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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:19 pm
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Nice one Mr K., I was about to post that interview with Dave Wrath-Sharman from 63XC.COM.

He certainly has some very interesting views on putting together a bomb-proof off-road bike. Looking at the http://www.highpath.co.uk/ site, they do a couple of very well made products (like the Egg Rings that Chris Boardman used to break the hour record).

But, in typical British fashion, their market presence is almost zero. And some of the products they can (allegedly) make like fixie cogs for 6-bolt ISO disc hubs are not even mentioned on their site.

It's hardly surprising that nobody knows of their contribution to early UK MTB development.

Contrast the way that innovations within CK's peer group spawned a global industry...

[EDIT] ** I think I was a bit unfair in my criticism of them not having any interest in re-introducing the hub brake.

Reading the article again: What D W-S actually said was that, "off-the-shelf" hub brakes could not be adapted satisfactorily for MTB use. So specific parts needed to be manufactured by Highpath. And these might result in a non-standard hub spacing. So both the tooling costs and implications for framebuilding presented barriers.

I guess the difference is that the Marin County pioneers found customers prepared to support their ideas and buy into the new type of bikes. Innovation, risk and marketing - Areas where we Brits don't always get the combination right, sadly **[/EDIT]


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:26 am 
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Ran across this Cleland/Apps ad in a British magazine, Bicycle Action, from 1984.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:57 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:25 pm
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Location: Near Wendover Bucks
I still own and use an original Cleland bike and a Highpath version. These are amazing machines and in some respects have not been bettered even today. I also own a modern carbon fibre and full suspension machine but often prefer to use the Clelands despite their design being about 30 years old.

I do believe that Clelands can be defined as mountain bikes: fat tyres, alpine gearing and powerful brakes etc, but are not from the same lineage as the Marin County machines. The whole ethos is diferent and their design is more concerned with being able to ride across extremely challenging terrain than racing downhill.

They also have a high comfort and low maintainance philosophy. They can be toured for days on end in wet and muddy conditions without the usual problems: muddy clothes, mud induced breakdowns, wheel clogging etc.

If the mainstream MTBs are the rally cars of the bicycle world then the Clelands are the tractors. Its about time that someone started making them again, there must be a market for people who want to ride off-road with a straight back and only one hand on the handlebars!

In October 1981 a Cleand was riden up Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, so they must be mountain bikes.

Graham.

P.S.
I also organise a Cleland reunion ride near Wendover, Bucks, each December.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:31 pm 
Mr Darcy
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Hi Graham, welcome to the site.
Interested in the old British side of off roading. Before my time, but clearly paved the way for mass produced bookm in the late eighties.
Would be good to see some photos of you bikes too :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:24 pm 
retrobike rider
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This is a photo of a Cleland Aventura made by David Wrath-Sharman at Highpath Engineering in 1988. Since then it has covered 1,000s of off-road miles. Its looking pretty clean here following its 2008 annual maintainance. i.e. chisel off the mud and oil the chain.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
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Location: New Forest, UK
Any customer frame builder would be able to build a replica...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:50 am 
retrobike rider
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The frame yes. :D

The hand made hub brakes, cast around their linings and machined by a Formula 1 components company, would cost a pretty penny to reproduce. :cry:

These brakes are more sophisticated and effective than any other hub brakes.

However, I have heard that Shimano Nexus internal rollerbrakes work pretty well. :?:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:39 pm 
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Graham, thanks for sharing that pic, a real piece of history there!


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 Post subject: Chiltern Jaunt
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:05 pm 
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I used to go on some of those early rides, on a cross bike as I didn't have ( couldn't afford) a mountain bike.

I also had a complete set of making tracks newsletters that only got thrown away a few years ago.

Seems a long time ago, but good fun. I probably still have photos of a Wendover Bash.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:13 am 
retrobike rider
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Calling all MTB pioneers
Is there anyone else, out there, who used come on either: Geoff Apps' Wendover rides. David Wrath Sharman's Guildford Rides. Or the "Bunny Bash Rides from Newbury? These all took place before 1989.

In the early days Mountain bikes were so rare you could sometimes identify a rider from their tyre tracks. If they were fresh you could sometimes track them to nearby pub or tea shop and say hello. This was especially useful if you were late for the start of a ride.


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