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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:15 am 
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jaypee wrote:
Great! So now we just need Chopper's ad and we're there.

Below is not an advert but is a piece of copy from the 1984 Dawes brochure that claims that the Dawes Ranger is "The first British made cycle of its type." A claim that contradicts the May 1982 opinion of the Dawes sales director in reference to the Cleland design that "We are aware of your interest in your type of cycle in the USA..." If despite the separate lineage of the Cleland, it is viewed as an "All Terrain Bicycle", then The Ranger cannot be "The first British made cycle of its type." In fact British made US style mountain bikes were also made by Chas Roberts and Tony Oliver as early as 1981.

One interesting aside is the story of how I came by the 1984 Dawes brochure. It was given to me by Regent Cycles in Kentish Town, London in March 1984. At the time expecting their first delivery of Dawes Rangers in April 1984. A delivery that in fact was so delayed that I had already test hired and ordered an F.W. Evans ATB before any arrived in any of the many London bike shops that I visited. Interestingly the inclusion of the Ranger into the brochure appears to have been hurried in that despite the page one billing, the Ranger is not shown on the cover nor on the chart of model specifications.

The fact that the Ranger did not appear in the London bike shops I visited does not in itself mean that It did not appear earlier elsewhere. And so it could have in theory preceded the availability of the F.W. Evans. But speculation is not proof.

At the time that the 1984 catalogue was printed it is highly unlikely that Dawes knew anything about the production plans of other UK companies. So the claim that the Ranger will be "The first British made cycle of its type." in pure speculation based on the belief that they are the only British mass producer intending the 1984 launch of a an "All Terrain Bicycle".

It was to be the Evans derived Saracen ATB that became Britains best selling mountain bike. However, this was probably more due to the better design, publicity and marketing than the date that the competing brands first appeared in the shops.

Had Dawes, as promised, consulted Geoff Apps, then they would have definitely designed a better bike. This is because, of all the all early UK ATB manufacturers only Apps had any serious experience of designing and building and riding off-road bikes. All others played safe by copying the US Ritchey design.


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File comment: 1984, Dawes' speculative claim.
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File comment: 1984 Dawes Ranger
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Dawes1984002a.jpg [ 81.48 KiB | Viewed 371 times ]
File comment: Dawes 1984 brochure
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Dawes1984001a.jpg [ 70.63 KiB | Viewed 371 times ]
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:21 am 
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Ridgeback 1983 reference from the 1984 Freewheel catalogue.


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File comment: 1984 Madison Freewheel catalogue scan.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:22 am 
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So my speculation that the late 83 ad was plugging Dawes 84 model year machines might be on the money.

The mag is safely stashed, need to scan it. Was informed yesterday my ribs are partially detached from the cartilage and I may be facing surgery, so it doesn't look like ill be in the office - or on a bike - any time soon :(


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:51 am 
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Raleigh beat them all with a BSO

http://mombat.org/MOMBAT/Bikes/1982_Ral ... Rider.html

OK not really a serious MTB, I know, but by 1984 they had the 'Crested Butte' which was the real thing... But what were Raleigh producing in '83?

- Loving this thread

- Get well soon Chopper


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Actually I'm not beleiving this was a UK model at all, doesn't appear in any UK catalogues

Road/tour UK '82:

http://www.bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/Raleigh82/

'Action Bikes' UK '82:

http://www.dtrcartwright.pwp.blueyonder ... /82_01.htm

But a rather more capable looking machine appears in this US catalogue from '83 (bearing the same name and colours)

http://www.kurtkaminer.com/TH_raleigh_cat_usa83.html

So I expect Raleigh had no UK MTBs before the Crested Butte in '84, despite what the MOMBAT article says. It's like I'm blaspheming here but there's only evidence against it!

Couldn't find an '82 USA catalog(ue) anywhere

Apologies for introducing a red herring. But a Joe Breeze quote in a MOMBAT article is probably worth exploring


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Chopper1192 wrote:
Was informed yesterday my ribs are partially detached from the cartilage and I may be facing surgery, so it doesn't look like ill be in the office - or on a bike - any time soon :(


Sorry to hear about that Chopper. I think an invented tale regarding a mishap involving riding you Triumph with a Ralegh Chopper rear wheel fitted down a Scottish trail centre black run would make your injury sound much more heroic.

"A thing of insane beauty to behold", even if your feet did "hit the floor with every pedal stroke..." 8)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Nope still dont believe dawes claims.buying a frame hurridly putting a union flag on a frame and posting an advert is not the same as the bike existing. That photo shows a bike with bi plane forks and fastback seatstays. Did reynolds ever do fastback seatstays? It looks exactly same as that ridgeback opening post. And how come they got enough 531 before raleigh? And raleigh were owned by tube industries?their first year 85 top end model is is tange. I have one in the garage. Dawes might have thought that they would get the tubing in time and the photos show a mock up or "product spec may differ from photo" but anyone seen one of these. Compare that wheelbase aswell. Shortest ranger i have seen.

Edit. Having looked again (im on my phone) maybe the forks are not bi plane and its just the light. BUT in that case they look just like the tange ones that come on S&G muddyfoxs with the cast crown so still not convinced.


Last edited by Unclejack on Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:12 pm 
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hydorah wrote:
Actually I'm not beleiving this was a UK model at all, doesn't appear in any UK catalogues...

...Apologies for introducing a red herring. But a Joe Breeze quote in a MOMBAT article is probably worth exploring


1982 was the year that Raleigh sold their us interests to the Huffy Corporation. So it's likely that UK Raleigh had nothing whatsoever to do with this Breezer copy.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=168384

Raleigh UK's decision to not enter the UK Mountain bike market because they believed it to be a short lived fad in well documented elsewhere. As a result the first Japanese sourced Raleigh Mavericks didn't appear till 1985. This was before any Raleigh UK MTB production lines were up and running.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:14 pm 
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With regards to raleigh ive seen speculated that these first frames were rockhoppers etc. Personally i think its the diamondback ridgerunner tubeset. If you wiki diamondback it looks like it was started by an ex raliegh usa executive. I believe he ordered some frames from japan before TI told him no and he was stuck with them so sold them himself. Granted they were road bikes but compare the ridgerunner with its stupid rear end to the maverick. Then look at the dawes. I could see a scenario where dawes just built up the tubeset given to them from reynolds. As specced by raleigh. As copied from the japanese frame.

But hey what do i know?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:24 pm 
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GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
Chopper1192 wrote:
Was informed yesterday my ribs are partially detached from the cartilage and I may be facing surgery, so it doesn't look like ill be in the office - or on a bike - any time soon :(


Sorry to hear about that Chopper. I think an invented tale regarding a mishap involving riding you Triumph with a Ralegh Chopper rear wheel fitted down a Scottish trail centre black run would make your injury sound much more heroic.

"A thing of insane beauty to behold", even if your feet did "hit the floor with every pedal stroke..." 8)
actually, it was a hardened gang of international mercenariesnworking for Al Qaeda, and nothing whatsoever with me tripping over the shed doorstep and falling flat on my face.

Unclejack May well be right, but without a time machine we shall never know who made the first American style mountain bike in the UK for sale in the UK. All we can say with certainty is that Dawes were the first to make the claim of having done so.


Last edited by Chopper1192 on Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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