By John Hanson
I am the proud owner of a Cresswell Micro purchased from Messrs Pratt & Co in Hull, frame number M251. The velocipede was obtained in January 1998.
Despite one or two outings in Eurostar from time to time, the machine earns its keep on the not-so-faraway shores of Paris, France, where it is regarded as something of a curiosity. Its primary function is to make the liaison between my home at Clichy and SNCF Clichy-Levallois (about 1,5 km) and at the other end of the journey twixt SNCF La Verrière and my office at Maurepas (3.5 km). I have to change trains twice, but I have devised a system for finding the best place on the train.
La Verrière-Maurepas is almost exclusively on cycle path, whilst at the Parisian end I have to risk my neck mixing it with other heavier road users. Generally traffic notice me - a six footer on a bright yellow bike with sixteen inch wheels is pretty obvious.
The bike is fine; outside of the work run it is used to commute to and from my girlfriends' fathers' house at Asnières, 1.5 km away on the other side of the Seine. This is great, because finding a parking space where he lives is a nightmare. I don't have a garage where I live so the bike resides in my cellar.
The Micro runs well, a bit too much flex in the bars for my liking, though. At first I experienced a serious failure in the bar stem resulting in cracks appearing in the stem tube; Pashley were called and a replacement piece arrived within a week, free of charge. The replacement part is an improved design and the fault has not reappeared.
I'm not over impressed with the choice of gears; first is a waste of space - the thing just wheelies, second is too low and third too high. The jump in between is enormous. I've punctured twice to date, and getting the small tyres back on is a job and a half!
I've successfully fitted a Cateye Mity 2 computer and a Cateye Krypton front headlight to the bike as well as a Zèfal LED on the seat-tube. Micro has been to the countryside once and it was fun, but really it's a "vèlo de ville".
Recently at an exhibition on urban transport in Paris there was a stand featuring the Brompton - I had previously been tempted by one but dissuaded by the price. The build is excellent, probably better then the Micro, but for me the bars are just too low, making me look even more like Quasimodo. Fine if you want to examine your front wheel, but I prefer the upright position of the Micro, where I can have a better appreciation of the traffic around me!
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Copyright ©1999 John Hanson
Last updated: 18 June 1999