It was 1887 when Sir Frank Bowden bought a wee bike company on a Nottingham back street; the peer having begun to cycle on his doctor’s advice and been impressed by the bike he’d bought from the Raleigh Street concern.
The company grew and the name first hit the major sporting headlines when A.A. Zimmerman won the Worlds for them on the track in 1897.
By 1932 the company was producing 62,000 bikes per year but it was in the late 40’s and early 50’s when the Raleigh name really exploded into the public consciousness.
‘Reg rides a Raleigh’ said the posters as Reg Harris dominated world professional sprinting at a time when track meets attracted sell out crowds.
Harris was British Sportsman of the Year before Chris Hoy or Bradley Wiggins were born.
In 1960 TI (Tube Investments) took the business over and in 1972 Raleigh went back into pro cycling in a major way with the TI Raleigh team.
In 1974 legendary Dutch Six Day man and Paris-Roubaix winner, Peter Post came aboard as team manager and changed pro bike racing forever.
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