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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:21 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:46 am
Posts: 73
Hello all,

Haven't posted for a long time so here goes.....
I remember reading about Cleland & Highpath bikes long ago when I first got into MTBs (or ATBs as I & friends preferred to call them then!), & always thought how I'd like one, years passed & other interests took priority but I always kept an interest in cycling (while searching I found a comment I made nearly 10 years ago at the top of this page saying how I'd like one- viewtopic.php?f=1&t=42540&start=130).
I put a search into eBay for Cleland or Highpath to alert me many years ago, needless to say a few really nice components used to turn up from Highpath engineering but as the years went on no bicycles...... Until April this year (as some of you might know?) when like busses three were put to auction at the same time!

Seeing as I'm in Spain the logistics of collecting one if I won it was a stumbling block until a friend said he could collect no problem & bring it down here as he lived just down the road, bingo! So long story short this was what I "won" sight unseen-

Image

After a few emails exchanged with RetoBikes font of all Cleland/Highpath knowledge GrahamJohnWallace it turned out to be a Range Rider built by English Cycles with a frame number of RR-001, though it is not the first Range Rider just the first built by Jeremy Torr of the then English Cycles in Telford.
It looks as though there were problems with this frame, possibly chain/seatstay alignment & ended up laying somewhere unused until Mr Chantler acquired it, got the frame problems sorted & restored it building it up with components of the period (1982) & some home studded tyres......... After Mr Chantlers death his estate was bought by a trader which included a few Cleland/Highpaths, that's how the bikes came to be on eBay.

When I received it it became clear it hadn't been ridden since being built up, things needed adjusting & on the first ride I could feel the freewheel tightening up on the hub. This is how it looks now after a bit of fetling & fitting the biggest tyres I can get between the narrower Clelands chainstays-

Image

Image

It's still not exactly as I'd like it but getting there slowly, this was bought to use so will always be being changed & fettled as time goes on. I've ridden it something like 250 miles so far & am really enjoying it, it is the most comfortable bike I've owned.
I'm sure GrahamJohnWallace will be along soon to add info & correct my mistakes!


Last edited by REtrouble on Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:11 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Near Wendover Bucks
This prototype was the first mountain bike frame that Jeremy Torr made. He later went onto building the production Cleland Aventura frames for Geoff Apps as well as his own 'English Cycles' Range Rider the first UK mountain bikes to be fitted with Biopace chainsets in 1985 and also the Metro Trekker version. As well as building frames for other brands such as Eclipse he also found time to write books on mountain biking and co-found the UK's first 'Mountain Bike Club' with Max Glaskin.

Because this was a prototype there were clearance issues with its experimental rear triangle but instead of trying to correct them Jeremy made a completely new frame and this frame remained at Rowsham where the Clelands were assembled until 1988. Then Geoff Apps moved to Sussex and it found its way with other unused Cleland parts to Highpath Engineering in Guildford. Then onto Wales when Highpath relocated. At some point David Wrath-Sharman at Highpath removed the troublesome rear triangle and the remains of the bike were stored.

Steve Chantler aquired remains believing them to be those of an earlier Geoff Apps Range Rider that was ridden up Snowdon in October 1981. He then restored and rebuilt the bike with a mix of components some original most not. Who rebuilt the frame is not known however the reinforcement work at the top of seat post is identical to that carried out on several bikes by David Wrath-Sharman.

Originally this bike would have been fitted with 650x47B rims and tyres and a mixture of BMX, Motorbike and touring bike components. I will see if I can find an original picture of the bike as it originally was in 1982.

Well done for acquiring this piece of early UK MTB History and welcome to the Cleland owners club.
Given this bikes history and practicality, I think you got a bargain. In comparison, I wonder how much a 1982 Specialized StumpJumper prototype would sell for? It certainly wouldn't be as comfortable to ride.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:13 pm 
Feature Bike
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Brilliant! I've a real soft spot for these things; utterly original and unconstrained by convention.

Looks like this one has found a great new home. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:10 am 
retrobike rider
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This is a photo of a 1982 Jeremy Torr framed Cleland 'Range-Rider' prototype of which about three were made. What makes me think that it could be RR-01, the bike now in Spain is that the chain stays appear to be bent around the rear tyre. Later Range-Rider prototypes had much wider 90mm bottom bracket shells and unbent chain-stays.
Attachment:
cleland-Range-Rider with Jeremy Torr frame.jpg
cleland-Range-Rider with Jeremy Torr frame.jpg [ 43.93 KiB | Viewed 922 times ]

The 'Range-Rider' model never went into producion at Cleland and these bikes therfore became prototypes for the 1982-84 Cleland 'Aventura' model with its higher narrower BMX handlebars and integral rear rack.

However Jeremy Torr did use the 'Range-Rider' name for a variety of 'English Cycles' off-road bikes built between 1983 and 1988. About 2/3 of these bikes were fitted with hub-brakes and 1/3 with cantilevers. They were fitted with a mixture of Cleland Aventura style mini-BMX handlebars, Renthal motorbike riser bars, and Ritchey style bullnoose bars dependant on the preference of the buyer. Though most were fitted with 650x54B tyres some later ones had 26" wheels.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:01 am 
retrobike rider
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doctor-bond wrote:
Brilliant! I've a real soft spot for these things; utterly original and unconstrained by convention.

Geoff Apps design ideas were at an advanced stage before he heard about the 'clunkers'/ 'mountain bikes' in America. Because of this he was the only mountain bike designer who was not in any way copying the US designs. He stuck with his own ideas when it would have been much easier and a lot more lucrative to have copied the American bikes.

The question arises as to whether Clelands are mountain bikes or high end British 'Tracker' bikes. Though his designs are definitely not part of the US mountain bike tradition he was in regular contact with Gary Fisher & Charlie Kelly from 1980-84? and so became linked to what was happening in Marin. The main influence that Marin had on Geoff was that he saw that the Americans were able to sell all the bikes they could make. This convinced him that he was right in believing that there was a market in Britain for high quality expensive off-road bikes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8syt59gK65o

In contrast, the bike industry in 1970s Britain thought that off-road bikes needed to be inexpensive and so cheaply made. Most were in fact home made and were thrown away when they broke. They believed that the market for expensive off-road bikes was limited to a tiny minority of wealthy rough-stuff riders. The consensus among the big British manufacturers like Raleigh/Dawes etc was that high-end off-road bikes would not sell in Britain. It was only the growing sales stateside that made them think differently. In fact Raleigh only started making and selling mountain bikes in Britain after companies like Saracen, Ridgeback & Muddy Fox had already proved that there was a market.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:19 am 
Retro Guru
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Very interesting read. Thank you! And thank you REtrouble for sharing your bike.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:56 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Nice bike Mr REtrouble. Good to have another Geoff Apps designed bike on the site.

Is this running on 650b rims and what tyres have you fitted?

Cheers for posting that video Graham. Hadn't seen that one before.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:28 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:46 am
Posts: 73
As ever thank you Graham for all the information, brilliant :wink:

firedfromthecircus wrote:
Is this running on 650b rims and what tyres have you fitted?


Alesa Endeavour 700c rims.
The largest tyres that will fit between the chainstays (narrower than the wide Highpath) is 47mm, so I've fitted some Schwalbe Land Cruisers 47 X 700.
They are actually marked on the sidewall as 47-622 (28x1.75).

Anybody need a pair of home-studded (lots of 6mm S/S nuts/bolts) 700 Hakkapeliitta tyres? :shock:


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:29 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Quote:
Anybody need a pair of home-studded (lots of 6mm S/S nuts/bolts) 700 Hakkapeliitta tyres?


I'd keep them and wait for it to snow.

Although, given you live in Spain, that might be a fairly long wait. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:09 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:46 am
Posts: 73
xerxes wrote:
I'd keep them and wait for it to snow.
Although, given you live in Spain, that might be a fairly long wait. :D

I'm on the southern coast so snow is very rare here, but a few miles inland (& up) can have you in snow sometimes in winter.

GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
This is a photo of a 1982 Jeremy Torr framed Cleland 'Range-Rider' prototype of which about three were made. What makes me think that it could be RR-01, the bike now in Spain is that the chain stays appear to be bent around the rear tyre. Later Range-Rider prototypes had much wider 90mm bottom bracket shells and unbent chain-stays.
Attachment:
cleland-Range-Rider with Jeremy Torr frame.jpg

The 'Range-Rider' model never went into producion at Cleland and these bikes therfore became prototypes for the 1982-84 Cleland 'Aventura' model with its higher narrower BMX handlebars and integral rear rack.


On the top of the seatstays "slash cut" very faintly under the paint can be seen "Raleigh" !
I guess the replacement seatstays or seat/chainstays were robbed from a Raleigh.
It has no dishing in the rear wheel, instead the frame isn't symmetrical with more clearance on the right hand side.

I really fancy putting some decals on it, I had "Cleland" in mind but now really don't know what it should be called!


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