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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:05 pm 
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Raleigh was not at all enthusiastic about mountain bikes as late as 1983. I submit for your approval a clipping from a trade magazine, Bicycle Dealer Showcase, dated May 1983.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:15 pm 
retrobike rider
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Sahara expedition

Memories sometimes play tricks.

So I looked this up...

Ritcheys - Yes
Sahara -Yes (3,410 miles of it)
1982 - No (actualy early 1983)
Crane cousins - No (it was Tim Gartside and Peter Murphy)

The bikes were the ones brought from the states by Richard Ballantine and prepared and upgraded by FW Evans in London.

They were the inspiration for the Saracen ATBs of early 1984.


Last edited by GrahamJohnWallace on Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:57 pm 
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That's a great example of how it wasn't the established manufacturers that created the Mountain Bike market. They didn't understand why anybody would want to cycle off-road. For them cycling was all about road racing, and fat tyres were for children's bikes.

It was new companies, risk takers, like Specialized, Ritchey in the US. Ridgeback, Saracen and especialy Muddy Fox (in the UK) that created the market.

Some companies like Cleland Cycles were too early on the scene. They had the vision but not the backing to make it happen. Selling someone a road bike is one thing, selling someone, who doesn't cycle off-road an ATB is another.

Companies like Raleigh only joined the party when it was well established.
Even then they just copied the products of others. They didn't trust or understand inovators and visionaries like Geoff Apps. They never bought into the ethos of the new sport, and were too smug to adapt.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:16 pm 
MacRetro rider
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Your posting about the sahara expedition: Ten years out, Graham, 1980's not 90's

Anyone following this thread should look at the thread titled "Jack Taylor Rough Stuff" for more history about the early UK scene.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:38 pm 
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Ridgebacks were something I used to drool over when I had a Raleigh Mustang (which was the staple diet of most new Bikers when I was first getting into it..)


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 Post subject: Ridgebacks
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:22 pm 
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I didn't know that Ridgebacks were sold in the US. In the UK they were imported by Errol Drew who owned a cycling based mail order company called Freewheel.
I don't know who designed / built them apart from the fact they were Ritchey copies and made in the far east.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:45 pm 
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Saracen:
They were first built by a company somewhere (I think) in the West Midlands. It was run by an individual and his wife (Name escapes me). When Blumels experienced a teriffic surge in sales of their MTB mudguards, they went on a spending spree, buying up quite a few companies, including Saracen. However, Blumels overstretched themselves and quite quickly went bust. The Stanforth Brothers snapped the Saracen company up, and are to be admired for the way they have stuck with the company. Monty Young, of Condor Cycles, claimed to have designed the Saracen. Refer to my letter to CK.
It's quite possible that the Ridgeback was designed in the far east. The new powerhouse then was Taiwan, mainland Japan was beginning to lose supremecy. The Taiwanese were very quick to copy the American designs and offer these without decals on the international market. I never heard any whispers as to who had designed the Ridgeback.
They were actually in the London Shops late summer 1983.
It is possible, too, that the Ridgeback in America came from the same source, but was sold on by a different importer.


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 Post subject: Re: Ridgebacks
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:20 pm 
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GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
I didn't know that Ridgebacks were sold in the US. In the UK they were imported by Errol Drew who owned a cycling based mail order company called Freewheel.
I don't know who designed / built them apart from the fact they were Ritchey copies and made in the far east.


I actually grew up in the UK. Been living in the states for the pasttwo years..


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:42 pm 
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Quote:
especialy Muddy Fox (in the UK) that created the market.


Muddy Fox were a Japanese company weren't they? They were imported to the UK, but weren't a British company.


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 Post subject: Muddy Fox
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:34 pm 
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Muddy Fox:

The Company was started by Drew Lawson and a greek shipping magnate whose name, like most greek shipping magnates, is neither spellable nor pronouncable.
The story as I learned it goes thus:
They bought a French bicycle company, which may have been Hirondelle, (or possibly Motobecane) which had gone bankrupt. They opened a shop in Cavendish Street in order to flog off the stock they had acquired, and very rapidly became aware of the burgoning mountain bike movement. The factory in France was still functional, so they quickly designed a MTB and had it built. Added to that was a marketing budget way bigger than any of their competitors. Eventually the bikes were bought in from the far east, where a great variety of machines were on offer, just waiting for the Muddy Fox decals to be applied.


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