Raleigh Bicycles

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Facts About Raleigh Bicycles

Founded 1887
Country of Origin England
Headquarters Kent, Washington, USA
Type Subsidiary
Parent Raleigh UK Ltd
Core Products Bicycles
Special Feature HM2 frame using a special mold process and exclusive tapered fork
Website http://www.raleighusa.com/

The History of Raleigh Bicycles

Raleigh bicycles started as a life saver. Frank Bowden, who made a fortune in the stock market when he was only 24, returned from Hong Kong seriously ill and was given six months to live.

Advised by his physician to take up cycling, Bowden bought a bicycle from a small shop on Raleigh Street in Nottingham, England. The effects on his health were so amazing that he bought the shop and set up Raleigh Cycles, turning it within six years into the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world.

He became an ardent advocate of cycling and wrote Cycling for Health and Points for Cyclists, was created a Baronet and died at the age of 73.

Bikes and Motorbikes

The company continued to expand, initially under Sir Frank's son, Sir Harold Bowden, who managed the business for 17 years.

Did you know...?

Raleigh Bicycles

Did you know that many Raleigh bicycles come with Tektro brakes?

Tektro brakes are considered by many cycling experts and professional cyclists to be the finest in the market. They offer precision and considerable braking power. They are also far more durable than average bicycle brakes. You may pay a premium price for Raleigh bicycles, but you get premium equipment in return and Tektro brakes are a fine example.


Raleigh went into the production of motorcycles, including three-wheelers and mopeds although the venture did not prosper and Raleigh decided to focus on bicycles once more.

Raleigh became famous for its lighter, faster roadster bicycles with Sturmey-Archer three- and five-speed transmissions and became one of the market leaders in the USA. Raleigh bought BSA Cycles Ltd. In 1957 but was itself acquired by the British Cycle Corporation, a subsidiary of the TI Group plc (later acquired by the Smiths Group) which also owned Phillips, Hercules, Sun, Armstrong and Norman.

Penetrating the US Market

The British Cycle Corporation was merged with Raleigh to form TI-Raleigh controlling 75% of the bicycle market in the UK. TI-Raleigh then acquired Carlton Cycles, which had tried to penetrate the US market in an unsuccessful re-branding deal with Huffy Bicycles, and launched a Carlton-Raleigh bike.

Raleigh Bicycles

Ironically, in 1982, the rights to the Raleigh USA name were purchased by the Huffy Corporation which proceeded to distribute Raleigh bikes throughout the USA and outsourced production of the bicycles to Asia. In 1987, Derby Cycle of Germany bought Raleigh USA from Huffy. Derby also later purchased Diamondback Bicycles.

After a turbulent corporate struggle, Alen Finden-Crofts, a former co-owner of Derby formed Cycle Bid Co. and purchased Derby as well as the Raleigh brand.


Raleigh and Sports Cycling

Raleigh Bicycles

Raleigh Bicycles has a long history in cycling sports established by the TI-Raleigh Team. Raleigh bikes have featured prominently in the Tour de France, the LA Olympics, and with teams like Système U of France, Raleigh Banana and Raleigh Weinmann of Britain.

In the 1990's Raleigh also fielded a mountain bike team and raced in road competitions. A new British cycling team called Team Raleigh is in the works.


Categories of Raleigh Bikes

Raleigh USA markets its models under seven major categories: Road, Mountain, Performance Hybrid, Cruiser, women and youth. There are several models in each category to cater to individual needs.

Raleigh Bicycles

Raleigh Bicycles boasts of several revolutionary frame technologies for specific categories like the Talus Frame for mountain bikes; the HM2 Carbon Frame that's 10% lighter and 20% stiffer than previous frames; the Capri Frame with RE2p geometry to reduce body stress and fatigue ensuring a perfect balance of speed, efficiency and comfort; and the Eva Frame for the 2011 aluminum Eva mountain bikes with special geometry for female bikers.


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