PASHLEY Poppy, classic, £435, www.pashley.co.uk
This is a British-built ‘Dutch-style’ cruiser that's made with a well-finished, traditionally lugged steel frame.
The Poppy uses Sturmey Archer hubs brakes and three-speed hub gear (operated by trigger shifter), both of which have proved fuss-free. The drivetrain is partially enclosed to keep your clothes clean and full-wrap mudguards provide excellent protection in the wet.
The 26-inch rims are clad in attractive and highly puncture-proof cream rubber (Schwalbe Marathons), while the sprung Brooks perch is both classy and supportive. The swept bars and cork grips are nicely shaped, completing a comfortable cockpit that's happy on both shorter cross-town ambles or weekend pub crawls. It’s certainly a head-turner.
On the road, the Pashley’s efficient, rather than mind-blowing, with a set-up that encourages leisurely lopes rather than breezy blasts. Nevertheless, the ride is always balanced and confidence-inspiring.
Available in pink and blue, the Poppy comes in sizes 17.5in, 20in and 22.5in, with a two-year warranty. Be warned, though, that accessories like the basket, rack, kickstand and dynamo lighting can up the price fairly significantly. LC
PROS gears, saddle, tyres
CONS extras make it pricey