Geoff Apps

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Apps with one of his 'Range Rider' off-road cycles

Geoffrey Cleland Apps (born London, England, 1949) was a pioneer of mountain bikes. Apps' family moved near the Chiltern Hills north-west of London, where he cycled in the woods. He took up motorcycle ‘observed trials’ riding but was unhappy with the noise and disturbance.


He began modifying conventional bicycles for off-road use in 1965. By 1979 he had designed and created a lightweight bicycle for wet mud of south-east England that used 650Bx54 Nokia Hakkapeliitta snow tires from Finland. Apps set up Cleland Cycles Ltd to manufacture copies of his design in 1982 and these were sold under Apps' Cleland Cycles brand until 1984. They were designed for touring, in which reliability and comfort were more important than speed and racing.[1] Companies in Britain produced their own versions, notably English Cycles and Highpath Engineering.

American links[edit]

Apps read about the Ritchey mountain bike in the February 1980 BMX Plus and contacted with Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly at the MountainBike Company in Fairfax, California. Apps told them about the off-road bicycles he had built and of large diameter 650Bx54 and 700Cx47 Nokia Hakkapeliitta snow tires that were made in Finland. In December 2006, Fisher said: “We got some tires from Geoff Apps really early on and we said ‘Holy Toledo!’” But poor supply meant the fledgling MTB industry stuck with the smaller wheels.[2]

Apps lives in Scotland where he continues to ride and develop bicycles. He cofounded and contributed to, Making Tracks before moving to Scotland to work on New Cyclist. He is an illustrator and draftsman, his work appearing in publications including Bicycle Design.


The Bicycle Book: The Complete Maintenance Guide (ISBN 0-517-08743-X) Co-author with James McGurn of Cross Country Cycling: The Guide for the Off-road Leisure Rider (Teach Yourself) (ISBN 0-340-58654-0), both published in 1993.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


The Mountain Bike Book by Rob Van der Plas, 1984. ISBN 0-916753-01-8 pages, 70,95,113,125,130.

Richard's Mountain Bike Book, by Charles Kelly and Nick Crane, 1988. ISBN 0-946609-78-0 page 176-178.

The Mountain Biking Handbook by Barry Ricketts, 1988. ISBN 1-85443-005-X pages, 17,34,100-101, 175-177.

The Off-Road Bicycle Book by Tom Bogdanowicz and others, 1992.ISBN 0-948135-40-9 page 8-9.

Cross-Country Cycling by Jim McGurn and Edgar Newton, 1993. ISBN 0-340-58654-0 page 89-91.