If you are looking for a bike for peddling around town, look no further than the gorgeous Raleigh Sherwood.
I was lucky enough to be sent one of these beautiful bikes to try out and I was actually rather hoping they let me keep it.
Let’s start at the beginning and talk about Raleigh, who are the creators of iconic bikes such as the Grifter and Chopper, as well as being responsible for the cutting edge TI-Raleigh Tour de France winning 853 steel frames and carbon racing machines.
Raleigh is very much a part of the cycling work and today they own bike and accessory brands, including Diamondback and RSP, and distribute stock to cycle shops around the UK.
Being British, the Sherwood has been described as the ‘perfect embodiment of quintessentially British cycling and elegantly combines modern components with retro styling’.
The bike came in striking blue, to match the Devon skies and sea-side setting.
It wasn’t the lightest bike I have ridden but it was comfortable and I think this is the idea as it is a retro ride and one that has been built for elegance and comfort rather than speed.
I actually managed to get this beautiful bike out of the box myself and fix the swept back steel handlebars into the right position to fit the classic steel twin tube-shaped frame, using the Allen keys provided and with a little help from my nine-year old who is a spanner ace.
The last bike I went on was a ladies road bike so this was pretty different. Rather than being low down and flat backed, on the Sherwood you are very much upright and relaxed and in a far less vulnerable riding position.
I am a fan of the soft, women specific saddle that didn’t need an extra gel pad.
I also had to add the peddles myself, these come as standard and are black resin and while they went on easily, getting them off to send the bike back was harder so I have no doubt once you start peddling, they are doing no where.
The blue frame was stunning and set off perfectly but the cream Innova tyres and brown trim of the handle grips and saddle.
What gave this back even more of a heritage feel was the beautiful imitation bamboo front basket. Again, you add this on yourself, but it isn’t hard, and it is the icing on the cake when it comes to style.
Matching mudguards, a sturdy aluminium stand and a traditional bell all come as standard with this bike.
The Aluminium V-brakes and 7 speed Shimano Revoshift gears with rotational shifters were welcomed on the Devon hills and in town.
This bike had a very traditional feel to it and as I cycled I felt less Victoria Pendleton and more Miss Marple.
It is the perfect city bike and great if you are going from home to the office, shops and library.
Given that it is a striking looking bike, I would go for a decent lock and make sure you use it when you pop into Boots.
Overall, this was a lovely bike, maybe a little heavy for me but one I would happily use to dart around town with my laptop on my back and my flask in the basket.
Thank you to Raleigh for the loan.