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Limited edition model is gloss black with gold graphics

A new limited edition Raleigh Chopper is designed to pay homage to a golden era of motorsport.

Featuring a small 16in front wheel, a 20in back wheel and ape hanger bars, the new Chopper takes basic components of the iconic British-designed bike and brings in some modern features like a denim two-piece saddle rather than the original super-long saddle design, a lightweight aluminium frame and Shimano 6-speed chainset. Oh, and the new Chopper doesn’t have the gearstick shifter of years gone by.

The 2015 Chopper follows the Mk 1 and Mk 2 Choppers of the 1970s, and several re-issues in the 2000s, including last year's limited edition Beano special

This version is gloss black with gold graphics that are designed to evoke memories of Formula 1 motor racing. 

“Big side burns, champagne-soaked podiums, BBC Grandstand, Murray Walker, burning rubber and big engines; these bad boys are set to tear up and down high streets this autumn,” say Raleigh. And we salute them for saying that.

The 2015 Chopper is set to retail for £250 and can be ordered via any Raleigh stockist. www.raleigh.co.uk.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

37 comments

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therevokid [911 posts] 1 year ago
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No gear stick ... the outrage ...  1

I was a grifter man myself !!!!

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paulrbarnard [182 posts] 1 year ago
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It's not a chopper it's a pale imitation of the memory of a Chopper. They are cashing in on an iconic image and doing it very badly. Shame.

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parksey [343 posts] 1 year ago
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Liking the Lotus-themed paintjob, but £250 for a retro toy is a bit steep.

Besides, I was the generation that had the Raleigh Burner BMX. If they remade that then it might be a different matter...

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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I remember a mate slamming on the anchors and going THROUGH the handlebars. Oh how we laughed.

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workhard [397 posts] 1 year ago
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Maybe a new generation will take to it but to me that looks like poorly executed, John Player Special inspired, really rather lame pastiche of a MK II Chopper. It's a bitsa, a cobbled together selection from the parts bin that insults the memory of my 14th birthday.

But then really even the MK II was shite in reality.

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deblemund [262 posts] 1 year ago
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Ooh nice, it looks like a fag packet.

Anyway, I agree with the above. No gear stick, no Sturmey Archer hub gears and the saddle is a disgrace.

It's the bike equivalent of the Phantom Menace.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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the Chopper got me into cycling. Not because I had one but because I didn't. I envied one. We all had bikes in those days only my parents were very much StartRite and Clarks people. I had a sensible traditional bike. Not for long though. I did a paper round and started saving and bought some cow horn bars. It still wasn't a chopper though but it did get me in with a group of lads that liked Speedway and liked cycle speedway which they did on makeshift tracks. I was pretty good at that and that started me being interested in cycle racing more generally. Then one Saturday afternoon in the winter of 1972 World of Sport showed some track racing. It must have been a Six day thing. That blew my mind. That was what I wanted to do. I was 11 years old. I had no clue how to do it though. Then in spring of 1973 in Winton (Bournemouth) I saw a track. Well banks anyway. It was tarmac not an oval but more like a three cornered affair around a cricket pitch, but it was track and I rode it to death. On my own mostly but sometimes with mates that I dragged ver there. Then one Friday night in early summer the Bournemouth Arrow Cycling Club turned up at my track. (it was their track actually) I watched with my gob open getting closer and closer to the bikes and the people. I'd probably been there an hour and was by now standing close to the start/finish line. Someone was watching because I was asked if I wanted a go and before I knew it I was on an old club track bike going round on my own (I expect no-one trusted me not to bring them down.) That following Sunday I was on a club run on my sensible one speed bike with cowhorn bars. In the following weeks I rode the track bike with a front brake on and by the end of the summer I'd sold the sensible bike and got a 2nd hand road bike. I've been riding ever since.

I still never owned a Chopper though.

Update: Blimey. There's a web page with the history of that track.
http://www.bournemouth.cc/about-the-bournemouth-cycling-centre/51-histor...

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WolfieSmith [1244 posts] 1 year ago
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Agreed. The literally half-arsed saddle is a disgrace. The one with the white belt across was an iconic part of the original. It's akin to remaking the classic E-Type Jag and thinking 'Let's not bother remaking the spoked wheels.' Lazy and counter productive.

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Beatnik69 [286 posts] 1 year ago
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I was a Strika man, well boy. Broke my arm when I was 4 falling off that thing.  20

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ronin [263 posts] 1 year ago
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Fail.

Sorry, but I thought the love for the original chopper was because it was a chopper. The seat, the gear stick etc, etc. Why go to all the trouble to do your own version? It's not for doing a sportive on, it's for messing around on your estate. No gear stick? Get out-a-here man.

Strange.

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Binky [116 posts] 1 year ago
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That is not a Chopper!
It's nothing like a Chopper. Either make a proper Raleigh Chopper or don't, but for crying out loud stop chucking the Chopper name at any bit of dross you want to make money out of  102

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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Binky wrote:

That is not a Chopper!
It's nothing like a Chopper. Either make a proper Raleigh Chopper or don't, but for crying out loud stop chucking the Chopper name at any bit of dross you want to make money out of  102

Well to be fair it's a bit like the mini. No it's not a real Mini because they stopped making the real ones when people stopped buying them. Like the Chopper really.

Let's call it a "Chopper(ish) shaped" item of memorabilia.

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oozaveared [933 posts] 1 year ago
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ronin wrote:

Fail.

Sorry, but I thought the love for the original chopper was because it was a chopper. The seat, the gear stick etc, etc. Why go to all the trouble to do your own version? It's not for doing a sportive on, it's for messing around on your estate. No gear stick? Get out-a-here man.

Strange.

Some of the very first Choppers didn't have a gear stick as they had no gears. 3 speed and 5 speed were "optional extras".

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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truffy wrote:

I remember a mate slamming on the anchors and going THROUGH the handlebars. Oh how we laughed.

Argh, just remembered why we (and by "we" I mean the spectators, not my mate) laughed. As he lay on the ground in front of the bike, it didn't stop, travelled halfway up his back, then fell over. THEN we laughed.

Innocent times.

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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And does anyone remember the smaller version, the Chipper?

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ronin [263 posts] 1 year ago
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oozaveared wrote:
ronin wrote:

Fail.

Sorry, but I thought the love for the original chopper was because it was a chopper. The seat, the gear stick etc, etc. Why go to all the trouble to do your own version? It's not for doing a sportive on, it's for messing around on your estate. No gear stick? Get out-a-here man.

Strange.

Some of the very first Choppers didn't have a gear stick as they had no gears. 3 speed and 5 speed were "optional extras".

Next you're gonna be telling me that I don't need flares to ride one and afro's are optional  3

One fact you don't know is, gear sticks are way faster than standard shifters - and that's the same for 3 or 5 speed.

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joemmo [1145 posts] 1 year ago
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parksey wrote:

Liking the Lotus-themed paintjob, but £250 for a retro toy is a bit steep.

Besides, I was the generation that had the Raleigh Burner BMX. If they remade that then it might be a different matter...

like this:

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/raleigh/mag-burner-replica-2011-bmx-...

still want one? They weren't really that great. I had one but always lusted after a PK Ripper or a Kuwahara.

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sanderville [314 posts] 1 year ago
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No Sturmey Archer, no sale.

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philly [37 posts] 1 year ago
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Aww...not the same if it's not like the Mk2.... It's gotta have a one piece loooong seat and stick shift sturmey!
Missed opportunity!

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billsdon [36 posts] 1 year ago
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For the record, British Standards told Raleigh they couldn't produce the new Chopper in the original design for health and safety reasons. Raleigh did look into this before producing the new design. Obviously Raleigh loves the original design as much as everyone else - why would they change a classic unless they had to.

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badback [302 posts] 1 year ago
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Remember my bro breaking his Mk1 Chopper and the local agricultural engineer welding the frame back together. They don't build em like that these days......

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michophull [126 posts] 1 year ago
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Back in the day, my mum bought me the Mk 1 in scarlet / orange. Seem to remember that she paid approx £30 for it which was roughly twice the going rate for a kids' bike back then.

It was a 30lb beast but it inspired a love of bikes in me which has lasted to this day. I'm now 53 and have never even had a driving lesson.

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monty dog [446 posts] 1 year ago
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The product range was Chipper, Tomahawk then Chopper... there was also the Chopper Sprint with drop handlebars!

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Redvee [191 posts] 1 year ago
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truffy wrote:

And does anyone remember the smaller version, the Chipper?

I had a purple one and my cousin had a red MK1 Chopper. The lasting memory of my Chipper is riding through the old shopping precinct in Bath, where Southgate now is, and attempting a wheelie and ending up flat on my back having flipped the bike which caused my merriment for my cousin and no sympathy from my father who just told me to get up off the floor.

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a.jumper [845 posts] 1 year ago
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British Standards told them not to use Sturmey Archer? I don't believe it. Even if they could not have the castrating gear lever, the hub gears should have stayed.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 1 year ago
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we don't want this Raleigh, we want how it was, like the Mk 2 in the picture, brilliant bikes, I had exactly that bike, in the purple, fab. Stop faffing around with the seat, and the gear stick, and have it as it was ....

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124g [34 posts] 1 year ago
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I had an original decided to take a mate on the back down a long fast hill in town, we all know the end of course crashed and burned. I actually passed out having picked myself off the ground, blood pouring from both elbows no skin now, and the same on tops of my pelvis (front).

A trip to the hospital where they cleaned the debris out more agony and daily trips back for the dressings to be ripped off, ah memories, the good old days  31

I still loved it though it was the first bike I had ever owned that was new, closing my eyes I can still see it.

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Flying Scot [908 posts] 1 year ago
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They should just leave it, I know they can't replicate the gear stick and banana saddle because if the standards, so it's never going to be the same.

Still a three speed thumb shift and a better saddle would help, the original was actually made by Brooks.

'This vehicle is not designed to carry passengers'

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Bigfoz [117 posts] 1 year ago
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They were awful. Difficult to ride out of the saddle up hills, terminally unstable going down, rubbish handling and braking and heavier than a heavy thing.

One of those "retro" items we should just quietly forget about.

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fukawitribe [1430 posts] 1 year ago
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Bigfoz wrote:

They were awful. Difficult to ride out of the saddle up hills, terminally unstable going down, rubbish handling and braking and heavier than a heavy thing.

One of those "retro" items we should just quietly forget about.

I believe that the trick is to stay in the seat when going up hill...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNaqRgGOuQQ

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