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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:21 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Near Wendover Bucks
A very short history of English Cycles of Telford.

Because of the unusual geometry of the Cleland design Geoff Apps found it very difficult to find reliable framebuilders prepared to make frames for him. After using framebuilders as far apart as Amersham and Liverpool Apps eventually made contact with Jeremy Torr at English Cycles in Telford, Shropshire. Thus Torr became the framebuilder of the first off-road bikes produced in Europe.

Jeremy made his first prototype Cleland frame in 1982, it still exists, and then went on to build all the production Cleland Frames. He also built a version of his own that he called the Range-Rider after the name Geoff Apps used for the very first Cleland bikes. The English Cycles' Range-Rider differed from the Clelands in that they had standard 68mm, not 90mm, bottom bracket shells with bent chain-stays and Renthal "trials" handlebars. About one third of Range-Riders were fitted with cantilever brakes and not hub brakes like the Clelands. And while Cleland Aventuras were advertised and promoted in the cycling press and sold widely throughout the UK, The English Cycles' Range-Rider were not and probably sold mostly around Telford.

Torr also made experimental one-off bikes to his own design but usually with Cleland like geometry. He also built frames for London bike shop "Bike UK". These were marketed under their Eclipse brand.


Attachments:
File comment: Jeremy Torr's first Cleland Range-Rider frame 1982.
DSC00774A.jpg
DSC00774A.jpg [ 227.9 KiB | Viewed 457 times ]
File comment: The English Cycles' Range-Rider circa 1884.
The English Cycles' Range-Rider.jpg
The English Cycles' Range-Rider.jpg [ 134.95 KiB | Viewed 457 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:41 pm 
Gold Trader
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Great history, had a good read the last hour of my work day before teh weekend. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:28 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:44 am
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Location: Saaarf London
Great bump - I'd never have found it otherwise. That all brings back some proper memories - my first mountainbike was a Torr-built Eclipse Canyon in 1984, and I used to go riding with Geoff and co around Wendover the second Sunday of each month. On the alternate Sundays we'd go down to Guildford and ride with David Wrath-Sharman of Highpath Engineering. They were happy days, although we knew we were doing something different (I was a disaffected roadie) I don't think any of us knew where it would lead. For me it lead to meeting people like Geoff and David, and Mike Burrows which got me into recumbents, and then trikes, and back to road bikes and my life took a path which it otherwise wouldn't have. Funny how things work out, innit? :)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:33 pm 
retrobike rider
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Where are you based, Ian?
There's still a Wendover ride annually in December. Anyone's welcome, but it does bring out all the Clelands and Highpaths. Around half a dozen usually...Geoff (Apps) makes it down from the Scottish Borders for some old school chat and plans for the future.

All the best,


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:10 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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One of Jeremy's much scrutinized creations:

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:11 pm 
retrobike rider
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IanS62 wrote:
Great bump - I used to go riding with Geoff and co around Wendover the second Sunday of each month. On the alternate Sundays we'd go down to Guildford and ride with David Wrath-Sharman of Highpath Engineering.


Here are three old photos of the Guildford rides:
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the_designer_as_craftsman03.jpg
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389174_455098137836427_1996628470_n(1).jpg [ 123.56 KiB | Viewed 368 times ]
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1986 ride near Guildford.jpg
1986 ride near Guildford.jpg [ 342.46 KiB | Viewed 368 times ]


And one taken on a Wendover ride...
Attachment:
Wendover 1987.jpg
Wendover 1987.jpg [ 178.82 KiB | Viewed 368 times ]


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:36 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:44 am
Posts: 155
Location: Saaarf London
Fantastic stuff! I never owned a Highpath/Range Rider/Aventura, so I didn't go on the early rides, but as MTB's became more popular then it was deemed ok. I used to have lots of pics, all still in my ex's loft. I also had the complete collection of Bicycle Action magazine, and there were loads of pictures of early events in that too; sadly I lent them all to an associate of Covent Garden Cycles (John 'Biffa' Bacon, if anyone knows him) and he buggered off with the lot :(

I think the last time I saw Tony (he of the pith helmet) it was in a letter he sent to Viz, of all things, standing next to a sign for the amusingly-named Bell End Farm ("Do I win £5?" The reply was "F**k off") :)


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:40 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:44 am
Posts: 155
Location: Saaarf London
danson67 wrote:
Where are you based, Ian?
There's still a Wendover ride annually in December. Anyone's welcome, but it does bring out all the Clelands and Highpaths. Around half a dozen usually...Geoff (Apps) makes it down from the Scottish Borders for some old school chat and plans for the future.

All the best,


I'm in Thornton Heath, south London Dan, tho originally from Walthamstow. I did a ride around Wendover a couple of years back, on my own, bought back a lot of memories. I didn't know there was a annual ride - why December tho, that chalk mud is one of the most destructive materials known to man or bike. I'd love to head along next time.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:25 pm 
retrobike rider
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IanS62 wrote:
I didn't know there was a annual ride - why December tho, that chalk mud is one of the most destructive materials known to man or bike. I'd love to head along next time.


These December rides have taken place every year since 1982. This year will be the 30th Anniversary of both the First Wendover Bash and the arrival of US style mountain bikes in Britain. So Geoff Apps and I have tentative plans for a June/July Wendover ride.

When the date is decided I will post the details here!


Here's a link to the Cleland website/blog:
http://clelandcycles.wordpress.com/weekend-rides/


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:27 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:04 pm
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Location: A wretched hive of scum and villainy...
A Summer ride would be good. We'd get back to Wendover in the light. :D
Quote:
that chalk mud is one of the most destructive materials known to man or bike
I suppose that's the point...testing conditions...but it's been surprisingly dry and rideable for the last few years.

All the best,


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