Re: [CR]Raleigh Buying Up Their Betters

Example: Racing

From: "" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Raleigh Buying Up Their Betters
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 09:33:26 -0400

Original Message: ----------------- From: Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 12:35:09 GMT To:, Subject: Re: [CR]Brit v Italian bikes

Joe B-Z wrote: "But the most evil thing that Raleigh did was to buy up the better competition like BSA, first whore the name out in their own country, and then subject it to further groveling in India. I think you could still buy a BSA in India today."

it wasn't evil if you were a shareholder! <g>

Actually this is often overstated methinks... Raleigh gobbling up everyone else to ensure primacy for their inferior product.

In fact, Raleigh only bought up Humber (1933), Rudge-Whitworth (1944), Triumph (1954?) and finally BSA-Sunbeam-New Hudson in 1957. It looks like BSA did some of their own "gobbling" before that!! Ask Sunbeam enthusiasts!

What gets confused so often is that Raleigh itself was bought out in 1961 by Tube Investments which owned British Cycle Corp makers of Phillips, Hercules, Sun, and most of the other manufacturers except Dawes and Elswick-Hooper. TI were smart: they bought the company but they kept Raleigh's superior management and marketing, better known name and most importantly got their huge (really too big even by then) Nottingham plant.

Of course BSA had an outstanding lightweight line... they were, I think, better regarded by clubmen than any of the big manufacturers. In their days, the Gold Vase and the Tour of Britain models were top of the heap for those who couldn't afford the fancy handbuilt jobs. BSA offered the more desirable (even then) Cyclo-Benelux gears where Raleigh remained devoted (too long) to Sturmey-Archer hubs gears since, of course, they owned them too. BSA are well known in the USA since they supplied most of the lightweight, racing and track bike fittings from the early 1930s onwards. After Raleigh got BSA, it all just fizzled out.

And yes.. it WAS sad to see BSA and Sunbeam at the end, their once renowned names stuck on kiddie trikes and low-end juvenile bikes.

Peter Kohler Washington DC USA

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