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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:54 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Near Wendover Bucks
Back in 2013 Geoff Apps entrusted me to restore the fourth bicycle that he ever made, his 1981 Phase lll 700c Range-Rider prototype.

Here are some photos of the bike as I received it back in 2013:
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:29 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Barry
Awesome bit of kit!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:26 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Near Wendover Bucks
This image of the bike appeared in the July 1984 edition 2 of Bicycle Action magazine. The same picture was also used in Charlie Kelly and Nick Cranes 1988 Mountain Biking book were it was wrongly identified as the earlier phase ll 650b Range-Rider that Nick Crane rode up Snowdon in October 1981.
Attachment:
File comment: Geoff Apps and his 1981 700x47c Range-Rider bicycle.
Geoff Apps and His 700c x 47 wheeled Cleland prototype.jpg
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Here is the original 1980s brake-plate compared to an unused version. Replacement front brake-plates are very rare in any condition so I took the original back to bare metal and then lacquered it in order to discourage it from rusting again.
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File comment: Rear brake-plates
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:31 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:33 am
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Location: Riding my Woodsie.
Quite a bit of work needing doing to that one Graham! Looking forward to seeing the progress. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:35 am 
Retro Guru
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Signing in for updates - very interesting project :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:01 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:13 pm
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Location: Royal Forest of Dean (Still looking for the Bear !)
GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
Back in 2013 Geoff Apps entrusted me to restore the fourth bicycle that he ever made, his 1981 Phase lll 700c Range-Rider prototype.


Graham
correct me if I'm wrong here, if you've had this since 2013 has it been in storage - or are you creating a thread to share the experience with a wider audience and spread the word on early British MTB history

whoever mounted your cranks must have gone onto to make / Star in adverts for the Royal Navy



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:03 pm 
retrobike rider
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When it came to restoration I had a number of options including:

*leave it as it was with the stress crack half way round the bottom of the head tube, buckled wheels, rusted solid spokes and just stabilise the rust. But if there was unseen rust hiding under the paint because the tubes were rusting from the inside out?

*take it back as close as possible to its original condition. This would mean filling the frame dents etc before re-painting. Rebuilding the battered and corroded wheels with new rims and spokes and replacing the headset.

Or the option of light touch but labour intensive restoration that I eventually chose.
Because I decided that the finished bike should to be ride-able, the crack in the head-tube and the stress-raiser that caused it had to be fixed. Also, because the brazing required would damage the existing paint the frame would need to be re-painted. However the numerous minor dents would stay.

The rusted solid spokes would be loosened via a blister causing process of teasing each of them free whilst applying heat to each spoke in tern. Whilst some of the spokes snapped as I attempted to tease them free I had just enough spare spokes to replace them all. The rims were then bashed back into something approximating round and true before being polished and lacquered.

None of the components would restored to their as new standard as I wanted the finished bike to look its age despite its new coat of paint. However every nut and bolt would be cleaned and rust proofed and all open to the atmosphere frame and fork sections wax injected internally. I hoped that sealed sections were airtight and so would not corrode internally once the oxygen inside had be used up.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:24 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Location: Royal Forest of Dean (Still looking for the Bear !)
I think its safe to say its in very safe hands, and has had a very sympathetic make over.

After all you are only the custodian and with the work you've done to preserve it, it will most likely now out live us all
Geoff chose well when passing it on !


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:27 pm 
retrobike rider
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Retro Spud wrote:
Graham
correct me if I'm wrong here, if you've had this since 2013 has it been in storage?

No, I did not store it for long before the work began. Most of the work took place in 2014.

Retro Spud wrote:
or are you creating a thread to share the experience with a wider audience and spread the word on early British MTB history?

Both I guess. The restoration was completed some years ago but I have only recently collected the many photos I took on three different cameras during the 9 month process together. I had long since promised that I would post the story of this bike but the thing that prompted me to do this now was the recent passing of David Wrath-Sharman. This was the only steel 700c bike that Geoff Apps produced. It was David who then went on to develop 700c off-road bicycles in Britain.

After tying and failing to persuade Nokia to produce a 700x54mm version of their Hakkapeliitta snow tyre, Geoff then went on to concentrate on the 650x54b tyre size. Incidentally a size that this 1981 bike was also designed to fit, though the only photos I know of the bike fitted with 650bs are in Rob Van Der Plas' 1984 mountain bike book.


Last edited by GrahamJohnWallace on Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:50 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:25 pm
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Location: Near Wendover Bucks
Retro Spud wrote:
I think its safe to say its in very safe hands, and has had a very sympathetic make over.

After all you are only the custodian and with the work you've done to preserve it, it will most likely now out live us all
Geoff chose well when passing it on !


Thanks Retro Spud.

Before 2013 I owned two Cleland style bicycles that I aquired in the 1980s that I simply rode and maintained. It was the accidental death of the owner of the then largest collection of 'Clelands' Steve Chantler in July of that year, and the subsequent loss of all his bikes in a house clearence auction that prompted me to get involved with the preserving of these rare bikes.

Yes I am only the custodian of this bike and due credit must be given to those who looked after it for all the years before Geoff re-acquired it.

This is arguably the most influential British made mountain bike.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8syt59gK65o

One day it would be good to find it a home in a museum where lots of people will see it.


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