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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:36 pm 
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stanny wrote:
An early Saracen ad, I'm guessing 1984 as by 1985 the Conquest had been launched

''The only British made mountain bike to be sold in the USA and Canada''

..didn't know that was the case back then.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:51 pm 
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GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
stanny wrote:
An early Saracen ad, I'm guessing 1984 as by 1985 the Conquest had been launched


Adds of this nature first appeared on the back cover of the first issue of Bicycle Action magazine in June 1984. Notice the phrase "THE FIRST AND THE BEST". This can't apply to success at racing as no UK racing events had taken place yet. I can only assume that it refers to them being the first British mountain bike to be sold?

Interestingly, Despite their earlier speculative claim to be first, a claim that does not appear in any of their early magazine adds that I have seen.


Hi Graham, interesting to hear that these ads started appearing in June '84.

Re: the earlier speculative claim, are you referring to Dawes?

Great early UK MTB knowledge by the way...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:33 pm 
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stanny wrote:
GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
stanny wrote:
An early Saracen ad, I'm guessing 1984 as by 1985 the Conquest had been launched


Adds of this nature first appeared on the back cover of the first issue of Bicycle Action magazine in June 1984. Notice the phrase "THE FIRST AND THE BEST". This can't apply to success at racing as no UK racing events had taken place yet. I can only assume that it refers to them being the first British mountain bike to be sold?

Interestingly, Despite their earlier speculative claim to be first, a claim that does not appear in any of their early magazine adds that I have seen.


Hi Graham, interesting to hear that these ads started appearing in June '84.

Re: the earlier speculative claim, are you referring to Dawes?

Great early UK MTB knowledge by the way...


Yes.

It should have read ... Interestingly, Despite Dawes earlier speculative claim to be first. The claim that does not appear in any of their early magazine adds that I have seen.


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File comment: Pre launch claim that the Dawes Ranger will be "The first British built bicycle of its type".
DawesATB006.jpg
DawesATB006.jpg [ 20.49 KiB | Viewed 295 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:27 pm 
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stanny wrote:
Great early UK MTB knowledge by the way...


I moved from Liverpool to start a new job in London in October 1983. I then saw two £600 Ritchey Montare MTBs at the London Bicycle Company near Covent Garden. No internet back then nor MTB magazines so I got a list of all the bicycle shops in London and set about visiting many of them to see what they knew about mountain bikes. It turned out to be quite a good way to get to know London. Many bike shops knew nothing. Some had heard of mountain bikes and could produce publicity/sales info which is how I first heard of Cleland. But a handful actually had some early, far eastern imports. BY June 1984 I had met Geoff Apps & David Wrath-Sharman and test ridden a Cleland. Then Bicycle Action Appeared which helped me to the follow the arrival of new models as they appeared for sale. As a result I don't need to speculate too much about where and when these bikes arrived in London. But to just just find the primary source evidence that supports what I actually saw.

I also kept most of the old magazines, books, brochures etc. So I have a pretty good archive of pre 1990 info. After buying the F.W. Evans in 84 I took it along on the Geoff Apps' led Wendover rides. It was so out classed by the Clelands that by in 85 I bought a second hand Cleland frame and parts from Geoff Apps. In 1988 I had a Highpath' Cleland built to measure. By 1990 I had lost interest in the development of US mountain bikes and so know surprisingly little about them from that date. Though I did buy a carbon fibre GIANT NRS in 2005. Which despite being is a very good XT bike usually gets left behind in the garage, as for me any serious off-roading requires a Cleland.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:39 pm 
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I can't claim the first hand eye witness knowledge of Mr GJW

But I'm good at digging around and collecting info, trying to sum up where we are thus far with this thread and weave what knowledge I have garnered:

UK claimants to the 'I got there first' rosette are FW Evans/Saracen/Bluemels, Dawes, and Ridgeback/Madison

Who was in volume production by '83?

Evidence for Ridgeback's claim:

Their own ads

Evidence for Dawes' claim:

Their own ads

Evidence for FW Evans/Saracen:

Their own ads plus GJW remembers seeing them first

So that's facts, thus far

Now just on how it all 'feels'

Ridgeback are irrelevant in many ways due to being an import, but lets give them consideration and what's to say? Not much, they look quite BSO in any event, but they make the claim

Dawes have prior for being utterly myopic in this area and when they did get to market their products were not quite the right mix. Good solid robust tourers, they were. Dawes were also slow to respond to the market with lazy angled lugged bikes still being their out put in '88

Weakest claim of all, I feel all things considered

And finally FW Evans/Saracen, independent (to begin) nimble organisation, rapid development of products as attested by Saracen - and good ones at that for quite a while. Marketing to other territories by '84.

My money's on these guys

by 1984 this has arrived

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=221662

Another import that really went onto some (infamous?) success and burnout

And another big outfit were doing this (plug for my own build):

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=205141

That pretty much rounds out 1984(?)

By 1985 even Raleigh had cottoned onto the new market and launched the 'Maverick', imported which I gleaned from this thread. Falcon had launched a UK made volume product the 'Canyon' under their 'Claude Butler' brand

Raleigh like Dawes were always behind the curve to start with, I feel

So everybody's here now: Boomtime!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:41 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Claud!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:53 pm 
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legrandefromage wrote:
Claud!


Damn you LGF! I won't edit it now, it can sit there for ever!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:59 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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''I'm Spartacus!''

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:10 pm 
retrobike rider
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legrandefromage wrote:
''I'm Spartacus!''

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But I am Spartacus' Dad.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:16 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Already there with the 'Woodsie'

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