Identify the chopper I bought this morning!



Determining the Age of a Raleigh

The Raleigh Chopper brought the style of Easy Rider to the backstreets of Britain in the 70s. It took the UK youth bike market by storm and probably saved Raleigh from financial disaster. The Chopper was a distinctly different bike for young people and was a first choice Christmas present. However, it was criticised for some aspects raleeigh its safety. The Chopper became distinctly unfashionable in the s, when BMX became the latest dating my raleigh chopper. The design for the Raleigh Chopper was revolutionary when it was launched in the UK in However, the bike style, with its ape hanger handle bars and long padded saddle, may have been more familiar to American children.

The original inspiration dating my raleigh chopper the Chopper was the Chopper motorcycle: US manufacturer, Schwinn, made bikes with ape hanger handle bars from the early sixties; they were nowhere near as well packaged as the Chopper though. In this market until the Chopper came on the scene, Raleigh played catch-up. In the US market the Chopper was more evolution than revolution. In the UK market it was something entirely new. Its launch coincided with the movie, Easy Rider, in which Peter Fonda and Denis Hopper cruised around America on two stripped down Chopper motorbikes.

Easy Rider gave the Chopper its cool image and contributed enormously to rakeigh acceptance dating my raleigh chopper this radical cycle design in a conservative British market. The cycle maker went through lean times in the 50s and 60s as sales of adult bikes slumped. With rising affluence, more people got mobile with cars, motorbikes and scooters and the traditional push bike now had a down market image.

Dating my raleigh chopper was now able to charge a premium for the Chopper over the price of a conventional child's bike. The Chopper was so popular in that retailers had to persuade adults it was not a suitable bike for them. It gave the kids of the time something distinctly different from an adult bike, something of their own. The Raleigh Chopper brought the style of Easy Rider to UK streets and to boys in the ten to fourteen age group. The Chopper was joined in by a version for younger children, the Tomahawk.

However, by then the safety record of the Chopper was being questioned. A competitor, the Morando Easy Rider Bike which was manufactured in Italy, was withdrawn from sale due to safety concerns. Its UK distributors, the Barclay Group Mobo, Raleih Valley and Tri-angrecalled models already raleig. A British Medical Journal report claimed that the high handle bars made steering unsafe. Other people were concerned that it was possible for two children to ride on one Chopper.

Safety concerns prompted a revision to the basic design inwith the Chopper Mk 2 having a shorter seat. Raleigh also made changes to the gear leaver style and handle bars. Raleigh even had to defend the safety of the Chopper when questions were asked in Parliament. The Sating was a bike that put style before practicality. In the early years of the 70s it might have been every boy's dream, but volunteers for a Which?

Most would have preferred a racing bike. In spite of the style over substance approach it won a place in the Council of Industrial Design COID 's Design Index. The Chopper fell out of favour in the early raleiigh, when BMX bikes became the latest craze. A new model, the Mk3, was launched inretaining much of the original's style, but without the crossbar mounted gear leaver and banana style seat. The Chopper Mk 1 is worth a little more than the Mk2. The Mk1 is rare and more desirable.

If you want a good, usable Chopper, look for a Mk2 in presentable, but not perfect condition. Perfect examples of both models are worth more than double this price. In the USA, Raleigh sold the Chopper as a 5 speed or 10 speed bike, as well as the standard Sturmey Archer 3 speed. The GT Sprint was a Chopper with drop handle bars. It raaleigh available in two colours: The Sprint had different tyres, a 'racing saddle' and a modified frame, but only 3 speeds.

It was not a big seller and thus is a rarity today. The Raleigh Chopper 5 speed had a new gear change based on the classic racing dating my raleigh chopper derailleur, but with the Chopper style gear shift. Strangely, it was only available in pink, a colour guaranteed not to appeal to boys in the s. So like the Sprint, it did not sell well and was quietly dropped in To celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, Raleigh released this silver special edition chopper. It was actually launched in to be in the shops in time for Christmas.

In spite of the new wheels yes, those alloy wheels are genuine it was not a great seller and is also a rare bike today. Whilst the Raleigh Chopper caused controversy in its day for its safety reputation, today a controversy rages over who the actual designer was. Both Dating my raleigh chopper Chief Designer, Alan Oakley, who sadly passed away in and Ogle's former Managing Director, Tom Karen, have claimed to be the Chopper's designer.

Alan Oakley always maintained he sketched out the design for the Dating pelikan fountain pens on a flight back from the USA in after researching into the American teenage market. Ogle was approached by Raleigh into help them come up with a design to rival the Schwinn bike that was better than their first attempt, the Chopepr Rodeo.

Tom Karen recently showed his original sketches, which look remarkably like the final design, to the Daily Mail in May after fishing them out choppper his garage. Both Wikipedia and the enthusiast website raleighchopper. More raleihh likely both men contributed to the final design. Dating my raleigh chopper most comprehensive web site about the Raleigh Chopper is www. See also, the Raleigh Chopper Owners' Club and Raleigh Chopper on Wikipedia. WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ROUGH VALUE.

The Raleigh Chopper Mk 1 commands a premium over the Raleigh Chopper Mk2. The Mk2 came in inso yours could be either. Raleigh Choppers in poor condition are worth considerably less. I would recommend having a look at eBay Completed Listings and comparing bikes in similar condition to yours. I used it from chopped age of ten to fourteen. It was fantastic, red colour, dating my raleigh chopper ease of lowrider seat. The banana seat was very comfortable and the gear position was attractive.


Mr Waite's Raleigh Chopper - Product Analysis