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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:25 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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legrandefromage wrote:
Chopper1192 wrote:
Used to be. I think the rejeuvenated Saracen are now part of Madison, and Evans are still independent, sprucing their frames from the Far East.


we're talking back when this bike was built, evans bought bluemels and out popped a mountainbike brand. Its well documented here, somewhere.


Cheers for the 'heads up' - by searching for f.w. Evans and Saracen conquest it seems that you are on the button there - so this looks to be an '83, as from '84 onwards they were branded as Saracen Conquest.

The guy I got it from remembers buying it from Evans around that time, and was told it was the fifth one they had made. I wonder if there is any way of confirming with a serial no. Etc.

So, what started off as a 'pub bike' seems to be turning out to be a far more distinguished purchase!

Would I be being ambitious to say - one of the first :shock: UK mountain bikes?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:33 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Some interesting reading here:

http://www.mtnbikehalloffame.com/page.cfm?pageid=13665


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:35 pm 
Retro Guru

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Location: brighton
Lovely Evans. Amazing condition. I was gutted to miss out on this recently for £40.

Image

All original, suntour, bi-plane forks so possibly an 83 as far as I could find. Agreed to buy, went to cashpoint, problem with the bank (not even my fault for once!) and by the next day it had sold. :-(

Anyway the point is that in my research I found the following:
Image
Image

A link to where I got these screenshots
http://www.google.co.uk/url?:sa=t&sourc ... lyEnQAkWBQ

The link is to the Madison website and the bike I missed out on had Madison on the saddle.

Saracen/Ridgeback/Madison were all connected - and making bikes for Evans it seems.

Yours looks very similar to my 1987 Raleigh Avanti with the unusual stem being identical except the colour. So my guess would by 85-87.

Lots to compare it with here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=93142


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:49 am 
Retro Guru

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Location: brighton
Edited (above)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:16 am 
retrobike rider
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Wow that's really cool

You definitely can't stick a Flite on that!

If a Brooks doesn't work for you try a Selle Italia Rolls or something like that maybe?

Damn that is a fine looking steed. Well done

Although the sprung saddle and grubby off road hoops in pic 1 looked absolutely and 100% perfect IMHO!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:01 pm 
retrobike rider
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far too nice for a pub bike. But, IMO.. its not an '83. My understanding is...
Evans built up 2 Ritchey bikes for the Sahara trip done late 82 by 2 gents who's names escapes me at present. . Anyway, Evans liked the look of them and commissioned Bluemells to build some. The Evans bikes were predominately grey and said Evans on the seat stay and the Saracens were black and had Saracen on. they were 501. (on a side note although 531 had been around for decades as a tube I suspect that it wasn't available in ATB at this point. Certainly Raliegh didn't have it available in sufficient quantity for their 85 bikes). Then, Nick Crane who was a cycle journo in London and had previously borrowed a bike of Geoff Apps in 81 to ride up Snowdon and then some Muddy Foxes to do the Welsh peaks June 84 was looking for a bike for his Kilimanjaro trip in December 84. He ended up getting 2 Saracens that people believe were Conquests. They weren't. He had 2 501 bikes kitted with m700. Still in black, fully lugged but now no Saracen on the seat stay top, and with the external dimple on the chainstays. They came down from Kili and later that year Saracen was sold to the Stanifords. I believe they came up with the name "Conquest" and "Kili Flyer" etc - but Stanny will confirm. Conquests were 531 and kIli flyer 501 but not fully lugged - as per Kaya's bike. I think therefore it's an 85 built by Saracen for Evans. But maybe Stanny would like to comment ?

Anyway - that aside damn nice. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:35 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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and some more:

GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
History of the Saracen/FW Evans ATB

ATB/Saracen ATB? (Manufactured by Bluemels).
In 1982/3, Richard Ballantine asked London bike shop F.W. Evans Cycles to build up two Ritchey frames he had brought from the U.S. for Tim Gartside's and Peter Murphy's ,February 1983, Saharan expedition.

Evans were curious and later persuaded Bluemels to build some bikes based on what they had seen. The resulting FW Evans ATBs were mostly silver and branded under the shops own marque. The Bluemels’ own Saracens bikes were identical, apart from being painted black.

In the spring of 84 I hired a rare, black framed, FW Evans ATB from Kingston Cycles. According to the receipt its frame number was 0001. Possibly the first Blumels' production mountain bike? Or even the first mass-produced British' mountain bike?

Early 1984 F.W. Evans

My first Mountain bike an FW Evans ATB ( i.e. Ritchey copy, with drops, these were fitted from new). Photo taken Summer 1984 (I rode from Liverpool to Southport and the back along the coast and across Liverpool without seeing another mountain bike all day).



Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:21 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Thanks for the extra info guys.
I took her out for a spin today... Absolutely love the riding position, and once up to speed, she cruises beautifully. Definitely need to get a sprung saddle back on though- the flite is not built for comfort! The shimano groupset is great in action - all really chunky and well built. Realised that the back wheel is not as true as I thought, and I'm still tempted to go with the 'fat tyre' set-up... So still some improvements to be made, but all in good time...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:33 pm 
retrobike rider
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I can personally confirm that the Reynolds 501 framed F.W Evans ATB's were the first mountain bikes to be made in Britain back in early 1984. Back then F.W Evans only had two shops London shops, one at "The Cut" near Waterloo station, and the other was in Kingston in West London. I recall that I first heard about these bikes in the Waterloo shop but had to go to the Kingston shop to test ride one as they got them first. The idea to make some of these bikes came from an F.W Evans employee called Gary Smith who was impressed by the Ritchey's that Evans had been asked to prepare for a Saharan expedition. The Saracen versions were identical apart from the logos but whilst the Early Evans ATB were mostly silver the Saracens were black or red. The first bikes came with small flange hubs, Suntour groupsets and were made with lugged Reynolds 501. 531 versions first appeared a few months later.

I also recall that Saracen branded touring bikes were being sold well before the ATB models came out.

It's also true that the Madison Ridgeback was the first mountain bike to be imported and sold in the UK in 1983, though a few UK framebuilders were making bespoke Ritchey copies as early as 1981. And the first Gary Fisher Klunker arrived in the UK in 1979. Before that you could have had a bespoke 650B Roughstuff bike made. These were similar to the US mountain bikes but with steeper frame angles, narrower tyres and drop handlebars.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:00 pm 
retrobike rider
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jaypee wrote:
Lovely Evans. Amazing condition. I was gutted to miss out on this recently for £40.

Image

All original, suntour, bi-plane forks so possibly an 83 as far as I could find. Agreed to buy, went to cashpoint, problem with the bank (not even my fault for once!) and by the next day it had sold...


Though Ridgeback did also make one bi-plane fork model in 1985 the one in the picture is either from 1984 or 1983. If the chainset is original It should be a six speed freewheel Ridgeback XT model from 1984/5.


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