Put The Hammer Down
Forged with Pearson’s trademark quality, reliability and craft, the new Hammerandtongs offers some timely updates to a long-standing Pearson favourite.
By Emma Winterson.
The Hammerandtongs is a responsive, lightweight carbon road bike. Ideal for punchy rides into the country or combatting continental sportive rides, it's also versatile enough for everyday cycling. Now in its sixth iteration, the bike takes its name from the tools used by our founder, Tom Pearson, back in 1860.
Tom’s metalwork earned a reputation for outstanding craftsmanship. That reputation was hard-won and subsequent generations have strived to uphold Tom’s legacy. Even during wartime, when the task fell to Tom’s grandson, Arthur Pearson. (Grandfather, in turn, to current Pearson torchbearers Guy and Will.) Arthur designed and sourced his bicycle frames from local manufacturers, men such as Charlie Roberts, in south London.
Through the years, the Pearson workshop has been graced by some celebrated exponents of the frame builders’ craft. Among those in residence in the 1980s was one Cliff Shrubb, who carried out frame repairs using highly explosive oxy-acetylene equipment. Those were the days when road racing was for fancy Continental types, when an Englishman’s bike was for time-trialling.
Cliff built frames to fit individual size and taste.
Cliff’s repair kit would have made quite a mess of the new Hammerandtongs’ matt-black frame, which is made from high-modulus carbon. But we hope he would have approved of its versatility. At just 900g (medium-sized frame), it’s a touch light for TT work but is durable enough to guarantee years of happy riding. This ‘Hammer’ also adheres to Pearson House Design (PhD), our exclusive in-house fit system, which means it features a slightly taller front-end for a more comfortable position.
A range of gearing options is available, starting with Shimano 105 – an excellent choice at an equally excellent price – through to Ultegra mechanical and, finally, Ultegra Di2. (The superb battery life provides considerable mileage on a single charge, so you’ll only need to recharge a few times a year.) The groupset includes an 11-34 rear cassette, partnered with a compact 50/34 front chainset. So, you can scale the hills in comfort and nail the descents effortlessly. (And Ultegra disc brakes mean you'll be unlikely to end up in a heap at the bottom.)
Hammerandtongs built exactly to your fit and in blue or black finish.
Another to bend his mind – and tubing – to the Pearson cause was Dave Yates, a name that still inspires reverence. By the time Guy and Will took charge, in 1994, Yates’ frames were rolling out of Pearson’s Sutton store on a regular basis. Outside the frame making world, Roberts, Shrubb and Yates are not well-known names. To the cognoscenti, however, the trio were not merely craftsmen but artists.
And we’re confident they would have approved of our performance-enhancing modifications to the new Hammerandtongs. The chainstays on the 2020 edition, for example, have been enlarged to enhance power transfer; the new-look Hammer features an even fuller fork for the same reason. The handlebars and stem are now semi-integrated, housing both cables and hosing internally. Not only does this give the Hammer a slicker look – rarely a bad thing – it’s also more aerodynamic. To dampen road vibration, Hammerandtongs also features thinner seat stays and an integrated carbon seapost.
Hammerandtongs - slick looks from front to back.
The world has changed a lot since the 1980s. (It’s changed a lot since March.) Business suits no longer feature NFL-regulation shoulder pads, while mobile phones, once the size of a house bricks, are today barely larger than credit cards; they’ve also rendered the home computer, sat nav and camera just about obsolete.
For the cycle industry, change has included globalised sourcing. By the turn of the century, high-quality, lightweight frames were being produced around the world. Working closely with suppliers, Pearson has drawn on the company’s heritage and bike-fitting expertise to maintain its reputation for durable, optimised machines. For proof, look no further than Pearson House Design, where frame geometries are informed by a decade of bike-fitting data. Created not for Grand Tour riders but the everyday athlete it means that, while custom builds occupy a special place in the Pearson philosophy, a custom frame is far from the only option. Hammerandtongs is an excellent example, a versatile machine offering a perfect fit without compromising on performance. (Looks pretty good, too.)
To find out more about the Hammerandtongs, click here.