1999 Raleigh Max Aero Cruiser conversion


Dirt Disciple
This is my 1998/9 Raleigh Max Aero 18GS cruiser. MTBs originally evolved from beach cruisers. This one's evolving the other way. I had a Max Aero 18GS new from Halfords in 1999 and loved using it, right up to when it was stolen from me in 2006. 18 months ago I managed to find a good condition one on eBay, but after riding it for a bit decided it needed a bit of customisation....

Its still Shimano 18-speed 3x6 currently although eventually an alloy crank with yellow anodized chainrings will be procured for it. Changes include 60mm Fat Franks instead of 40mm mud tyres, yellow (and longer) brake pads, yellow brake lines (gear changer lines next), switch from twist-grip to classic SIS levers, cruiser bars, yellow grips, gold lever BMX brake levers, M-part headset mount and Goldtec front rack to support a basket.

My 1999 Halfords Max Aero had a yellow plastic BMX seat from the factory - I have no idea why. I swiftly changed it for a SelleRoyal padded set for comfort. I've never since seen a Max Aero with the original yellow seat so I assume everyone changed it, or there was a spec change and my ones seat was a rarity. I've got a padded yellow seat for this currently awaiting delivery.....

Its such a nice bike to ride. Raleigh Cromo frames are amazing. Not even that heavy even with all these additions.


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Retro Newbie
Just bought one of these of Max's as a kickabout ride in the Silver.....I gota say it's a very nice ride indeed, great geometry on Cro Molly tubing, full frame too, not just the downtube, or head tube, or seat tube as some other OEMs did when stating CroMo.

It's done very few hours work, bought for a caravan trip then stored away for decades.

20" frame on mine and at 5'9" it's ideal for roadwork which is was bought for....I don't like smaller frames when doing more roadwork. Still has two fingers of standover.

Mine must be the Gucci, Luxury, Ghia, M Sport, RS variant as it model came with Suntour M7600 front suspension and EZ Plus Rapid Fire as std! I think GS referred to Grip Shift?

.....I've a low hours Klein Pulse Comp that doesn't ride as well....who'd of thought. Not to lardy either.

Keep it rubber down.
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Bin Monkey
BoTM Winner
PoTM Winner
GT Fan
Hate to spoil a party but a few things before the internet gets shirty and takes this all away as gospel:

The MTB is pre 'beach' cruiser, yes, all the old Schwinns were 'cruisers' but the beachy part came later, they may have shared a frame but they would have been modified independently of each other

If somebody burps the words 'Raleigh' and 'Bomber' after chugging a gassy lager, they came much later and are of no relation to the MTB and are the Raleigh Activator of the cruiser world (I just made that bit up so it becomes internet fact within seconds)

There was a posherer Raleigh Max , cromo frame but with.... STX-RC, Sachs Wavey and 8 speed! Eight!!!!

Aggghhhhh!!!! ...and what makes it all worse is that they ride rather nicely




Retro Newbie
Interesting points there and, nice looking thing that Posh Max.

I wonder what the best selling MTB make and model of the 90's?

If it turns out it was the humble Max then history would say prices will rise.

...items that were popular when new and owned when young usually, go thru three stages..... desirable of sorts, banger and point 'n laugh stage, then incredibly start making money as past owners start reminiscing and thinking I want one to polish. Stranger things have happened.

.....remember, quality isn't necessarily an arbiter of value,' in its day popularity often is', I mean who'd of thought that Raleigh Chopper, Grifter etc, Ford Capri, C'tina, old hot hatches, old Squier bass guitars would be seen as valuable?

I ride bikes, sell cars and play bad bass😉