What better place to preview a Cambridge-designed bike line, than at an event celebrating the start of Stage Three of the Tour de France, right in the heart of a great cycling city like Cambridge?
In case you don’t know the story, in 1895 John Albert Townsend started making bicycles in Cambridge for wealthy students and the Light Blue bicycles were born. The name comes from the historic sporting colours used by the world famous Cambridge University. The rivalry between the light blue colours of Cambridge and the dark blue of Oxford are perhaps most famously seen in the annual Thames-set Boat Race. Just don’t mention this year’s race result.
Fast forward 119 years and The Light Blue previewed its 2015 range at St.Catharine’s College, mere yards away from where the world’s finest rode in Le Tour on a blazing hot Monday afternoon.
With the big 120-year anniversary just around the corner, The Light Blue – via distributor Ison – will be offering complete bike options, using a semi-custom specification and build system. The latest ranges come two years after the launch of The Light Blue Kings line, many of which were on show at the event. For Spring 2015, however, The Light Blue is adding a new retro style frame and three new contemporary sports frames, all of which are using Reynolds tubing.
The Light Blue St Johns is classed as a ‘retro-modern’ sports frame. Made with modern Reynolds 720 tubing, it sports mudguard eyelets and rack mounts and the frame lends itself to sportives, commuting and light touring.
Also new is The Light Blue Wolfson, a lightweight tig welded Reynolds 853 frame, geared up for sportive riders, featuring variable size sports geometry, ample clearance for wider tyres, hidden mudguard mounting points and carbon forks.
Meanwhile the Light Blue Robinson is a lightweight tig welded Reynolds 725 tubed sports road bike. The Robinson is disc brake compatible, variable size sports geometry and ample clearance for up to 32C tyres.
Finally, the Light Blue Darwin is being touted as the ‘modern evolution of touring and lifestyle bikes’.
Ison Distribution MD Lloyd Townsend said: “My great grandfather started making the Light Blue bikes way back in 1895, and I felt a burning desire to re-invigorate our original brand as it approaches 120 years of age. Having the world’s most revered cycling race starting a stage in Cambridge itself is perhaps a once in a lifetime event. It seemed quite fitting to hold a preview of the Light Blue 2015 range to an audience of friends and colleagues that have helped this small Cambridge bicycle business develop.
“The Light Blue bicycles are designed in Cambridge with the type of attention to detail that four generations of living and breathing bicycles brings. They are made with proven materials and manufacturing techniques to an ethos that puts customer satisfaction at the top of the page.
“The ranges include City bicycles for urban transport, and Sports bicycles for fitness and leisure riding.
“I am looking forwards to working with a small network of IBDs that want to become stockists of The Light Blue bicycles.”
Find out about the expanding range directly from Ison Distribution: 01353 662 662 or at www.thelightblue.co.uk
This article first appeared in BikeBiz August 2014, issue 103. Read the full mag here.