Raleigh is finally ready to satisfy the demand for people of a certain age to relive the childhood memories, the British bicycle brand has announced the relaunch of the one and only 1970s icon the Chopper. This iconic bike has been ridden by Bob Marley, appeared in a classic Britpop Supergrass video, and recently featured in Netflix hit, Stranger Things.
To say Chopper fans have been hoping for a new Chopper release from Raleigh for many years is an understatement, with the only way to get your hands on one until now, by paying over the odds online. The 1969 original first editions originally sold for just £32, and now pristine examples of the Chopper have sold for four-figure amounts on eBay, with one of the highest examples being a boxed MK1 original selling for £7,000.
The original Chopper would give many health and safety specialists a sleepless night, and the 2023 model bike has had to undergo some changes to meet today's safety standards and legal requirements. The remake has seen the brand put years of research and development into the new limited edition Raleigh Chopper, but it still maintains its classic design and looks. Fans of the original model will be delighted to instantly recognize the iconic features like the infamous always groin-threatening central mounted gear shift, the one-piece saddle, the friend carrying rack at the back, purpose-built for backies to the shops and the iconic but now lowered sissy bar.
The brand is no stranger to remaking and reworking classics with the 1980s legendary bikes the Super Tuff Burner BMX and the TI-Raleigh TDF winning anniversary edition being relaunched in recent years, with these models also receiving a modern twist on production and components.
The new Chopper has also gone through a similar detailed process, with 3D modeling of original MK2 bikes to produce CAD designs for the new frame. Raleigh says that their designers have spent many hours agonizing over the details to make this new bike special but retain as much of the original as possible with a modern and better functioning performance, like the feared shifting unit that now actually works with three gearing options to choose while you delight in the memory of crunching through the gears of those original models. The one-piece handlebar and stem, get a modern rework also.
Lee Kidger, managing director at Raleigh spoke about the new model, “The Raleigh Chopper is the most iconic bike Raleigh has ever made, arguably the most iconic bike in British history. Selling millions of units worldwide during the '70s, and the Chopper cemented its place in British culture and to this day evokes a feeling of nostalgia for the era. This new model is as close as we could get to the original Mk2 released in 1972, while still meeting today’s required standards. The Chopper is still seen by the Raleigh team as the jewel in the brand’s crown. A legacy to be admired, protected, and never forgotten."
Pricing and availability
Raleigh says the limited-edition release of the new Chopper will available in two colours, ‘Infrared’ and ‘Ultraviolet’, the two color options it originally launched in the '70s – there's no return of the Fizzy Lemon paint job though. The new Choper will be priced at £950 and available to purchase online via the Raleigh website from 12pm on 20th June.
A new range of spares will also be available and Raleigh says many are back-compatible with original Chopper models – if you're lucky enough to own one. Check out Raleigh.co.uk for more information.