Raleigh – Past And Presence Of An Iconic Bicycle Brand

The latest publication from Veteran-Cycle Publications, “Raleigh – Past and Presence of an Iconic Bicycle Brand”.

It’s over a decade since the First Edition of Tony Hadland’s all-encompassing history of Britain’s iconic cycle company was published. The Second Edition, available now from Veteran-Cycle Publications, is far more than a reprint. Working with former employees and contemporary sources, the 660-plus page hardback book sets another milestone in both this history of the company, including the recent years, as well as a comprehensive picture of how Raleigh influenced the global cycling industry, the pastimes of cycling and cycle-sport and the city of Nottingham. Places, people and bicycles, spanning well over a century of production are brought to life in this magnificent volume, beautifully designed and profusely illustrated.

It’s a ‘must-have’ for everyone with an interest in how the Raleigh bicycle helped change the world – and even created a role for our Club in the history of wheeled transport.

Reviewed by Ross Adams,

Cycling UK:

This hefty hardback is the expanded second edition (now 660 pages) of Tony Hadland’s detailed profile of Raleigh. As soon as you pick it up, you can tell it’s going to be a comprehensive history of the Heron head badge.

There’s more to it than mere grammage, however. Right from the introduction and acknowledgements, you quickly become aware that this is a seriously well-researched and put together history of the Raleigh brand. It chronicles the early days of the Nottingham company, made famous by Sir Frank Bowden, through the many iterations and ownership of the company to the current status.

As a reader born in the 1970s, raised in the ’80s and buying his first MTB (yes, a Raleigh) in 1989, I was most engaged by the chapters and imagery covering the last few decades of the 20th century. There are the iconic models most of us immediately think of when hearing the Raleigh name: Chopper, Grifter, Burner and Shopper. There’s also a nod to the early days of Raleigh’s domination of the UK and international mountain biking race scene. As well as provoking some good memories it taught me many things I didn’t know.

For me, it’s overly detailed in some areas. That’s not really a criticism: it’s not hard to skip over sections you’re less interested in, and there’s plenty here that I’d have missed if it were omitted. Overall, this is an excellent book.

This review appeared in the April/May 2024 issue of Cycle, the magazine of Cycling UK.

Book Specification:

ISBN 978-1999342968
170×240 mm page size, 660 pages.
A substantial number of illustrations, many in colour.
Printed throughout on 115gsm matt.
Case bound with full colour cover.
Published by Veteran-Cycle Publications, the publishing arm of the Veteran-Cycle Club.

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