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2022 THE STORY SO FAR
As we pass the halfway point of 2022, we round up Pearson’s highlights of the past six months.
Here at the world’s oldest cycling company, it probably comes as no surprise that anniversaries are a bit of a thing. While the Queen recently celebrated 70 years in business, so to speak, it’s a milestone Pearson reached back in 1930, when Her Maj was just four years old. As cyclists, we also know that for every milestone reached, others await down the road. Pearson has been helping riders since 1860 and we’ll also be with you for the miles ahead.
To know where you’re going, sometimes it’s useful to see where you’ve come from. Or, to use a different riding analogy, if you harbour doubts about covering those miles ahead, draw on the experience of those already ridden; you’ve done it before, so you will again. In that spirit, now that we’ve reached the mid-point in the year, we look back at some of Pearson’s highlights so far.
The year got off to a great start when our Hammerandtongs bike was awarded 4.5 out of 5 by Cycling Weekly. It’s probably churlish to quibble about not getting a perfect score. After all, the country’s leading bike magazine praised Hammerandtongs for its ride quality, balanced geometry and aero efficiency.
Simon Smythe, CW’s reviewer, added that “this could be simultaneously the fastest and smoothest endurance bike I’ve ever ridden”. Kind words but no less than this masterful machine deserves. We’re grateful for the endorsement and, being sticklers for detail, we’re aware that sometimes there’s good news to be had in the small print as well as the headlines. “If you … are looking for something a bit different,” CW concluded, “with a local name on the down tube, that has a supreme ride… [we] absolutely recommend this Pearson”.
For our first in-store event of the year we were thrilled to welcome Phil Cavell to Pearson Performance, here in Sheen. A fellow bike designer and fitter, Phil has also made a name for himself as author of The Midlife Cyclist. Recently out in paperback, it’s a tome packed with wisdom and practical advice. In cycling communities up and down the country, Phil’s book is regarded as a one-stop destination for – how to put it – the ‘mature’ rider.
Echoing Pearson’s philosophy that, no matter how many miles you’ve ridden there are many more to come, the book demonstrates that getting older needn’t mean retiring your riding ambitions. In fact, Phil is on a mission to prove just the opposite, as he explained to an audience of lucky Pearson customers.
Other arrivals at Pearson HQ included our first models of On And On. Pearson’s one rig to rule them all, this fully integrated carbon gravel bike is designed for the off-roader who appreciates a more aero aesthetic but also for the dedicated roadie considering switching codes. Versatile enough for long-haul touring and quick weekend spins, it’s a machine to get you out on your bike and keep you riding. On and on and on.
Pearson announced its co-sponsorship of Bäckstedt Bike Performance JRT, the U19 racing team mentored by cycling legend Magnus Bäckstedt. The Swedish former pro, and winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2004, has brought together some of Britain’s best young riding talent, including Mattie Dodd, Huw Buck and Euan Woodliffe. A long-time supporter of grassroots cycling, Pearson has supplied the riders with our Minegoestoeleven road bike.
This season, the team has been competing in some of the biggest junior races in Europe, striving for podium places as they bid to progress to the U23 ranks. Visit the 1860 Hub and you’ll find some of the team’s favourite training rides. Bear in mind they include distances, elevation and the (freakishly short) times in which Bäckstedt’s young tyros complete the rides. (No pressure.)
March also saw Pearson’s Summon the Blood named bike of the month by Cycling Weekly. Utilising the Belgian designed and engineered Classified 2 speed hub system, our titanium gravel bike went on to score highly in review.
The first round of Pearson’s Inside Out ride series, the spring edition, took in 60-ish kilometres of trails and quiet roads around south-west London. We also introduced our partnership with Classified, the ground-breaking Belgian kit manufacturer reinventing hub gearing.
Offering up to 24 speeds from a single-ring groupset, Pearson is one of the first UK stockists of this ingenious gear, which uses a two-speed hub in place of a front derailleur. (Supplied either as part of our own Hoopdriver carbon wheelset, or with the Classified wheelset of your choice.) Pearson bikes featuring the Classified hub were on display at the Cycle Show, held that month at Alexandra Palace, and happily much lauded by Tom Boonen, Belgium's heart throb all rounder cycling champion.
Another successful pairing was our collaboration with cycling shoe maestros Lake, who helped us create the Pearson + Lake Tearaway Cycling Shoes. Billed as a luxurious cycling ‘sneaker-trainer’, the Tearaways featured proprietary RUG® technology, an acronym of ‘Road, ‘Urban’ and ‘Gravel’; the terrain these multi-use shoes were ‘designed’ for. What looked at first glance to be a pair of trainers with a homemade Velcro sole turned out to be… a pair of trainers with a Velcro sole.
Our April Fool was spotted by most customers, although not the four who made genuine enquiries regarding availability (and who took it in very good humour when they discovered the truth). Bless.
More credit for Pearson machines this month, some official, some less so. Road.cc’s review of On and On scored the bike 4.5 from 5. Elsewhere, praise came from Mr James May, he of Top Gear/Grand Tour fame. Famously as fond of two-wheeled vehicles as four-wheeled ones (well, almost), Mr May is a knowledgeable collector of both vintage and modern bikes.
In conversation with the Drink at Your Desk Friday podcast, the man Clarkson calls ‘Captain Slow’ had no problems speeding listeners through his collection of handsome bicycles. Asked if there were any machines he admired but did not necessarily own, he confessed that a certain bike had recently caught his eye. “I really fancy that… titanium Pearson, it’s a gorgeous looking thing,” James said. “I could look at that for an evening instead of watching television, I’d prop it up in the sitting room, with a beer, and just look at the bike.” We’re not entirely sure which model he was referring to (frankly, they’re all gorgeous) but we’re chuffed nonetheless.
And congratulations to Bäckstedt’s Mattie Dodd, who managed a second place at the National Junior Road Race Champs, with Euan 6th and Dylan 8th.
Will Pearson took part in this year’s Duchenne Dash, the 24-hour charity ride from London to Paris.
Making a welcome return after a two-year break, Pearson has been a proud supporter of the event for more than 10 years, in which time it has raised more than £5.5m for research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
Starting from Herne Hill Velodrome, riders made their way first to Newhaven, then on to Dieppe aboard the overnight ferry. The route to the French capital took them through stunning French countryside before finishing at the Eiffel Tower. And this month also sees the next Inside Out ride, the summer edition, on 25th June.
That’s all for now but we’re excited for the many more miles ahead and look forward to riding them with you, and keep an eye out for more Pearson products and events in the second half of the year.