Raleigh History

1887 - 1932


Sir Frank Bowden purchased an interest in a small bicycle company on Raleigh Street, Nottingham. Taking its name from the street, the ‘Raleigh Bicycle Company’ was formed in 1890.


A.A. ‘Zimmy’ Zimmerman becomes Raleigh’s first world cycling champion. A fun-loving, agreeable character, Zimmerman changed amateur racing from a sport for the wealthy to a sport with universal appeal.


Sturmey Archer became part of the Raleigh group. The Sturmey Archer three-speed gear hub, the world’s first practical gearing system, was offered to the public in 1903. It became a technological breakthrough.


Sir Harold Bowden retires from Raleigh after many years of strong leadership and devotion to the company and the world of cycling. Production had reached a staggering 62,000 cycles a year.

1943 - 1970


Raleigh bought the Rudge-Whitworth cycle company which dated back to 1869 when Dan Rudge built a ‘boneshaker’ cycle. Their solid tyres transferred the impact on the ground upwards.


The Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Nov. 1952 to open a £1,250,000 extension to Raleigh’s factory space. It included a bridge between the old and new factories complete with overhead conveyor system.


Raleigh Industries merged with TI Group. With this came control of the Phillips, Hercules, Norman and Sun brands, making Raleigh the world’s largest producers of two wheeled personal transport.


Raleigh launches the Chopper! The Chopper with its large back wheel and small front wheel, and its angular, aggressive-looking seat was an enormous success in Britain and America.

1980 - 2001


Joop Zoetemelk of Holland riding for TI Raleigh Creda wins the Tour De France. He completed the race in 109 hours, 19 minutes and 14 seconds, beating countryman Hennie Kuiper and Raymond Martin of France.


Raleigh introduced another innovation – the Vektar. With ‘Star Wars’ styling and ‘Knightrider’ technology including a trip meter and FM radio with presets it becomes a ‘must-have’ for the 80’s cool kids.


Raleigh acquires the world famous Diamondback Bicycle company. With the help of Raleigh, a new range of high quality Diamondback bikes are released; Sabbath, Axis, DBR become instant hits.


The Raleigh companies world wide are acquired, by the management, from The Derby Cycle Corporation. A new site is chosen in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire which is to be used as the main distribution outlet.

2004 - 2016


2004 sees the relaunch of the iconic Raleigh Chopper after 30 years since its original launch in 1970. This classic 1970’s bike once again hits the streets and is an instant success with children and adults alike!


Raleigh relaunches the infamous Burner BMX in the Summer of 2007. The BMX is received with great interest by previous original owners of this classic bike as well as new generations too.


Raleigh re-enter the world of professional cycling with the launch of Team Raleigh. The international squad of riders pick up wins in the Welsh National Road Race Championship, British National Hill Climb & Tour DoonHame.


Raleigh celebrates its 125th birthday with the launch of a new classic range and the Me and My Raleigh competition for Raleigh lovers across the world to upload their pictures.

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