Raleigh Chopper Bike Designer Dies Of Cancer

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PostMon May 21, 2012 3:50 pm » by Flecktarn


The designer who created the revolutionary Raleigh Chopper bicycle, which became a symbol of the 1970s, has died of cancer aged 85.
Alan Oakley, who drew the initial design for the Chopper on the back of an envelope while flying back from the US in 1967, died in Nottingham on Friday.
His wife Karen confirmed that her husband had died at their home in the Wollaton area of the city, nine months after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.
Mr Oakley created the Chopper, which is famed for its unusual appearance and car-like gear shifter, after a trip to America to get to grips with the nation's youth culture.
With an angular seat, a large back wheel and small front wheel, the Chopper was a huge success for Nottingham-based Raleigh in both Britain and America, becoming a must-have bike for a generation of children.
Relating how her husband fine-tuned his design, Mrs Oakley said: "Alan had been over to America looking to pick up a design for a bike.
"While he was flying back, he had an airmail envelope and just drew this bike on the back of it and that was that, the creation of the Chopper."
Paying tribute to her husband's achievements in four decades with Raleigh, Mrs Oakley said: "He was there for 40 years and loved every minute of it.
"He made people very happy and I am very proud of him.
"As a friend and former colleague of Alan's said: 'Raleigh was Alan and Alan was Raleigh'. That says it all really."
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this was the must have bike of the 70s yet bloody dangerous for kid pulling wheelies i fell off mine loads of times even having to have stitches in the back of my head because of wheelies , still did it though :lol:
then the next great bike was the grifter happy days
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PostMon May 21, 2012 4:13 pm » by Thruster


I believe this was the model I had, in purple. It cost my mum around £109.00.

I had the long orange antennas attatched to the back rest bars, loved that bike. Great solid design.

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:cheers:
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PostMon May 21, 2012 4:16 pm » by The57ironman


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....did somebody say choppers..?


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Last edited by The57ironman on Mon May 21, 2012 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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..... If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.......
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PostMon May 21, 2012 4:18 pm » by Thruster


The57ironman wrote:.



....did somebody say choppers..?



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Hehehe... I knew you'd perk up to the word 'chopper'.


:cheers:
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PostMon May 21, 2012 4:24 pm » by E6722maj


what a classic bike the chopper was. i had one of these;
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the tomahawk, or 'little chopper' (ooh-er). i thought it was the dog's bollocks.

r.i.p. (seem to be seeing that a lot lately..) to Alan.

and iron, the grifter looked cool but weighed A TON! :cheers:

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whatever



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