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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:23 pm 
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I think what this thread shows is that there is something for everyone and whilst some out of the box ideas may not be everyones cuppa tea...we still seem to have those prepared to try and see what can be done..fair play


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:03 pm 
retrobike rider
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shedfire wrote:
Quote:
One styling option would be to use a triple triangle frame like that of the Highpath' SpeedLight or "Big Blue" bikes. This would be more retro whilst achieving the low step over height required. It is also a very elegant and lightweight solution from a structural point of view.


I think DWS would raise an eyebrow slightly if he considered "Big Blue" to be a styling exercise. Even with his sculptural background.



Purely functional designs are often perceived to have style, even if a style was never intended. And although purely functional structures can be very beautiful indeed, they have been commonplace for centuries and so can also be seen as dated and utilitarian.

The Highpath' Highlights functional frame design will be seen by a potential customer as having a style. Probably a traditional style due to its use of straight tubing when so many "modern" frames used curved or hydro-formed tubes, even when introducing curves into triangulated structures seldom leads to an increase in the structural weight to strength ratio.

I am sure that both David Wrath-Sherman and Geoff Apps would always insist that form follows function. But once the function is sorted out both Dave and Geoff have a highly advanced sense of the aesthetic, and all those tiny details that turn a superb structure into a desirable product.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:36 pm 
retrobike rider
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Today I have ridden over more than 25 miles of Chiltern' permafrost on my 1988 Highpath Cleland.

Here are a few things I would change in order to improve this bike:

1/ Reduce the weight so that is comparable with modern XC bikes so that I do not fall behind when climbing hills

2/ reduce the step-over height so that it is easier to dismount in an emergency

3/ Fit hub gears so that rapid gear changes can be made even when the bike is stationary.

4/ Find some replacement elastomers for my Cane Creek Thudbuster suspension seatpost, that don't solidify at low temperatures

5/Make the handlebars adjustable so that bike would better cope with headwinds (though it was not windy today)

PS.

I do sometimes suffer with back trouble but this in no way connected to riding on Clelands. I don't see why it should be, as the spine of a Cleland rider adopts the same "S" shape posture that doctors recommend as optimal.

And the weight distribution of a Cleland allows the front wheel to be lifted by using pedaling torque reaction alone, so not much effort is required. In effect a Cleland is a unicycle with an extra wheel at the front to help with the breaking and steering.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:06 am 
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"the spine of a Cleland rider adopts the same "S" shape posture that doctors recommend as optimal"

Optimal for what ? walking, or "bicycle riding" !?

You may have back problems from riding this style of bike for a long time, off-road. Your conventional doctor knows not much about the effect of such mountain bike geometry induced riding positions placed upon the rider.

The only option you have to to use exactly what you have, a Thudbuster seatpost.. the rearward-motion parallelogram design compensates for the fact that in that riding position, its very hard to naturally use your hamstrings to lift your weight off the saddle. But even so, this will still place lots of stress to your lower back spinal support. (re. back pain)

Using power torque to lift the front wheel is fine, but its being able to lift the rear that's key.

I think the design is great, for certain intended use, would be even better with the riders weight more evenly distributed over the wheelbase.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:57 am 
retrobike rider
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xeo wrote:
"the spine of a Cleland rider adopts the same "S" shape posture that doctors recommend as optimal"

Optimal for what ? walking, or "bicycle riding" !?


Living? Apparently. Our spines evolved in ancestors that were quadrupeds and so had "S" shaped spines. When our ancestoral apes started walking upright they were lumbered with spines designed for a entirely different purpose. Hence our susceptibility to back pain.

This is from an NHS website: http://www.solihull.nhs.uk/Help-and-adv ... /Back-care

Back pain in the work place - Laptops can damage your back

Back problems caused by work used to be associated mostly with lifting heavy objects. For some people, such as nurses and care workers who have to lift people, this is still true, but with the decline of heavy manufacturing industry, back problems caused by work should have decreased.

What’s happened instead is that we’ve found new ways of damaging our backs – and computers are among the worst offenders. Even the handy laptop can cause back problems.

Laptop computers were initially designed to be easily portable and used for small data entering tasks, requiring only short periods of computer input but as more people are using them for longer periods of time, the damage their incorrect use can do to backs is beginning to emerge, including:

* Laptop hunch: when someone is using a laptop, the typical posture is neck bent, head lowered and protruding forward, shoulders rolled in and chest sunken. The spine loses its normal S-shape and is arched forward making back pain likely.

(The above sounds a bit like my posture on some other bicycles I have ridden!)


Quote:
You may have back problems from riding this style of bike for a long time, off-road. Your conventional doctor knows not much about the effect of such mountain bike geometry induced riding positions placed upon the rider.


I have never had back trouble as a result of riding Cleland bikes even when touring for 50 miles per day. I cannot say the same for some other bicycle designs. Recently I got rid of an old three-piece suite and my back trouble seems to have gone with it! Coincidence? I don't think so as its lumbar support was non existent.

Quote:
The only option you have to to use exactly what you have, a Thudbuster seatpost.. the rearward-motion parallelogram design compensates for the fact that in that riding position, its very hard to naturally use your hamstrings to lift your weight off the saddle. But even so, this will still place lots of stress to your lower back spinal support. (re. back pain)


The purpose of the Thudbuster is to allow the rider to remain in the saddle over rough terrain, as riding for long distances out of the saddle is indeed tiring. I guess the Thudbuster must also reduce the dynamic loads on the spine though doctors do now favor the treatment of back pain with exercise and not resting as they used to. Alternately the high handle bars mean that you can stand bolt upright on the pedals, and then simply let the bike articulate beneath you.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:54 am 
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Morning :D

May I just first say, this is in NO means an internet-furum-argument ! just a debate / disccussion ! i hope everybody see's it that way, because i tell ya, after some of the posts ive read on here im not in anyway inclined to be rude or anything (well i sincery hope not :)

Anyway -

Graham, I completly agree with everything you say regarding back pain, the causes, laptops, ect. although im sure we suffered back pain well before they were invented. After all, as our ancestors show, we are not suppossed to stand up straight.. !? But there is a rather large difference to "living" that you qoute, which is simply generalising, to the subjuct of riding a bicyle off-road bolt-up-right! :)

Which leads to my viewpoint, which is (& was) always based around the actual rider, & bicycle use. After watching your videos, it is very clear that riding off-road in such upright positions is not great, at all, unless your are taking it real easy (which, fair enough, you seem to be doing so, all good) However, I would still not recomend (i hate that word) that style/type of position for ANY kind of off-road riding.

Your back pain, if you were a customer of mine, would for me, be a neutral proccess of elimination & investigation, with a clear focus of not getting distracted to much from the actual subject, & main aim in hand. :)

Put it this way, if your ride positon & setup worked, why are you the only company using it ? (correct me if im wrong). Granted, you were a trailblazer back in the day, but the idea has/did not catch on, mainly (in my opinion) for the reasons i state.

I get the impression you have based your ideas & solutions around trying to replicate what we do in general life (living..) to off-road bicycle riding ! ? Gary Fisher & his pals (or whomever ever you want) were on the right track, only with what they had, which were cruisers with super slack seat angles, allowing them to get their weight back over the rear wheel.

Baron von Drais had the right idea, kind off, from (taking a guess) riding a horse; (remember, this is about OFF-road riding !)
I.e leaning forward (even just a little bit)

& last of all (i will defer the subject, if i may, its relevant), if your proccess were safe, correct, & effective, why do we not ride road bikes in the same/similar positions!? after all the average road cyclist spends MUCH more time in the saddle, therefore position & setup being more critical, due to being far more static in their ride position (i.e not having to move or shift their weight around)

http://www.cyfac.fr/Pages/Content/Index ... L%20SYSTEM

One last thing, id like to say, i do not, & never will base my opinions around my very own experiances, as we are all incredibly induvidual, with our very own history, & stories.

My proccess are based on a template, which is always adjusted & refined for the rider. But a good template must exist. You challenge that template Graham, thats all! I suspect your template works for you, not that many other people, (mind you, if you all get together & shoot me down in flames, fair enough!!) IF you adjust it slightly, it will appeal to a greater audiance.

Sincerly,

Cristian :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:26 pm 
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I am really pleased to have some input on this site from individuals that have made important contributions to the sport of mountainbiking over the past 30+ years. 8)

Not everyone will like the designs that have been shown in this thread, (personally they are not my cup of tea) but thank god there are still people experimenting instead of going with the flow of hydroforming and 6" travel bikes for riding around flat fire roads.

My brother was a relatively recent convert to mountainbiking following an accident that ended his running days. At first he read magazines and thought he needed loads of travel and modern gadgetry. He sold his first Intense 5.5 frame believing it didn't have enough travel and got a 6.6 and spent his time at trail centres. Then after coming 3rd in the solo 4 hour enduro at Bikefest in Bristol on his 6.6, I convinced him to have a spin on my rigid 94 Kona Lava Dome and he couldn't believe it. All his effort was converted into forward motion rather than up and down! :) Suffice to say he went and bought a lightweight carbon hard tail immediately (he still liked the modern style) and he hasn't ridden his Intense since.

I realise fashion has a part to play in the MTB world, but I wish people (the Yoof?) would realise that in the UK the majority of trails do not require long travel, then we might get more investment in creative and intelligent alternatives to "all mountain" bikes which have become the norm.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:26 pm 
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I think I completely missed 'Fat Chance Gate'. Probably fortunately.

I have to say I have no great issue with this project. I can't see the problem in playing with designs and making interesting bikes again.

I can't see as we are the core customer base for this project either. I can think of a few people that might like that bike that have never heard of Ringle. And presumably the way the bike industry grows and evolves, I can see this being successfully marketed at new to cycling punters perfectly well.

I think it sad that we were all labelled by whatever went on in 'Fat Chance Gate' as being Brant Haters...We aren't. But that can only be a negative thing to this site on a broadly viewed podcast.

Forgive my ignorance if I have missed a situation where a certain Northern UK Bike industry figure broke into the MTB Hall of fame and set fire to all the Fat Chance memorabilia......but I'm sure in all likelyhood, I haven't.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:42 pm 
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[quote=
I realise fashion has a part to play in the MTB world, but I wish people (the Yoof?) would realise that in the UK the majority of trails do not require long travel, then we might get more investment in creative and intelligent alternatives to "all mountain" bikes which have become the norm.[/quote]

Agree, but all mountain bikes have become the "norm" due to the average rider having bigger asppriations than several years ago.

In my book, there are two types of mountain biking most commonly done in the UK (NOT including racing) these would be trail centre riding, & er, going out in the countryside, (something we all here know all about being "retrobikers")

Therefore i ride predominatly two types of mountain bike, the first being either one of my old school MTBs (when its dry!!) or my thrash hardtail with 100mm fork, or my (wait for it...!) "all mountain bike" ! a lapierre spicy, with, 6" travel, disc brakes & a 50mm stem ! (s**t the bed) & why you ask ? a few reasons ;

retro steed & hardtail for local through the woods, or up in them there hills.. (if i wana go for a "thrash/blast/rag" the hardtails best, much more fun)

OR

The Spicy for riding afan, cwmcarn, or the megavalanche. For wales, idealy, due my wanting to "go for it" (i ride/race DH) & push myself. You see its my attitude to my riding that effects what i ride. Im FULLY aware that i could ride my muddy fox seeker over Afan, but it wont be no way near as much fun! & besides, no matter what all you may think, the facts are that a four-bar linkage suspension (set up right) aint that half bad to ride!!! (shock horror) the only penalty being extra weight, but hey, im pretty fit, & all that crap is in the mind anyway. Mind you the only occasion it was not, was on a media demo ride with John Tomac @cwmcarn not long ago.. he was behind me, & steamrollered past me on (wait for it!!!) 6" travel bike! he was f**king flying up that first hill. :shock: haha!

Theres nought wrong with "fashion" we were all victims once, christ, you aint EVER gona catch me in bright yellow lycra any more! but ALL mountain bikes, ridden by all ages, are fine for the UK. just not every person.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:57 pm 
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Been digging around a bit, cogitating, walking the dog... that sort of thing today.

Couple of things to throw in the air for discussion on topic.

1) DWS's "Big Blue" looks pretty normal to me. His bars are at about the same height as his saddle. Not way up in the air. - http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebc23/39 ... /lightbox/

2) I think the remit for Cleland's, and the "Gentlemans Offroad Bicycle" are very close to the bikes Jeff Jones is building. His bikes also add another dimension - multiple hand position bars. Jeff's bikes also have a rearward weight bias and a light front end.


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