Who else customised their bike as a kid?


As a youth of the 70's and in the days before mental health and safety became 'normal' I had a thing for building my own 'custom bike from stuff (not necessarily bike bits) laying around. The best was chrome dress rails sawn in half and hammered flat at one end with a cut out for the axle. Remove forks, hammer them straight and jam unflattened end on newly straight ish fork. Drill hole through both for nut and bolt and hey presto a proper chopper! Crap to ride, and inclines were out of the question but I could see my bike in the school bike shed at hundred yards and thought I looked the bees knees. I seem to remember rigging up a brake light thing as we with a giant square battery gaffer taped under the saddle. Happy days.


Legendary Member
Not what you're asking but your story pinged a memory; my dad (then a sheet metal worker) made a couple of choppers for me and my brother. It was actually my first n+1 as I already had a Raleigh 20, which I didn't customise as I delivered newspapers with it so I needed it to work reliably!


a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
my best mate as a kid also had fur covered cow horn handle bars... made for him by my nana.

I went so far as trying to make my Tomahawk resemble the Dukes of Hazard car by painting 01 on the head tube, but a paint run made it look more like P1 :blush:


Legendary Member
Yup, we had the local smithy (remember those ?) make up some fork extensions to chopper style it. We never paid, he seemed happy to do it FOC.
Apehanger bars rather than cowhorns gave a chopper style too,
Raleigh Chopper seat with backrest finished it off, mate of mine covered his in rabbit fur (rather oddly, he didnt mind gutting, skinning rabbits etc, something i used to bawlk at a bit, but he was an odd boy :laugh:...maybe we all were by todays standards)


Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Yeah nothing much tinkered with on my bikes, I had a Raleigh Mag Burner (blue with yellow mag wheels) which was stock although I added dice valve caps as was the fashion, and some yellow mushroom grips. They were a must have accessory too.
My earlier bike, a beautiful silver Grifter (with electric siren) got altered for me by a local scum bag who stole it from me and then did a rattle can respray in sh!t blue before giving it back to me on pain of a beating from my Uncle. It was never the same sadly.


Legendary Member
We found a Raleigh Shopper in the undergrowth of the neighbour's garden and he let us keep it. Rattle can spray job (Ford Electric Blue...we didn't really strip it first) and the widest pair of flat bars we could find in the Thatcham bike shop.

Used it as a jump bike. Was fab for 3 days, then the main frame broke.
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