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The Light Blue City Bike Catalogue



he Light Blue Bicycle company began its life way back in 1895, when John Albert Townsend produced hand built bicycles for wealthy members of Cambridge University. These custom made machines were produced in a converted dairy in Norfolk Street, Cambridge at a rate of around six per week. The Light Blue name was taken from the University colours, but in those days all the bicycles were painted black. John made his own Track bike with a special 100-tooth chainwheel to celebrate the turn of the century in 1900. He rode that bike until he died in 1942, and this original bike remains in the posession of the family to this day, By the time of the Great War, production had ceased as the men were called away. Following this, the larger cycle manufacturers began to produce more affordable models on a much greater scale and The Light Blue Bicycle was consigned to the back burner. However, subsequent generations of the Townsend family continued in the cycle trade, and became well established as independent cycle retailers in Cambridge, gaining a fine reputation for providing good, reliable service at a local level.



n 2004, some 90 years after the last Light Blue Bicycle was produced, the need for high quality, traditional style bicycles was recognised. The old style city bikes that gave Cambridge its timeless image became increasingly hard to find, and so a new generation of The Light Blue Bicycle was born. Townsends Light Blue Cycle Centre, as the shop is now known, came up with the modern Light Blue Bicycle. It was an instant hit with both ‘Town’ and ‘Gown’. The student population (Gown) liked the association of the Light Blue name with the University, whilst the local ‘Townies’ recognised the Townsend name as one associated with quality and dependability, almost instantly creating a fashion for the ‘granny bike’ - a comfortable upright bike with a basket, simple gears and a very traditional look. The popularity of the Light Blue Bicycle was such that it soon outgrew the scope for the original manufacturer, so the range was redesigned and a new maker appointed. Every care has been taken to produce a range of bicycles true to the Light Blue heritage, but with modern materials and processes to ensure quality and reliability.

Town Cycles The Next Generation of The Light Blue Bicycle. There are two models in the modern range - the Chesterton 7 speed and the Parkside 3 speed. Both bikes are available in Ladies’ and Gents’ frames, and the Ladies’ has an extra colour choice. Many modern bicycles owe their design and development to the Mountain Bike. The Mountain Bike ‘craze’ of the 90s did push forward development of performance bicycles, but not always in a way which is beneficial for everyday city use... Many companies blindly adopt the latest fashion and, in doing so, fail to consider that in most cases function should be the master of form. Light Blue Cycles are different - they are designed and developed by people that have lived and worked with bicycles for all of their working lives. With a heritage stretching back in excess of 110 years making, selling and servicing bicycles in what is recognised as ‘cycle city’, you might expect that the Light Blue designers know a thing or two about what really makes good sence on a city bicycle.

The Parkside 3 speed. Developed around the almost timeless Sturmey Archer AW 3 speed internal gear hub, this clasically designed bike provides the reliability and low maintenance that riders over many years have come to experience from a proven internal hub gear. If you are looking for clean lines and simple reliability in your thoroughbred workhouse city bike, the Parkside is the steed to consider.

The Chesterton 7 speed. Designed around a derailleur gear system, the Chesterton provides the pedalling efficiency of a direct chain drive gear system, combined with modern Shimano push button gear selection. The Chesterton is our lighter and faster bike, by virtue of its highly efficient gear system.


The Devil is in The Detail

Both Parkside and Chesterton bikes are packed full of quality features that you don’t usually expect to find on bikes around this price level. many of the small features will go unnoticed... until you ride and own one. Take the saddles for example - a seat is just a seat, right? Well, maybe it’s not quite as simple as that.

Passport Upper Class Travel in 1st class luxury comfort with our top flight ‘town and around’ saddle. Shaped differently for ladies and gents, these full feature saddles include:

Sqidgtech gel padding TM

High performance synthetic foam material with memory capability that disperses pressure points and greatly improves comfort on long rides... try it!

Double density base The saddle base is made using a stable, suportive semi-rigid skeleton fused with a soft, flexible krayton material beneath contact points that flexes to reduce pressure on body tissues and so enhances your comfort. The base design features an area that is completely open around your body’s more sensitive areas, so avoiding pressure and discomfort.

Safety elastomer springs

Kevlar anti-scuff panels

Twin elastomer rear springs separate the saddle top from the harsh shocks and jarring that modern road surfaces can dish out, enhancing rider comfort. Importantly, elastomer springs have no places for little fingers to get caught - unlike the old fashioned coil springs which can prove to be hazardous to children’s fingers...

You know how it is, you just leaned the bike against the wall for a moment, and that’s it - another saddle wrecked... bot not any more: Passport Upper Class saddles feature tough, durable, scuff-resistant Kevlar material panels that will shrug off connection with the roughest surfaces.

Passport Upper Class Ergo Grips Travel in 1st class luxury comfort with our top flight ‘town and around’ grips. Remember: handlebar grips and saddle are two of your main contact points on a bicycle. Comfort and control are important factors towards enjoying cycling, and having the right grips is a key part to obtaining comfort and control on your bicycle.

Features: Ergonomically shaped to better support the human hand. Double density materials: two different-density Krayton rubber type materials to optimise control and comfort. Base layer is shock absorbing and stable TBR and the plalm area fill is soft, comfortable gel.


Rubber brake lever inserts Non-slip and comfort enhancing, on the day when the temperature is freezing and you’ve left your gloves in the office, you’ll appreciate the feel of these brake levers. Of course, even in warm conditions, the Krayton rubber wins fans over cold metal aluminium brake levers.

Quality alloy propstand There’s nothing worse than a poorquality propstand that doesn’t work, or continually slips around on the frame. The Light Blue welded location plate prevents stand slippage, and the top plate prevents leverage from breaking the the welded plate off the frame.

Stainless spokes

Durable, rust-free spokes that will provide years of trouble-free reliability and good looks

Nutted wheel mountings

Doublewall rims

The current fashion for ‘quick release’ wheels is great, especially for thieves. So, unless you are racing against the clock, why bother having quick release wheels? Front nutted axles are also a handy fixing point for classic basket supports, which are oh so popular in ‘Cycle City’.

Strong, heat-treated aluminium with stainless steel spoke eyelets. Conventional rims are a U-shaped section - however, the Halo brand double wall rims specified on all Light Blue bikes have a box section shape that is inherently much stronger.

Lightweight alloy pedals

Anti-puncture tyres

Strong, durable and with rubber grip surfaces that will suit most types of footwear. PLUS safety reflectors for riding in the dark. Why would we want to offer anything less as standard?

An additional strip of tough but supple and lightweight plastic is incorporated into the tyre construction itself. This feature adds a degree of puncture resistance to the tyre, so reducing what is a common ‘problem’ on any bicycle by up to 80%.


Powerful V-brakes With reliable alloy spring tension adjusters. This is one feature that you will not appreciate initially, but years of workshop experience have taught us that saving a few pence by fitting plastic adjusters will go unnoticed... until the elements do their thing and the plastic fractures. Hence, Light Blue brakes feature reliable and long lasting aluminium adjusters.

Dog Leg rear carrier Durable, lightweight alloy rear carrier with pannier bag side-support dog leg stays and useful top spring clip. So many rear carriers are used with panniers bags, it’s a surprise to us that not all rear carriers incorporate a simple dog leg that stops pannier bags from swinging into the rear wheel. Of course, function over form plays it’s part, and Light Blue bikes feature aluminium rear carriers with dog leg pannier side-supports as standard.

Height adjustable stem A throw back to times when products were designed for a good reason. The Light Blue Parkside and Chesterton both feature a classic “Quill” type handle bar stem. This simple design allows an effective telescopic adjustment of the handle bar height position, (something which the latter day Mountain Bike developed “Aheadset” system products lack the ability to offer.)

Light, TIG welded frames The purposefully low bottom bracket heights provide a comfort-enhancing riding position combined with superior biomechanical efficiency over many of the ‘modern’ frame designs that have off-road ground clearance.

Light Blue Cycles 2012  

Light Blue Cycle range 2012

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