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 arrivedviewtopic.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!
_________________'89 Specialized Stumpjumper Team
- '8? Klein Mountain Klein (WiP) - '89 Puegeot Scorpion 531 - '90 Look Mi80 - '91 Britsh Eagle something or other XT
- '92 Specilaized Hardrock - '93 Saracen Race Elite
- '93 Specialized Stumpjumper (stolen!) - '94 GT Zaskar LE Frame sold on RB - '95 Univega Alpina 508 XT - '97 Cannonadale Super V 1000 Freeride - '97 Cannondale M900