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  1. #1
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Hi.

    I'm looking to buy a chopper in a couple of months, but as I do plan to ride it quite a bit, I want one which is relatively (being a chopper...) light. I'd appreciate it if anyone with experience from riding some of these models to give me some estimates or comparisons between the models. What you like and dislike is also welcome, naturally. I'm 6 feet tall, normal weight.

    The models I'm looking at
    ---------------------------------
    Kona BikeHotRod (38 lbs)
    Giant Stiletto (~50 lbs)
    Stingray Spoiler (~65 lbs)
    Nirve Switchblade/Cannibal (weight unknown; "relatively light" was mentioned in another thread here)
    Felt Scythe/Torch (weight unknown; aluminum frame)
    Electra Jeremy (weight unknown; not really a chopper, but anyways...)
    Electra Rat Fink (weight unknown)
    GGG Show Time (weight unknown)
    Phat Cycles Coach Delux (weight unknown)
    Phat Cycles Coach Linkage (weight unknown)
    Phat Cycles First Class (weight unknown)
    Phat Cycles Whopper Chopper (weight unknown)

    Any kind of feedback is much appreciated.

    /Trassel
    Last edited by Trasselkalle; 05-22-05 at 02:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trasselkalle
    Hi.

    I'm looking to buy a chopper in a couple of months, but as I do plan to ride it quite a bit, I want one which is relatively (being a chopper...) light. I'd appreciate it anyone with experience from riding some of these models to give me some estimates or comparisons between the models. What you like and dislike is also welcome, naturally. I'm 6 feet tall, normal weight.

    The models I'm looking at
    ---------------------------------
    Kona BikeHotRod (38 lbs)
    Giant Stiletto (~50 lbs)
    Stingray Spoiler (~65 lbs)
    Nirve Switchblade/Cannibal (weight unknown; "relatively light" was mentioned in another thread here)
    Felt Scythe/Torch (weight unknown; aluminum frame)
    Electra Jeremy (weight unknown; not really a chopper, but anyways...)
    Electra Rat Fink (weight unknown)
    GGG Show Time (weight unknown)
    Phat Cycles Coach Delux (weight unknown)
    Phat Cycles Coach Linkage (weight unknown)
    Phat Cycles First Class (weight unknown)
    Phat Cycles Whopper Chopper (weight unknown)

    Any kind of feedback is much appreciated.

    /Trassel
    I have the Stiletto and while it is heavy, it is lighter than many others out there on the market. Weight is not all that important when it comes to choppers, I don't think, unless they are single-speed. The Spoiler, for instance, is great looking, but very heavy and long and only single-speed. Uphills on that baby are murder. The Stiletto is likely faster than any of the production choppers simply due to the 7-speeds and superior shifting system. I can climb fairly steep hills but on flat and downhill streets, the Stiletto is remarkably fast. It's also cheaper than many of the others.
    The slow down is accelerating

  3. #3
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Thanks EnigManiac. Certainly, weight is not all. Mostly, it's my brain stuck in "lighter-is-better" mode as I used to road race some. I suppose I know myself though - it won't be all that long until I have replaced whatever components that I think are poor. I've done it that way on all my previous bikes and know from then that once all the other parts are perfect, it sucks to have a frame that is too heavy.

    I read in an earlier post by you that you had tried both the Kona and the Nirve choppers. How did they compare weight-wise? I would suspect that the Kona is slightly heavier due to the enormous forks, or is that just my mind playing tricks on me because I want the Nirves to be lighter?

  4. #4
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    If you know you are going to be doing some obsessive part upgrading, then plan to put in as many gears as you can into that rear hub. I'd recommend a Nexus 7 or 8 speed, if your chopper of choice doesn't already have one. If you are feeling wealthy and luxurious, you can put in a Rohloff 14 speed internal speedhub.

    If you've got the gears, you can push the weight, the worst is a heavy chopper with poor gearing. But with good gearing it can be heavy or light, and still be a pleasure to ride.

    Also, keep in mind that wider wheels/tires means a lot of rotating mass, and rotating weight is a lot more important than non-rotating weight, as far as the ride is concerned. Wider tires = slower accellerations, regardless of the rest of the frame weight, so take that into account as you shop.

    Enjoy your chopper!

    peace,
    sam

  5. #5
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Excellent advice Phidauex.

    The part that I like so much about bikes in general is how easy it is to gradually upgrade. I think that both you and EnigManiac are telling me to just go with whatever I feel most committed to, then sort out the rest with upgrades. I'm really looking to make this a chopper for serious riding, not just for show, so aside from weight, I will certainly take the advice regarding rotating weight as well as make sure to get some gears on it. I haven't checked out the Rohloff you talk about, so I better do that. It's fun to not know as much about the parts now that I'll be getting and working on a totally different type of bike than I'm used to.

    Have you ridden either of the bikes on my list, by any chance, Phidauex?

    EDIT: Wow. I checked out the web just now and I'm absolutely blown away by the Rohloff. I got to have one of those!
    Last edited by Trasselkalle; 05-22-05 at 01:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member smurfy's Avatar
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    I could be wrong, but I believe you have to have a frame (or actually the rear dropout) made for the Rohloff hub, you can't just simply stick the hub in a conventional frame.
    "You handle it like you handle a bicycle" - Jacques Rosay, Airbus A380 test pilot

  7. #7
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Ok. I'm checking up on that to make sure. I read something that sounded like that. Still, their "config online" thing made it look a bit like it depends on what you already have (check out the Speedhub finder on http://www.rohloff.de/?p=PRODUKTE/SP.../Speedhubsuche). Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  8. #8
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    There is a version of the Rohloff speedhub that is meant for use with vertical dropouts, another for horizontal dropouts, and another for a special type of fork end that is Rohloff specific, you just need to order the model that is appropriate for your frame.

    In short, if your bike is already spaced for an internal hub, there is a Rohloff speedhub that will fit it, you just might have to do some thinking to figure out which model (since they have slightly different attachment methods). A call to Harris Cyclery would solve your problem, and you should look over their webpage on the speedhub: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/rohloff.html

    peace,
    sam

  9. #9
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    I've ridden the Elektras and the Kona, and none of them felt particularly heavy in comparison to each other. The ride on them is so relaxed that small differences in weight aren't really noticed. If you have comfortable geometry and useful gearing you'll be able to ride the chopper everywhere, fit and gearing is more important than weight in this case. Besides, after riding everywhere on a 50 pound chopper for year, think how fast you'll be on your weight weenie race bike? Nothing like a weight handicap to improve your training.

    peace,
    sam

  10. #10
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    lol - thanks. I'm really curious to hear if anyone has tried the Scythe or Torch also? I've emailed a few German bike shops that have 'em but no answers yet. Good thing it's a couple of months untill I'm buying.

    UPDATE: If anyone else is interested in this - I've received an email from a German bike shop that have ridden their demo Scythe some. They felt it rode like any other chopper and estimated the frame to be 3-4 kg lighter. They still felt that overall weight was close between it and the Nirve choppers, since (as they put it) the forks still make up quite a bit of the overall weight.
    Last edited by Trasselkalle; 05-23-05 at 08:48 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    The Phat Whopper Chopper is a long and heavy beast, but with the Nexus 7 hub, it's not too bad to pedal. I had to swap out the 52 tooth chainring that came with the bike for a 44 or 45 tooth chainring to get the gear range into my comfort zone, though.

  12. #12
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Cool. How do you like your Whopper Chopper? It's pretty loaded on stuff already, so I'm keeping an eye out for comments and comparisons with other choppers. We're all different, but it's nice always nice to have it verified that the parts are actually performing and that the paint job is fine, etc

    Speaking of Phat Cycles - I absolutely hate it that they launched a new version of their website yesturday. Now it's some flash bs with pop up windows that open up behind the main window all the time and the site takes too long to load. Flying text? Why???

  13. #13
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Whopper Chopper - Positive points for style, frame and fork design and construction, Nexus 7 hub, Lepper leather seat.

    My biggest complaint is that the front disc brake is not independent from the suspension fork - that is, when you apply the front brake, because of the way the brake hardware is mounted, it engages the suspension, 'causing the front of the bike to bounce. If you brake hard w/ the front brake while turning or cornering, it can get a bit squirrely.

    For the price of this bike, they could also have used a better quality bearing set in the bottom bracket, a better quality grip shifter (cheap plastic, loosens frequently) and equipped it with fenders (which are supposed to be available as an option, but are never in stock...).

    Raleigh Chopper reissue - Positive points for style, rideability, affordability, Sturmey 3-speed. Negative on quality control - fork crown not straight, chainring press-mounted on crank backwards, paint top coat chips VERY easily.

    Final analysis - I really like both of these bikes, and the Raleigh is now my regular commuting bike...

  14. #14
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Thanks Randya and thanks all others who have chimed in. This is certainly helping me to better understand what I can expect from the various models.

    I read somewhere on another forum that the Electra bikes were really only great looking on picture and that the weldings and paint jobs weren't all that good in real life. The same person went on to say that the Nirves were looking very promising, though. Does anyone have any info to verify or deny these two claims?

  15. #15
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    I've got an '03 Nexus 7 equipped steel frame Electra Commuter (700c model no longer in production). I've had no problems with the frame or paint, but did have to replace the bottom bracket, which kept loosening up, with a better sealed unit.

  16. #16
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Ok, sounds good. There always seems to be some little thing that needs to be fixed, so that doesn't sound too bad. Maybe I shouldn't be too concerned with the one negative comment I've seen about the Electra bikes then. Thanks again.

  17. #17
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Hey Trass,
    I work at a bike shop that sells Electras, and while they are a good bike, you may want to check out the Felt Cruiser lineup. The fit and finish on those bikes is something to behold. http://www.feltracing.com/05_cruiser...lead_sled.html

  18. #18
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Sweet - thanks. Will do.

  19. #19
    Junior Member kaiser&cross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigManiac
    I have the Stiletto and while it is heavy, it is lighter than many others out there on the market. Weight is not all that important when it comes to choppers, I don't think, unless they are single-speed. The Spoiler, for instance, is great looking, but very heavy and long and only single-speed. Uphills on that baby are murder. The Stiletto is likely faster than any of the production choppers simply due to the 7-speeds and superior shifting system. I can climb fairly steep hills but on flat and downhill streets, the Stiletto is remarkably fast. It's also cheaper than many of the others.
    I have the stingray spoiler. heavy YES. cool looking YES, uphill murder YES, but damn if I don't love that bike. 1 speed does suck. feels like 7-8 gear starting off. the other day i was at a 4 way stop sign and a car must have thought it was a motorcycle. he waved me to go first. IMO all chopper are not comfortable, so you might as well get the coolest looking one. You'll feel muscles near the upper thigh, not the quads on a chopper. but then again i wear a 30" inseam and the petals are a stretch. if you want muti gears this is not the bike, but i get complements everywhere i go with the schwinn. trick it out. when i first rode a horse i felt muscles i never knew i had.
    Last edited by kaiser✗ 07-20-05 at 11:49 PM.
    I bet if you drive your car off a cliff, you still hit those brakes.

  20. #20
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    felt scythe owner

    i just bought the schythe this past summer. the weight is not a problem. the lack of speeds is. as someone said, the hills are murder. i need more low end. also maybe a hand brake instead of the coaster brake. other wise the bike is fun. and everyone comments, from adults to kids.

  21. #21
    peaced out deez's Avatar
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    You can put tons of miles on these kinds of bikes but the seating position is just not very efficient when it comes to climbing hills and standing to pedal isn't as easy (or even possible on some of the stretch cruisers) They just aren't good for hilly areas. The geometry of the Nirve bikes is a little more suited to hard riding if thats your plan.

    I ride a Kustom Kruiser Slick Daddy and I've put buttloads of ultra comfy miles on it...it just sucks on hills. Even in 1st gear on a 42/19 (3 speed IGH)...it'll make it up most hills, it will just be really slow going.

    **edit**

    Those Felt Cruisers are really really cool. I like the 3 speed "M.P" with the integrated rear rack and the "1903" with the springer fork

    ...I'd like the MP, with a springer fork and the "1903" handlebars.and a 7 speed hub.
    Last edited by deez; 10-16-08 at 10:43 AM.

  22. #22
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trasselkalle View Post
    I'd appreciate it if anyone with experience from riding some of these models to give me some estimates or comparisons between the models. What you like and dislike is also welcome, naturally. I'm 6 feet tall, normal weight.

    The models I'm looking at Giant Stiletto (~50 lbs) Any kind of feedback is much appreciated.

    /Trassel
    I can't compare because I own a Stiletto and haven't ridden any others, but I'll tell you what I know.

    The first question is how hilly is it there? West Little Rock, where I live is fairly hilly. The Stiletto suffers because it is heavy and it is too small for me at 6'1". I can't get the full effectiveness of the pedal stroke since my legs are never straight. The heavy tires also slow it down. And I notice a distressing syndrome that when I'm sailing down a hill attempting to downshift at the bottom so I can go up the next hill, that it derails the chain unless I'm careful. I think if you could have a 'U' shaped bracket made to move the seat up and back that would be a major improvement.

    That said, I love it. It is fun to ride, it has a nice feel. I bought it as my first non-serious bike when my ex asked for a divorce. It's main use for me has evolved into riding in parades with the local bicycle advocacy group, a job it does unbeateably well. The coolest thing is that I can lay it over and do amazingly tight fast doughnuts in the street. The pedals are high enough that I can keep cranking and those big fat tires ride on their sides so well. Its a real crowd pleaser.

    But I also ride it to and from the parade from my home, about 8 miles. Since it's hilly, that's fairly hard. My route includes one fierce hill, I bomb down it, but have to push the bike back up.



    You've probably notice the idler gear in the center of the chain. They make cool motors for it.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  23. #23
    Junior Member kmpoling's Avatar
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    An example of a Giant Stiletto with a Jackshaft in place of the "Idler" (Chain Guard removed to see) Motor Sprocket has Freewheel and so dose pedal input, You can pedal with out pushing the motor or vise versa. DSC01386.jpg

  24. #24
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
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    Only two years on this one. Congratulations.
    Ride lots, have fun, skid often!

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