The Raleigh Activator 2: truly an abomination

In the mid nineties (1994?), Raleigh UK launched their first full-suspension mountain bike: the Activator 2. This was the successor to their popular, but very low-end, Activator.

Here’s how the Activators looked in the Raleigh catalogue:


Incredibly, the catalogue blurb makes the rather bold claim of ‘improved acceleration’. On this note, I recall a school friend of mine had an Activator 2, and he thought it was far superior to my M Trax 400 – until we swapped bikes and raced each other up a slight hill, which showed him just how much energy was getting drained away by his gas-pipe steel and pogo-stick bike.

All in all, the Activator range was not for serious mountain bikers, and opting for suspension at this price point is almost always a false economy.

7 thoughts on “The Raleigh Activator 2: truly an abomination”

  1. I had Raleigh Activator 1 and 2 during my teenage years and thought they were brilliant. Anyway this week saw an ad in a internet site for a new old stock Raleigh Activator 2 in mint condition so just had to buy it for only £50! The bike still had original hand book etc attached to the frame. All that it needs is two new tyres as they are cracked from being twenty two years old. I know it won’t be up to modern bike standards but I’m sure it will still put a smile on my face.

    1. Not bad for 50 quid, in NOS condition :) To be fair, I don’t think the Activator was any worse than other mountain bikes at the same price point, so my criticism might be a little unfair in that sense. And I do think that one of the Activator models did manage to look a bit reminiscent of some mid range bikes of the same era.

  2. i bought 1 , from an auction for a bargain price of 14 £ quid it needs a bit of tinkering and could really do with a new paint or spray jobby being done, but this summer its going to have its first short journeys down the country lane into the next town (about 3 miles) but its not the bike i worry about its me the rider ,so fingers crossed, all will be well lol !!!!

  3. I just got one for free, I do need to replace a brake cable but that is about it. I have had 3 bikes stolen in the past 18 months, all with solid D-Locks. I wanted to find one that is crap enough that no one would ever want to steal it. I think I have found the perfect bike.

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