Thursday, November 23, 2006

commando a gogo

Foolish cycle thieves! Strike me down, and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine! That's right everyone, danger has a NEW name and that name is RALEIGH COMMANDO.

The Raleigh Commando was launched in 1973, along with the 'Commando Star', a single speed camouflaged version with a Grifter seat. The Commando features 3 speed twist-grip gear change, sissy bar, chopper seat, and chrome mud/chain guards. Originally available only in jet black, I believe it was later produced in orange & pink, although they may have had smaller frames.

Here is a picture of the actual bike that arrived in the post today, finally giving my postman a justifiable reason to ring the doorbell:

It's not quite ready to hit the streets just yet - being rather in need of some new tyres, a good rub down to remove the surface rusting, and an all-round oily tune up. Overall though, it's in good condition considering its age - the only thing missing is the rear reflector.

Unbelievably, this bike cost a paltry £20.51. Like many of these classic Raleigh models like the Wildcat, Vektar, Bomber etc. it doesn't appear to be particularly collectable. In fact, I saw a Grifter in better condition than mine sell for £26 the other day, so there's a fairly good chance I'll be getting another one in the future - that bike holds a special place in my heart.

So there we go. Once again, my bike is better than yours. In your face, everybody.


  1. new bike's a winner..also, unrelated, is there a star xmas dinner this year? i should call or email you about that really. yes yes.

  2. It's a beaut!

    BMX eat your ugly little heart out, this rules!

  3. That bike looks fucking awesome. I can't wait to get really drunk and ride around on it when yer not lookin.

  4. That is a kickass bike. I really miss my Schwin from that era (I got mine second-hand from my next-door neighbor). It had this great banana seat that sparkled. Of course, I fell off of it and got a concussion, but I still loved the bike.

    By the way, Dive directed us to your Romero homage. Beautiful. I saw Night of the Living Dead this summer at a revival theater. Grand good time. I never would have thought about knit zombies. Inspiring.

  5. I had a yellow one.
    My parents threw it away while I was away at university.
    I have never forgiven them.
    I never will.

    Ride free sister, live the dream.

  6. That looks neat! My friend had his bike stolen from work and wants a new one. I thought I'd surprise him, he doesn't want one with lots of gears and I always used to mock his old one for being quite small, but the ones you've pictured look ideal!

    Will they be ok for a 6 foot 1 man? Any recommendations where to find said cheap bikes?



  7. At 6 foot 1, he could probably get away with riding a Grifter - it has 20" wheels and is similar in size to a BMX.

    The Commando would probably be pushing it a bit - the seat comes up to around 30". It's really not a bike for the long of leg :)

  8. Great! Thank you so much. I shall attack ebay with this knowledge :-)


  9. That's really lovely.
    What's a sissy bar though?
    I must know!


  10. I wanted one of these, but only ever owned a yellow boxer and a metalic blue grifter, My friend had one but woulden't get it out always but when he did we would all que up for a go.

    Chris H...

  11. lol, great seeing a commando again, i had an orange one, but my older brother had a black one.

    christ, brings back some great memories on what i did with it.

    i had a shot of a mate grifter, but the commando was the better bike :)


  12. wot a bike got one for my 10 th birtday,now pushin (very) close to 40 would love to get my leg over one more time.....the seat that is!!!!

  13. Beautiful :) had a commando when i was little could wheelie it everywhere changing gear with the front wheel in the air, can't do that on a chopper :)
    Got on my sons mountian bike last week and wheelied it all the way down the street like the old days . Him and his mates were dumb struck at the site of a 42 year old fat bloke whizzing down the street on the back wheel !! i said we all could do that in the 80's....... kids today have no skill :) arrhh the memories :)

  14. Right on! You show 'em. It's all health & safety these days, wheelies are out of the question :)

  15. surely its just a raleigh 20 shopper bike with a cool seat and different graffics?
    still ..... good times back then .....

  16. i've just got one of ebay for £17, not in bad nick either,few bits missing & a bit hard to find . still wanted some thing dif from chopper price of them gone stupid !can't wait to get the front wheel up in the air ;)


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