Going for bike rides as a kid was one of my fondest memories. Grabbing my red BMX from the shed with my older brother and leaving for the morning to go on epic cycling adventures around our estate, made the summer holidays for me. Zigzagging through alleyways, mounting cracked pavements and dodging broken glass/dog shit simply upped the level of dangerous fun! (I mean, if you didn’t ride through, step in or fall into dog crap as a kid, did you really have a childhood?!) I remember watching BMX Bandits with Nicole Kidman's giant hair and trying to emulate being a crime fighting BMX pro racer… and failing miserably! Thinking back to the retro bicycles that made my childhood, here are my top 5 picks!
Now this bike was a little before my time manufactured in the 70s, however I cannot disregard the seminal status of it. I remember a friend of my older brother had one of these and to me being a small child who clearly knew nothing, thought that it looked so hideously uncool.
All I know is that going on bike rides with my brother and his mate always slowed us down because the big clunky thing was rubbish at getting up and down curbs!
This supreme bike was first launched in 1982. It was iconic in the BMX craze of the 80s where everyone had some sort of variation of this model, and if you didn’t… then you only wished you did! It didn’t matter if you couldn’t ‘do tricks’ because fashioning a plank of wood over a few stacked bricks... and then trying to ride over this without it breaking was BASICALLY the same as doing bunny hop 360!
Raleigh Street Wolf
This little BMX was on another level of futuristic amazingness and I would 100% still ride this bike now! Released in 1987 this was a coveted possession of many children and created a shit load of jealousy amongst those (like me) who never had the pleasure of owning one. The main pull of this bike was the electronic sound box device attached to the handlebars, which obviously was used when trying to roleplay your favourite shady-government-undercover cop show.
This was a bicycle that was specifically designed for competitive road racing and was huge in the 80s and early 90s. However, there was approximately zero people I knew growing up who owned a racer to compete in anything! The thin wheels used to always boggle my brain and for some reason flipping and reversing the handlebars was deemed ‘cool’.
For me and my pals it was just another bicycle trend that we salivated over in the Argos catalogue hoping our parents would have a word with Santa!
This bike was designed for off-road action and traversing difficult terrain. Yet I rode mine to the corner shop and back and for a 'Cycling Awareness' at school! In the 1990s owning a mountain bike was just standard protocol. Racers were out, and mountain bikes were in! They usually came with a ‘jazzy’ frame design (splashed with an impressive name like Apollo) and you pimped it out with clashing neon toe clips, a water bottle holder and handlebar extensions that were all entirely unnecessary!