Jun 24, 2007

1988 RALEIGH SHOCK


Bike Info:
1988 Raleigh Shock (with aftermarket rims – original equipment rims are 48-hole alloy rims)Frame is made in Taiwan; Cro-Mo main tubes, hi-ten steel rear.NOS Skyway Tuff II 5-spoke nylon rims with cartridge bearings (2007).ACS rotorChang Star brakes and leversKMC colored chainSpinner pegs


One look at this little 80s gem and you’ll be thinking of the last time you rolled up your Z. Cavariccis, put on a pair of Vans, donned your Oakley Frogskins, and rocked out to Winger in the parking of the Food Emporium on Southern Boulevard . Well, that’s what I think of, anyway. Teenage days in Rio Rancho, NM were pretty boring, but they were full of those wonderful fads, and not the least of which were freakin’ awesome bikes like this blue beauty. This thing screams late-80s fashion! And while no other fashion trends in US history match that decade in “uniqueness”, the story behind this bike in particular is certainly unique.


Two years ago I traveled the Oregon sales territory and ended up in a small and cluttered bike shop outside of Portland. The dealer there had a myriad of old bikes from the latter half of the 20th century. Most notable was his line of pristine 1988 Raleigh bikes. Brand-new, never ridden, still with the original sticker prices. I pawed through them and found three perfect Raleigh freestyle bikes. I had no idea Raleigh ever even made freestyle BMX bicycles, and I was beside myself as bikes of this genre simply don’t exist anymore. Even if a person finds one at a garage sale or on e-Bay they are usually well-used, and they show it. I thought hard about picking one up then, but decided against it at the time – I have no idea why. I went on my way, but I never forgot about what I found there.


Fast-forward to 2007, and the idea of walking away from the opportunity to have one of those incredible Raleigh BMX bikes was eating at me all the time. So I decided to see if the bikes were still there. As it turned out there were still two of them on the floor (much to my surprise). I figured some collector with a fascination of weird 80s BMX freestyle bikes woulda got his hands on ‘em by then. But that luckily didn’t happen, and I was able to walk outta the shop with this little beauty.


I got home and wiped all the dust off this bike, and it was in great shape. It was sooooo much like my super-cool baby blue General Hustler Pro from 1987 that I was totally infatuated with reliving my days as a 15 year-old riding down to the Allsups convenience store for a slushy drink, or to the local arcade to play Xybots for hours and pick up on cute girls with my hot ride.


“Hey cutie. Wanna ride on the back of my bike? I got pegs, y’know.”


Funny, cuz not one hottie ever took me up on the offer. But, then again, I had a mullet (see pic – not a pretty thing)… And weren’t those supposed to be hot – a guaranteed chick-magnet? Apparently the gals didn’t think so.


Then I mindlessly traded it (the bike, not the mullet) in for my first mountain bike. I can only imagine the death it experienced at the hands of some unappreciative kid. Agh! Anyways…
The only thing this bike was missing was a set of white Skyway Tuff II mag wheels. I needed to get a pair of those to be set. So with a little help from Mike and Bart over at Skyway (skywaywheels.com) – great guys, super-helpful, and super-supportive – I got some ultra-hot white mags to complete this flatland trick machine. Hey, these guys make great stuff, so keep an eye out for Skyway’s 25th year anniversary run of Tuff IIs!


So after living its life in seclusion in Oregon for nineteen years, and even though it missed out being loved and cried over by an obsessive teenager like me when it got its first scratch, or when his buddy borrowed it and subsequently stacked it up trying to do a grizz air in a skater’s half-pipe, here it is in showroom condition to be coveted forever in the Raleigh “museum” (okay, it lives in front of the reception desk for now until we get funding to build the $20 million museum annex in the basement). And it may be only me who loves this machine at all, but that’s okay cuz I don’t want anyone getting those beautiful white tires grungy!




Paul Giarratano
Raleigh Product Manager

11 comments:

James said...

Nice. I love that little curved foot rest on the top of the seatstays.

CS-H kemyooter said...

I said the same thing when Paul first showed me this bike. It completely screams the 80's and frosted jeans.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I used to have the exact same bike! But with the spokes. Actually, it had a modified frame. When I rocked it hard as a kid, there was a Raleigh "R" in the front of the frame, that cracked. The factory sent me a new frame that had that part boxed in... I loved that bike. It was not near the condition of yours, but in descent shape, but my wife sold in a garage sale recently, I miss that bake. Rock on Raleigh!!

Mac Homer
S. Austin, TX

jesse debortole said...

i got one of those givin to me today! for free! mine has some aftermarket parts such as...

brake levers, back tire, rear brake pads, seat, chainring, thread on pegs.

the bars it has have 2 crossbars on them, is that stock?

-jesse @ ghy bikes / gohuckyourself.com

Anonymous said...

Oh! the memories. I actually rode as part of the Raleigh freestyle team. It was a nice bike, besides the fact it weighed a ton and all the components had to be replaced with worthy gear.

I went through those frames and forks like crazy. The memories of slamming the front end against a brick wall to get the fork-rake back to its original specs. There must have been at least 40 different variations on the bottom tube of the front triangle. At first the gussets had cool 80's techno holes machined into them. Those broke in about one month though.

I remember how stoked we were when the Hyper Shock came out. Chrome with white 80's style techno stickers. 100% 4130 ChroMoly frame and forks. They lasted about one year, eclipsing the lifetime of the frame and forks on the Shock and Ultra Shock.

Oh, and who can forget the Raleigh Airborne Division t-shirts they gave us. Even though we all rode flatland.

Anonymous said...

I am SOOOO glad I found this page! I've drooled over this bike in the BMX Museum many times. I am the proud owner of a 1987 Raleigh Electro Shock. I can't find any info about this machine. Maybe you can help me? It's the only one in the BMX Museum of it's kind. All the rest are blue or pink. Mine's black. I would love to see some original ad pics of this bike to know what equipment was on this originally. Also, I've recently bent the seat post and would like to replace it, but I can't find any 13/16" posts. I would love to restore this great ride, so any info you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.
Eric Smith- mailforejs@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Owned one, and broke 2 frames which were replaced under waranty untill somebody stole it. Cracked on the downtube near the headtube junction. Sweet frame though. I had ACS mags with the freetrack system. Holy 80s.

Anonymous said...

I have one of these in great shape aswell,Mine is an Ultra Shock tho. Just to clear a few things up , The models with the R cut out on the gusset and have double bar handle bars(5 piece bars)are"Ultra Shock"...The ones without the gusset are models "MAG" & "SHOCK".
Very cool bikes ,One of my Fav's in my collection...Very nice bike you have ,Take care...

Anonymous said...

What are the headset specs? I have a shock frame and fork, but the 1" cups seem to small. I also have a peugot cpx 100fs and it appears to be the same design. Thanks

}_u(!f3r said...

I have a mint ultra shock in pink for sale its all original down to the mint tires go here: http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=443346 if your interested

pkadoodle@yahoo.com said...

can anyone tell me where I can find the original specs for this bike. I also wondering what the technical term is for the pedal brakes. Any info would help thanks. pkadoodle@yahoo.com