ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Sports and Recreation»
  • Individual Sports

Raleigh Chopper

Updated on October 14, 2017

Raleigh Chopper Bicycle

My favourite bicycle as a young teenager in the 1970s was the Raleigh Chopper. Most of my friends also loved this bicycle which was inspired by the motorcycles of the day, and it quickly earned cult status. The Raleigh Chopper was distinctive from any other childrens bicycle available at that time (and indeed since) and became the gift that all kids just had to have.

The "Chopper" was patented in 1967 in the UK and in 1968 in the United States of America. The Chopper range was built between 1969 and 1981 and it came in five variant colors: red, purple, yellow, blue and silver and was produced in 3 size variations so as to suit children of all age groups. The smaller of these variants were called Tomahawk and Chipper.

This distinctive bicycle is so evocative of the 1970s and invokes such fond memories for those of us that were children back then, that I recently seen restored examples of these being used in shop windows to promote bike renting schemes and for promoting cycle pathways.

I hope that you find this Hubpage on the Raleigh Chopper Bicycle of interest.


Raleigh Chopper Restoration

Raleigh Chopper MK1 & MK2 History and Restoration
Raleigh Chopper MK1 & MK2 History and Restoration

Raleigh bikes, the Raleigh choppers, both Mk1 and Mk2, are collected around the world, although 1.5 million were sold they are now becoming scarce. Restoration is one way to restore those childhood memories of the bike you received one Christmas morning. The book takes you through the history, differing types, colours and variations.

 
Raleigh Chopper                      source: Wikipedia.org
Raleigh Chopper source: Wikipedia.org

The Raleigh Chopper was a revolutionary bicycle produced by the Raleigh Bicycle Company of Nottingham, England. It was first marketed in the 1970s. It styling was unique and a breath of fresh air (at least that what most of us teenagers in the 1970s thought).

It felt so cool to own one. To be seen parading up and down the streets on this stylish machine was a great feeling.

Raleigh Chopper Mark I             source: Wikipedia
Raleigh Chopper Mark I source: Wikipedia

Raleigh Chopper Models

Mark I - 1970 to 1972

The introduction of this classic bicycle of the 1970s has been quoted as saving the Raleigh Bicycle Company. Raleigh was in decline during the 1960s, however their timely introduction of this bicycle icon, which sold in their millions, rescued the company.

Raleigh Chopper Mark I - 1970 to 1972. Came in colours of Golden Yellow, Brilliant Orange, Flamboyant Green and Horizon Blue. Later in its production run (1971) it was also available in Targa Mustard.

A straight rear frame member which is close to the rear hub. Handlebars which can be moved. A long seat and rounded gear knob.

Pedalling Dreams - The Raleigh Story

Raleigh-Chopper-Mark-II                    source: Wikipedia
Raleigh-Chopper-Mark-II source: Wikipedia

Raleigh Chopper Models

Mark II - 1972 to 1980

Raleigh Chopper Mark II - 1972 to 1980

Colours available were: Ultra Violet, Quicksilver, Infra Red, Space Blue, Pink, Fizzy Lemon and Black.

It had a rear frame member which is swept back at the bottom. Handlebars which are fixed and a rear rack. A shorter seat and a T-bar gear knob.

One way of spotting the difference between a Mark I and a Mark II is that the Mark II had a red T Shifter.

Raleigh Chopper Mark II 5-speed      source; Wikipedia
Raleigh Chopper Mark II 5-speed source; Wikipedia

Raleigh Chopper Models

Mark II 5-speed - 1973 to 1976

Raleigh Chopper Mark II 5-speed - 1973 to 1976

5-speed Derailleur Gears.

2 levered gear shift.

RALEIGH CHOPPER SPECIALS

A number of "Specials" - or "Limited Edition" Choppers were also produced . Some of the most popular and sought after being:

The Raleigh Chopper SE (1976 - 1977) - (originally designed to fit in with the Queens Silver Jubilee of 1977), its silver paintwork made this stand out from the crowd.

The Raleigh Chopper "Pink 5-speed"

The Raleigh Chopper "Sprint"

Raleigh Chopper Sprint - 1972

Raleigh Chopper Sprint - 1972
Raleigh Chopper Sprint - 1972

Raleigh Chopper - a rally in 2008

I hope that you have enjoyed your visit - Your comments are always welcome.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 3 years ago

      I never owned a Raleigh Chopper; but I've lived a long life and owned many bicycles and still have some today.

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 3 years ago from Redcar

      @Flora Crew: It is amazing how we remember these bikes. They sure did stand out from the crowd.

    • Flora Crew profile image

      Flora Crew 3 years ago from Evanston, Illinois

      I remember these bikes although I was already old by the time they first hit the market.

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      @Erin Mellor: They are great fun.

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      The recent Leicester Classic kermesse has a "Shoppers and Choppers" warm up race. It was fun to see some Choppers on the road. My object of desire was a Tomahawk, the little kids' Chopper.

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      @SusanAston: It was a good day, if Santa ever left one of these on xmas morning.

    • SusanAston profile image

      SusanAston 4 years ago

      I always wanted one of these - but Santa did not oblige. They were really cutting-edge in their day.

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      @ConnieGreen LM: Schhhh! I'm trying not to remind myself that is was that long ago... But I suppose being cool can be timeless...

    • ConnieGreen LM profile image

      ConnieGreen LM 4 years ago

      I was not cool enough for this bike, so I had a Schwinn - funny how we remember things 40 years later!

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      @MaryMitchell: They were cool! weren't they? I used to think so and so did all my friends.

    • profile image

      MaryMitchell 4 years ago

      I remember the chopper - what ugly bikes they were, lol, but we thought they were so cool!

    • TonfaGuy profile image

      TonfaGuy 4 years ago

      Yep, had my own converted chopper way back in the 70's...

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      @reasonablerobby: Nottingham is about 4 hours from my home - a bit far to travel on a raleigh Chopper bike.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 4 years ago

      Coming from Nottingham I just had to like this lens about an iconic bike

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great lens!

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      @anonymous: Even today, whenever I see a Raleigh Chopper bike it brings a smile.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I vaguely remember them but they were/are a cool bike. No doubt about it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      The Raleigh Chopper is a classic and I just had to stop by and smile at this history!

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 4 years ago from Redcar

      @anonymous: Thank you. The Raleigh Chopper was such a cool bike in its day, still something of an icon today too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I never had it, but I looks cool!

    • likedon profile image

      likedon 5 years ago

      Soooo cool looking

    • VscorpianC profile image

      Valentina Cabral 5 years ago from U.S.A.

      Awesome lens, brought back some memories.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Ben Reed: i had a real cool chopper put a set of racer forks took of the small forks and put a back wheel on the front so i had a real custom chopper , ect two back wheels boy did it wheelie easy , looked really great , it was a mark 1 chopper , gave many a girl a lift home from school who lived on my rd in north london finchley, in 77 , went on to ride harley davidsons

    • FunMoneyBusiness profile image

      Sharyn Read 5 years ago from ... either in the kitchen or at my laptop...

      Oh my, you must be the same vintage as me! My brother scrapped up, begged for and no doubt borrowed until he had enough to buy a brand new Dragster! So you remember them? Wow, he was the king of the neighorhood after that came home! Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

    • pcgamehardware profile image

      pcgamehardware 5 years ago

      I never had one of these, but I can remember wishing I did.

      Great article, adding this page to my Boy's 20 Inch Bike related lens list.

      Thanks for sharing.... :)

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      @pcgamehardware: Thank you. The Raleigh Chopper was certainly the "must have" bike of the time.

    • Mamaboo LM profile image

      Mamaboo LM 5 years ago

      I suspect strongly my girls would each like one of these. Thank You for your lens and be blessed!

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      @therealstig86: Raleigh Choppers - once seen never forgotten.

    • therealstig86 profile image

      therealstig86 5 years ago

      I was born in Nottingham where Raleigh were based. Never had one of these though I reckon I'm too young, my Dad talks about them though.

    • vetochemicals profile image

      Cindy 5 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      My brother had one and I never knew they were so loved or collected now,,,,,very cool bike! great information and glad to see the parts are still available:)

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      I always wanted one; cool Lens, brought back some memories.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i want to ride the bike to the next village but it is too dangerous on the road. i will wait till the public works finish the bike road.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I can see why this bike achieved cult status. I would have wanted one. Enjoyed learning about the Raleigh Chopper.

    • evannecarter profile image

      evannecarter 5 years ago

      Memories--My brother had one of these bikes.

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      @RawBill1: BMX bikes seemed to be the "must have" bikes during the 80's. I know my sons thought they were great - but for me, the Raleigh Chopper was the bee's knees.

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I had a similar styled bike in the 70's called a Malvern Star Dragster! It was a 3 speed and all the rage until BMX bikes came out in the early 80's.

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      @blue22d: Never seen a Raleigh Chopper in tricycle form - but if they did, I think it would be cool.

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 5 years ago

      Fun lens. Do they make this in an adult tricycle? I have been thinking about one. We have so many hills where I live that where ever you go down you have got to come up...not sure I want to.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Loved cycling around to your part of town!

    • profile image

      GenesisLabs 5 years ago

      I always wanted one but never got it. Definitely a cool bike.

    • JK Sterling profile image

      Jim Sterling 5 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      Here in the states the equivalent was the Schwinn Krate bikes. I had an Apple Krate that was spectacular.

    • Ben Reed profile image
      Author

      Ben Reed 5 years ago from Redcar

      @SquidooPower: Had a similiar experience - except mine was resting against the back of my fathers car, before he promptly reversed and buckled the wheels. Must be something about the raleigh chopper - or those that ride them...

    • SquidooPower profile image

      SquidooPower 5 years ago

      Had one of these myself as a kid. I'll never forget xmas morning, I rode it down the street and around the block...and got run over by a car backing out of it's driveway. It still makes me laugh even now.

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 6 years ago

      Loved them. Never had one but rode 'two-up' on them lots of times. They were more for boys than girls - how I wish there was more 'women's lib' around then. It was great seeing the shiny, new bikes come out on Christmas morning. I'm afraid to say that my bike was an electric blue Moulton Mini {shudder}.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The Raleigh Chopper was the must have bike for so many kids, very popular and for good reason!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      I remember seeing bikes similar to these when I was a kid. I would have liked one too!