Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pashley Poppy First Impressions/Revisions

Since posting about the new bicycle obtained a few weeks ago, I've been busying myself with a variety of things... one of which has been making some revisions to the standard Poppy. Nothing has dramatically changed as of yet, but I thought I'd post some of my initial impressions and a couple of quick photos of the bike.
Stock image of the Pashley Poppy in blue
*Image from
When I received this bike in shipping, it was fairly well assembled, however, it did require some mechanical aptness to finish up the process. Luckily, there is a mechanically-inclined individual in house here, so it worked to my advantage. The worst part about the process is that the fenders were bent in shipping. While they have been somewhat straightened, I'm not sure they will ever be what they should have been in their original form. This is sometimes the price paid to have an item shipped over distances that are not realistically traveled in a timely manner by vehicle. Beyond the fenders, it was simply fitting and tightening the seat post in the seat tube, attaching the front wheel, and sliding the handlebar stem into place and securing it. Not too bad, considering.

When the mustache handlebars didn't seem to be working out on the Hillborne, I thought that perhaps giving them a try on the Poppy would be a good way to go. When I initially rode the Poppy I had a feeling of being too close in reach, so that extra stretch that was far too much on the Hillborne, might actually work out on the Poppy. To my absolute glee, they were a perfect match. After riding around on the bars with just bare metal for a time, I decided they were worth keeping, and went to work using some cloth tape, twine and shellac.
Poppy with mustache bars, cloth tape, twine and a coat of amber shellac
As you may have also noticed, I opted to get some inverse brake levers, as I thought they would work better with this style of handlebar. What I didn't realize with this small purchase, is that the brake cables were not set up to work with this style of lever, and there was no tension to the brakes at all. After a few rounds of conversation with local bike shops (which were not horribly helpful), Sam came to the realization that there was a simple fix with a dollar purchase at the local hardware store. Now, they are tensioned and work perfectly. We also shifted the gear shift lever down, so that when riding in the brake position, the gears are more easily shifted. It's definitely a different look, and I haven't seen one quite like it, but I think it works.

Here is more of a full picture of the Poppy with the new handlebars (I apologize for being on the "wrong" side of the bike while taking the picture, but it was a hurried moment in time).
Full view of the Poppy with new handlebars, brake levers, and cloth tape/twine
I am so happy with the ride on this bike now! In speculation stages, it seems so unlikely that a handlebar can feel so foreign on one bicycle, and yet be the perfect fit for another. I understand it has to do with the geometry and set up of each bike, but I am happy that while the original intention didn't work out, the situation balanced itself and the perfect match came together. The ride is thus far what I had hoped for, and it feels a little "racier" as Sam put it, a bit like the Raleigh Lady Sports. It will still not be a record speed breaker, but it feels good, and I'm anxious to put it to some tests to see how it feels over slightly longer rides.

While I'd still like to find some crocheted skirt guards, I think I may skip the rear rack for now, and see how the Wald basket, currently on Fred looks and works on this bike before making any more purchases. Until then, I'm looking forward to more rides on the Poppy, and putting those mustache bars to good use.

1 comment:

  1. Ultimately, i think it's a very nice bike, and now that it has the wald, its unstoppable. Smooth.


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