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Old 04-22-05, 06:06 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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What is so special abouit "choppers" "cruisers" and things of the like anyways? Are they just a fad?
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Old 04-22-05, 06:39 PM   #2
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I think this forum might end up focusing more on those crazy people who do midget bike jousting and prepare for carmageddon, than the cute girls on cruiser bikes in Huntington Beach.
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Old 04-22-05, 07:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
What is so special abouit "choppers" "cruisers" and things of the like anyways? Are they just a fad?
what's cool is that it is a creative process, you can make cool stuff that is not readily available to buy, and it's just fun to make cool stuff. i am a wannabe cool stuff maker. i think this forum is a great idea.
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Old 04-22-05, 07:31 PM   #4
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Just how long has the Latino community in Southern California been building lowrider custom bicycles?
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Old 04-22-05, 08:23 PM   #5
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Its no fad! Remember that the modern mountain bike was based on the Stingray chopper! Since the beginning of bicycling, you had two people, the ones riding the bikes and throwing them away, and the people picking them up and making new stuff out of them.

peace,
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Old 04-22-05, 08:33 PM   #6
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In Texas, the "custom" chopper bike thing has been very big with young Hispanic guys for a long time. I was very impressed one day in a bike store in San Antonio. A kid, about age twelve, came in with his customized bike. He had done most of the work himself, and worked a variety of jobs to earn money to pay for each "upgrade". His bike showed the hours and hours of work he had put into it.

In a society where many kids that age are just watching TV, or playing video games, it was cool to see a young guy investing so much time and energy into something constructive.
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Old 04-22-05, 08:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phidauex
Its no fad! Remember that the modern mountain bike was based on the Stingray chopper! Since the beginning of bicycling, you had two people, the ones riding the bikes and throwing them away, and the people picking them up and making new stuff out of them.

peace,
sam
Stingrays rock. I remember the Lemon Peeler/Orange Krate variations...
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Old 04-22-05, 08:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by phidauex
Its no fad! Remember that the modern mountain bike was based on the Stingray chopper! Since the beginning of bicycling, you had two people, the ones riding the bikes and throwing them away, and the people picking them up and making new stuff out of them. sam
i would say bmx was based on the stingray.Mountain bikes were based on old schwinn balloon tire bikes which were then modified by adding more gears.
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Old 04-22-05, 09:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
What is so special abouit "choppers" "cruisers" and things of the like anyways? Are they just a fad?
Judging by the fact that modified, home-built, amateur and semi-professional bikes have been being built in garages throughout the world for more than 35 years, I'd suggest it has exceeded the 'fad' threshhold. Major bike manufacturers have recently become involved with factory-made choppers and all indications seem to indicate they're a hit. I'm proud to say I own an authentic (all-chromed) lowrider, a beach cruiser, a streched cruiser and a chopper. Every one of them are more fun than a barrel full of monkeys (and, yes, I have ridden a barrel full of monkeys).
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Old 04-22-05, 09:29 PM   #10
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I have some copies of Lowrider somewhere, from the early 90's, that have features on how to box and fill the headstock on a bike and other old chopper tricks that had been turned to bikes. They used to run a feature every month on lowrider bikes.

We have some guys that like to build funky bikes, everything from wild paint jobs, to welded mods, to custom frames.
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Old 04-22-05, 10:34 PM   #11
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I never did "get it" with chopping bikes or cars. But I certainly support the those who have the skilz to whack together a pimped out ride: "(werd) theys some crazy shiznit out theya G, knowmsayin (old skool)?"

Just . . . don't come near mine, please (you wouldn't want to anyway)

wa wa wa wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa, wa wa
low
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sits a little lowa . . .
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Old 04-23-05, 12:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
What is so special abouit "choppers" "cruisers" and things of the like anyways? Are they just a fad?
As I remember they were just a fad in 1968 when I got my orange stingray with the silver metalflake bananna seat
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Old 04-23-05, 12:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James H Haury
i would say bmx was based on the stingray.Mountain bikes were based on old schwinn balloon tire bikes which were then modified by adding more gears.
The Schwinn Excelsior is often cited as the base platform for early MTBs.
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Old 04-23-05, 01:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'nother
I never did "get it" with chopping bikes or cars.

Just . . . don't come near mine, please (you wouldn't want to anyway)
Hehehe, as soon as you drop that bike to look at a fresh one, thats when us trash-bikers will take a nab at yours! You can't roll through an alley without finding a discarded bikes, and we just pick them up and bring them back into the fold, just a little different. We work in steel now, but wait a few years until all those CF and Ti frames are being tossed out, and that is when we'll pounce, and epoxy them together. Nothing is new forever, and your bike will never be safe. Muahahah.

Like I said, in all of history there has always been an undercurrent of people taking the rejects of society and rebuilding them. Bikes are no different.

peace,
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Old 04-23-05, 01:44 AM   #15
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It was old in the 80's when my only Mexican friend was building his. By the 1990's I saw lowrider bikes at the LA Auto Show, including a trike with a CD player/subwoofer. "Cruisin' the boulevard, bumpin' on my Schwinn..."
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Old 04-23-05, 06:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
The Schwinn Excelsior is often cited as the base platform for early MTBs.
How did you post the pics you attached? When I click on the 'insert image' icon above I get a window prompting me to enter the text to be formatted (???)
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Old 04-23-05, 12:13 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by EnigManiac
How did you post the pics you attached? When I click on the 'insert image' icon above I get a window prompting me to enter the text to be formatted (???)
Weird. When I click on the icon, it opens an [IMG] tag. Then I type in the url for my image and when I click on again, it closes the tag. Of course in practice, I never really use that button. I just type out the tags myself.

For instance,

HTML Code:
[img]http://www.neebu.net/~khuon/albums/visual_tao_of_cycling/PICT0001.jpg[/img]
will produce:

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Old 04-23-05, 12:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 'nother
wa wa wa wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa, wa wa
low
ri
der
sits a little lowa . . .

All
my
friends...
Have a lowrider...

Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa, wa wa
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Old 04-23-05, 01:52 PM   #19
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I checked out a few of the department store choppers, like the Jesse James and the new stingray and stuff. Generally neat things, but heavy, and with poor components. Bikes like that seem to come on and off the shelves at regular intervals, but the people making their own just keep on working in their garages.

There are a few interesting components off the department store choppers though, like some cool triple-tree headsets and hugely fat rear tires. I'm hoping that we'll be finding some in the alley in coming months as kids tire of them.

peace,
sam
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Old 04-23-05, 01:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'nother
I never did "get it" with chopping bikes

I love all stuff two-wheeled.........
Motorcycle riders dont understand scooters either.
Its a mindset. You will 'get it' or you wont.
My love of bicycles was my first of all the mechanical stuff I ever goofed up
through the decades. It started in 1968 with a blue Stingray and progressed from there.
I think no matter how much money we spend and how tricked out the stuff we can
afford $$$ now gets, we can never recapture the feeling of taking yor first trip around the
neighborhood on your then new stingray. When I got my Stingray in Pittsburgh there was
2' of snow on the ground but I still found a way to show it off. It never occured to me that
Cheater slicks weren't snow tires
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Old 04-23-05, 03:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phidauex
I checked out a few of the department store choppers, like the Jesse James and the new stingray and stuff. Generally neat things, but heavy, and with poor components. Bikes like that seem to come on and off the shelves at regular intervals, but the people making their own just keep on working in their garages.

There are a few interesting components off the department store choppers though, like some cool triple-tree headsets and hugely fat rear tires. I'm hoping that we'll be finding some in the alley in coming months as kids tire of them.

peace,
sam
Well, I have ridden almost all of them: the Stingray Spoiler, the Nirve Cannibal and Switchblade, the Kona and the Giant Stiletto. I can offer these impressions:

The Nirve and Kona are nice looking and relatively easy to ride (the Kona has wickedly long forks) with the edge going to the 3-speed Nirve in both looks and ride. It's relatively light and easy to handle. It doesn't have the eye-candy appeal of other bikes, however. I parked it on a busy street and watched from a distance to see how many people noticed it and few did.

I love the looks of the Spoiler and it is certainly an attention grabber (especially at 7' 6"). Performing the same parking test, it drew crowds that rival the attention both the Stiletto and Firebike receive. Surprisngly, it rides and handles better than you think, but at 65lbs (approx) and single-speed it is impractical for anything but flat roads. The ratio wasn't bad (equals about the 3rd gear on the Stiletto), but going up even gradual inclines was an effort.

The winner, in my estimation (and the one I bought) is the Stiletto. It is not as aggressive looking as the Spoiler but is nicely designed and solidly built without being excessively heavy (about 50lbs and exactly 6' 9" long). When complimented with a bullet light, maltese-cross mirrors (to match the factory maltese cross headset) and maltese cross pedals it is very eye-catching and attractive (imo). The rear fender is gorgeous all on its own and even the graphics are tastefully done. The ride is very smooth and handling is exceptional due to the more modest length and rake angle of the forks. The dual chain makes getting up to speed no more difficult than any regular road bike and with 7 speeds it is the fastest chopper on the market. I've already raced it against the Nirve Cannibal and it wasn't even close. The smooth slicks it comes with make the ride much more comfortable than you might think. My only disappointments are that the seat is too hard and needs additional paddiing: the seat could also use a little more flair in the design and if the frame was about six inches longer, more than three positions could be offered. I use it to commute with daily now (it's faster than any of my other bikes: Fuji Shangri-la 3-speed cruiser, 3-speed Firebike 'Bling Bling') and at 5' 10", my knees are bent more than I'd like during regular pedalling, but only by a few inches. It is easy to slide back on the sloped seat, however, in order to gain full leg extension. Because of how far forward the pedals are, it is possible to generate considerable power and considerable speed. It's a winner in my book.
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Old 04-23-05, 06:11 PM   #22
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Nah, no fad. If it were, everyone would have one, and they'd be fading in popularity by now. It looks like interest is slowly cultivating for different types of bikes and alternative looking bikes.

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Old 04-23-05, 09:23 PM   #23
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Old 04-23-05, 09:28 PM   #24
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I've not ridden the Stilleto.. I should find one and try it out. I think the 7 speed means a lot. I just need to find a cheap source for the Shimano Nexus hubs (or just save up a little more money!). I would eventually like a nice custom frame chopper with a 7 speed, and I suppose I should check out the Stilleto for some geometry hints.. A good chopper probably has a body position not completely unlike that of a recumbent.

I like your 'parking test' idea. Park it and watch, and see what people do.

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Old 04-23-05, 10:00 PM   #25
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The Stiletto is the nicest, and I don't say that just because I sell them(Well, we don't sell to many, they are pricey next to the Schwinn) But from the whole look, the stretched frame, the bobbed fender, disk brake, seat finish, exhaust styled chain guard, the idler gear so the drive chain does not flop so much(It would be four feet long without it) the faux tank and the pinstriping by Coop(Look him up on the web, lots of lowbrow stuff on Ebay) the bike is very nice. If we had a shop at the beach I would rent the heck out of these things. You really feel you are cruising a chop when you roll on one.
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