Memories of Raleigh Chopper

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Memories of Raleigh Chopper' page

This pristine Raleigh Chopper was spotted on display at Glasgow's Riverside Museum, and the memories came flooding back.

To we Brits in the 70s the Chopper represented a startling new design in bicycle - but in reality its iconic features were nothing new.

In the USA in the early 1970s, kids in California had long been customising their bikes - swapping saddles, fitting new handlebars  just like motorbike enthusiatas.

US cycle companies were quick to cash in on the trend and began manufacturing their own versions.  The Schwinn bike, for instance, developed in California, featured a long motor-cycle style saddle, tall handlebars and a large wheel at the back - reminiscent for kids of the long-nosed drag-racing cars which were all the craze at the time.

British manufacturers also took notice, and in Nottingham Raleigh sent one of its top designers, Alan Oakley, to tour the States for ides.

Upon his return Ogle Designs were commissioned to turn his findings into reality, and the Raleigh Chopper was born.

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