New bicycle – The Raleigh Chopper

Ok, I’ve been thinking about getting a new bike for the summer – or “a” bike for the summer, because I don’t have one. Been throwing around the idea for about 3-4 months now, because I’d like to get some exercise outdoors. Also, I’d like to ride along with my wife if we go on biking trips.

So, …I was in Canadian Tire yesterday looking at their bicycles (just for fun), and I came across this Raleigh Chopper. It caught my eye right away, for two reasons – one was the “coolness” of the bike with the old-school styling, …and two was the price-tag. They were selling it clearance at $149.99, regular $299.99. Whoa :).

I was lucky enough to avoid the impulse buy at that moment, and I went home. I jumped on the computer and did a little bit of research on them. Raleigh came out with this way back in the 50’s and 60’s with a “Mark I”, and then with a “Mark II” version in the 70’s. Apparently they are a sought after bike, according to wiki-pedia. The version at Canadian Tire was a “Mark III” which was basically the same bike, accept it was upgraded to modern standards – aluminum frame instead of steel, 3spd shifter, better brakes, more stable at higher speeds, etc. etc.

After reading that, I went back today and got it. On top of that, because there were a few scratches on the frame (very minor, just paint chips) I asked for a discount, and got it for $119.99. Oh yeah :)

Also, just out of curiosity, I took a trip to 3 other Canadian Tire stores before buying it, plus a pro bike shop, and didn’t find any other Raleigh Choppers. Guess wiki-pedia was right after all, these are sought after. I also think they discontinued these in 2006.

I took it out for a little spin, and it is a blast to drive. It is a little bit smaller than I expected, but I think if I adjust the height slightly, it will be perfect. For the nostalgia factor, it was worth it. I was thinking about flipping it and making a profit on Craig’s List, but I don’t know. If I end up not riding it as much as I’d like, …I’ve got a bike lined up for my children in the future; whenever that happens :D
Raleigh Chopper Raleigh Chopper (rear) Raleigh Chopper (3 speed shifter)