The Limited Edition Guv’nor Plus Four was announced in 2009 with production limited to 50 bicycles. The Plus Four features brass plated lugwork, a unique cockpit and a four speed drivetrain comprised of a Sachs Duomatic rear hub paired with a Speed Drive front crankset.
Above: Duchy Wheeler‘s #20 Plus Four with Izumi gold chain, MKS leather covered deep half toe clips, Pashley leather frame guard, Brooks Challenge honey leather tool bag, Sogreni brass light set and Carradice Alston tweed saddlepack #3/10.
Note: if you’re a Plus Four owner, please let Geoff ‘Duchy Wheeler’ know so that he can add you to his registry (at the bottom of this page)!
Like the standard Guv’nor, the Plus Four utilizes a handmade Reynolds 531 frame and includes the usual fine compliment of Guv’nor components, such as the Brooks B17 Titanium saddle, Nitto stem, Brooks grips (in place of Pashley grips on the standard Guv), Westwood profile rims, Schwalbe rubber and a Sturmey X-FD internal drum brake front hub. See my full Pashley Guv’nor review for detailed component, frame and sizing specs.. It should be noted, however, that the Plus Four was not offered in the larger, 24.5″ size (double top tube frame).
To many, the most singular feature of the Plus Four is the 2×2 four speed drivetrain, which employs a 2 speed kick-back rear coaster hub with a 2 speed Schlumpf crankset. What the heck does that mean? It means four speeds with no shifters, no derailleurs and no cables!
A kickback hub is an internally-geared rear hub that shifts by back-pedaling while coasting. This requires about 15 degrees of backpedal to activate the internal shift. Since there are only two gears in the Duomatic hub, shifting just alternates between the two speeds. Backpedaling further will engage the coaster brake, so any time you brake, you’ll also shift! Obviously, this mode of operation requires a bit of getting used to, and ultimately a bit of finesse to become adept and second nature to the rider.
Above: the Speed Drive crank (from SeattleGuv #46 at the Guvnor’s Assembly)
Shifting the Schlumpf type crankset is achieved by putting the cranks arms approximately parallel with the ground and then hitting the shift button in the center of the crank (essentially in-line with the axel, where the crank bolt would normally be) with your heel. Again, the Speed Drive is two speeds, so shifting just alternates between the two gears. But in this case, the “button” goes in and out of both sides of the crank. So the button starts out pultruding one one side, then when you hit it, it pops out on the other side! Again, there is probably a bit of a learning curve here, but I don’t hear complaints from Plus Four owners and these cranks have become very popular on MTB fixie-to-two speed conversions.
Below you’ll find some Plus Four reference material, mostly from Duchy Wheeler. DW publishes an e-newsletter, the InFOURmer, for Plus Four owners (and enthusiasts). Contact him to be added to the distribution.
“In fact there’s a typo error on this instruction sheet, the Speed-Drive lubricant should read “MoS2″ this is a special grease available in 5ml. ampules and should, according to the makers, keep things running smoothly for 2,000-3,000 miles.
The Schlumpf Speed-Drive equates to 27t in ‘Direct’ and 45t in ‘Overdrive’, so in combination with the Sachs Duomatic hub, with 1:1 and 1.38:1 ratios, gives gear inches of: 38″, 52″, 63″ & 87″.” -DW (from the Guvnor’s Assembly)
From InFOURmer #3:
“As you probably know the recommended lube for the Speed-Drive is MoS2 grease, which Schlumpf sell in 5ml. ampoules/syringes, priced the last time I enquired at £5 for 5ml.! I think this is very expensive for such a small amount, enough for two applications, and they aren’t easy to source either here in the UK, or Australia from what Ryan #39 tells me.
However, I found from a search on UK eBay a seller listing 80g. GKN Hardy Spicer MoS2 CV ball joint grease for about the same price!!
Ryan suggests avoiding cycle oil at all costs in the Speed-Drive, which will seep out everywhere causing a black oily mess. He strongly recommends using only the correct MoS2 grease. So if you keep your steed indoors and wish to avoid the wrath of ‘er indoors take heed!”
From InFOURmer #2:
“I acquired my Plus Four #20 in October last year from a chap in Kent, the original careful owner since March 2010, it still had the dimples on the tyres! Whilst fettling it was noticed that one of the concave chrome plated washers on the Speed-Drive kick plates had split! I contacted Pashley, who found a replacement and posted it free of charge.
I also thought it would be prudent to purchase a spare pair for the future and found that Schlumpf are now part of Haberstock Mobility in Germany http://www.haberstock-mobility.com who promptly dispatched a pair, interestingly they aren’t chrome plated, so maybe there has been an know material fatigue issue with this component?”
The stock Plus Four chain was a KMC model with a Taya Sigma removable link that seems to have reliability issues. As with the standard Guv’nor, some are replacing the chain and link. DW has noted that the Guvnor chains are wider and so you have to be sentient of this fact when shopping for a replacement. For the Plus Four, the gold Izumi chain mentioned below is a nice compliment to the brass lugs, without being garish. I say, well done!
From InFOURmer #2:
“Talking of metal fatigue, you may recall my previous mention of the ‘iffy’ Taya Sigma chain connecting link fitted by Pashley to the Guv’nor cycles, well here’s the evidence – for the record this isn’t my chain!
Personally I think the problem is the elongated pin openings on the Taya Sigma link. This link also doubles as a chain outer plate and as a consequence transfers the load unevenly onto the opposite outer plate which eventually fails. This isn’t very reassuring if the chain is an integral part of the braking system!”
And from InFOURmer #7:
“Looking for a top quality chain for your Plus Four? Then check out the 1/2” x 1/8” x 116 link Izumi gold chain, which comes with a sturdy spring clip connecting link. Remember to fit this spring clip facing inboard so it clears the trouser guard on the Speed-Drive!”
“The standard Izumi cycle chain is top notch quality and by the way they are also available in black and silver finish if that is your preference. Interestingly, Izumi’s V-Bike Super-Toughness chain is the choice for top track and keirin racers and has the NJS approved rating, which I understand is about as good as it gets!”
“You may have noticed on the above image that Ryan has fitted chain tugs to the rear drop outs on #39, he tells me he had a problem with hub slippage and fitting chain tugs solved this issue. Have any of you experienced this problem?
There are many different types of chain tugs on the market, varying in price from about £2 for a pressed steel type to about £30 for a top line MKS, which is NJS approved! Check out this review on the MSK type, I must say they do look rather nice:
There were apparently as many as three different brake levers fitted to the Plus Fours. Many of the earlier models appear with silver Dia-Compe 189’s, although #21 and #27 at least have black 189’s. Many of the later models seem to have appeared with black Tektro or Cane Creek levers – see the notes below.
From InFOURmer #1:
“It seems that different brake levers were fitted to the Plus Four, [edited] the Dia-Compe 189, these have the brake cable partly within the handlebar, [edited] the Tektro RX 4.1 and Cane Creek 200TT. The latter is, so I understand, a rebranded Tektro, the brake cable on this setup runs outside the handlebar.”
Note from DW:
“Roger #27 and Jonathan #21 have already got back to me advising that they have Dia-Compe 189 brake levers, I was unaware they were produced in black! … Nevertheless I know some of the Plus Fours did have black Tektro/Cane Creek lever fitted…”
GUV’NOR PLUS FOUR REGISTER
as of 3 May 2014
NUMBER OWNER LOCATION SIZE FRAME #
1 KEITH SHAFFOR – ‘INFADELL187’ (Purchased in UK, shipped to USA) EUGENE, OREGON USA 20.5″ ?
4 SIMON MILLER – ‘Dogbreath’ BALDOCK, HERTFORDSHIRE UK 22.5″ 148096
6 JAMES WIEMER LONDON UK ?
7 BRETT (Supplied by Bobbins Cycles Dec. 2009 and shipped to Australia?) ? AUSTRALIA ? ?
13 FOR SALE AT VELORUTION, LONDON. JANUARY 2010 ? UK ? ?
15 BELMONT DISTRIBUTION, SHIPPED OUT 23/02/2010 TO STEVE’S BIKES, WA ? USA 20.5″ 147275
16 BELMONT DISTRIBUTION, SHIPPED OUT 14/02/2011 TO STEVE’S BIKES, WA ? USA 22.5″ 148094
17 CHRIS BALTIMORE, MARYLAND USA 22.5″ 147250
19 MARTIN PINK – ‘STRAKER01’ PUTNEY, LONDON UK 22.5″ 150547
20 GEOFF BAKER – ‘Duchy Wheeler’. Since 13/10/2012 BODMIN, CORNWALL UK 22.5″ 150555
21 JONATHAN SEELY -‘jseely’ (Purchased in UK, shipped to USA, April 2010) PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND USA 20.5″ 150542
24 NIGEL HIGGINS, JOHN ATKINS CYCLES LEAMINGTON SPA, WARKS. UK 22.5″ 150527
25 STAN BRUTON. Since 06/12/2011 FAREHAM, HAMPSHIRE UK 22.5″ 150525
26 JOE & CHRISTINE WARDE, NORTH ROAD BIKE SHOP VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA CANADA 20.5″ ?
27 ROGER NELSON, HALIFAX CYCLES HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA CANADA 22.5″ 150511
34 ENRIQUE CORBI ALICANTE SPAIN 20.5″ 154350
36 WIM VRIENS – ‘Black and Brass’ / ‘The Swordfish’ BOECHOUT BELGIUM 22.5″ ?
38 IONUT-OCTAVIAN SAUCA BUCHAREST ROMANIA 20.5″ 154374
39 RYAN BREARLEY – ‘RB’ / ‘MillbankStokes’ BREAKWATER, VICTORIA AUSTRALIA 22.5″ 154360
41 ROSS VASTA BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA 20.5″ 154324
46 GREG KESTERSON – ‘SeattleGuv’ SEATTLE, WASHINGTON USA 22.5″ 154366
47 UNKNOWN VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA CANADA 22.5″ 156769
48 MARK DEMPSEY. Since 23/04/2013 SEATTLE, WASHINGTON USA 20.5″ 154303
50 ELLIOTT NORRIS – ‘TeaInTheCountry’ / ‘EastCoastGuv’ EYE, SUFFOLK UK 20.5″ 150529
? TRAVIS (Believed to have been purchased in UK & shipped to Australia?) SYDNEY? AUSTRALIA ? ?
? WALLAH CALIFORNIA? USA ? ?
? FOR SALE AT DIATECH PRODUCTS, KYOTO, JAPAN. FEBRUARY 2013 ? JAPAN 20.5″ ?