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                           Raleigh's Heritage


 Raleigh was founded in 1888 when a gentleman by the name of Sir Frank Bowden bought an interest in a small bicycle company on Raleigh Street in Nottingham, England. Its early commercial success was based on quality machines raced by international cycling champions. By 1892 Raleigh led the world in bicycle racing success, winning over 2,300 prizes worldwide.

  The Raleigh Bicycle Company was formed in 1890 and in 1896 the largest cycle factory in the world was built. Today, Raleigh bicycles are manufactured and distributed across the globe.

  Raleigh bicycles were first introduced to the US market in 1933. At that time, the well-known department store Abercrombie and Fitch became the first Raleigh agent in America. In 1985 Raleigh moved its US manufacturing and headquarters to its present location south of Seattle in Kent, WA. US manufacturing ensures the high quality product Raleigh customers have come to expect.  

Raleigh rider Reg Harris dominated track-racing during the 1940s and '50s, when the sport was in its heyday. Before riding for Raleigh, Reg would regularly snap frames with his legendary leg strength. Raleigh's design engineers worked tirelessly to produce a frame strong enough to resist the buckling influence of Reg's thighs, yet nimble enough to let him win. And win he did, with an astounding four World Track Championships to his name, in 1949, 1950, 1951 & 1954.

The focus in the 1960s and '70s shifted away from the circus atmosphere of the track to the gruelling European road race scene. The high mountains of Europe's big tours - Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Spanish Vuelta - provide a unique insight into the human condition at the margins of endurance. Raleigh's road race pedigree includes dozens of Tour de France stage victories behind the heron head-crest, including overall victory in 1980 by Joop Zoetmelk of Holland riding for TI Raleigh Creda in a time of 109 hours 19 minutes and 14 seconds, beating countryman Hennie Kuiper and Raymond Martin of France.

Since the mid 1980s, mountain bike competitions have captured the public imagination. Raleigh is again at the forefront of developing the technology that keeps the sport advancing.
David Baker won the MTB World Cup with Raleigh; his baton has now been taken up by Barrie Clarke, three times National Champion. And as more and more women enter the start gates, Raleigh champions like Isla Rowntree (cyclo-cross) are busy writing another chapter in the story.




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