Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hittin' The Ground. (Why I hate the Pashley Princess Kickstand)

Anybody who owns a factory standard Pashley can attest to two things:

1. The Pashley (Princess Sovereign) is a heavy bicycle, and
2. The included kickstand is six kinds of incapable of dealing with fact number 1.

Even without any baskets, without any front or rear load, the included single kickstand just cannot be relied upon no matter how much careful front wheel skewing you may take as a precaution. And the second you add any kind of cargo you'd better start leaning it against a wall or handing it off to a friend if you want to let go of it for a minute. As you can imagine, this makes attaching said cargo an exercise in bullshit if you are travelling alone. All the more frustrating considering the included back rack is rated to carry a child seat! Better have great dental coverage for your toddler before you trust that single kickstand.

Yes, many a time in the first blush of Pashley ownership did I blithely turn my back only to hear the tell-tale sound of gravity beating the kickstand into submission. It's gotten so I am adept at accurately identifying potential kick-stand failure scenarios and with a special kind of vigilance specific to the anal retentive I was enjoying a long period of incident free Pashley ownership - Until last weekend, when the Pashley surprised me with a brand new kind of failure.

I was putting the bicycle away after an invigoratingly chilly 20km through North West Tasmanian coastal farm lands (goose shit included). I began the Pashley propstand/kickstand ritual which is now automatic.

Rural bike path hazards.
Pictured: Almost as much shit as you'll get from the Pashley kickstand.

Standing on the left of the cargo-free bicycle, I deployed the kickstand on solid ground to the right. I then positioned the front wheel to 'maximum skew' so that it could not independently skew itself and send the bike toppling over towards me. I gave the whole thing a bit of a jiggle to make sure it was sturdy, held it steady for a moment and then slowly let go to unlock the door. (I have to do this every. Single. Time.) It was then I heard that familiar warning creak. I quickly turned to catch the Pashley, expecting to see it bearing down on me as usual but as I grasped the left grip I realised it was falling away from me, the bloody useless kickstand having failed to fulfil the most fundamental requirement of the single kickstand/bicycle contract. In a final indignity, my quick reflexes did indeed allow me to catch the bike by the handlebars but only so that I could slow its descent and press the front tyre against my shin where the spinning wheel did a little burn-out on my leg. I was glad to be wearing thick tights or I would have lost some skin. I was compelled to photograph its shame:

"You're embarrassing yourself."

It is now my mission to outfit the Pashley with an annoyingly costly and unavailable locally double kickstand but I do so with a disgruntled sigh, resenting the fact that it did not come with one when the weight and potential for human (and inanimate) cargo so obviously requires something more than currently provided!


  1. Lol! I also have a Pashley, so I know the feeling well. How can such a lovely bike come with such a crap kickstand?!

    1. So frustrating when in every other respect it's the Rolls Royce of bicycles!

  2. I'm wanting a Pashley Princess so much I can't stand it. In the meantime, I read about them! I hope you'll let us know what kind of kickstand you get and how it works, so I can mentally file the info for later. I think I'll die if my beautiful not yet bike so much as touches the ground.

  3. I considering the Princess Sovereign in the near future and wonder if I can put the kickstand from the Roadster on it? I don't understand why Pashley doesn't resolve this issue.

    1. Sorry She Rides, for some reason I completely missed both of your comments re the Pashley!

      So far as I know the Pashley issue is bound by the fact that the dedicated kickstand attachment plate is specifically compatible with Pletscher stands. I've seen others for sale that attach using this plate but they're one size fits all stands that might need some modification. I don't know about the 'full' Dutch style but I would hope a Pashley roadster stand would go on a Pahley plate if they are both plate attachments? But then I'd also hope it came with a decent kickstand to begin with! I remember Googling about the full stands forever ago but can't recall the outcome. Vague memories of them not attaching to a plate? Best bet is to find pictures/dimensions of both attachment styles and take it from there?