Raleigh began as a small bike shop in England in 1887 and manufactured a 150 bikes a year in its first years of business. Giant, on the other hand, began in 1971 as a manufacturer of other companies' bicycles. The business filled a niche to help other bike companies such as Schwinn keep up with the market demand. It also gave Giant an opportunity to apprentice, in a way, with the leading bike manufacturer of the day.
The Raleigh bike evolved through the years in response to changing times and interests. Early in the company's history, it delved into motorcycles and three-wheeled cars. These diversions helped the company compete. The Giant-branded bike, however, took some time to come into its own. The Giant company ensured its success with a partnership with Schwinn to manufacture its first 10-speed bike in 1977. Though not labeled as such, 80 percent of Schwinn bikes were manufactured by Giant in 1986. In that same year, Giant struck out on its own with a change in leadership to produce its own brand.
Raleigh bikes and their development differ from Giant in that the company had to compete with the car as a means of transportation during its early history. Raleigh's initial focus had been on the commuter, making a bike that was comfortable and easy to handle on the back roads. Giant bikes, on the other hand, came into the industry already saturated with cars and bicycles. Its mission was to provide a quality bike that had evolved into several niches while relying on the latest in technology.
Types of Bikes
Both Raleigh and Giant carry performance bikes for the serious cyclist. Raleigh and Giant use state-of-the-art parts, geared toward the particular type of biking. Giant, for example, uses its own TCR Advanced road bicycle frame to precisely fit its high-end road bikes to the user. Raleigh has targeted professional cyclists with both its road and mountain bikes. While Giant continues to move forward in technological advances, Raleigh relies on technology with a history of performance and comfort.
Giant has grown from its beginnings as a bike manufacturer to explore different segments of the industry including fitness bikes and children bikes. Today, the company is a leading manufacturer of bikes in the world, with a focus on the latest in technology. Raleigh continues to rely on its long history of dependability. Its emphasis leans more today toward comfort and styling with bikes such as its Vektar, a children's bike with sound effects. Depending upon the type of bike you want, Raleigh and Giant can provide a bicycle to suit your needs.