with Mark Rich
Tell us how you fell in
love with the Raleigh Chopper?
My first love of the Raleigh Chopper was as
a child. Most of the bigger boys in the park had
one. I remember I had a Raleigh Chipper (Small
Chopper Bike), and one day I was allowed to have
a go on a Raleigh Chopper.
The biggest thing that sticks in my mind was,
how BIG the front wheel was. The whole feel of
if it, was great, (but then so were flared jeans
in those days!), the wide handle bars, the gears
like a car, the long seat, the motorbike rear
wheel What more could a child want? I never had
a Raleigh Chopper as a child, as I went on to
buy a racing bike.
In November 2001, I was using
a search engine, on the internet, to look
something up, and there I saw the words
"Raleigh Chopper". All those memories
came rushing back, and I thought I must own one.
I purchased quite a few Raleigh Choppers that
month, and the first thing that struck me was,
how SMALL the front wheel was. I then spent a
bit of time looking at some great Raleigh
Chopper websites, and decided to launch the
Raleigh Chopper Owners Club, as the previous
club had finished 4 years earlier.
That did cause a bit of a stir with the long
running fans of this bike, but I think now, most
people seem to be happy with the club. It has
taken hours and hours of work to get the club
website up to the size it is today. We have been
lucky enough as a club, to have a day at the
Raleigh Factory which was great, and Raleigh
could not have done more for us.
do you think is the worldwide appeal of the
I believe the world wide appeal of the
Raleigh Chopper is mainly because, there had
never been anything like a Chopper in the cycle
world before, and what with the whole theme of
the 70's, plus the back up of the name
Raleigh, (Which is known world wide) it had
to work. Even today, if there is anything on the
news to do with Raleigh, they always seem to
mention the Raleigh Chopper.
the Chopper ever make a comeback?
There could never be a Raleigh Chopper as we
all know it, as it would not get through today's
safety rules, and the cost of production would
be high, as most of the parts would be purely
for that one bike. (You would never see one of
those Chopper seats on a mountain bike?) I do
believe one day Raleigh will have another
Raleigh Chopper, totally different, if for no
other reason, than the name would be easy to
did the Chopper fall out of fashion?
I believe the Raleigh Chopper fell out of
fashion, because of its weight, and it was very
slow. It had a good run from 1969-1980 and
kids were looking for a change.
any famous people own Choppers?
David James, England and West ham goal
keeper, collects Raleigh Choppers, and Richard
Herring went on his comedy tour this year with a
Raleigh Chopper. Full details on the Owners Club
Send us your pictures of you and your Raleigh