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Las Vegas, USA, September 26-30, 2005
Part 21: Choppers U.S., Felt and Specialized
It's not always about the racing…
Interbike is the perfect opportunity for the bike racing community to see the latest and greatest in that particular branch of cycling, but to quote the famous Pacific Coast Choppers and Cruisers company, "why rush, when you can cruise." And at Interbike, Cyclingnews' Gerard Knapp cruised through the chopper collection to find some serious cred on the mean (and not so mean) streets.
For the bad ass in all of U.S.
Choppers U.S. is a bicycle company that does things differently - Rick and Alan are passionate about their bikes and motorbikes and it shows in their products, with a full range of chopper kits to suit all budgets and styles. They also sell all chopper accessories for the ultimate in tailored rides. They had their 20" Radical Chopper on display (pictured), "designed for those that want to be seen and create a stir while out cruising the streets." And that it does! The frame is TIG welded steel, with Polished 6061 CNC aluminum triple tree forks. A 20"x3" rear tyre does the job of plumping the pimpness of this metallic orange beast, and priced at US$999 it's cheaper than a car, but so much cooler!
Retro, kitsch and kool
Felt have recently upped the ante in their road bike department, but along with their amazing full-suspension cruiser show bike, they've developed cruisers that utilise what the company has learnt from making pro-level road bikes and are a little more modest in both appearance and price than other choppers. With model names like 8 ball, Cafe, Speedway and Baron, the company has taken the task of offering something a little bit different quite seriously. The Scythe (pictured), which uses a lightweight and rust-free aluminum frame (instead of steel), features Felt's exclusive Cruiselite tubing, a monocoque top tube, and a polished aluminum faux oil tank plate. This is topped off with an integrated handlebar/fork design. The finish of their range is immaculate and very kitsch, and at US$539.99 it makes a great machine to have some fun on.
Scary and fast
Adding to their reputation of making almost everything for bikes, Specialized have experimented with some very mean-looking choppers in their range. They aren't intended for sale at the moment, but provided plenty of colour and a massive contrast to the racing gear they're well known for. Featuring a massively oversized top tube, some pretty special wheels and dual disc brakes, Specialized's choppers came in a fast red and scary black. The extremely wide rear tyre was much wider than even 'conventional' choppers, but despite the weight this added, these particular choppers could prove easiest to ride because of the relatively low amount of rake in the front forks. Also available on this model were the 'lucky 8 ball' valve caps, sure to add extra weight but extra cred to your already pimp ride.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Gerard Knapp/Cyclingnews.com