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.

8 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.

      1. It was launched in 1993. I’ve still got mine, though it’s in my dad’s garage. The suspension was useless, but I found the 21 gear version pretty quick. I got a Max in 1999, and regretted it as it was so much slower.

        Worst problem with my Activator 2 was gear slip and the seat regularly slipping backwards.

  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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