My first bike was a Raleigh, back in 1985, and I recently managed to get hold of a well-worn yellow/red flame 1999 Reynolds 853 frame (RSP 450) which I will be building up in the next month or so, and can't wait!
Also decided to get one of these: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=90189
Scandium frame for a bit of fun, for a penny under £70!! (got a bike's worth of 'spare' parts, and might as well see if it's any cop
Regarding the range, from what I can see the current Raleigh MTB's are deliberately positioned at the low-end of the market, leaving space for Diamondback as the 'serious' end of the range, as both 'brands' are under the same ownership and all the frames are churned out of a couple of factories in Taiwan..
Nothing wrong with that of course, but as with many other things these days Raleigh is just a brand of a conglomerate.
I found the below link, which I think is exceptional (if perhaps alittle biased..) : http://homepage.ntlworld.com/catfoodrob ... tory1.html
Of particular interest - and some sadness - was this :
"no sooner had Derby acquired Raleigh than mountain biking in the UK finally took off. Raleigh’s UK sales increased for the next four years running and by 1990 were 31% on 1986. Eventually, more than 3m Raleigh MTBs were sold. The move to profitability surprised many and confounded the widely held view that Derby was only interested in asset stripping.
Initially dubbed ‘Dad’s BMX’, mountain bikes had a much wider age profile than their smaller cousins: not 7 to 17 but more like 9 to 90. Eventually MTBs became the replacement conventional bicycle, the equivalent in the UK of the now virtually extinct sports light roadster...
..Yvonne Rix had anticipated that a replacement for the basic mountain bike would be needed. She reasoned that customers would want to progress from the relatively heavy but comfortable MTB to something slimmer and lighter. But they would not go back to racing bikes, with their relatively uncomfortable riding position, an uncomfortable narrow saddle and narrow fragile wheels that got caught in potholes. The MTB gave everything a racing bike did not: an upright riding position, comfortable saddle, and wide tyres with a high degree of puncture resistance. However, after riding it on the road for a while, the downsides that became apparent were weight and rolling resistance. Therefore, Rix proposed a machine that kept the good braking, wide-ratio gears and other MTB advantages but with thinner frame tubes and tyres that were a compromise between the knobbly wide-section mountain bike tyre and the lightly treaded narrow-section racing bike tyre. In effect, she devised an improved sports light roadster with a more modern image. Raleigh thus effectively invented the hybrid...
Launched in 1991, just as MTB sales dropped away, the Pioneer range was promoted heavily and initially sold well...but the biggest marketing problem was the lack of an easily remembered and well-understood generic name for this type of machine. The UK industry used the term ‘hybrid’ which was unattractive to customers, giving a hint of ‘neither fish nor fowl’.
It is interesting to note that nine years after the Pioneer range was launched [1 year before Raleigh essentially went bankrupt], Trek were advertising hybrids as ‘a totally new style of bike for a totally new style of biking’."