Bag an ex-Royal Mail Pashley postie for £250

A slice of British history, and it’s all for a good cause

A small British charity is offering people the chance to snap up ex-postie Pashley bicycles for just £250. Once destined for the scrapper, the fleet of 5,000 Pashley Pronto bicycles will be refurbished and sold off to the public by Staffordshire based charity the Krizevac Project.

The good news doesn’t end there though, because for every bike sold in the UK, the company will send one to Malawi, Africa, where it can transform the daily lives of locals.

The bikes won’t retain their traditional red colouring; instead they’ll be offered in a choice of four shades and will be rebranded as the Elephant bike… Yes, you read that correctly, and there’s a good story behind it too.. The reason for the change stems back to an incident involving ex-Royal Mail bikes that were donated to Malawi and were used to patrol the perimeter fence of an endangered Black Rhino.

Fence wardens welcomed their new tools for the patrol but elephants took spectacular objection to the Royal red hue, so much so that one of the wardens was chased for 20 minutes by an irate elephant. The bikes were returned to the workshop where they were then re-sprayed in a ‘bush friendly’ green shade. This worked a treat, and the result was happy elephants, safe and efficient fence wardens and a better protected Black Rhino!

The elephants weren't so keen on royal mail red..: the elephants weren't so keen on royal mail red..
The elephants weren't so keen on royal mail red..: the elephants weren't so keen on royal mail red..

Just like the neighbour's dog, elephants don't seem to be too keen on the postie

The bikes themselves are 23kg (50.07lbs) workhorses built in the UK by Pashley and were part of an unfortunately ever-declining fleet of pedal power from Royal Mail. The step-through steel frame of these bikes is available in two sizes, with each dressed in identical low-maintenance and ultra durable components. The drivetrain is a classic three-speed hub gear offering from Sturmey Archer, which also supplies the front and rear drum brakes.

Both the 26in rear and 24in front rims are wrapped in tough and dependable tyres from Schwalbe with debris being kept away from the rider thanks to full-length alloy mudguards. Of course, load lugging is the aim of the game with this one and here the Pronto does not disappoint. The integrated rear carrier will accept 20kg of payload, and the same can be said for the optional front carrier (an £18 option). You can even get a charming basket for the front carrier for £12 on top of that.

Each Elephant Bike promises to be subject to a professional refurbishment process – this involves being stripped down to its bare components, with the frame then being shot blasted and all components checked and rebuilt or repaired as necessary. This work is performed with the help of young offenders from Swinfen Hall prison in Staffordshire.

So there you have it, a slice of British history and all for a good cause – what’s not to like?

Oli Woodman

Senior Writer, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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