Pashley Princess Sovereign: Impressions

Sometimes it’s possible to write a basic review a bike after a spin or two around the block. But my time with the Pashley Princess Sovereign in NYC resulted only in impressions, since I was faced with both the novelty of the bicycle AND the novelty of riding through bumpy, busy streets. Negotiating traffic, even with bike lanes, doesn’t give you much mental space to devote to the workings of various components. Luckily, the pressure was off since Dottie has already written a review of this bicycle for our site.

Trisha and the Pashley Princess Soveriegn

But I had been wanting to ride a Pashley for the last two years, so it was my first choice for a test ride despite the many intriguing options at Adeline Adeline. How could I not be intrigued by a classic city bike that’s also the ride of choice for so many of my favorite cycling women?

I took out the 17.5″ frame (love a manufacturer who doesn’t forget petite women!) with three speeds, and it was indeed a smooth and sturdy bike. While I won’t say I didn’t notice potholes, they were definitely minimized by the steel frame. The upright riding position was reminiscent of Oma (check out Dottie’s original review of the Pashley Princess Sovereign for a more thorough comparison of the two bikes) and much more upright than my Batavus Entrada Spirit.

All in all, the Pashley Princess Sovereign lived up to my expectation of a high-quality, stylish and sturdy city bike.

Next up: the Linus Mixte, which I got to know a little bit better.

  • G.E.

    I LOVE my Pashley Princess Sovereign!! I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and despite being on the shorter side (just under 5’4 with shorter legs), I was actually more comfortable on the 20″ frame. I’m sure it’s a matter of preference and individual fit, but I was grateful to have options in sizing as well. I’ve taken it on rides as long as 25 miles, as well as shorter ones. Glad you enjoyed your test ride.

    • elenenatx

      at 5’4” did have to adjust anything n the Pashley? I’m planning on getting one and I’m little under 5’4″ and I prefer a big sturdy heavy frame frame.

  • http://lovelybike.blogspot.com Lovely Bicycle!

    That bicycle looks like it is just the right size for you; very nice!

    To my eye, the Pashley Princess is probably the most elegant and graceful bicycle manufactured today. And while I have now let mine go in favour of a vintage ride, I will always cherish her beauty, comfort, and the many fond memories she has given me.

  • Ryan

    I can’t wait for the Linus review. It’s what I ride everyday!

  • http://girlsandbicycles.blogspot.com Miss Sarah

    Ah the Pashley is a grand ride. I bought it primarily for looks and the small size. I’m 5’0 with shorter legs.

    Admittedly I don’t treat Pashley all that well. I ride her out in all kinds of weather and she probably needs a tune up from all the abuse of the potholes around here. Since I keep a big basket on the front I often have the handlebars loaded with stuff and they spin 90 degrees and the bike falls down:( I think my front fender is quite crooked.

    But that’s what a bike is for! Riding.

    S*

    • Tinker

      Can you transplant the Torker Cargo T headset mounted friction device to a Pashley, or is it dependent on some modification built-in to the Torker? (It lets you turn a collar a partial turn, and it “locks” the fork into place, but it provides only slight resistance, so if you don’t release it, you can still steer the bicycle, though it IS Noisy.) It releases with a LOUD ‘CLICK’ every few centimeters, so you will know its still on. It is designed to keep the load steady on your front rack. They are selling most features of the Cargo T now, so I thought this thing might be sold separately, too.

  • http://bobbinandsprocket.blogspot.com/ Amy

    Offering a 17.5″ frame is the reason why I’ve ultimately decided to buy a Pashley. I’m 5′ even and looking forward to owning a bicycle that will actually fit me!

  • http://plumandradish.blogspot.com/ joanne

    She really is a sturdy bike, and an elegant ride all rolled into one I think! I adore my Pashley-so great on the city streets and I have been know to really load her up with all kinds of weight when I take her to the farmer’s market etc…
    I am petite as well, 5’0 so I do pretty well on the 17.5″ frame.I know I will enjoy this bike for years to come!

  • Kelly

    Just wanted to say I really love your blog – have been reading for a while but don’t think I’ve ever commented. I too have a Pashley Princess Sovereign; like Kara up there, I too had to opt for the ‘giantess’ frame size – but I love it to pieces, it’s the best bike I’ve ever had.

    • http://knittinglemonade.blogspot.com Kara

      “Giantess”…love that!

  • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

    So nice to hear from all these Pashley riders. They’ve been around for so long with good reason.

  • Juliana from NC

    I’ve had my Pashley Princess Sovereign for almost a year now and throughly enjoy every ride on her. At 5’2″ the 17.5″ frame fits me perfectly. I prefer it’s step through frame and upright seating position compared to other bikes that I almost purchased last year. Plus it’s a great conversation piece since there’s hardly any other Pashley bicycles in my neck of the woods and people always stop me to chat about her.

    ps.. i enjoy and am inspired by your blog.

  • http://yahoo Milo.

    Trish,

    Check out Katie Doncaster’s photostream on Flickr. Katie rode a a Pashley Princess Sovereign thru Serbia, Bulgaria Romania on her Princess, summer of ’08. Covered about 2500 miles, stocked up with panniers, lowriders, camping gear, etc. Lots of great photos. Her Princess is green of course!

    Milo.

  • Francesca Moradi

    I’m curious too to know how people decide which size frame to get themselves. I’m just under 5’4″ and have an inseam of 29″ without shoes. I’m thinking that the 20″ bike frame might be a better bet than the 17.5″. 

  • http://twitter.com/ambrosia18 Amber Charles

    Ahhhh I want one. I am planning on buying one very soon. I love my current bike but I need something more of my style. I am sooo excited. Thanks for the review. 

    ambrosia18.wordpress.com

  • Rosemary

    Love your blog! I discovered it the other day at work and am now bookmarking it on my personal computer. I have to ask though- purely out of curiosity- do neither of you wear helmets?

  • http://knittinglemonade.blogspot.com Kara

    My Princess Sovereign constantly amazes me. Although popular for the petite set (seems as if all the blog girls that I follow that own them are on average more petite) it also seems to work for my 6 foot frame–of course I own the largest frame size. I was just riding it today when it hit me again that it is such a lovely bicycle to ride! I just love a bike that can keep making you fall in love with it whenever you ride it.

  • http://www.inspiredcyclist.wordpress.com maureen

    I’m 5′ 5″ with a short inseam, and will be picking up my new 17.5 love any day!

  • http://thisgirlsbike.blogspot.com/ dreamlet

    That bike looks good on you!

  • Neighbourtease

    I wish the 17.5 pashley would have fit me. I am selling mine, because I am the freakish 5’3″ with a 32 inseam — holla if you want a gently used one!

  • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

    Very tempting! But I think I’m at the max when it comes to bikes. One day when I am rich and famous and can build a bicycle garage . . .

  • Jackie Ling

    What color and how much? thanks

  • http://bentleybicycles.blogspot.com/ Laura

    I adore my Pashley Sovereign Princess.

    The bell makes a gorgeous noise, it always makes people smile.

    It suits you too!

  • Francesca Moradi

    I’m curious too to know how people decide which size frame to get themselves. I’m just under 5’4″ and have an inseam of 29″ without shoes. I’m thinking that the 20″ bike frame might be a better bet than the 17.5″. 

  • Jennifer in Scotland

    Francesca – I’m 5’2 with an inseam of 28″ without shoes.  I have a Pashley in size 17.5″ and I feel that it is just a tiny bit small for me.  I also have a Workcycles Oma in size 49cm and that size feels perfect for me.  Hope this helps.