Designer Of The Raleigh Chopper, The Second Coolest Bike In The World, Dies at 85
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    Designer Of The Raleigh Chopper, The Second Coolest Bike In The World, Dies at 85

    Alan Oakley, the designer at Raleigh bikes who penned one of the coolest bikes ever - the Raleigh Chopper - passed away this weekend. He was 85.

    The only bike that was cooler than a Raleigh Chopper when I was a kid was the Schwinn Stingray. I had a buddy that had a Chopper, and I had a Stingray. We were the baddest nine year olds in the neighborhood....

    Alan Oakley, designer of the Raleigh Chopper bike, dies aged 85 from cancer | Mail Online
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    Last edited by Gregory Taylor; 05-21-2012 at 07:38 AM.
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    Meh, those Schwinns are uglier than a box of frogs. A ridiculously sized gear stick that will take your nuts off if you have to brake suddenly. Poor integration of the seat with the frame and nowhere to stick your satchel. I could use the rack on the back of my Chopper to carry my satchel and cricket bat in summer. Never saw a Schwinn growing up in England. I could see my sister riding a Schwinn, looks a bit 'girly' to me..
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir duke View Post
    Meh, those Schwinns are uglier than a box of frogs. A ridiculously sized gear stick that will take your nuts off if you have to brake suddenly. Poor integration of the seat with the frame and nowhere to stick your satchel. I could use the rack on the back of my Chopper to carry my satchel and cricket bat in summer. Never saw a Schwinn growing up in England. I could see my sister riding a Schwinn, looks a bit 'girly' to me..
    All in what you are used to--you probably prefer Cadbury's to Hershey's chocolate. Just sayin....
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    Quote Originally Posted by paredown View Post
    All in what you are used to--you probably prefer Cadbury's to Hershey's chocolate. Just sayin....
    Hershey is chocolate?? I bought some of that stuff once. I thought the tastebuds on my tongue had migrated. Lots of wonderful things come out of America, Hershey chocolate isn't one of them IMHO. Cadbury makes decent mass market stuff but Terry's chocolate was far better.
    To be honest i got tired of the Chopper after a couple of years and went on to a conventional 5 speed 'racing bike'. The Chopper was heavy and slow and useless for pulling wheelies.
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    I had a MonkeyWards knockoff of the Schwinn, but singlespeed so no nutbuster.

    I still have the bike. It weighs about the same as a Mac truck. I figure if I ever need some waterpipe for the house, I have a backup supply with the bike tubes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir duke View Post
    Meh, those Schwinns are uglier than a box of frogs. A ridiculously sized gear stick that will take your nuts off if you have to brake suddenly. Poor integration of the seat with the frame and nowhere to stick your satchel. I could use the rack on the back of my Chopper to carry my satchel and cricket bat in summer. Never saw a Schwinn growing up in England. I could see my sister riding a Schwinn, looks a bit 'girly' to me..
    With all due respect, are you high!?

    I mean....look at it. It's BEAUTIFUL. My Schwinn was exactly like this - green, three speed, Slik tire. Sure, the Stik-Shift was eventually deemed to be such a hazard to the generative organs of the Youth Of America that it was banned by the Federal Government. But we Yanks are used to danger. Thrive on it, actually. All the world knows that we Americans are willing to stick our John Henrys in dangerous places on a daily basis...and like it. It's like our calling card. Why shouldn't our bikes reflect that?

    My Schwinn was much faster than my friend's Chopper, and it handled better. That tiny little front tire on the Chopper was useless for bombing along the dirt trails in our neighborhood. Plus, the Raleigh wasn't exactly well made - parts either rusted, broke, or eventually disassembled themselves of their own accord, while my the Schwinn stood up to the daily beating that only a nine year old can dish out, and kept coming back for more.

    [Seriously, the Chopper/Stingray debate is one for the ages. LIke Ford/Chevy, Beatles/Stones, Redskins/Dallas, you will never get a die hard fan to ever agree that the other bike was worth the effort that it took to pedal it.]
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    I had the cherry krate schwinn. I'd love to find another one in decent condition. One of our friends did the bike tour of Co a few years ago. Was passed by a guy on a 5 speed stingray on one of the long climbs...
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    I'm not old enough to understand the appeal of these bikes...That's all I got.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Taylor View Post
    With all due respect, are you high!?

    I mean....look at it. It's BEAUTIFUL. My Schwinn was exactly like this - green, three speed, Slik tire. Sure, the Stik-Shift was eventually deemed to be such a hazard to the generative organs of the Youth Of America that it was banned by the Federal Government. But we Yanks are used to danger. Thrive on it, actually. All the world knows that we Americans are willing to stick our John Henrys in dangerous places on a daily basis...and like it. It's like our calling card. Why shouldn't our bikes reflect that?

    My Schwinn was much faster than my friend's Chopper, and it handled better. That tiny little front tire on the Chopper was useless for bombing along the dirt trails in our neighborhood. Plus, the Raleigh wasn't exactly well made - parts either rusted, broke, or eventually disassembled themselves of their own accord, while my the Schwinn stood up to the daily beating that only a nine year old can dish out, and kept coming back for more.

    [Seriously, the Chopper/Stingray debate is one for the ages. LIke Ford/Chevy, Beatles/Stones, Redskins/Dallas, you will never get a die hard fan to ever agree that the other bike was worth the effort that it took to pedal it.]
    I wouldn't say I was a die hard Chopper fan , I realised they were a bit of a gimmick pretty quickly and got much more fun out of a 'real' bike with drop bars, derailleur and thin tires. The green Schwinn looks pretty nice and it's impossible to judge ride feel and durability from a photo but that gear lever really does look like it belongs on the bridge of a steamship.
    There ain't no sanity clause... (Chico Marx)

    I accidentally..a burrito. (Old Fuji)

    Norman Wisdom, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, good times... (Phil Oakey)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sir duke View Post
    I wouldn't say I was a die hard Chopper fan , I realised they were a bit of a gimmick pretty quickly and got much more fun out of a 'real' bike with drop bars, derailleur and thin tires. The green Schwinn looks pretty nice and it's impossible to judge ride feel and durability from a photo but that gear lever really does look like it belongs on the bridge of a steamship.
    Like everything Schwinn from that period, it was waaaay overbuilt. The shifter and the "slick" drag tire aped the muscle cars of the era. The shifter would not have looked out of place on an Olds 442 or Pontiac GTO: a solid chunk of metal, chrome plated with a ball knob on the top, it had a really nice, smooth action and a satisfying, solid "click" when it went into gear.
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