Raleigh Chopper
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With a company as large as Raleigh producing so many bikes, it was inevitable and cost friendly to share a large percentage of parts between models. The Chopper was no exception, having components pulled from the same parts bin as many other “lesser” models.
One of these models was the Raleigh RSW16, that’s Raleigh Small Wheels 16”. Introduced in 1965, this was Raleigh’s answer to the Moulton cycle. These usually crop up at the tip or second hand bike shops and whilst not popular now, can be bought quite cheaply.
Now, before we go any further, I don’t condone breaking old Raleighs just for a fulcrum clip or an axle, but some Chopper parts are becoming so scarce, it would be a crime for an RSW 16 to be scrapped off when it can provide so much.

Above is a model similar to the one I picked up recently for £15. Whilst comfortable to ride the public humiliation was just too much. Above is an indication of what parts can be used on a chopper. The rims were the dimpled Mk1 style 28 hole, the dynamo and dyno hub will come in handy for something, the rear hub and hub brake will be kept and the front forks are the same as chopper but the length of the steering tube is longer than standard chopper. Along with a bag full of useful nuts and bolts, the front crank is larger and the rear sprocket is smaller to compensate for the reduced sized wheels. Fitted to a chopper, this would increase top speed at the expense of acceleration.
Finally, I came across proof of the RSW 16’s racing heritage with this photo dating back to the 70’s.

Thanks to Simon Daniels for this article