Have You Heard of Geoff Apps?
In the early 1970s, Geoff Apps began developing off-road bicycles. If Geoff had been based in the US, he’d doubtless have hooked up with Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly, Tom Ritchey and the rest of the Mountain Bike Mafia. But Geoff was a Brit, and he developed his designs in isolation on the south east coast of England. His bikes are a fascinating byway in the development of two-wheeled transport.
In 1962, Geoff’s family moved from east London to the foot of the Chiltern Hills. He soon discovered woods riding and began to modify his bicycles appropriately. In time he became an expert motorbike trials rider, but he never lost his love for the simplicity and quiet of cycling.
As Geoff’s modifications became more ambitious, his trials experience became more important as an influence. It informed the high bottom bracket and upright riding position he favoured, gentle on the wrists and perfect for low-speed balance. In those days Geoff was frequently to be seen riding the muddy, winding forest trails in full tweeds, exuding grace and refinement. Geoff himself said “…you’ve got to look dignified and relaxed, even when you’re riding through twelve inches of crud…”