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 Post subject: Archive
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:55 am 
North Wales Deputy AEC
North Wales Deputy AEC
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:50 am
Posts: 6469
It's a shame we haven't got any Overbury catalogues or articles in our archive yet - anyone out there got any for scanning???


 Post subject: Overbury's Cross Fell
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:42 pm
Posts: 2
Location: west wales
Someone was asking for original publicity material. Well I have everything and the exact specs for all the mountain bikes available in 1984 / 85.

Also my Cross Fell is totally original, as bought to herd cattle on my hill farm in 1984. Somewhere, I even have the very fat Michelin tyres that Overbury's were so proud to source.

The 1985 Bicycle Action Bicycle Buyers Bible has the definitive specification of ALL bikes available in 1984. It was common then to advance the year by one to ensure you could maximise sales of a publication over a longer period. Had I found this site two months ago I could have laid my hands on it, but a broken big toe allowed me to have the first clear up / clear out in a quarter century. The Bible isn't where I thought it would be, but it is boxed up somewhere. Similarly the maintenance instructions for the original Deore XT componentry. I have just found those for the brakes.

Initially the Cross Fell frame was a mixture of 531 and 501. Mine is all 531. Overbury's were under a lot of pressure to deliver bicycles in those days due to racing success, so you had to wait and might not get the exact spec you ordered if parts were out of stock. Mine never got its 531 stickers, which didn't bother me, particularly as I jumped the queue due to my family relationship with Bicycle Action.

Overbury's arranged a race weekend in the Brechfa forest, with guest Jackie Phelan who was US womens Mountain biking champion - it was a single sport in those days and the Cross Fell was second generation - just one on from the Schwinn Excelsior clunkers that hippies rode down the fire trails, re-packing the red hot drum braked front hubs with grease several times on their way down.

I caught up with them all at Blue Well, on the mountain above me, where they were staying on the Saturday night. Their retained racer "sold" me the cross fell with a demonstration at a quarry up there. He rode over the side and came to an abrupt stop on a ledge fifteen foot below.

Tom Ritchie had sent over his first mass produced bike to Bicycle Action's Nigel Thomas and I knew a mountain bike would be great for herding cattle after a short ride. Overbury's were always favorite, but I did consider a Midnight Express. If you ever come across a very strange, mostly white, Raleigh then look under the bottom bracket. If it is stamped "GOD" you have a Midnight Express. Only problem is Gerald O'Donovan fitted it exactly to the intended rider. These were awesome when that word meant something. Log hopping was part of mountain biking then. Gerald built a Midnight Express specifically to hop a six foot log and it did.

Back to the Cross Fell. In those days, XT components were investment cast in small batches. They were the best. There were no identification marks. Your maintenance leaflet is the only thing that stated XT.

I took the biopace option for the chainset. Probably not a good decision.

After all this time everything works.

If the "Bible" is needed as a source for definitive information, please remind me this winter and I will look for it.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:56 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys

Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
Posts: 28431
Location: Allowed Crayons again
Oh wow! What a cracking first post!

 Post subject: Overbury's Cross Fell
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:42 pm
Posts: 2
Location: west wales
OK, Bible turned up in my fourth book case.

The ebay link on this site is to an amazingly original cross fell. It still has its bluemells mudguards. Someone got a bargain. It has got some of the 501 tubing. I think the rear triangle. They were £425 without the mudguards and mine came in at £439 with the mudguards. A lot of money then. (You would have got a couple of cases of 1982 Latour or Lafite for that then. Modern vintages come in 100 times that.) At that time Moulton AM14, as donated to Bicycle Action, with Zipper fairing was just under £1000. One sold recently on ebay for £3500. The cross fell was just as iconic.

Cross fell was top of the range for that frame. They all had the biopace rings. I think the next model down was the Peakfinder. Same frame and equipment but standard chain rings and £50 less. I didn't get one of the fluted seat posts, but it always worked fine when I needed to push it down for a fearsome descent. Also, I thought the platforms I got were DX. Whatever, the bearings are still so silky smooth that the pedals stay spinning for quite a while if you flick them and the titanium gripper pins still look good.

Also found four copies of Bicycle Action.

- Lovely Muddy Fox publicity photos of Jackie Phelan with fox footprints on her naked back by a river (probably the Cothi just below the single track stone bridge just south east of Brechfa), next to nice Muddy Fox, but not the one she rode, which had drop handlebars.

- good photos of Nick Crane and his brother with their Saracens on top of Kilimanjaro

- good photo of nutcases, probably Cranes, riding off rock summit probably in Snowdonia.

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