In celebration of road and track cyclist Nelson Vails, Raleigh has partnered with Kentucky-based framebuilder Don Walker to produce limited edition versions of the Cheetah track bike.
Vails (whose nickname was “The Cheetah”) was the first African-American to win an Olympic medal in cycling and earned a silver medal at the 1984 games in the individual track sprint.
There are two version of the bike available, a retro replica of Vails' race bike as well as a modern aero version.
“The Raleigh brand has a rich and deep heritage that spans over 130 years,” said Steve Westover, Raleigh’s director of marketing. “We felt it was time to celebrate our heritage with a series of projects. Our collaboration with Nelson Vails and Don Walker epitomizes that.”
The retro remake of the Cheetah is built using largely made-in-the-USA parts from Walker's one man shop in Kentucky. The tubing comes from Vari-Wall, which is based in Cincinnati, the lugs from Portland-based bike builder Henry James and the components are a mix of Phil Wood, Cane Creek and Velocity Rims.
“This is one of the most exciting projects I’ve been a part of in my career as a frame builder,” said Walker. “Not only do I get to build bikes for a legend like Nelson, but I get the added bonus of them being for my friend."
If the replica frame doesn’t do it for you, Raleigh will also be offering a modern Cheetah Fast model. This frame will again be built in Walker’s shop but will be made from TIG-welded Columbus tubing, have a carbon fork and Vision and FSA finishing kit.
Both bikes will be produced in a limited quantity, although Raleigh hasn’t yet said how many, and will be available in four sizes. Both bikes are set to cost $6,500, international pricing is to be confirmed.