The Light Blue St John’s Retro rolls back the years albeit with a contemporary edge plus three more impressive rides
The St John’s is a love letter to classic British drop-bar bikes. With its slender-tubed and brazed Reynolds steel frame decorated in metallic green with chrome detailing and hand-applied gold pinstripe lug lining, this new machine wouldn’t have looked out of place hanging in the window of your local bike shop more than half a century ago.
Beneath the beautiful skin is Reynolds 725, a modern steel whose mandrill-butted tubes feature thin walls that cut weight. The geometry mixes past and present with a modern, steeper 72.5° head angle and 73° seat angle melded to a longer fork offset of 45mm, while the long 575mm top tube of our 56cm test bike is countered by the classic quill stem. It all adds up to a bike that hints at a sporty position but is really more about cruising.
That’s heightened by the comfort of steel, which elicits a smooth ride that’s not even interrupted by the idiosyncratic non-indexed, down-tube shifters. It’s naturally not the smoothest transition from one cog to another, and the Driven RX gearing, which is 9 x 2 with