I called into a bicycle dealers yesterday and they kindly allowed me to take a Pashley-moulton TSR-30 and an Airnimal Joey Explore for a test ride.
First off I took TSR for a ride, I really like the look of these bikes, the frame is a work of art. The shop adjusted the seat height but left the drop bars alone. The position wasn’t quite right for me but the reach and cockpit area felt good. It is obvious that there is plenty of adjustability built into the design of this bike. It was the first time that I had ridden a bike with a combined brake and gear lever system but I soon got used to it and began to like the way it worked.
I found the ride to be very comfortable and I purposely took the bike down some side streets where the road surface was rather poor... the bike coped with that perfectly. so I'm sure that it would cope with some old railway line cycle routes I want to try.
Secondly I took the Airnimal Joey for a spin, this bike felt very different, very rigid compared to the plush ride of the TSR. I’m sure both bike frames are equally strong but the Airnimal didn’t have the front suspension of the TSR. I would have liked to have tried an Airimal Rhino (with full suspension) but the dealer did not have one in stock at the time. The Joey was a nice bike, the ridding position was more upright and I found the bar gips to be very comfortable...... but in the end it kind of felt too much like a “normal” bike.
While in the shop I cast an eye over the R&M Birdy’s again... (I test rode one last time I was there) they ride well and look stunning in side profile photos but standing next to them reveals the welded seam / rib on the frame, functional yes, but hardly aesthetically pleasing.
The TSR was the bike I really liked and I can appreciate why owners think they are special. I know the TSR is not a folder but I took some measurements and I think I can work around that.
It is all well and good reading bike reviews etc. but it is so much better if you can try out a bike for size before you buy so I am thankful that the dealer allowed me the opportunity.