Video: Rusty 1984 Raleigh Bomber gets glorious sentimental restoration

Pre-mountain bike classic looks better than new.

by John Stevenson   November 15, 2013  

Raleigh Bomber

Remember the classic Raleigh Bomber of the 1980’s? A single-speed cruiser, it was the Big Heron’s first, hesitant step into 26-inch wheeled bikes before Raleigh jumped head-first into mountain bikes a couple of years later with the Maverick.

Mike Shattock’s brother David had one and when he found it rusting in a family friend’s shed, he decided to restore it to its original glory. Here’s a video that will put a smile on your face.

36 user comments

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Heartwarming

New Forester

posted by Forester [88 posts]
15th November 2013 - 18:18

27 Likes

That's a lovely story, good effort.

Applause

Chiggety check yourself before you wreck yourself

posted by therealsmallboy [88 posts]
15th November 2013 - 18:22

26 Likes

That made my day - lovely story. I hope Raleigh see it too.

posted by Neil Smith 48 [16 posts]
15th November 2013 - 18:23

22 Likes

Brilliant story. My mate had one too. He has never forgotten his.

posted by sea_biscuit [22 posts]
15th November 2013 - 19:17

19 Likes

Raleigh have definitely seen it Neil! Great to see the heartwarming story. Fantastic restoration. Now that reminds me, that Europa in the garage ain't gonna restore itself!

posted by billsdon [29 posts]
15th November 2013 - 20:20

18 Likes

Great stuff.

I still have most of my old '85 Maverick in my loft. I should rebuild it.

I rode a few bombers bitd and my mav had that same front light till some tea leaf wandered off with it.

posted by Super Domestique [1625 posts]
15th November 2013 - 21:10

18 Likes

Magic stuff.....supercool! Applause

TDL

tourdelound's picture

posted by tourdelound [89 posts]
15th November 2013 - 21:20

16 Likes

I had a black one in my childhood. It was a great bike!

posted by m0rjc [36 posts]
15th November 2013 - 21:24

16 Likes

Had to put the video on mute,what the hell is that all about?
Raleigh Bomber-horrible contraptions,remember this gangly youth with a long nose called Neville and his twin brother having a pair of these bloody awful things in black back in the early 80s
I used to challenge them to races round the block on the council estate in the midlands i lived in at the time,i was on my Raleigh Burner and used to lap these idiots despite all their huffing and puffing,atrocious bikes,heavy,unwieldy,slow,good for nothing except the scrap cart along with choppers,Raleigh Grifters and the rest of those hideous pieces of crap
What on Earth possessed this guy to renovate the pile of junk ive got no idea,probably middle aged nostalgia for a childhood long long

posted by Stim [11 posts]
15th November 2013 - 21:27

12 Likes

great story taking me back to childhood as for stim's comment about consigning grifters to the scrap heap how dare he i used to kick ass against bmxers on the many improvised tracks in our local park although i did prefer the burner that took it's place

posted by glascymru [9 posts]
15th November 2013 - 22:11

25 Likes

Great restoration job, though the tyres are incorrect - they should be snake-belly (chevron) pattern treads, such as these:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PAIR-26x2-125-SNAKEBELLY-BLUE-GUMWALL-RALEIGH-BOMBER-CRUISER-TYRES-/190966529619?pt=UK_sportsleisure_cycling_bikeparts_SR&hash=item2c767dfe53

I had a new one in 1985, a black and chrome 5-speed version, which I thought was blimmin marvellous at the time.

Heavy, yes, but what a brilliant paper-round bike - super-durable, and comfy for morning and evening paper deliveries, while being versatile enough for a weekend thrash about the woods or towpath, or commute to the station.

I was jealous when my friend got one of the first Maverick MTBs, so I set about upgrading my Bomber to 15 speeds with a triple Sakae chainset, and later, alloy rims, which made it into quite a formidable mud-plugger!

I later sold it and went over to mountainbikes, but the Bomber had a certain magic about it, a bit like the bicycle equivalent of a Harley-Davidson.

Good to see that they have a decent following. Big Grin

Maurice, East Kent.

posted by Evans Tourer [4 posts]
15th November 2013 - 23:00

15 Likes

Stim wrote:
Had to put the video on mute,what the hell is that all about?
Raleigh Bomber-horrible contraptions,remember this gangly youth with a long nose called Neville and his twin brother having a pair of these bloody awful things in black back in the early 80s
I used to challenge them to races round the block on the council estate in the midlands i lived in at the time,i was on my Raleigh Burner and used to lap these idiots despite all their huffing and puffing,atrocious bikes,heavy,unwieldy,slow,good for nothing except the scrap cart along with choppers,Raleigh Grifters and the rest of those hideous pieces of crap
What on Earth possessed this guy to renovate the pile of junk ive got no idea,probably middle aged nostalgia for a childhood long long

You don't read, then? And the music was entirely appropriate.

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [256 posts]
15th November 2013 - 23:09

34 Likes

Stim wrote:
Had to put the video on mute,what the hell is that all about?
Raleigh Bomber-horrible contraptions,remember this gangly youth with a long nose called Neville and his twin brother having a pair of these bloody awful things in black back in the early 80s
I used to challenge them to races round the block on the council estate in the midlands i lived in at the time,i was on my Raleigh Burner and used to lap these idiots despite all their huffing and puffing,atrocious bikes,heavy,unwieldy,slow,good for nothing except the scrap cart along with choppers,Raleigh Grifters and the rest of those hideous pieces of crap
What on Earth possessed this guy to renovate the pile of junk ive got no idea,probably middle aged nostalgia for a childhood long long

*that's* your first post? i guess it's good to nail your colours to the mast, first impressions and all that. i await your incisive contribution to the debate.

cactuscat's picture

posted by cactuscat [303 posts]
15th November 2013 - 23:16

25 Likes

Stim wrote:
Had to put the video on mute,what the hell is that all about?
Raleigh Bomber-horrible contraptions,remember this gangly youth with a long nose called Neville and his twin brother having a pair of these bloody awful things in black back in the early 80s
I used to challenge them to races round the block on the council estate in the midlands i lived in at the time,i was on my Raleigh Burner and used to lap these idiots despite all their huffing and puffing,atrocious bikes,heavy,unwieldy,slow,good for nothing except the scrap cart along with choppers,Raleigh Grifters and the rest of those hideous pieces of crap
What on Earth possessed this guy to renovate the pile of junk ive got no idea,probably middle aged nostalgia for a childhood long long

At last! Someone who hasn't lost their rosy tinted specs, but stamped them into little plasticky splinters. The Bomber, Grifter and the sod-awful Chopper were dreadful bikes. Really, really horrible.

If someone wants to relive part of their childhood then great, that's lovely, but the bikes were shit.

The Raleigh Hustler on the other hand was completely ace.

Rob Simmonds's picture

posted by Rob Simmonds [253 posts]
15th November 2013 - 23:29

23 Likes

It's irrelevant whether the bikes were good or not. This Raleigh Bomber was my younger brothers pride and joy and I decided to restore it, end of. I've enjoyed restoring it and I posted the video for his old friends to take a trip down memory lane. I didn't ask for it to be posted on this site but I'm grateful for the positive feedback. I am sorry if I have offended anyone with loud music (Bomber by Motörhead) and non Snakebelly tyres (the ones on e-bay aren't Cheng originals) but I've restored it for me and how I think my brother would have liked it. I have had hundreds of positive comments and three negative ones, two on here, so that's not too bad.

posted by Lycraman [4 posts]
15th November 2013 - 23:53

47 Likes

Lycraman - guessing Mike - some people are...well...just massive fucking wankers?

As you say the 'quality' of the bike, if that's even an issue, is hardly the point. The quality of the restoration looks awesome to me - top job.

posted by jellysticks [83 posts]
16th November 2013 - 0:07

29 Likes

Thanks Jellysticks. I bought another Super Bomber in case I needed spares. I may restore that in pink just to piss off the purists. Mike.

posted by Lycraman [4 posts]
16th November 2013 - 0:13

23 Likes

Stim, if you actually took 3m 40s to watch the video you will see that my brother died tragically in 1992 aged 18 and that his pride and joy Bomber went missing for 15 years.

posted by Lycraman [4 posts]
16th November 2013 - 0:22

21 Likes

Stim you really are a miserable cunt aren't you? Or a depressingly effective troll. Either way, you're thoroughly deplorable. Do fuck off and stop ruining a great tale for everybody else.

posted by jellysticks [83 posts]
16th November 2013 - 0:33

28 Likes

Can someone ban Stim before he makes more of a dick of himself than he already has?

posted by Some Fella [786 posts]
16th November 2013 - 0:59

22 Likes

.

posted by Stim [11 posts]
16th November 2013 - 1:00

17 Likes

Stim, shtoom.

If you're gonna get pissed up and then go on the Web, go somewhere where that's the norm.

I'm not normally one for censorship, but I think that this is a case where deleting all posts from just before Stim arrived and locking new comments would be justified... Otherwise there's likely to be lots of unnecessary swearing and abuse getting posted.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

Jack Osbourne snr's picture

posted by Jack Osbourne snr [305 posts]
16th November 2013 - 1:20

22 Likes

Morning everyone! we all sweetness and light today?

Wink

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7434 posts]
16th November 2013 - 9:49

16 Likes

Great, but sad story, massive congrats on the restoration Applause ! Just ignore the knobheads

posted by Ian531 [35 posts]
16th November 2013 - 10:00

19 Likes

Dave Atkinson wrote:
Morning everyone! we all sweetness and light today?

Wink

Mornin Dave! Big Grin

Is it just me or are some Stim-isms missing this morning? Makes the comments in response seem unbalanced. Maybe a wee trim of the whole thread back to before it got silly?

Anyway...

It's a touching story and what looks like a great restoration. I remember lusting after a Bomber... Until I tried to lift one!

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

Jack Osbourne snr's picture

posted by Jack Osbourne snr [305 posts]
16th November 2013 - 10:46

20 Likes

Morning. All good with me. Thank you for all the positive comments and thank you Stim for deleting your previous comment. I am guessing you didn't even look at the clip before posting.

posted by Lycraman [4 posts]
16th November 2013 - 11:45

12 Likes

Great job. The postman's comment nearly brought a tear to the eye. My first bike was a Striker and then a Burner. Then a blue racer, cannot remember the name. After that, a 531 Corsa with 105 and the Bio-pace rings. Nearly everyone one of my bikes were Raleighs.

Still smiling politely at a persistently flat chain.

velophilia's picture

posted by velophilia [39 posts]
16th November 2013 - 14:49

16 Likes

Hope to see this on my local roads.. fantastic and needs to be ridden!

The time of heroes is dead: the christ god has killed it, leaving nothing but weeping martyrs, fear and shame!

Vikeonabike's picture

posted by Vikeonabike [51 posts]
17th November 2013 - 11:16

11 Likes

Stim wrote:
Had to put the video on mute,what the hell is that all about?
Raleigh Bomber-horrible contraptions,remember this gangly youth with a long nose called Neville and his twin brother having a pair of these bloody awful things in black back in the early 80s
I used to challenge them to races round the block on the council estate in the midlands i lived in at the time,i was on my Raleigh Burner and used to lap these idiots despite all their huffing and puffing,atrocious bikes,heavy,unwieldy,slow,good for nothing except the scrap cart along with choppers,Raleigh Grifters and the rest of those hideous pieces of crap
What on Earth possessed this guy to renovate the pile of junk ive got no idea,probably middle aged nostalgia for a childhood long long

Perhaps if you had read the text on the screen you would know why he restored it. It was his brothers who died.

posted by paulrbarnard [134 posts]
17th November 2013 - 17:54

9 Likes

That's a great restoration. The colours are just fine. Beautiful.

Smile deffinately on my face.

I didn't have a Bomber, I had a Grifter. Loved it.

Have a nice Monday.

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [205 posts]
18th November 2013 - 9:32

11 Likes