This is from my history of mountain biking in Britain and puts the Maverick in its chronological context.
Which were the first ‘Mountain Bikes’ to be designed and made in Britain?
There is little doubt that the Geoff Apps designed Range Rider were the first ‘Mountain Bikes’ to be made in Britain. These were designed without any knowledge of the American bikes and so should be considered as a separate lineage of off-road bike. The first prototype was made in 1968 based on a Raleigh Explorer frame. Experiments using a variety of road bike frame-sets continued throughout the 1970s. His bikes mostly used 2 inch wide, 650b, knobbly snow tyres from Finland. His first Range Rider bikes, using a custom designed (un-braced) frame-sets were designed in 1978) I believe the frames where made by Dee's Cycles of Amersham in 1979. These bikes had all the features of the Mountain bike, though their design was arrived at independently. I believe that these bikes were the first British made Mountain Bikes. (One version had drum brakes another rim brakes).
Later versions of these were sold by Cleland Cycles (Geoff’s own company), English Cycles, and Highpath Engineering over the next ten years. They were built to order and as far as I know never mass produced. In October 1981 Nick Crane rode a third generation Range Rider prototype up Snowdon.
The above bikes were designed as if getting off and walking was a criminal offense. Geoff Apps was also a trials motorbike rider. They were designed completely for off-road use. They are the tractors of the Mountain Bike world, tall, functional and reliable.
http://www.james-walters.net/cleland/cl ... story.html
Who made the first American style Mountain Bike in Britain?
(1981) A US style Mountain Bike was made by
Chas Roberts at the request of an American customer.
Amateur frame builder Tony Oliver also made himself one which he exhibited at the 1981 York Cycle Show.
Who brought the first American style Mountain Bike into Britain?
(1978) Journalist Richard Grant brought over a 1st generation Gary Fisher built ‘clunker’. He exhibited this bike at the 1978 Olympia cycle show.
By the end of 1982 American built Ritchey's were being brought into England. I remember it being received wisdom that Norman Hiller of Covent Garden Cycles brought over the first purpose built US Mountain Bike, an early Tom Ritchey built Bike. Others claim that either Journalist Richard Grant or Richard Ballantine brought across the first Ritchey's from the States. Richard Ballantine's two bikes brought over for a Saharan expedition were the inspiration London bike shop, F.W. Evans Cycles, to design a Mountain Bike that became the F.W. Evans ATB, Saracen ATB. Both bikes were identical, apart from the first being usually painted silver and the latter being painted black or red. In July 1984 I hired a black F.W. Evans ATB from Kingston Cycles, its frame number was 001.
Which was the first Mountain Bike mass-produced in Britain?
Raleigh Bomber? 1981 (I don’t think so). They were American style Beach Cruisers. Only three speed hub gears, caliper brakes and small frame/seat Designed for teenagers who were outgrowing their BMX bikes.
Early 1984 F.W. Evans ATB/Saracen ATB? (Manufactured by Bluemels).
In 1982/3, Richard Ballantine asked London bike shop F.W. Evans Cycles to build up two Ritchey frames he had brought from the U.S. for Tim Gartside's and Peter Murphy's ,February 1983, Saharan expedition. Evans were curios and persuaded Bluemels to build some bikes based on what they had seen. The resulting F.W. Evans ATBs were mostly silver and branded under the shops own marque. The Bluemels’ own Saracens bikes were identical, apart from being painted black.
The other early British made mountain bikes include was the Dawes Ranger and Bob Jackson's Col Climber model.
As for the Raleigh Maverick, I remember these as being surprisingly late to the party. The earliest contemporary reference I can find is October 1985. And were described as"made in Japan", and so don’t qualify as British. British made versions were mass produced at a slightly later date?
Which was the first mass-produced Mountain Bike imported into Britain?
I am not totally sure about this but the Freewheel, mail order catalogue, included far east made Ridgeback bikes from 1883 onwards. The first that I personally saw were Ritchey Montares in late Late1983, though many other models had arrived by mid 84.