1991 Formula 1 Cycles full suspension - ex Deb Murrell

Si_33

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After finding as many articles as I can and searching the internet, I’ve been able to piece together a fair bit of history on this frame. Also with a lot of help from people who were there at the time, to whom I’m very grateful for their support. I hope it’s of interest!

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F1/08/S1

When I acquired it, I knew it was the first full suspension frame made by Formula 1 Cycles. F1/08/S1 - eighth frame made, S indicating suspension. I was intrigued that it came with Hope mechanical discs but also had frame mounts for Magura Hydrostops. The original build sheet doesn’t mention the Hope discs so I presume that was a later addition, early 1992 perhaps.

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I spoke to Andy Harris who worked for Formula 1 Cycles. He told me there were only a few full suspension frames made of the first frame style and only one fitted with Hope mechanical discs. So I knew this wasn’t the frame that most people remember from the MBUK article on Deb’s bikes. That one didn’t have a rear caliper mount. I could also see the swing arm mount was different. Another obvious difference was the rear shock absorber. I didn’t realise the story at the time, but I knew S1 has a Marzocchi unit rather than the Formula 1 made one. The 1992 MBUK article quoted Deb as saying she’d been experimenting with discs, so I assumed S1 was a possible test rig, with the MBUK featured bike being a refined, updated version.

Not long after, someone posted a photo on Facebook which made me realise I had to try and find out more. The photo was from MTB Pro and showed Deb at the 1993 World Championships in Metabief, France. She was running Magura brakes at this point but there was the Marzocchi shock and the same swing arm mounts. Also with the reverse Rock Shox fork with F1 decals on the legs. I was pretty sure it was S1.

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I found as many magazines as I could and turned up this in MBUK, January 1993;

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Formula 1 selling off the 1992 team bikes. In amongst them, S2 and S3, the other suspension frames. Why keep S1 going? Perhaps the option to run discs as well as Magura’s? At this point, I was pretty certain that S1 was used by Deb in 1993, a very exciting thought.

YouTube came up trumps. Footage from Round One of the 1993 BMBF National Downhill Series. A bit grainy, but possible to make out the Hope discs. Eureka.

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At that point, I could see the frame still had the F1 shock. I got hold of some MBi magazines from 1993 and it became clearer. The F1 shock was swapped out for a Marzocchi unit during 1993 after some issues with the F1 unit. So I knew she used S1 at Newnham Park in May and in Metabief in September.... the hunt was on for more information in-between.

I was lucky enough to get in touch with Neil Simpson who was with Deb through her 2 Wheels Good, Off Road/Proflex and F1/Quasar years. He’s been able to supply photos and anecdotes that have really helped me piece together the story of S1. It has helped to cement some of my theories about S1 being kept on for 1993 and even shed a little light on its 1992 involvement.

10th May 1992 - North-Wales & Borders MTB Points Series. Downhill. Beddgelert, North Wales. Deb on her other full-suspension frame;

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David Price - who conceived and ran Formula One Cycles and owner of DPS Composites - supplying parts for Formula 1 teams, Le Mans cars and much more, on S1 at the same event. (Swing arm mount different to the other frame, just visible)

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This is the information I have gathered so far on S1 - based on magazine reports, YouTube footage, photos found:

Deb Murrell riding unless otherwise noted

1992

10th May - North-Wales & Borders MTB Points Series. Downhill. Beddgelert, North Wales. Ridden by David Price

Photo above

24th May - Round Two - 1992 BMBF National Points Series. Clipstone Forest, Mansfield

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S1 propped up against the work stand. Clipstone was an XC Round only so assuming S1 was just there on display

1993

15th May - Round One - 1993 BMBF National Downhill Series. Newnham Park, Devon

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Still from The Mountain Bike Show - found on YouTube

6th June - Round One - 1993 Grundig Downhilll World Cup. Cap D’Ail, France

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Photo by Neil Simpson

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Photo found on-line

13th June - Round Two - 1993 Grundig Downhilll World Cup. Lillehammer, Norway

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Still from The Mountain Bike Show - found on YouTube

27th June - Round Three - 1993 Grundig Downhilll World Cup. Monte Sainte Anne, Canada

No photos found yet - magazine write-up mentions Marzocchi shock installed before trip to Canada/USA

18th July - Round Four - 1993 Grundig Downhilll World Cup. Vail, Colorado, USA

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Photo by Neil Simpson

24th July - G.T. ‘Kamikaze’ National Championship Downhill Series. Mammoth Mountain, California, USA

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Photo by Neil Simpson

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Photo by Neil Simpson - good example of the bike in Magura brake set-up, with the Hope caliper mount visible

19th September - UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. Downhill. Metabief, France

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Photo by Neil Simpson - assuming after a practice/qualifying run. I read it was very muddy up until the last day when the Downhill timed runs took place

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Stills from The Mountain Bike Show - found on YouTube

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Photo from MTB Pro Worlds report - looks like a drier run


I think Deb returned from the USA in time to compete in Round Four of the BMBF series at Eastridge, Shrewsbury but I need to confirm that. She also competed at the National Championships at Eastnor Park in August and became Downhill National Champion. I believe she may have used the XC bike though for her Downhill runs - more research to do. If anyone has any photos or information to add I’d be most grateful. I’d also love to find any F1 related merchandise or Debs race plates etc if anyone has anything, please let me know.


This thread all relates to S1, obviously. In my research, I have found lots of photos from her cross country exploits as well as Downhill. Also a lot of material about the Formula 1 Cycles journey in general. I’ll get a separate thread up for that. Thanks for reading!

I’ll reserve the second and third posts for any further findings and for current photos as the rebuild progresses.
 
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Si_33

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Racecar Engineering magazine advert - early 1994. Thanks to Neil Simpson for finding this. DPS Composites half page advertisement. DPS (makers of the Formuia 1 bikes) demonstrating their carbon work being used in multiple disciplines. The photo of S1 with Deb riding is from a Grundig World Cup run in 1993. The advert is promoting her achievement of becoming BMBF National Downhill Champion in 1993

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Photos from article in Mountain Biker International - August 1993

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Si_33

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CFD68-EB4-F977-4382-8088-EF18-E896-A638.jpg


1991 Formula 1 Cycles - full suspension. Ex - Deb Murrell. F1/08/S1

As it stands now - prior to completion

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Marzocchi shock added mid-1993 after problems with the Formula 1 made unit

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Rock Shox Mag 21 fork with legs reversed and Formula 1 made brace with Magura mounts

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Hope mechanical disc front brake and Hope solid axle hub

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Hope mechanical disc rear brake on adapted Shimano XT M732 hub

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Factory serial number

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Rear Magura mount visible on lower swing-arm

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F1 decals on reversed fork legs

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Shimano XT cranks custom milled by Formula 1. Used by Deb for the American rounds of the Grundig World Cup in 1993
 
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raidan73

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I know how much research you’ve put into this mate. It’s great to be able to read it all in one place, in chronological order and with some great images to back it all up.

Great work!
 

MatBH5

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Wow, brilliant research on a brilliant bike. Great job you’ve done here and subscribed for those updates.
 

mk one

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Thanks for taking the time to share this, very interesting with some great pics and info :cool:
 
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