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 Post subject: 1968 Rough Stuff Bike
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:01 pm 
retrobike rider
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This is the origianal 1968 Rough Stuff bike designed by Geoff Apps that led to his Cleland Cycles': "Range Rider" Bikes of the late 1970s and
"Aventura" Bikes of the early 1980s. These in tern, inspired English Cycles and Highpath Engineering to design and produce similar bikes.

http://www.james-walters.net/cleland/


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:18 am 
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Old Ned wrote:

I thought Cannondale did with 24 rear and 26 front!


They did - the M800 "Beast of the East"

nice article.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:39 pm 
retrobike rider
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When did Charlie Kelly, Gary Fisher and Holland Jones join the Rough Stuff Fellowship?

Did they contribute to the RSF newsletter?

How and when was contact made between Geoff Apps and the Marin pioneers?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:19 pm 
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Crell wrote:
Old Ned wrote:

I thought Cannondale did with 24 rear and 26 front!


They did - the M800 "Beast of the East"


Absolutely my point, but if you didn't know better you'd swear Trek were the pioneers (they probably argue that they are the first to do it properly although I have no real reason to suspect this, just cynicism)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:47 pm 
North Wales Deputy AEC
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GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
When did Charlie Kelly, Gary Fisher and Holland Jones join the Rough Stuff Fellowship?

Did they contribute to the RSF newsletter?

How and when was contact made between Geoff Apps and the Marin pioneers?


http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... hlight=rsf

I'm sure CK will answer-up himself if due course - he's been on a long hot ride yesterday so is probably in recovery...!

Mr K


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:28 am 
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GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
When did Charlie Kelly, Gary Fisher and Holland Jones join the Rough Stuff Fellowship?

Did they contribute to the RSF newsletter?

How and when was contact made between Geoff Apps and the Marin pioneers?


Holland joined on his own and Gary and I joined together around 1980. I can't remember how I found out about the RSF, maybe from Holland or Gary or maybe from John Finley Scott.

I had an article in the RSF Journal about the ride from Crested Butte to Aspen, around 1980 or 1981.

I probably found out about Geoff Apps from Richard Grant or Richard Ballantine. I also had a friend from Sussex named Bob McHardy who sent me photos and articles about the English off-road scene in the early '80s.

Geoff and I had a correspondence in the '80s, and I have posted some of his letters here. He even advertised in the Fat Tire Flyer.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:39 pm 
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Thanks for this fascinating insight. I've known Geoff since 1984 and he has never mentioned these Anglo-American links.

However, here's something on the subject from the Cleland Cycles website, written by James Walters.


Cleland Aventura Protoype - the world's first 29er?

Let's get some things straight from the outset. First, rarely in cycling is there anything that is truly new, so while this bike, from 1981/82 certainly pre-dates the current '29er's by a few years, it would not be surprising to discover that something significantly pre-dates this. Second, rather than saying 'this was first so there!' it's a tale of how mountain bike evolution might have followed a different path from the one it did.

The Aventura prototype pictured below, built in 1981/2, featured amongst it's many innovations 700c tyres. The reasons for fitting the tyres back then are the same ones that are making 29ers popular today - a freer rolling, smoother ride over bumps and rough terrain, with improved traction in loose dirt and mud. Supply difficulties resulted in production models featuring 650b tyres, a slightly smaller rolling diameter tyre/rim size in which Nokian also made some suitably sturdy tyres. It's worth recalling that back then there were almost no off-road tyres available in 26" or any other size. As Geoff relates below, but for a better supply, mountain biking history may have been quite different.

In a letter to UK bicycle industry trade journal Bike Biz (published in the December 2006 issue, at time of writing available for download from the Bike Biz site) Geoff explained what happened:

"The photo here shows an early prototype Aventura. It has 700C tyres. This was around 1981/2. Nokia (now Nokian) had this size listed from around 1979/80 but it took ages to get some. I persisted because I knew they would be good. I built only the one 700C machine and sent some of these tyres over to Charlie Kelly and Gary Fisher, who had built a frame in readiness. They loved them and really appreciated the ride they gave, compared to the 26-inch tyres, and also loved the success they had at the races. As far as they were concerned, these 29-inch tyres were the way to go.
"This was the ONLY tyre of this type and size in the world, there was no choice." Unfortunately getting a supply of tyres was impossible. Geoff adds "The 26-inch wheels (on mountain bikes) were not absolutely fixed at that time, so, had the supply situation been better, it is quite possible that 700C tyres and wheels would have been the mountain bike standard now."

"When I tried to promote the 700C idea to UK mountain bikers they just thought it was bonkers Apps, raving again, like he did about short wheel-base, steep angles, sloping top tube, twist-grip gear shifters…"

In the same issue of Biker Biz Gary Fisher, speaking about the growing popularity of 29ers, gives his perspective:

“We got some tyres from Geoff Apps really early on and we [Fisher and Kelly] said ‘Holy Toledo!’” But the poor supply situation of the larger diameter tyres meant the fledging MTB industry stuck with the smaller wheel size."


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 Post subject: .
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:02 pm 
North Wales Deputy AEC
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I've been in correspondence very recently with Holland aka DerbyKing and hope that he will consider joining this site and thread shortly...

Mr K


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:03 pm 
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Those Nokia tyres came from Finland, and we never established enough of a reliable supply to manufacture bikes around them.


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 Post subject: Mountain Bike Pioneers
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:06 am 
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If you look at CK's website, and look at his links, see the article from BMX Plus magazine, February 1980. When I read that, I immediately wrote to Charlie & Gary. Primarily I wanted to connect, but I also thought they should see the tyres I'd sourced in Finland ~ Hakkapeiitta by Nokia (Now Nokian) because they were a million times better than the tyres they were using (and the only ones they could get at the time) Namely Uniroyal Nobbies. Unfortunately, the tyre had to pass through an importer, namely The Brighton Tyre Company, which group of individuals clearly regarded me (and bicycles generally) as a waste of time. Supply was thus erractic at best, and non-existant most of the time. So, although I sent some over to Fairfax, it was just impossible to maintain any reasonable supply. By the way, I've just fitted the very last pair of Hakkapeliitta's to the latest incarnation of the Aventura, after trying several other kinds of tyre ~ I say it again, Hakkapeliitta is the best tyre I've ever ridden. Discontinued in 1990.


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