A chopper bike is probably the most stylish and attractive model that resembles a motorcycle. Such bikes are becoming more popular every day, because they look really very cool. To some, it may seem that the bicycle chopper is a model that appeared quite recently to satisfy those who like both motorcycles and bicycles at the same time. In fact, this is not the case – chopper bikes have been around for a long time.
Over the years, they have undergone repeated changes and have been winning the hearts of more and more people every year. What is the difference between a chopper bike and a standard bike? What are the varieties and what are the advantages of such a bike? Let’s find out the answers to these and many other questions.
How did bikes that look like motorcycles appear?
In the mid-60s, two executives from the United States company Schwinn decided to create a bicycle that resembles a chopper, which does not want to speed up too much, and there is a desire to slowly roll to enjoy the rapturous and envious glances of others. And so appeared the first bicycle chopper.
And it happened in 1936. The above-mentioned company has presented its new brainchild to a wider audience – an entirely new class of bicycles-cruisers. It is clear that such transport then, and now is not suitable for rapid acceleration and maneuvers. But this was not the goal of the creators.
A little later, in 1950, when bikecastomizing in the States was in full bloom, the first models of bike-choppers appeared. They were so stylish and unusual that kids started modifying their bikes to make them look at least a little bit like motorcycles. One designer at Schwinn turned his attention to manmade models and realized that the world needed just such bikes. His first prototype was received without much enthusiasm, but thanks to Al Fritz’s persistence, the first chopper bike rolled off the assembly line in 1963.
In just the first months of the owners of bicycles in the style of “chopper” became thousands of people. The company had to expand its production, and in the bicycle industry began a new era: the era of stylish and charismatic bicycles. But this did not stop enthusiasts: they began to unite in bicycle chopper clubs and show each other their creations.
What is a chopper bike: distinctive features
If we talk about motorcycles, the chopper is a kind of mastodon in its kind. This is a powerful bike with a long frame and front fork, emitting a characteristic, incomparable sound. In fact, the bike under the chopper visually has common features with the motorcycle. It does not, of course, make a powerful roar, but it has the same frame and front fork.
“So,” you ask, “do the differences end there?” In fact, yes. The distinctive features of a chopper bike come down to the unusual design of the bike. But what are those features!
First, the changed geometry of the frame – even a person who has never sat on a bike, will recognize it from a thousand. It’s impossible not to notice low seat and the pilot’s seat conditioned by it. They say that the perception of pedestrians, other cyclists and the situation on the road as a whole changes from such an angle.
Secondly, the changed design of the bike has led to some specifics of managing it. Thus, the carriage and the saddle are located so that the cyclist pedals with relaxed legs. If there is also a backrest, it is the apotheosis of convenience. With such a beast you can easily cover long distances and virtually no fatigue.
As a rule, bicycles in the chopper style have tires with a wide profile. Therefore, even the lack of flexibility of the fork does not allow a strong vibration.
Even an inexperienced look is enough to understand: a bicycle chopper is much heavier than a regular bike. But it has a better ride. If you want you can always change the concept of bike – after all, no one canceled the tuning. For example, the high position of the rear-view mirrors allows you to safely ride on city roads and highways.
Of course, to go with a bike that looks like a bike, in the woods, on the gravel or any other bump is definitely not worth it. It should be understood that such a bike is designed for riding imposingly on a flat road: only on the rolled asphalt you can understand why some cyclists ride exclusively on such bikes.
And now it is worth taking a detailed look at the pros and cons of this design to understand why this model is particularly popular with a particular category of cyclists.
Advantages and disadvantages
Let’s start with the pleasant, that is, with the obvious advantages of this model. And they, it must be said, are not so few:
- The original appearance.
- Comfortable seating of the cyclist, who has a fully unloaded back while riding (on a bike under the chopper it is impossible to ride in a half-bent posture).
- Wide tire profile that dampens shock when riding on uneven terrain.
- Easy operation and maintenance.
- The ability to customize the bike according to personal preferences.
Of course, there are drawbacks. Changed geometry of the bike entailed a number of inconveniences. We said that such a bike is suitable for a leisurely and measured ride on a level road. Hence the conclusion: the chopper is not as maneuverable as a mountain bike, for example. In addition, it does not accelerate well, so a fast ride with the wind in your ears is out of the question. And another disadvantage in the piggy bank chopper: it is quite difficult to climb uphill.
Varieties of bike-choppers
In the classic sense of bike-chopper – a single with a frame. There are bikes, which from the handlebars to the tires are showered with all sorts of “gimmicks. As in the world of motorcycles, and in the cycling industry chopper – is not just what it looks like a chopper. In common parlance, such bikes are called “rastabikes.” But experienced cyclists know how to distinguish their categories:
- Bicycle chopper (chopper). A popular variety, which has similar elements of design with a motorcycle of a similar class (elongated frame, different thickness of the pipes, high rise and elongated handlebar fork).
- Cruiser. Comfortable model for riding in town. Features an unusual frame, made in the style of the 50’s. These bikes are also called “beachcombers”.
- Lowrider. Walking class bicycle. Curved handlebars, plenty of chrome and details from twisted steel are the most intriguing elements. This bike stands out from the crowd of its kind. The main disadvantage is the complexity of control and low speed figures.
- Custom bikes (cusom-bikes). Models made in accordance with individual preferences. In essence, it is a bicycle chopper with their own hands. But how is it made? Such models are distinguished by decorative and functional elements.
- Three-wheeled choppers. Such models are in great demand among teenagers and children. It must be said that adults will not refuse to take a ride on them. The model is characterized by greater stability and the ability to carry luggage.
In addition, the classic chopper bikes can be equipped with an electric motor, which opens up a horizon of possibilities and prospects.
Chopper bikes are meant to be enjoyed. These are models on which you want to ride slowly, reflecting on the meaning of life and enjoying the surrounding beauties. This is the kind of bike, which one wants to show off and admire, which one wants to decorate and constantly improve. Now you understand that choppers are designed for a separate category of cyclists?