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The Raleigh Chopper is back by popular demand

Raleigh has brought back the Chopper, due to popular demand.

Raleigh announced a new version of the bike in June 2023, which sold out in minutes, according to the company. A second release followed a month later.

The Raleigh Chopper 2024 will be available to buy from 12:00 BST on July 9 in two colours – Fizzy Lemon and Space Blue – via the Raleigh website.

Extraordinary enthusiasm

Raleigh Chopper gear shift.
The new Chopper has the signature gear lever. – Scott Windsor / Our Media

Michelle Jakeway, Raleigh’s activation manager, says the excitement “was off the charts” when the Chopper returned last year.

Raleigh Chopper rear reflector.
There is a reflector on the back of the chair. – Scott Windsor / Our Media

”The Raleigh Chopper is truly the iconic bicycle. Everyone knows it, and countless people have fond memories of the first time they saw or rode one,” says Jakeway.

Raleigh says the Chopper sold out online within minutes and that in-person sales at its Nottingham store saw queues overnight.

Five years in the making

Raleigh Chopper sissy handlebars.
The bike is inspired by chopper motorcycles, as seen in Easy Rider. – Scott Windsor / Our Media

While there have been remakes of the Chopper in the past, the 2023 version differs from the acclaimed MKII model, released in 1972.

The MKII solved the safety issues with the original MKI model, designed by Alan Oakley, who came up with the idea after Easy rider.

The latest Chopper shares many of the same features as the MKII. These include a one-piece saddle, mid-frame gear lever and ‘sissy bar’.

Raleigh claims that creating the near-replica took five years of research and product development.

Rear wheel of Raleigh Chopper.
It is said that the near-replica took five years of research and product development. – Scott Windsor / Our Media

Speaking to BikeRadar last year, former Raleigh director Lee Kidger, who left the company shortly after the release, said part of this process included working closely with in-house hub gear manufacturer Sturmey-Archer to develop the gear lever.

Raleigh also had to make some changes to the Chopper to comply with modern regulations. These include lowering the seat height and ensuring that the handlebars do not protrude over the saddle.

‘A very difficult decision’

Chopper logo on Raleigh's famous bicycle.
Kidger wanted the Chopper to evoke Raleigh’s history. – Scott Windsor / Our Media

Kidger explained to BikeRadar last year that releasing historic models was a way to unite Raleigh’s history with its modern electric bikes.

By appealing to people’s hearts and minds in evoking Raleigh’s heritage, Kidger hoped the brand would convince people to cycle more and adopt electric bikes, which he identified as “a real growth area for the company.”

But despite the focus on this growing market, Raleigh has had a difficult year.

In November 2023, Accell, Raleigh’s parent company, told ITV that formal consultations for restructuring and redundancies were underway.

Raleigh subsequently confirmed that there had been layoffs in January.

A statement said this was “a very difficult decision” and that the changes would “better integrate Accell UK into the Group’s wider operations and position our UK operations for sustainable growth, while maintaining our head office in the Nottingham area retain.”

Raleigh Chopper Specification and Price

  • Frame type: High
  • Frame material: Cr-Mo steel
  • Fork type: Raleigh Chopper thimble crown
  • Send: Raleigh Chopper Steel High Rise Handlebar 580mm
  • Rod: Integrated steel stem
  • Brake type:
  • Gears: 3
  • Rear adjuster: Raleigh 3-speed gear shifter
  • Gear type: Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub gear
  • Mate: 37cm
  • To colour: Fizzy lemon/space blue
  • Bicycle weight: 18.4 kg
  • Recommended retail price: €999