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Royal Mail Pashtun Bicycle

10 Jan 2020, 16:08

I am going to buy a refurbished ex RM bicycle called Elephant Bike thru charity. I am going to use it as a cargo bike. I am looking for someone who can share some experiences when delivering on those bikes pre 2010.
Did they have originally 3speed hub gears?. Do they often had tyre puncture when fully loaded? Do you still have original rear panniers or know someone who can sell it? Is it difficult to go uphill fully loaded on them-i understand there are over 20kg heavy?

Royal Mail Pashtun Bicycle

10 Jan 2020, 16:48

I used one periodically when covering certain duties. As far as I remember it was 3 speed Sturmey-Archer gears. Don't remember them having a lot of punctures. The one I used didn't have panniers. I would load my first bag onto the tray in front which weighed under 10kg. I remember it being a little 'squirrely' with the steering when loaded, and required concentration.

The models with panniers are more expensive, and remember these are not originally what Royal Mail would have used. I would suggest sourcing your own panniers. I can recommend Crosso Dry 60l panniers. Great price, large capacity, sturdy and totally waterproof. I use these on my own bike and have done for several years.

Regarding going uphill, you will struggle, depending on how loaded the bike is, and with only 3 gears. Really depends on the loads you plan on carrying, and how steep the hills are.

Royal Mail Pashtun Bicycle

10 Jan 2020, 17:40

The gears are SRAM on those bikes,One thing to watch out for on them is chain stretch keep an eye on the chain tensioner, when the arm gets near to what would be 5.30 on a clockface you need a new chain,Otherwise the tensioner will snap back against the rear cog and you'll be going nowhere.
Personally i'd avoid it like the plague as a bike they are heavy not easy to maintain Changing the rear tyre and getting the gears working correctly again is a real pain in the butt if you don't use exactly the right technique,Which i've forgot.
My reccomendation would be to buy something like this through the C2W scheme ... lsrc=aw.ds

Royal Mail Pashtun Bicycle

10 Jan 2020, 22:19

I think maybe you mean Pashley.

Royal Mail Pashtun Bicycle

11 Jan 2020, 07:51

We still deliver on them in my office, they weigh an absolute ton but they're built fairly solidly. The internal hub brakes/gears are solid and can be very reliable with proper maintenance, though I'd be a bit wary given how I know they're treated/maintained by RM! There's definitely more lightweight options out there, some kind of touring bike setup with a front and rear rack would carry the same, the only thing the RM bike has is the front tray, but a milk crate and some brackets on a front rack would do a similar job.

Royal Mail Pashtun Bicycle

11 Jan 2020, 18:53

Someone above has already mentioned the chain tensioner which was often a problem. Also there were many cases (in our office) of the handlebars snapping off. I don't know the technical term for the middle bit where both sides of the handlebars met but it was at that point where they would snap - I remember my left one coming away in my hand as I went round a busy roundabout :chuckle . We also had a problem in our office with pedals coming off as well - but that was probably down to scooting along with your bodyweight on one pedal.

Royal Mail Pashtun Bicycle

12 Jan 2020, 10:42

They were quite heavy and I do recall the chain coming off being the most reported problem with them. We could usually but not always manage to get the chain back on by carefully lifting the chain and winding the pedals backwards slowly but this didn't always work. Worst case scenario was then having to wheel it along like a trolley if you couldn't get someone from the DO to bring a replacement out. I would have have thought there must be a better bike available for you to purchase than one of our old bikes.

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