Raleigh-Building Bikes for Over 130 Years: Part 2

Part 2

This is part two of an exploration into the 130-year history of Raleigh Bicycles. If you're just joining the narrative, you may want to read the PART 1 first. Otherwise, please continue enjoying our story.

Like many new products, Raleigh's moped - the RM 1 - had it's share of issues, not least of which was a network of dealers and mechanics who had both the parts and education to service it.

Raleigh was not dissuaded though, and continued improving and building upon the pedal moped platform they had created. Through a series of cooperative arrangements with other brands and manufacturers, they introduced successive models of 'Power and Pedal' mopeds and also made great strides in improving the education of their dealers. Through these advancements, Raleigh was able boost sales and service of this new age transportation before eventually bowing out of the moped market in the early 1970s.

Raleigh Is All Steel

The seventies brought about some radical cultural shifts in the world at large, and it shouldn't surprise anyone that some of that change carried over into the bike market as well. To capitalize on evolving sentiments, Raleigh rolled out the Chopper. It was a bike that would define a whole new segment and shape how a whole generation would think about riding something with two wheels. Instead of taking aim at transportation, racing or anything else, the Chopper was aimed directly at kids and threw out the rule books in favor of looking cool and having fun.

That's not to say that racing was dead, though, actually far from it. The same time saw a boom in ten-speed road sales fueled by the heroes of the day battling for fame and prestige on the roads of Europe. The TI-Raleigh Team created and led by the legendary Peter Post brought new notoriety to the Raleigh brand by winning some of the biggest monuments and tours road racing had to offer, including the 1980 Tour de France won by Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk.

The 1980s brought a whole new kind of riding to the fore and Raleigh again stepped up to the challenge. Born somewhat out of the BMX trend of the 70s and the clunker culture born in parts of northern California and Colorado, mountain bikes exploded preconceptions and forever expanded the horizons of where people would choose to ride bikes. The Technium series mountain bikes were built in Kent, Washington, which is still the US headquarters of the brand today.

Raleigh Electric Retroglide iE Retroglide iE

Fast forward to the biggest trend today, and we see Raleigh on the forefront of the next big revolution in two-wheeled transportation—electric bikes. With over 130 years of experience making bikes, motorcycles, and gas motor assisted mopeds, it's no wonder that the brand is uniquely positioned to excel in this new category. Making pedal assisted bikes is clearly nothing new for Raleigh. The biggest difference now is incorporating modern electric motor technology in creating new ebikes that make getting around by bike fun, fast and exciting. Take the Retroglide IE for example. It melds the classic lines and comfort of Raleigh's heritage with a 350W Currie Electro-Drive®//TranzX mid-motor system for ride that adds a modern pedaling boost with a free-spirited hint of yesteryear.

Raleigh Electric Yuba Spicy Curry Yuba Spicy Curry

The Yuba Spicy Curry is another electric bike that draws from Raleigh's expansive roots. Created to give the utilitarian rider plenty of cargo capacity, it is reminiscent of the gas powered cargo vehicles that were so popular in the early 1900s. The spirit is the same, but the 350 watt electric mid-motor system is on the leading edge of ebike technology. With a unique blend of power and carrying capacity, you can load it up with your kids, adventure gear and whatever else you need as you head out the door.

Raleigh Electric Redux iE Redux iE

While it's helpful to have past examples to draw from, Raleigh is certainly also forward thinking when designing electric bikes. A great example is the Redux IE which looks like a sleek, modern bicycle at first glance, but incorporates the latest in ebike technology and features. The trim 36-volt battery is neatly hidden in the downtube to achieve its svelte appearance and powers the Brose mid-motor drive system to produce 90 NM of torque and top speeds of up to 28 miles per hour! It is a true modern day speed machine that opens a whole new realm for pedal people on the go.

Designing and building bikes for over 130 years gives Raleigh a unique perspective, and ideally positions them to continue leading innovation in the years to come. In this exciting time when electric bikes are presenting a new way for people to enjoy riding on two wheels, Raleigh is ready and eager to keep pushing forward and building bikes that make people's lives better.