the tension built up supporting a hand and arm position that just wasn't natural.

Pashley Pathfinder - front

Pashley Pathfinder - front

 

Staying at the front end, the stainless steel painted front mudguard came loose after a few rides and slipped forward after a bit of foot contact, snarling the brake calliper into a rotor-dragging state as the left-hand mudguard stay bent upward. It turns out that the mudguard is held under the fork crown by ye olde bent sheet metal fingers, even though the guard itself is drilled for a bolt to go up into an expanding plug in the steerer tube. Not the level of detail you'd expect on a £1,700 bike. In the end the front stays needed bending slightly to clear the brake calliper.

 

Pashley Pathfinder - rear disc brake

Pashley Pathfinder - rear disc brake

Likewise at the rear the brake calliper story isn't great, as the rearmost bolt is partly obscured by the seatstay. If, like me, you like things torqued just so after a calliper realignment, this is annoying as you have to use a ball-ended hex.

This isn't to say the brakes are bad per se – far from it. The dual-piston TRP Spyres are great brakes, and, as I found, can modulate very well in an in emergency meeting a Land Rover on a sharp corner. Braking the front hard enough to lift the rear wheel, the combination of the Spyres and the 32mm Continental Gatorskin tyres kept me in control coming to the rapidest stop I think I've ever made.

 

Pashley Pathfinder - crank and front mech

Pashley Pathfinder - crank and front mech

The Campagnolo Veloce groupset is predictable and deliberate – you know you've made a shift with this kit, both physically and audibly – the clang of a downshift reverberating through the cassette, hub and rear disc. The Veloce levers' bulbous base is comfortable for large hands to grip, and the change from dual-lever Shimano to thumb-button Campy is intuitive. I didn't really miss the ability to upshift in the drops as I was never there anyway.

The Pashley isn't the lightest bike - but it's not trying to be - and at times it felt overgeared. That's despite a compact chainset and 13-29t cassette, the largest on offer from Campagnolo. This bike is crying out for a 32t easiest gear to make winching the 12kg unladen weight up steeper climbs. And when you have laboured your way to the top of a hill, the 13-tooth smallest sprocket means you'll spin out long before usual, which is a pity as with the longish 103cm wheelbase the Pathfinder is rock solid at high speed and no doubt with a full pannier load.

Pashley Pathfinder - front hub 2

Pashley Pathfinder - front hub 2

 

The hubs are unbranded things of beauty, with deep flanges and nary an ounce of plastic bearing cover to be seen. Up on the stand the wheels spin forever, and the bearings feel snug. Other small points of aesthetic note include 'Pashley'-forged endcaps at the top of the seatstays where they wrap around the seat tube junction, and brass barrel adjusters on the down tube braze-ons. Nice. The rear mudguard is secured by a bolt underneath up into the curved brake bridge, and looks very well done. The rear dropouts feature etched stainless steel plates held on with tiny screws, so as to keep the paintwork chip-free from years of wheel changes.

The disc-specific Ryde rims look lovely, but the rim tape really needs addressing. It's both too wide to sit correctly in the central channel of the rim, and not wide enough to fully cover the inside of the rim. The result is that the rim tape can shift about, exposing the spoke holes. It's asking for a puncture, and would be easily fixed with some decent rim tape. We fixed it temporarily with some electrical tape, but it's not something we should be doing on any bike, let alone one costing £1,700.

Pashley Pathfinder - saddle

Pashley Pathfinder - saddle

 

The Brooks Cambium C17 saddle looks very nice mated to the unbranded alloy seatpost, and I didn't have any complaints – maybe it's a bit bendy in the middle, but saddles are such a personal thing it's not a call either way.

So it's a mixed bag of finishing and fit. How does the overall package fare on English roads of a weekend morning, en route to Cake?

The sticker weight of circa 12kg road-ready – with pedals, cages, and a layer of real bar tape – should suggest an acceptable experience for a vintage-leaning disc brake-equipped build with full metal mudguards and large, puncture-proof rubber. Pashley describes the Pathfinder as being capable of 'a brisk Sunday ride', but we think the marketing department is being a bit overzealous in their description of the bike. The Pathfinder certainly isn't slow, but it's not exactly a rapid bike if speed is at the top of your list of priorities.

Pashley Pathfinder Tour - riding 3

Pashley Pathfinder Tour - riding 3

 

Over a month of Sundays and Thursday evening pub runs the ride never felt more than pedestrian at best – efforts out of the saddle just weren't easily rewarded. It's not that there was excess flex stealing power – the bottom bracket lugs did their job of aiding stiffness down-low – rather, the whole package added up to no feeling of acceleration or sprightliness. Had I purchased the Pathfinder based on the marketing description promising 'a dynamic riding style with a light and responsive feel' I'd be asking for my money back, as I experienced none of these sensations.

That's not to say it's a 'bad' bike – the foibles of handlebar, bar tape, gearing and front-mudguard-fixing aside, it looks great and has more-than-average dollops of practicality baked in. If you want something classy to spin about a flattish area, maybe with a decent rack on the back loaded with blanket, ginger beer and whatnot, or add some front panniers for a spot of camping, the Pathfinder Tour could be your bag. Certainly the package of disc brakes, fat tyres and full mudguards shifts the case towards 'useful' – it almost begs a dyno front hub and fixed lights. As a classic touring bike for cruising around the lanes on a Sunday morning, with a few pub stops, the Pathfinder is right at home. But Pashley's marketing team should step away from the Hyperbole Generator for the next iteration.

Verdict

The Pashley Pathfinder Tour looks the business, but it doesn't really live up to the marketing hyperbole

road.cc test report

Make and model: Pashley Pathfinder Tour

Size tested: 56

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Pashley says:

"The Pathfinder has been created for that perfect combination of all-purpose, all year round bike with a choice of derailleur or hub gears. It effortlessly combines modern geometry and performance with the enviable Pashley aesthetic to create a truly refined bicycle capable of traversing the map whichever route you choose.

 

"Hand-crafted using a specially selected lightweight blend of butted Reynolds 531 and 631 steel tubing and fine-lugged construction, the classic geometry of the Pathfinder provides a dynamic riding style with a light and responsive feel. A longer fork and extended headtube make for a more upright (comfortable) riding position whilst still retaining the classic horizontal toptube. A long wheel base offers comfort and stability when loaded with panniers and the steering geometry provides predictable control over rougher ground.

"Overall performance is enchanced by powerful disc brakes - renowned for being 'the best in their class' – coupled with quality contact points provided by a Brooks Cambium Saddle and bar tape.

 

"The Pathfinder 'Tour' model is built with the longer adventure in mind, but with the versatility to strip all accessories for a brisk Sunday ride, or to dash across town on the morning commute. The Campagnolo Veloce groupset provides efficiency as well as speed, and unique stainless steel dropout plates offer a sleek and protective finishing touch. The specially selected Continental Gatorskin tyres are renowned for their puncture resistance as well as their exceptional performance in wet or wintery conditions; the perfect choice for jumping between the road and the grit & gravel, or wherever the path takes you!"

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Colours Citrus Green or Graphite Grey.

Gears 20 speed Campagnolo Veloce groupset. Ergopower 2x10 shifters. 13-29 cassette.

Frame Traditional lugged and brazed construction. Crafted using investment cast lugs and a specially selected blend of Reynolds 531 and 631 butted tubes. Braze-ons for front and rear carriers. Individually hand-built.

Fork Investment cast crown and dropouts with blades specifically designed for the additional stresses of disc brakes.

Saddle Brooks Cambium C17 rubber/cotton saddle in slate grey.

Handlebar Classic bend handlebar with slate grey Brooks organic cotton handlebar tape.

Brakes TRP Spyre dual piston mechanical disc brakes (160mm rotors).

Wheels 32H disc specific rims and high quality polished hubs laced together with double butted stainless Sapim spokes.

Tyres 700x32c Continental Gatorskin folding tyres with PolyX breaker layer. Clearance for wider, large volume tyres: up to 32c with mudguards or up to 35c without.

Mudguards Colour co-ordinated painted stainless steel mudguards.

Crankset Compact Chainset 34/50T (32-104 gear inches).

Other Features Pashley's own disc dropouts with stainless steel faces, polished aluminium seatpost, turned brass gear cable adjusters.

Frame Sizes 50, 53, 56 and 59cm.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

It's very nicely put together. The lugwork is tidy, and the paint is gorgeous.

Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10

A bike should be fun to ride. Everything else then stems from that. I didn't find this bike fun.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

No reason to suspect it won't last.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
5/10

It's heavy

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
5/10

It's not comfortable. The handlebar sees to that.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

For £1700, you can get better bikes. The Genesis Croix de Fer, for example, at £1749 gives you an 11-speed 11-32 cassette, fully hydraulic disc brakes, 35mm tyres, rear pannier mounts, and all for a kilo or more less weight. And according to road.cc Dave, it rides like the clappers.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It was utilitarian, in that I got from A to B by pedalling.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The paintwork, and the hubs.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The feel of the frame, and niggling design points like the front mudguard.

Did you enjoy using the product? Not really.

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not if they wanted to ride long distances, or were averse to spending £1700.

Use this box to explain your score

This was tough, in a way. I really wanted to like the Pathfinder Tour. It looks great, ticks many of my personal boxes - steel, classic, useful - but the ride is uninspiring, and for £1700 there are better options out there. The Genesis Croix de Fer, for example, at £1749 gives you an 11-speed 11-32 cassette, fully hydraulic disc brakes, 35mm tyres, rear pannier mounts, and all for a kilo or more less weight. And according to road.cc Dave, it rides like the clappers.

Overall rating: 4/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72KG

I usually ride: Charge Juicer  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, MTB, singlespeed and Dutch bike pootling

25 comments

Avatar
nowasps [519 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

"Spunked"? Can he say that?

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amazon22 [279 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It grated for me, as did 'the rapidest stop'. 

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peted76 [715 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
nowasps wrote:

"Spunked"? Can he say that?

He just did !

Oh my giddy aunt, somebody call the internet police... or Batman!

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Jonny_Trousers [278 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes
nowasps wrote:

"Spunked"? Can he say that?

I'm pretty certain you can say "spunked" in the same way that you can say "nobs" about people who deliberately look to be offended.

 

Sounds like the bike is style over substance, but then that is what Pashley have made their money on for years.

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peted76 [715 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

On Saturday I crossed the River Avon where there is a Pashly emblazoned cycle rental shop where they rent Pashleys to Americal tourists and it made me feel quite proud.

Dissapointing to see such a review of some very home grown bikes which but for some apparently simple tweaks should have been a much better ride.

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KiwiMike [1307 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
peted76 wrote:

Dissapointing to see such a review of some very home grown bikes which but for some apparently simple tweaks should have been a much better ride.

 

Hi Peted76 - Tweaked I did. Various adjustments were made during the test, including adding a layer of proper bar tape over the top of the cotton Brooks stuff (which, incidentally, was wrapped from the top down. Into The Sea with whoever thought that was the way to go!).

Swapping out the trad bars would be the first thing to do on the Tour, closely followed by a full gruppo with a 32T...no, damnit...that's getting on for a new bike. Silly me.

But changing the bits doesn't change the fact that the ride was simply pedestrian at best. This was validated by other team members who took it out after I submitted my review. Yes, Pashley is a UK brand, the bikes are made in the UK, and god knows we should support homegrown - but not at the expense of promised ride quality as sold in the blurb. There are steel all-road all-day UK-made bikes out there that actually are light, nippy and inspiring. I don't know about you, but I'd like to know how it rode before spelunking £1700 on something just because it made me misty-eyed for Blighty,  Timmy and lashings of ginger beer behind a hedgerow.

 

As per the notes (which you may have missed): 

 

This was tough, in a way. I really wanted to like the Pathfinder Tour. It looks great, ticks many of my personal boxes - steel, classic, useful - but the ride is uninspiring, and for £1700 there are better options out there. The Genesis Croix de Fer, for example, at £1749 gives you an 11-speed 11-32 cassette, fully hydraulic disc brakes, 35mm tyres, rear pannier mounts, and all for a kilo or more less weight. And according to road.cc Dave, it rides like the clappers.

 

Should keen cyclists accept a 'Made-in-the-UK' tax? You're generally looking to pay an extra £500 - so around £2,200 - for a light, nippy cable-disc-braked all-road bike that's made in the UK. Or pay the same and accept less performance. There may well be others out there cheaper, or lighter/nippier for the price. But I don't think I'm far off the mark. Quality costs, and when it's made in the UK, it costs a bit more. 

Avatar
nowasps [519 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Don't be a knob. It was a joke.

 

Jonny_Trousers wrote:
nowasps wrote:

"Spunked"? Can he say that?

I'm pretty certain you can say "spunked" in the same way that you can say "nobs" about people who deliberately look to be offended.

 

Sounds like the bike is style over substance, but then that is what Pashley have made their money on for years.

Avatar
Jonny_Trousers [278 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Aha! In that case, lol.

 

nowasps wrote:

Don't be a knob. It was a joke.

 

Jonny_Trousers wrote:
nowasps wrote:

"Spunked"? Can he say that?

I'm pretty certain you can say "spunked" in the same way that you can say "nobs" about people who deliberately look to be offended.

 

Sounds like the bike is style over substance, but then that is what Pashley have made their money on for years.

Avatar
peted76 [715 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
KiwiMike wrote:

Hi Peted76 - Tweaked I did. Various adjustments were made during the test, including adding a layer of proper bar tape over the top of the cotton Brooks stuff (which, incidentally, was wrapped from the top down. Into The Sea with whoever thought that was the way to go!).

I meant no slight against your review. Just disapointment on the shoddy job they've done with the product. 

I'm pretty sure wrapping bar tape that way around is illiegal, I've got commissioner Gordon on the phone now, they're gonna be in trouble when Batman arrives!

 

Avatar
nowasps [519 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

"Aha! In that case, lol."

 

 

In fairness, it could have been a serious question.

I fear this new thread notification roadcc have introduced is going to lead to endless bickering on here. In the past if someone disrespected one of my thoughtful and erudite posts, I'd never have learned of it. 

 

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dafyddp [440 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I though this was a very honest review.

Classics often take some tweaking to get right (yes, even the Mk I Chopper had it's faults), and hopefully Pashley will be open to addressing these points in Mark II.  Sounds like a lot of the fundamentals (quality of frame, wheelset andchoice of groupset) are in place.

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hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I'm not surprised at the findings of this test

easily the worst bike my missus has owned was her Pashley Poppy

really wanted to like it, but it was very heavy, very rattly on anything but super smooth tarmac, had nervous (fast) steering, appalling brakes (Stumey drum) and 3 gears with a very strange gap in the range (2 were super low, almost the same, and then a big jump). 

 

The geometry meant that standing up to try and accelerate in the 3rd usable gear was unstable causing a flip/flop sensation. 

Very glad when we found someone to buy it, who just wanted a "retro" looking bike.  I've also tested the men's "guvnor" and was not impressed, probably the best Pashley I've ridden are their work bikes the Mailstar (royal mail) and trikes

 

I'm not convinced about Pashley despite appreciating their UK heritage, they look nice but there are much better modern choices whether its a road bike or dutch style bike. 

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mike the bike [957 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Sloppy rim tape, inadequate bar tape, poor pre-delivery inspection, it's British Leyland all over again and Pashley should be ashamed.  

But to complain that the bike isn't up to a club ride is rather like buying fish&chips and complaining about the smell of haddock.  Of course it isn't up to it, that was never the point.  It's a gentleman's conveyance and should be accorded a certain degree of respect.

And to fall back on the manufacturer's description as a defence for this criticism is really too much.  Of course they exaggerated, they all do it, as the reviewer should well know.  If Fiat advertised the 500 as, "A small car with an uncomfortable driving position, very little room and brick-hard headrests," it would be true but commercial suicide.  Why should Pashley operate to a different set of rules?

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KiwiMike [1307 posts] 2 years ago
3 likes
mike the bike wrote:

...to complain that the bike isn't up to a club ride is rather like buying fish&chips and complaining about the smell of haddock.  Of course it isn't up to it, that was never the point.  It's a gentleman's conveyance and should be accorded a certain degree of respect.

And to fall back on the manufacturer's description as a defence for this criticism is really too much.  Of course they exaggerated, they all do it, as the reviewer should well know.  If Fiat advertised the 500 as, "A small car with an uncomfortable driving position, very little room and brick-hard headrests," it would be true but commercial suicide.  Why should Pashley operate to a different set of rules?

Mikethebike, are you seriously saying you'd be happy spending £1700, getting it out for its first "brisk Sunday ride" or to "dash across town on the morning commute" - and find out that it's nothing like described? Or to load it with kit for a weekend in the Peak District, to be pushing up the first 5% gradient maxed out in 29T? You must have a lot more disposable cash than I do  1

It's things like this that reviews are supposed to draw out, and I make no apology for doing so - I write from the viewpoint of someone who might be thinking to buy one - what would *I* want to know?

Seriously, and as covered (apparently not) clearly in the review: my issue here is with the marketing. But even if it were not sold as a "brisk Sunday ride" machine, it's got issues in other use cases: too highly-geared to haul loaded panniers up anything resembling a hill, too low-geared to fly down the other side. Ok, that's on Campy, but who spec'd it? 

Avatar
Jonny_Trousers [278 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
KiwiMike wrote:
mike the bike wrote:

...to complain that the bike isn't up to a club ride is rather like buying fish&chips and complaining about the smell of haddock.  Of course it isn't up to it, that was never the point.  It's a gentleman's conveyance and should be accorded a certa

And to fall back on the manufacturer's description as a defence for this criticism is really too much.  Of course they exaggerated, they all do it, as the reviewer should well know.  If Fiat advertised the 500 as, "A small car with an uncomfortable driving position, very little room and brick-hard headrests," it would be true but commercial suicide.  Why should Pashley operate to a different set of rules?

Mikethebike, are you seriously saying you'd be happy spending £1700, getting it out for its first "brisk Sunday ride" or to "dash across town on the morning commute" - and find out that it's nothing like described? Or to load it with kit for a weekend in the Peak District, to be pushing up the first 5% gradient maxed out in 29T? You must have a lot more disposable cash than I do  1

It's things like this that reviews are supposed to draw out, and I make no apology for doing so - I write from the viewpoint of someone who might be thinking to buy one - what would *I* want to know?

Seriously, and as covered (apparently not) clearly in the review: my issue here is with the marketing. But even if it were not sold as a "brisk Sunday ride" machine, it's got issues in other use cases: too highly-geared to haul loaded panniers up anything resembling a hill, too low-geared to fly down the other side. Ok, that's on Campy, but who spec'd it? 

I was going to respond similarly, but you beat me to it. It's the reviewer's job to cut through marketing claptrap. I'd certainly expect Wat Car to point out that the Fiat 500 is uncomfortable to drive.

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thelimopit [144 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Oi! Pretty sure you're not supposed to cycle in that bit of Bath...  10

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BBB [461 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

How can a ride be "pedestrian" or bike not "up to a club ride"? You are either a fit rider who can keep up with a group or you are not. I understand it's not a lightweight bike and Gatorskins aren't the fastest rolling tyres but come on people...

 

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Jonny_Trousers [278 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
BBB wrote:

How can a ride be "pedestrian" or bike not "up to a club ride"? You are either a fit rider who can keep up with a group or you are not. I understand it's not a lightweight bike and Gatorskins aren't the fastest rolling tyres but come on people...

 

The reviewer said the bike "never felt more than pedestrian". He's talking feel. We all know bikes can feel slow or quick, whether they are or are not, right?

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rojre [37 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Im no hardened tourer but iv done a bit and theres no way i'd set out on a bike with a 13 - 29 rear and a compact double. Come to think of it im not sure iv ever seen a good review of any Pashley bicycle. I just knew which way it was going to go, and whats with the retro when its deked with modern stuff like the Ahead stem and discs.

its good to see the use of a good old fashioned word like spunk

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shay cycles [400 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I'd keep the bars as they are - the modern shaped shallow drops do nothing for me and the position on the drops is so close to the position on the hoods that only the arms and hands move. Proper drops enable a change of position that includes lowering the shoulders slightly more which can significantly add to comfort on a long ride. If the tester finds the reach to the old fashioned drop to be too much then his position simply needs some adjustment.

Gear ranges are very dependant on the terrain and the rider, even for touring, and when buying the bike you can easily see the range on offer so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

I do however agree that the bike doesn't seem to match the marketing and that would be dissappointing if paying £1700 for it. That said very few bikes really match the marketing hype do they?

Avatar
macrophotofly [283 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes

I am delighted to see this kind of review. I was starting to get worried that Road.cc was only legally advised to use the 4 and 4.5 stars. Seriously pleased to see some proper differentiation around things that matter to the reviewer.

We don't all agree with  or like the same things the reviewer does, so it might be the bike for someone else, but the review was informative and showed why he didn't  like it.

Side Note - Would like to know where the hubs come from, though.... thinking a build involving them and a Mason frame might deliver a disc bike that more closely meets the marketing hype....

Avatar
KiwiMike [1307 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
shay cycles wrote:

I'd keep the bars as they are - the modern shaped shallow drops do nothing for me and the position on the drops is so close to the position on the hoods that only the arms and hands move. Proper drops enable a change of position that includes lowering the shoulders slightly more which can significantly add to comfort on a long ride. If the tester finds the reach to the old fashioned drop to be too much then his position simply needs some adjustment.

Gear ranges are very dependant on the terrain and the rider, even for touring, and when buying the bike you can easily see the range on offer so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

 

I gotta disagree - deep drops require far more flexibility than most people have - they were designed for athletes, not everyday cyclists. They also aren't ergo - so it's damn uncomfy, even with large hands, to reach the levers when in the drops - I needed to get stupidly low to get my forearms more or less horizontal, to be able to reach. 

Having recently reviewed the Merida Ride 5000 Disc with shallow, ergo drops, I was much more comfortable, and spent more time in the drops because of that fact. 

You seem conflicted in your advice - you say that "Proper drops enable ... lowering the shoulders slightly more" then say "modern shaped shallow drops ...[are] so close to the position on the hoods that only the arms and hands move" - *any* lowering of the hands - be it 115 or 145mm - is going to facilitate a lowering of the shoulders. You can then choose how much you bend your elbows too. But if the drop is stupidly ('traditionally') deep, and doesn't allow you to brake/shift easily, you'll never go there.

 

The point of mentioning the gears is so people can rule it in or out from the start. Spotting a 29T from a 32T can be tricky for the uninitiated, and you don't want to realise it only after purchase, out for a ride when a refund is hard and a cogset swap impossible without a full gruppo chage.

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grenosteve [1 post] 1 year ago
1 like

Thought I’d register and add a few points.

 

I have a Pathfinder, it’s my first road bike in about 7 years, and  It’s a great bike!

 

Maybe not if you’re after the lightest/fastest piece of alu/plastic you can buy for one and a half grand because you think it will half you strava times, but if you just want a nice, tough, comfy, do it all steel road bike, it’s ace.  The Pathfinder can tour/commute/weekend ride outs/light off road (fire paths) all while being comfortable and having decent tyres, brakes and mudguards.

 

I find it comfortable, but I really don’t use the drops much.  I don’t think you should write off the comfort of an entire bike (with a lovely riding steel frame and fork, large tyres and a brooks cambium saddle) just because of the shape of the drops and bar tape….  I’m sure the average rider who isn’t an “athlete” also doesn’t use the drops much... on any bike.

 

I live in Sheffield, and regularly ride in the Peak District.  The gearing is fine, just like any other compact-equipped road bike from before spinney gears became fashionable.  I’ve had it up 15% hills and even my commute home has a few 10% hills.  It’s been up Jenkin Road a few times…

 

On the touring side, I would agree the gearing is high.  I think Campag do a triple chainset (square taper) for this groupset, and it would have been better for fully loaded touring - It did need the silver Campag groupset though, Shimano/Sram wouldn’t suit the bike at all.  That said, no reason you couldn’t do short tours on it - a couple of panniers full wouldn’t hurt for a long weekend of weeklong tour, as long as it isn’t a tour of famous Lake District passes!

 

All in all, I know it’s no super bike, and I didn’t buy it expecting it to be (I’m not stupid!), but it is a very nice bike and deserves a bit more praise in my opinion*.

 

(* I would say that though!).

 

Cheers,

Steve.

Avatar
AndrewDeKerf [12 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

A bike can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.

I know many classic car owners would value aesthetics and the feeling of owning a piece of nostalgia over just about everything in performance terms. And so a review based on sporting performance is slightly amiss.

The marketing copy probably does appear misleading if you're comparing the bike to a more performance oriented machine such as the Croix De Fer, but I am sure most people could manage a 'brisk' ride on this bike, either on Sunday or any other day of the week. Where is the dishonesty in that? If the bike had been reviewed by the likes of lovelybike I think a different conclusion would have been reached.  If Pashley had said in their Marketing blurb 'its as fast as the Croix De Fer' then fair enough, but they didn't did they - the reviewer did.

Remember there are lots of people out there who just want to ride a beautiful, steel bike around the lanes and aren't bothered about feeling epic or shaving a few minutes off their sportive time.

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- I write from the viewpoint of someone who might be thinking to buy one - what would *I* want to know? - See more at: http://road.cc/content/review/169217-pashley-pathfinder-tour#comment-form
]

No. You don't. Because the person who is thinking about buying one (unlike the reviewer) doesn't give two hoots about the Croix De Fer being lighter for the same money, but then what would they know, they are a bit silly and eccentric (ginger beer?) and not really cyclists.

 

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KiwiMike [1307 posts] 1 year ago
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AndrewDeKerf wrote:

A bike can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.

I know many classic car owners would value aesthetics and the feeling of owning a piece of nostalgia over just about everything in performance terms. And so a review based on sporting performance is slightly amiss.

Remember there are lots of people out there who just want to ride a beautiful, steel bike around the lanes and aren't bothered about feeling epic or shaving a few minutes off their sportive time.

 

It wasn't me selling this as a bike suitable for a fast ride - it was Pashley's marketing dept. "...the versatility to strip all accessories for a brisk Sunday ride, or to dash across town on the morning commute"

AndrewDeKerf wrote:

[
- I write from the viewpoint of someone who might be thinking to buy one - what would *I* want to know? - See more at: http://road.cc/content/review/169217-pashley-pathfinder-tour#comment-form
]

No. You don't. Because the person who is thinking about buying one (unlike the reviewer) doesn't give two hoots about the Croix De Fer being lighter for the same money, but then what would they know, they are a bit silly and eccentric (ginger beer?) and not really cyclists.

Actually, Andrew, I DO write from the point of view of a prospective purchaser. Pardon my French, but who the hell are you to question my motives? Some bloke who registered just to write this post. You are bang out of order questioning my ethics here. Go forth and procreate, my son.

The comparison with the Croix de Fer is absolutely spot on. Steel, good looking, disc-braked, same price. Anyone after such a bike for riding fast or slow, laden or empty, near or far, would be mental to buy the Pashley over the CdF. The Pashley simply is not as good a bike, across a number of areas. I sincerely hope they improve things for Mk II, and that my review has prevented someone making a £1700 mistake they might have to live with for a long time.

 

 

 

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