Raleigh Owners Handbook

Raleigh Owners Handbook - page 1 main image

I must have handed hundreds, nay thousands, of these booklets to the lucky owners of new Raleigh bicycles - but I have to say that I can’t remember ever once looking at the pages inside.

Two of the more alarming features of this publication include the strident use of orange and the picture on page 2. Is the person on the Chopper a Bank Manager in a suit? A Mod? Or just an exceedingly well laundered school boy? Why are both he and his ‘dad’ wearing ties? Is that his ‘mother’ on the Raleigh Stowaway - or is it one of the BeeGees? We should be told.

In terms of rear derailleurs (page 29), Raleigh are quite clear that they only use four models, which appear to be the Campagnolo Nuovo Record, Zeus Criterium, Simplex Prestige and Huret Allvit. This sits slightly oddly with me, as I don’t think Raleigh were using any of these derailleurs in the mid to late 1970s - and I am pretty sure that I was still handing out these booklets. By that time I seem to remember Raleigh as feasting on a rich diet of Huret Sveltos - and little else. If you wanted a low end Raleigh Olympus you got a Huret Svelto - and if you opened your wallet and sprang for a high end Carlton Kermesse - well knock me down with a feather - you got a Huret Svelto!