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The Raleigh Chopper is back!
In the 1970's, mullet wearing youths all over the land were to be seen roaming the landscape in search of Tizer and Spangles, wearing flares and collars that would flap you to death in a high wind. If you were really cool you'd be carrying out your mission aboard a Raleigh Chopper, possibly adorned with spokey dokeys and dice valve caps.
Well, its over forty five years since the first incarnation of the Chopper hit British streets, but Raleigh have decided that now is the time to reignite the feelings for this classic bike and allow the kids of today to cruise around on a wave of nostalgia. Okay, so the 2017 Raleigh Chopper is not an exact reproduction of the original but takes many styling cues from it and then adds a little bit of chrome and modness (made that one up) into the mix to create a fun looking kids bike.
Apparently some of the changes have been made to improve handling and a regular style of seat fitted to remove the option of kids giving 'backies' to their mates, which is of course illegal in the UK.
Also, the gearshift on the original Raleigh Chopper (located in a place that would remove a small boys undercarriage should they slide onto the crossbar) has been replaced by a modern Shimano gripshift system that is a six speed and should allow moderate hills to be tackled. However, there are stories of adults taking them to ride various mountain stages of the Tour de France!
In the 1970's, Raleigh Chopper's came in all manner of colours, some fairly lurid, whereas today's incarnation is limited to a matte finish blue or pearl white, both of which are attractive and suit the Chopper well.
Another improvement over the original is that the frame is constructed of 6061 aluminium, whereas the 70's version was made from the bicycling equivalent of steel gas pipe, weighing about the same as a small family car. It's still not a svelte racing machine, but if you're looking to cruise the neighbourhood at a leisurely pace, then you'll look mightily cool astride the Raleigh Chopper.
The RRP for the Limited Edition Raleigh Chopper is £295, and it's available from Tredz.