The Raleigh Chopper and the career ladder

PROMOTION – some strive for it in their career. Some progressively climb the career ladder in an orderly fashion whilst others jump the queue.

The same can be said in the world of bicycles.

There was a popular rank under the Raleigh company umbrella of bicycles. The starting point was the Boxer. The Grifter sat in the middle, and at the summit stood the Chopper.


The Boxer was your entry level bike: ‘Check me out – I’m on the scene and I’m gunning for you!’

The Grifter: ‘I’ve been around for a while and I know a trick or two so I’ll just bide my time.’

Then we come to the undisputed number one… the Chopper.

The Chopper was the Managing Director of the Raleigh Bicycle Company – ultimately, the Big Dog. You knew he was the big dog and he stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Check out the big back wheel and the small front wheel. Check out the backrest positioned at a slight angle so you can ride and recline. Check out the positioning of the handlebars – this is one easy rider!

The Chopper is about respect and status. It’s a cruising machine that needs to be ridden slow – one hand on the handlebar whilst the other hand holding a can of 7up. Recline and relax with this stress-free ride.

The big dog makes a silent and clear statement – I’m at the top and I’m not moving. He’s telling the Boxer and Grifter that promotion does not exist in their career. The big dog is one ruthless MD.

Once reality kicks in, the Boxer and Grifter bow in reverence when the MD shows up. Life becomes easier for them once they submit to the unique, superior model.

What next?

The Chopper is number one so no point in trying harder. Whilst continually linked with senior roles at competitors within the world of bicycles, the big dog considers them, but always stays loyal to Raleigh.


The Chopper didn’t have work hard to reach the pinnacle – the orderly queue of the career path was jumped whilst leaving other contenders deflated on the stepping stones. How did the Chopper manage to jump the career queue? Being unique, standing out from the rest and having serious respectability. The Chopper is confident and sometimes cocky – traits that have no real negative impact on mass appeal.

If gaining promotion is a bit a struggle for you, then just think of the Chopper and be unique. Walk into the office wearing a onesie, grow some chunky sideburns or get the barber to give you a mohican. Be unique and float to the top.


The Raleigh Chopper is featured in the new fun and factual hardback book, Section N Underpass. A nostalgic back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the 70s and 80s. Get the rundown by clicking the book below: 

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