The Light Blue builds bikes that hark back to more simple times with classical looks and conventional style but modern sensibilities. The Robinson has a neat, TIG welded, double-butted Reynolds 725 steel frame with a straight-bladed Chromoly steel fork and a very classy-looking paint job.
The top tube is subtly ovalised in the vertical plane, as is the down tube where it joins the head tube, but it’s oriented horizontally at the bottom bracket shell to counteract stress.
The seatstays taper at each end and kink before the dropouts, while the wavy chainstays ovalise vertically before the bottom bracket and are crimped for tyre clearance.
The seat tube and generously tall head tube are round with a diameter almost matched by the chunky, mildly tapered fork legs with a flattened inner face.
Unsurprisingly for such slim tubes, all the cables are routed externally behind the fork leg and beneath the down tube. The gear cables have conventional down tube bolt-on stops from where the inner wires continue, whereas the brakes have outer casing from end to end.
The Robinson has mounts for a rear rack, plus mudguard fittings; without these £35 mudguards there’s clearance for 38mm tyres.
A modern bike with a retro touch from The Light Blue. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The Light Blue Robinson V2 SORA kit
My bike came with 32mm Tioga City Slicker tyres, which measure 33mm on the Halo White Line rims, but still fit comfortably within the mudguards.
These 32-hole rims have a beefy 25mm wide box section profile and spin on quick-release disc hubs, which are slowed by TRP’s Spyre mechanical disc brakes.
The rest of the drivetrain is Shimano’s 9-speed Sora in grey anodising, giving a high-quality look. Distributor Ison completes the build with house brand Genetic’s bar, stem and seatpost, plus Passport saddle.
My ML size Robinson tipped the scales at 11.84kg. Ironically not so light, but no surprise for a build at this price and, in fact, not out of touch with the theoretically much lighter aluminium bikes that were also on test.
The gear cables have conventional down tube bolt-on stops. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The Light Blue Robinson V2 SORA ride impressions
Its mass is undeniable when lifting it over the threshold, but setting out on a ride instantly proves that there’s a little sparkle in there.
There isn’t the urgent whip of a race bike when accelerating, because its planted nature makes gaining speed a more refined process; a firm press on the pedals is met with equal forward motion.
Settling down in to the Passport Navigator saddle is like sinking into a soft armchair because its padding is so deep and soft. I was concerned it might be squashy and detract from the ride, but although a bit bulky, I came to like it.
The Genetic Flare bar angles out by 11 degrees and has a pronounced ergonomic flat section in the drop that I found comfy, but its extended lever reach may not suit those with smaller hands.
In trying to maintain the sort of reach I’d expect on a standard 56cm frame, the 18cm head tube on my bike created a tall and slightly long front end, so, on reflection, the medium may be closer.
Building speed allows an appreciation of the Sora groupset, which has a good quality feel, positive action and Shimano’s trademark slick shifting.
A comfortable ride that rolls well on the flat. Russell Burton
On the flat, the Robinson rolls nicely, with the sort of relentless momentum that just takes everything in its stride. Gravity brings about a marked acceleration downhill, but when the road rises, it’s another story.
Speed falls away and you have to work quite hard for elevation gain, perhaps leaving some wanting lower than the 34 x 28 lowest gear. It feels honest, though.
Even with the cushioning effect of 70psi in 33mm wide tyres, there’s constant surface feedback. The biggest hits feel pretty firm through the handlebar, but the saddle cushions much of the rear-end vibration.
The Light Blue Robinson V2 SORA overall
The Robinson is a great place to refine your pedalling because it rewards silky spinning more than big-gear grinding. It’s no mountain goat, but rides confidently with great solidity, ideal mechanicals and the best non-hydraulic disc brakes out there.
As a daily commuter or tough winter trainer it won’t let you down.
The Light Blue Robinson V2 SORA geometry
Seat angle: 72.5 degrees
Head angle: 72 degrees
Seat tube: 51.5cm
Top tube: 58cm
Head tube: 18cm
Fork offset: 4.45cm
Bottom bracket height: 28.6cm
Bottom bracket drop: 7.2cm
Chromoplastic mudguards: £35