Everyone remembers their first Raleigh, right? For 125 years Raleigh has been creating market-leading bikes in Nottingham. Chances are that you rode a Raleigh when you were younger - and maybe you still have it. I am not going to lie to you, Raleigh has gone through some serious changes in the last 125 yrs, some of these changes were not the best. The brand from Nottingham peaked in the 60’s and 70’s. The market was so strong that in 1973, Raleigh Canada stopped importing the bikes from Britain and opened a manufacturing plant in Canada, in Waterloo, Que.
But by the mid-’80s, intense competition from Japanese and European brands had all but squeezed Raleigh out of the higher end of the market. All of a sudden, the 10-speed market was saturated. Instead of a few brands, there were more than 50. This combined with a weak CND dollar led to Raleigh bikes ending up in mass merchant box stores and the brand losing its quality and prestige in North America.
In 2012 Raleigh was purchased by Netherlands-based Accell Group N.V.The Accell group has a great cycling portfolio and a strong reputation in Europe while Raleigh has global brand recognition and a great story to tell. So whats this mean to you ? It means Raleigh is back making proper bikes and no more box stores. Raleigh’s push in North America has been super aggressive when it comes to Cross.They have sponsored the Raleigh - Clement CX team for a few yrs now which is headed up by one fastest ladies on the Pro CX circuit Caroline Mani. Known for her fierce intensity and dramatic facial expressions, the 29-year old from Besançon had her best season to date in 2015-16. Mani, who has been with the team since it first opened its doors in 2013, finished last season ranked second in the world, notched her third French national cyclocross title and earned four top-five finishes at the Zolder, Namur, Lignières-en-Berry and Hoogerheide World Cups. Knocking on the door as one of the best in the world, Mani went on to score a silver medal at the UCI World Championships at the famous Circuit Zolder to bring the season to a close. .
So you can start lusting after a Raleigh again, and if anyone gives you a hard time tell them Joop Zoetemelk of Holland riding for TI Raleigh Creda won the Tour De France in 1980 riding a Raleigh. Plus Mani is faster than you.