2005 Redline Rain City Chopper
Way back in the Aughts, the world got caught up in a chopper fad. The success of reality television shows American Chopper, Monster Garage (with West Coast Choppers owner Jesse James), and Biker Build-Off on the Discovery Channel fueled a fascination with chopper motorcycles. Jay Leno had one built for him, so did Billy Joel. The New York Yankees had one built. Lance Armstrong rode one (that evoked the lines of his Trek Madone and his aero helmet). Movie star Sandra Bullock married a chopper builder. The bicycle world took notice.
Bicycles that evoke images of a motorcycle are not new, nor is the drawn-out chopper style. Beach cruisers that look like Harleys, kids’ bikes with twist grips that make engine revving sounds, and fake gas tanks on balloon-tire bikes have been around for years. BMX (the dirt racing that your nephew does every weekend) stands for Bicycle Moto-Cross, and is a pedal-powered version of the motorsport.
Bicycles and motorcycles have been intertwined since the beginning. Early motorcycles were just bicycles with small gas engines welded onto them. Thirty-five years after the first chopper fad hit the bicycle world (the film Easy Rider started that one), we had another.
Schwinn, Giant, Phat Cycles, GT, Electra, and Specialized all had them, but the Rain City Chopper is our favorite bike from this recent chopper boom.
Redline pays homage to their Seattle roots with the name, and the design is perfect. A meaty 4″ wide tire in back for powering away from a stop. Disc brakes to keep all of your horsepower under control. The belt drive makes for nearly silent operation (unlike motorized choppers), and the dual crown fork smoothly transitions into burly chrome handlebars. Take a look at the pin-striping on the tank, fender, and belt guard. Great details all around.