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 Post subject: 1983 Cleland Aventura
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:52 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:33 am
Posts: 3201
Location: Riding my Woodsie.
I promised to post a thread on this bike when I bought it a couple of years ago, so I am finally getting round to it. :wink:

My part in the story of this bike started when I spotted the sales add in this forum. I will include some quotes from that thread as they describe the bike well.

Strebor wrote:
1983 Cleland Aventura No. 5

It is believed around 23 Cleland Aventura's were produced by Geoff Apps between 1982-1984, (as distinct from English Cycles' Range Rider and subsequent Highpath variants) with only a few complete or in process of restoration. The remaining frames are either in the hands of Cleland enthusiasts or their whereabouts unknown.
This is Cleland Aventura No 5, effectively the third “production” machine, with No’s1 & 2 being pre-production models. Geoff recalls only two machines were supplied in all-black finish.


This bike has been subject to very light renovation, not restoration, and the paintwork has been touched in where paint loss had occurred (rear rack and chain stays) There is no corrosion, all tubes are sound and undamaged, but as it is now 28 years old, the paintwork does show signs of use, cable rub, chips and wear consistent with light use and age. This is not a concours restoration, but a lightly preserved original machine from the very early days of UK MTB history. I have re-made the chain guard to original pattern (thanks gmacleland), replicated the removeable front mudguard, made some Aventura TT spec mud flaps and sourced a pair of N.O.S. Oakely ‘bar grips. New inner cables have been fitted, all bearings are good & still retains its original Needle bearing BB ! I have also fitted the matching Shimano rear mech, a recommended period upgrade from the Duo-par, which was prone to damage from fallen branches , rocks etc..

Tyres fitted are Hakkapellita Speed (not studded) in good condition and plenty of tread.


All in all a rare machine, with even rarer spares offering a most enjoyable & unique off-road experience!


The above quote is from the very nice man who allowed me to become the next custodian of #5. :lol:

It wasn't long before Graham came along to offer more information on the bike.

GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
Hi Folks,

I've just returned from riding Cleland Aventura No10 along the downs overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury including Rowsham where the Clelands were made.

My Cleland was part of the same batch of ten bikes but today the two bikes are quite different. Apart from the later chainset, No5 the identical to the Cleland Aventuras sold back in 1982-83. However my No10 was modified with all the available engineering improvement that was to be found on the first Highpath made Clelands.

Most of the surviving Cleland Cycles Ltd production bikes have some form of later repairs or improvements and some original parts replaced or missing. But No5 is the most original and complete Cleland Aventura that I know of.

As a prime example of the bikes that Cleland Cycles Ltd, arguably the first specialist off-road bicycle manufacturer in Europe, produced, it should really be displayed in a museum. Which is where I would try to find it a home if I could afford to buy it.




And some more from Graham.

GrahamJohnWallace wrote:

The biggest maintenance issue with an old Cleland are the bottom bracket bearings. In order to have a short wheelbase and good clearance 90mm wide bottom bracket shells were used. The only axles and bearings long enough were Bullseye 140mm long units originally intended for BMX use. Their axles runs on fine needle bearings that run directly onto the plain gauge axle only 2mm away from the exposed sections of axle. So grit can all too easily get into the bearings where it will start to grind away the axle surface. The old solution which was fairly effective was to make some improvised bearing shields using modified 35mm film containers and lids.


I think it is important to differentiate the all weather mud-plugging reputation of the later Clelands from the less capable and miraculously preserved Cleland No5.

It would be a shame if a new owner unwittingly trashed this bike in the mistaken belief that its as tough as later Clelands or other old mountain bikes.




Shortly after buying the bike I had contact with both Graham and Geoff about the bike.
I was told the story of the original order of this bike by a member of the American Air Force. He was camped on Geoffs driveway when he returned from a holiday. It is believed the bike traveled the world a bit while in the first owners possession until being sold to a member of the VCC. It passed through a couple of fellow VCC members before it was sold to me.

Since owning #5 I have done virtually nothing to it bar cherish it. I did change the seatpost for a good quality long one in the correct size so it can be ridden safely. I also acquired a NOS Brooks Conquest Saddle as would likely have been fitted by the first owner after purchase. I looked into changing the BB but on reflection decided to stick with the Odyssey and do the maintenance required. I have ridden it a few times, and even in mud, :shock: but as befits such a rare bike it is ridden with it's survival in mind.
A large part of the experience for me was to ride a bike of Geoffs design and assess it myself. Owning #5 has allowed me to do this. I also got a chance to ride Geoffs Aventura TT when he came up to visit me and ride my local trails. :mrgreen:
It has confirmed in my mind that the design ethos has merit. There are some areas where I would differ in preferences with Geoff, but overall this bike which has come from a completely different background to the 'standard' mountain bike is a good design. I still think that there could be a market for a Clelandesque design if conditions would allow it. That Geoff continues to ride and evolve his design gives hope that it may happen one day.

So now for the pics.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:05 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
Brilliant!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:11 pm 
North Wales Deputy AEC
North Wales Deputy AEC
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Awesome - some lovely photos too...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:36 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:33 am
Posts: 3201
Location: Riding my Woodsie.
Cheers. :wink:

The best photos above are not mine. :oops:
I really need to take some better ones and I also keep meaning to re-create the classic pose from Richards Mountain Bike Book. :lol:


The original.

Image



The later TT re-creation.

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The cartoon.

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The Firedfromthecircus re-creation.

Image



But while we wait for that a couple of soft focus woodland shots. :facepalm:

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:51 am 
King of the Skip Monkeys
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Location: Moomin Valley
The forks always look too dainty.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:55 am 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
Is it as short as it looks? (Top tube )

Very interesting. Ride report please. How does it ride?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:01 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:33 am
Posts: 3201
Location: Riding my Woodsie.
legrandefromage wrote:
The forks always look too dainty.


They are dainty, but as yet, not too dainty. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:14 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:33 am
Posts: 3201
Location: Riding my Woodsie.
The History Man wrote:
Is it as short as it looks? (Top tube )

Very interesting. Ride report please. How does it ride?



Yes, it is as short as it looks.

The riding position is meant to be very upright and the wheelbase short. Graham or Geoff would be able to give a better description of the benefits of this than I am, but I will give my view.

I find when seated that the upright position is fantastic for being able to look around you. It is much more 'sightsee-ey' than the more normal stretched out mtb position. But that short wheelbase and upright position make it very easy to lift or unweight the front wheel. Handy on rough terrain. But the setup makes the most sense when stood on the pedals. You stand almost bolt upright in a very relaxed and natural position. The similaritys to a trials motorcycle riding position are deliberate. It is difficult to explain how this allows the bike to move around underneath you, but it feels very natural. Geoff also believes that this is a good position for spinal health.

There is more information on this link.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:21 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:33 am
Posts: 3201
Location: Riding my Woodsie.
Geoff is also posting information on current developments here, which nicely starts off with a picture of my bike. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:27 am 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Location: 54 Festive Road Winchcombe GLOUCS Yarp...
As a liker of the perpendicular it sounds good to me. Thanks.


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