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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:18 pm 
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Location: Leamington, UK
is now the time to admit I sit near the guy who worked at Raleigh overseeing the Activator production line machinery...?

Or should I just keep my head down...

He did a stint at RSP if that redeems him?

FWIW: don't buy. There's far better metal for £25 at any tip or car boot near you - even Gumtree gets the odd gem.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Chopper1192 wrote:
chris667 wrote:
People on here talk about them being bad, and in many ways that's correct. But if they were really bad, you wouldn't still see hundreds of them trundling out the decades as a general rule.
that's cos they were so shocking few buyers could bring themselves to rude then for long.

Sometimes typos are funny...

But seriously, there's a subtle yet curiously poignant aspect, that's normally missed or ignored by those determined to label everything below point X as BSO. Some of these older bikes like Mustangs, like Activators, were heavy, not really practical, almost a pastiche of true off-road bikes.

Yet heavy, with quite poor components, they did tend to be at least robust. Far from being aspirational, perhaps not desirable, maybe worth no more than a grudging nod - but compared with some of the real, supermarket special BSOs, at least had something. When you've got £50 bikes that seem to play up as soon as you've wheeled them out of the huge warehouse that has been labelled as a shopping emporium, and the moment you dare even go near it with tools, things round-off, break, or will never align correctly, you have to grudgingly admit that whilst Raleigh were hardly making proper MTBs with these sort of bikes, and whilst perhaps heavy, awkward bikes, they did at least seem to work reasonably, without falling apart.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:20 pm 
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Blodfyc iWhore!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:47 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Neil wrote:
Chopper1192 wrote:
chris667 wrote:
People on here talk about them being bad, and in many ways that's correct. But if they were really bad, you wouldn't still see hundreds of them trundling out the decades as a general rule.
that's cos they were so shocking few buyers could bring themselves to rude then for long.

Sometimes typos are funny...

But seriously, there's a subtle yet curiously poignant aspect, that's normally missed or ignored by those determined to label everything below point X as BSO. Some of these older bikes like Mustangs, like Activators, were heavy, not really practical, almost a pastiche of true off-road bikes.

Yet heavy, with quite poor components, they did tend to be at least robust. Far from being aspirational, perhaps not desirable, maybe worth no more than a grudging nod - but compared with some of the real, supermarket special BSOs, at least had something. When you've got £50 bikes that seem to play up as soon as you've wheeled them out of the huge warehouse that has been labelled as a shopping emporium, and the moment you dare even go near it with tools, things round-off, break, or will never align correctly, you have to grudgingly admit that whilst Raleigh were hardly making proper MTBs with these sort of bikes, and whilst perhaps heavy, awkward bikes, they did at least seem to work reasonably, without falling apart.


Have to agree with you in every way, I rode mine both Pre & Post Transformation and on some Trails around Thetford forest, nothing technical but it held its own, never missed a gear, stopped when i wanted it to and despite the rear elastomers providing no suspension at the rear, the ride was no different to a hardtail. Yes it was heavy but with the tweaks i did shaved some weight off and turned it into a lively bike, the front forks were heavy and again had about as much movement as a constipated sloth!! were replaced with a pair salvaged from a Ridgeback 601. I am 100% sure that if i paid £75-£150 for a BSO from my local supermarket it would have not faired so well. £25 for some fun in the retrobike world cant be sniffed at.

Yes it will never be an Orange, Yeti, Klien or Saracen, Kona etc (Other brands available) It will always be a hulk of a lump, welds that were horrible, and suspension that never worked, a bike hated by so many but it will always be a retrobike, a bike from BITD, a bike that young lads and lasses dreamed about, and enjoyed. A bike that stood the test of time and is still going strong today.

Jussa :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Yup, BITD before we saved our pocket money for brand bikes, my mates had Mustangs (with STI!!!) and their bikes seemed to take a lot of punishment.

Meanwhile I struggled on with an Apollo Blizzard whose bottom bracket failed within days - Halfords gave me a new frame but it was still rubbish.

Probably a result of being a big company - Raleigh could afford to put in the development time, and erred on the side of caution - so made things heavy but tough. They also specced cheap but sturdy components.

Mind you, all of us had to make do with chromed steel rims and terrible brakes - it's a wonder we're still here to tell the tale. That feeling of applying the brakes in the wet as hard as you can and seeming to accelerate is pretty terrifying... :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:08 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Pub/shop bike.....don't take it offroad :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:10 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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saltyman wrote:
Pub/shop bike.....don't take it offroad :wink:


Ooopsie, 12 miles around some single track in Thetford forest, bike still ok, and me still ok.........cant be that bad!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:23 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Thetford is hardly a test of any bike. I'd rather see one ridden around the Peaks.

It was already a pastiche. It was a snide attempt to cash in on the then craze. It is nothing more than that. To argue anymoree is just insane. Next you'll be telling me a Talbot Matra was a better offroader than the original Ranbge Rover.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:48 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Manchester
Despite being the shittest bike ever made, they are bit bit cool as long as you don't consider it to be a good bike.

And (as above), they are still loads around because Raleigh used to really overbuild their cheap end bikes. I believe the frame was close to 10lb on my Merauder!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:50 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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legrandefromage wrote:
Thetford is hardly a test of any bike. I'd rather see one ridden around the Peaks.

It was already a pastiche. It was a snide attempt to cash in on the then craze. It is nothing more than that. To argue anymoree is just insane. Next you'll be telling me a Talbot Matra was a better offroader than the original Ranbge Rover.


Talbot Matra Rancho ;) Now thats a name to conjur with, rugged beast with external spots with mesh covers :)

Anyway Thetford forest may be a million miles away from the terrain of the peaks but that was not the argument, nobody is claiming it to be a tackle all mountains bike, infact i've seen some 'Expensive Branded Retrobikes' come a cropper at the first sign of a hill or off-road action.

But your right, lets not argue about it anymore, It's here, It will be around for a few more years longer, and despite what people say or hate about it about it its here amongst these fine pages of Retrobike :D

Now back to the Matra, Green was the colour of choice i believe


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