Jumping on and riding away I was immediately struck by the riding position. It is high and upright, but very comfortable. The bike is short too and handles beautifully.
The brakes are simply amazing, plenty of initial bite which sheds speed very quickly, but in a very controlled way. They certainly give you a lot of confidence. The Yamaha levers are perfect, not too long, not too short and they give plenty of feedback...
...The Nokia SL-35 tyres running 15 - yes 15 psi, are uncannily quiet and absorb all the lumps and bumps that you usually feel in places you don't want to.
The handling is very predictable and despite the apparent high centre of gravity it's a solid platform, especially when you are up on the pedals. Geoff Apps and David Wrath-Sharman sure do know their design onions. Highpath is a strange beast to ride, the thing feels alive and eager - it has something, some weird quality or synergy that creates an almost perfect symbiosis between man and metal. (sorry girls!)
It,s a shame that people who haven't ridden on this style of bike before won't be able to fully relate to your description of what the riding experience is like. These bikes do, as you say, have something. It's almost indescribable but when riding out of the saddle in particular, they come alive. I don't think that even Geoff can explain why, but he certainly knows the recipe needed to make these bikes more than the sum of the parts they are made from. That's why in 1984 I switched from riding mountain bikes to riding Clelands. It's why despite all the technological advances in mountain bike design, I still ride them today. Even after all the years, whenever I ride, the magic is still there. It's why it's important to get them back into production. They're not just another shade of mountain bike, they are truly alternative.
Congratulations on the restoration. A great job, lovingly done! It's a bit more road oriented than my Highpath, but as long as you use some free-rolling tyres, they are also great fun on the road.
One practical point is that the rear mudguard is a little too short to keep your back dry. These duck-tail style flaps from SKS should sort the problem.
http://www.petracycles.co.uk/spoiler-wi ... 28998.html