Everyone remembers their first Raleigh, right? For 125 years Raleigh has been creating market-leading bikes in Nottingham. Chances are that you rode a Raleigh when you were younger - and maybe you still do now.
We're just as famous for our iconic children's bikes, like the Burner, Grifter and Chopper, as we are for cutting-edge bikes like TI-Raleigh Tour de France winning 853 steel frame or our Militis carbon race machine.
But today we’re much more than just a bike brand. We own several other bike and accessory brands, including Diamondback and RSP, and we distribute a whole lot more to cycle shops around the UK.
With over 125 years experience of designing the best bikes around, plus one of the biggest cycle accessory distribution arms in the UK, it's no wonder we're the nation's favourite bike brand.
In fact, we can go one step further, we're the only bike brand listed in the UK's Superbrands list. Now that's something!
We design them, we play with them, we ride them, we race them and we commute on them. Our bicycles are a product of the passion that started at the end of the 1800s.
Bicycles mean more than just saving money, or being an accessory to the latest trend, or a status symbol to grab attention. We look at bicycles as an extension of ourselves, our history but most of all we consider the people who will be riding them.
The Raleigh bicycle of today is designed by local people for local people. A Raleigh bicycle in Holland is not the same as a Raleigh bicycle in South Africa; the climate is different, the geography is different, the economy is different, the culture is different, so why offer the same bicycle? Raleigh doesn’t; in fact we believe this is a strength of our business and embracing differences in cultures is one of the reasons Raleigh is a worldwide name in bicycles.
Raleigh’s bicycle ranges currently include models for road riding, fitness, mountain biking, leisuire riding, commuting and for playing, models for children, models for big kids, for mums and dads and models for professional racers. From pre-school to peleton we like to say, or first bike to fastest.
Right from the start the bicycles that were produced were high quality and innovative, but it became more and more evident that a Raleigh bicycle had to be seen as value for money. Value for money has never meant cheap in a Raleigh factory, it means what is says, getting the most from whatever your budget. A Raleigh bicycle has often been priced as more expensive than a competitor’s bicycle, and yet it would still be named as the best value for money as it would ride better, last longer and the likelihood of an accident through broken parts was greatly reduced.
Raleigh has been involved with bicycle sport all its life. Sir Frank Bowden got involved in the world of racing very early and in 1892 at least 2,300 bicycle races were won on Raleighs. Raleigh has sponsored many riders over the years including A.A. Zimmerman, Reg Harris, Joop Zoetemelk, Nicole Cook and most recently Team Raleigh.
Raleigh has also spent much time and effort sponsoring local riders, some from Raleigh shops who can give good local exposure to Raleigh as well as quick feedback on the latest designs.
Raleigh is also careful how each of its bicycles is sold. Even a Raleigh bicycle should be checked and tested before a rider is allowed to take their bicycle from a shop. We also make sure there are adequate servicing and maintenance facilities available as all bicycles require regular servcing, Raleighs are no exception.
Raleigh never had the luxury of having a monopoly on bicycles, but along the way the company has acquired many different bicycle companies and their intellectual property.
These include famous names like Rudge-Whitworth (‘Britain's best bicycle’), Humber (‘the aristocrat of all bicycles’), Hercules (‘the finest bicycle built today’), BSA (‘perfect in every part’), Triumph, Phillips (‘Renowned the world over’), Robin Hood (‘Easy on the road, light on the purse’), Diamondback, Avenir, RSP, Carlton, Cyclepro and Sunbeam.
Raleigh has created strong relationships with the manufacturers it uses. This relationship is crucial in making sure all products are to Raleigh standards. Engineers and designers from Nottingham and Seattle regularly visit Raleigh’s manufacturing partners, performing inspections, helping with production development and other required testing.
The close relationships that have been built up over the years, combined with the sharing of knowledge is now producing some of the best bicycles Raleigh has ever produced.
Raleigh also has many license partners who hold the distribution rights for a set area, and often get involved with local development of Raleigh bicycles. These partners work closely with Raleigh, encompassing the essence of Raleigh and yet adding a valuable local touch to the brand.