"Sometimes it’s not enough to be better than the rest: sometimes you have to be different, to be better."JOHN COOPER
Cooper Bikes is the bicycle division of the Cooper Car Company, the company behind the original Mini Cooper and F1 champions in 1959 and 1960. Cooper is a brand forged in the furnace of disruption. A brand inspired by an individual that refused to accept the accepted wisdom and chose to do things his own way. A brand that became a byword for revolution and innovation. A brand that genuinely changed performance engineering forever. A brand that changed the status quo by putting excellence within reach of the masses. A brand whose achievements made it legend.
John Cooper was the most radical automotive engineer in racing history. Flying in the face of conventional wisdom, he was the first man to build a rear-engined racing car, and the first to win a Formula1 race with one. The man who saw the Mini for what it is was, a brilliant handling car that could win races - leading to him to create the Mini Cooper.
It is this legacy of innovation and technology that defines what Cooper is today. Cooper technology and performance is focused not on motorcars but on bicycles and e-bikes. The concept is similar, use the best, forward thinking technology and make it available to improve the experience for the user.
Cooper’s vision is to use latest technologies, including electrification to create the ultimate mode of urban transportation. Capability to generate speed as well as load carrying capacity, easy hill climbing, range and all terrain comfort.
In 2009, Mike and Charlie Cooper, John’s son and grandson, exasperated by the state of the once great British Cycle industry, revisited this Cooper ‘sideline’. Together they designed a range of modern bikes that utilised the engineering, design and innovation that made the brand famous.
From the start they married modern bike technology to the traditional design principles practiced and much loved by the engineers at Cooper. Cooper Bikes launched in October 2009 with two ‘T100’ models bikes that combined the elegant beauty of simple design in partnership with the latest bike technology. The range gained critical acclaim and Cooper Bikes have carried the Cooper legacy of innovation and design beauty ever since.
After serving the RAF during the war, John Cooper and his father Charles Cooper found the Cooper Car Company.
John and his father construct the very first Cooper 500. Powered by a Jap motorcycle engine the car is bought by many future famous racing drivers such as Stirling Moss. The Cooper Car Company becomes the World’s first racing car manufacturer for private customer sale, or ‘privateers’ as they are know in the motorsport world.
After entering Formula 1 only 2 years previously, Cooper win their first F1 race. Stirling Moss wins the Argentinian Grand Prix, in a Rob Walker entered T43 and records the first ever rear-engined victory in F1. Later in the season Maurice Trintignant wins at the illustrious Monaco GP.
1959 & 1960
The Cooper Car Company, under John’s direction, win consecutive Formula 1 Drivers and Constructors Championships, with works drivers Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren. With their rear-engined revolution, beating giants such as Ferrari and Porsche, Cooper change the face of motor sport and performance cars forever.
John takes his Coopers to America to race in Indy 500 in Indianapolis. The car became affectionately known as the ‘funny car’ due to the Americans believing the engine was in the wrong place. Although the car performed well, if it wasn’t for the attrition rate of the tyres, the ‘funny car’ would have ended the race on podium and challenged for the win.
A busy year for Cooper, launching the now legendary Mini Cooper. Working with his friend and designer of the Mini, Alec Issigonis, John developed the car believing the brilliant little Mini had a future in racing.
Throughout the Sixties Cooper dominate many forms of motorsport – Formula 1, Formula 2 and even Jackie Stewart cut his teeth in a Cooper BMC Formula 3 car.
John’s vision for the racing Mini Cooper came to fruition, winning consecutive Monte Carlo Rallies from 1964 to 1967.
Due to the increasing costs of Formula 1 and the death of many drivers and friends, John decided to leave motor racing in the late Sixties. In 1985, to satisfy the demand for the Cooper marque, John teams up with his son Mike Cooper and focuses the business on engine-tuning.
The Cooper engine-tuning kits proved so popular that the Rover Group re-introduced the Mini Cooper to the production line after a 19-year absence. A legend was re-born.
During the late 1990s, Mike Cooper was invited to contribute his expertise to the BMW Group’s new MINI project. When he first saw the new car, John loved it.
John sadly passed in 2000. To honor his father, Mike launched the John Cooper Works brand to produce after market tuning kits for the new MINI.
Mike and Charlie Cooper, John’s grandson, launch Cooper Bikes, the bicycle division of the Cooper Car Company. The first models are named after famous Cooper Victories. The bikes are an instant success and receive rave reviews. GQ award Cooper the ‘Best Brand Extension 2009’ in its annual awards.
Cooper Championship 50 model wins the Prestigious Wallpaper Design Award.
Cooper partner with British designer Ally Capellino for the brands first range of cycling luggage including a pannier and rucksack
With an expanding range of city and classic bikes, Coopers team up with British clothing brand Hackett. A range of Hackett + Cooper cycling clothing is launched along with 2 limited edition bikes.
Cooper partner with TechniBike GMBH to develop E-Bikes. Charlie Cooper returns to the brand after a stint as Marketing Director at cycling clothing brand Rapha