For the last 150 years, Britain has been a nation of bike lovers. And for much of that time, one make has been associated with quality, innovation and Britishness – Raleigh bikes.
Born in the back streets of Nottingham in 1888, Raleigh grew to become the biggest bicycle manufacturer in the world. For over a century, the company was known for its simple and practical bikes, built to last a lifetime. For generations, its designs were thought second to none, enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Now, with wonderful personal testimony and rare and previously unseen archive film, this documentary tells the extraordinary tale of the ups and downs of Raleigh bikes – a beautifully illustrated story full of remarkable characters, epic adventures and memorable bikes.
Meet the people who rode and raced them, the workers who built them and the dealers who sold them. Find out how cycling saved the life of Raleigh’s founder, discover the technological advances behind the company’s success and join Raleigh bike riders who recall epic adventures far and wide.
Along the way, the programme takes viewers on a journey back to cycling’s golden age – rediscover the thrill of learning to ride your first bike and find out what went on inside the Raleigh factory, where the company’s craftsmen produced some of Britain’s most iconic bikes.
Finally, the documentary reveals what went wrong at Raleigh – the battles it had with its rivals, the controversy behind the design of the Chopper and the effect the closure of its factories had on its loyal workers. This is the extraordinary untold story of the rise and fall of Raleigh bikes.