To anyone else that gives a hoot about the alleged "Oldest Chopper in the World":
To be able to make such a statement/claim is mad. There is no possible way to verify such a thing. I have seen no less than 4 other bikes perfectly matching your requirements. (e.g. rear brake cable through the frame, rear caliper mounted on other side of brake bracket, longer seat, etc.) Raleigh literally made HUNDREDS of these bikes in the end of 1968 in preparation of the 1969 model year release! So naturally, they would also all have `68 date coded hubs!
And it's also one of the few employee-tested, pre-release specials? Who, pray tell, concocted THAT story?... Santa Claus?... or was it Guy Fawkes? For all we know Alan Oakley rode this very bike around in the buff one night! THERE'S JUST NO WAY TO PROVE ANYTHING YOU HAVE CLAIMED!
I guess this is what "urban legends" are all about. But hey, unless we have dreams, we don't have anything at all. Keep up the good work, Mr. Rich!
Karen "I just don't believe it" Allison
Oh, and one other thing Mr. Rich... what's up with your "Raleigh Chopper Owner's Club" website?? My husband and I belonged to the International Raleigh Chopper Owner's Club back in `96 until it's demise several years later. I don't ever recall seeing your name on the registry! Have you received copyright clearance to use this name?... or have you just assumed squatter's rights?
What exactly is it that your "club" provides? Do you have a newsletter/fanzine, national shows and semi-annual meetings? I'd love to hear what your "club" has to offer! How much do you charge to join and what can I expect in return?
Just to put all of your minds at rest We own the prototype Chopper we always have and always will.
So no other false claims are justified.
It is so old it dosnt have any Frame Numbers nor Hub markings as it was soley a blueprint in real life
LETS BE SEEING IT AT BILLING ..
WHAT DO YOU SAY CHAPS?????
Oh, and in defense of RICHDOG, THE ANSWER TO THE ABOVE FEMAIL QUESTIONS IS..yes The website is the fanzine, and the meetings exist... of course if Karen wanted to send Mark £8 Im sure he could print a membercard for her, to entitle her to what she gets free on the internet... how stupid is she?
I dont usually express opinions on this board, its just that I feel Karen has shouted a bit too loud on this one.
Karen me old love, Mark Rich owns THE GALACTICAL RCOC Not the little old "INTERNATIONAL RCOC" We are talking hyper-space name ownership. Get real or a life, And my chopper is rusty and sad but at least it is MADE IN ENGLAND not a yankee doodle dandy knicked from the rest of the world.
I see that all those with the most profound statements to be made are anonymously posted! (chicken) Secondly CatLitter Rob, I must agree with you in the sense that Mark is promoting Choppers in a positive way, which is most admirable. I cannot take that away from him. But to cash in on a name that is SO closely worded as the one and only, very respected club for Choppers is lame at best. (I.R.C.O.C.) Can't he rely on a single ounce of personal creativity enough that he could have his own, original name? He's totally riding the proverbial coattails of an established name and probably fooling many. (not me)
And then he has the nerve to charge exorbitant prices for things on his website. Anyone in their right mind won't pay these prices, but it's shameful nonetheless. This is a hobby for regular people, not millionaires like Mark.
Dave, you poor slob... I don't want to start an "across the pond" war over who had what first, but if you must know... the Chopper was designed by a fantastically creative individual (Alan Oakley) who came to the States in the mid 60's only to copy what we had already done! (i.e. the Sting-Ray) I personally think the Chopper is a better looking, better riding machine than the Schwinns, but we actually had the concept on the market first. And then the first entire model year of the Chopper wasn't even OFFERED in your fine land! How do you explain that one? Trust me Dave "me love", I have nothing against the UK as this is where my family is from. I'm just trying to enlighten the ignorant... namely people such as yourself.
The Chopper is number one in our book over here and I refuse to let "hobby wreckers" like Mark Rich ruin our fun. Ask how long Mark has been "into" Choppers. (how long he's been collecting them) I think you might be surprised by his answer. We've been collecting them for about 14 years now. Long live "The Hot One"!
Karen/Boston, MA, USA
Karen me old petal, we went over to the states and saw what a mess you had made of the schwinn bikes and came up with as you put it a better bike, that looks nothing like anything american. Totaly brit 100% and not one single part looking like anything from accross the pond. Now i have nothing against the good old usa just silly little girls who think they are men ..... we only made a girlie chopper to shut girls up, you wouldn't be a communist by any chance??
Lets all calm down and take a look at e-bay item 1072864204
What is this America thing everyone is on about. Is it near Barnsley??
Darren, its just to the north and left a bit........
Karen, the chopper club folded under a huge cloud... it holds no respect any more... most people on this site are owed money by it... If anyone owns the legal or intelectual rights to the name, theyre too frightened of being sued to come forward. Richdog was brave to adopt that name.... The internet has made "pay for it " clubs obsolete,.. its all fior free here.
Unlike the schwinn boards, we try to help each other and make friends on this site.... maybe your first postings here should have been a little friendlier.... were a good bunch of people..... I think you owe Richdog an e-mail apology at least, c`mon... if your THAT into Choppers, you might need us one day.
"Its only a kids bike from the 70`s" for goodnes sake!!!!!!!!!!!
The never anon.....
Damn, maybe Karen could put a dollar bid on it eh?
I have never laughed so much at any site on the `net and Ive been surfing since `95, worked at an ISP then ran a cybercafe so you canimagine I`ve seen a lot!
Karen, it makes a refreshing change to read such enthusiastic banter - keep it up! Good point from CF Rob about your intro message though :)
Dave, "me old petal" I`m as proud of British engineering from the 70s as you are - power to the people!
Catfood, bang on mate - we all need each other so lets be nice ;)
qwerty500, you`re dead right - just because we`re into things we had as 13 year olds doesn`t mean we have to act that way too!
Also, you do realise that rubber cheque will need new decals don`t you? ;)
Eh, Calm down, calm down!!
Yoda, try www.geocities.com/thereturnofthesixfootmidget/stdbikes.html for info/pics about about Chessington Highrisers.
Personally I think yank bikes rock. I am really into them, but like it's been said you cannot beat good old brit engineering!!
Keep the shiny side up!
To be quite honest i don't care whether the bike is the oldest chopper in the world or one he made himself in the wee small hours by candlelight, i'm just glad that someone has taken the time out of their lives to show the rest of us who are not quite so experienced the way to strip a rusty old chopper down without destroying various bits in the process. Thought this years resolution was that we were all pulling together and sharing as much info etc that we could, nice to see that a few are putting the effort into doing it. Keep up the good work, cheers, jay
......MMMMmmmmm, ah yes, i've just remembered what i came here for. I know that grifters are as unpopular as parcelforce on here but if anyones got one that they don't want could they let me know 'cause i might be interested, cheers
Brian ( B-Bikes) didn't you have one knocking around?
Okay, okay... I guess I could apologize somewhat for ruffling a feather or two, but I just don't like fakes. To me, there's nothing worse than the fly at the end of the bar who says he once dined with the Queen Mum and in reality he only dreamt it. And that's the deal with Mark's "oldest Chopper" because there's no way on earth that he can prove it, yet this doesn't stop him from yelling to the whole world that it's true. Don't get me wrong, I think what he has done for the internet-capable Chopper enthusiast is terrific. Cheers for that!... but not for UFO sightings. He can keep those under his hat until he can provide some documentation.
Jay, Bones, Catfood, Iain, Mike: I apologize if I offended you or anyone else on the board with my banter. Oh, wait a minute, I retract that apology from dave_345 as he's obviously a frustrated little boy with extremely limited capabilities in the "manhood" department, if you know what I mean. He is the ONLY guy that couldn't stand hearing an alternate point of view from a GIRL!! Everyone else handled it like a gentleman. I'll love the Raleigh Chopper above all other 16x20 bikes! But at least I'll enjoy what other bicycle companies have to offer, too.
Cheers, guys! (except for you, dave!) naa naa! >:)
Karen/you know where I am
Good to see people out there being passionate about their beliefs and Chopper Bikes! These bikes really spark off a lot of emoticions- what a bike!
I thought the original Chopper club was great fun, the magazines were great and I met a good deal of cool, genuine, very friendly people. I was a member since Issue 4.
The Club may have folded, but I lost no respect for it, it was formed out of love and dedication from the original founders and for me that meaning still stands on strong.
I feel that rcoc.co.uk's use of such a similar name for the site is unfair.
It has elected itself worthy of taking on the name of the 'Chopper club', and for me I don't think it carries on all it's values.
I guess I just miss the good old days!
The IRCOC kicked ass!
and Long live 'The Hot One', England, America and fair trading prices.
Barry/ Surrey/ 11.2.02
Ditto for me, Barry. Cheers for that excellent post. You rock! xx
why was my message deleted ,Karen found it quite profound,not bad when i only intended irony with a hint of patronisatin,ty karen im glad you at least enjoyed it
The IRCOC may well "rock" but isn't it now defunct? Therefore whether it is better than rcoc.co.uk or not is a bit of a moot point. Fair play to richdog I say. Fair play to US Karen too.
My names Ian and I like all bikes of the world maan....float, float on.
your message was deleted because, however you intended it to appear, it was sexist and potentially insulting to a large section of humanity and therefore had no place on this board.
Hmmm,come to think of it you might be right,sorry ladies and especially you karen,i can truly empathise with womens probs,my gf is a right moody cow before her period,i do so hope you get better soon,
ps this is meant with a hint of irony and a soupson of wit and humour,
can we please have more grifters on the site as they are much better than choppers anyway,thanks
Wow!! I haven't been here in a coon's age and I can still rely on some form of raucous ranting going on this board! Sweet! Man... you Brits have all the fun. We don't have anything nearly this cool over here in the States. Well, not for bicycles anyway. You still have the ultimate message board, Pat! Good job!
Hey Iain, I got your email at work regarding customized choppers, but I haven't had enough time to compose a proper reply. I promise I'll write you within the next 24 hours.
Hey Karen! You'se a fiesty one, aintcha'? You say you've been collecting Choppers for 14 years?? Wow! So have I! Who are you married to?.. er, if you don't mind my asking that is. Thought I might know you guys, but your last name doesn't sound familiar. Allison?
Later, dudes & dudettes! Choppers out!
Dale/Detroit, MI, USA!/today?
well we,ve had a the oldest chopper (difficult to prove ) so who,s got the newest. check yer hubs or more acurate check the frame down tube ( wheels can be swapped ) to start the ball rolling i picked up 2 nos ones a while back 78/11 one of the last in red and 80/10 in black the year they stopped making them so has anyone got a ( newie) ps keep it fun
My hubdate is 9/82 but I got the hub with the bike but no wheel rim so maybe it is not correct! I will have to check on the frame number. My bike is NOS and was taken off the shop floor buy a production worker at Raleigh. The story goes that he was informed that the Chopper was to cease production and if they wanted anything they could take it. So he took the bike with all the bits on except the pedals, chain and wheels. He got the wheels seperate (at the same time tho!). The front wheel was with the bike when I got it but alas he had given the back wheel away to a kid whop had buckled his! Apparently the hubs and other bits he got were put in his loft at the same time. Got to be a good contender for last chopper produced!! Now lets have a look at the frame no.
I think I can lay claim to the newest chopper, although I don't own it anymore, Doh!!
The NOS Black MK2 Frame I sold to a guy in the US had the frame stamped as Dec 1980. I reckon thats about as late as it gets!
Whoooo!! Stop everything I have just consulted 'The Hot One' and found that there were 2 from 1981 registered. Jan 1981 owned by someone in Durham and an Oct 1981?? by someone in Warwick!!!
Talking of newest choppers, has anyone tried to build one from scratch recently? Just think, custom made, custom fit, adult sized, how cool would that be, MMMMMMmmmmm i feel a plan forming!!!!! Oh and karen, don't worry about the banter etc, its about time someone brought a bit of life into the old message board. welcome anyway.
I would just like to let you all know at RCOC.CO.UK we are just about to start the restoration of the NEWEST RALEIGH CHOPPER IN THE WORLD. It is a FEB 1981 and will be coming soon. DONT PANIC, only joking!!!! Thanks for all your support over the last month, and any more pictures or stories would be welcome.
I can see where you are coming from with your comments on the Market place. If I was in your shoes I would probably feel the same.
Now lets think about it. The International Raleigh Chopper Owners Club finished some years ago. After talking to alot of people who are into Raleigh Choppers they all said to me "you cannot use that name, because the club finished owing alot of people money. If you use that name, you will have alot of people on your back." After a bit of thought, I thought "why not". At the end of the day what is the worst thing that could happen.
1/ I would have to pay the 'Barclays Bank' back ( the money the club owed. )
2/ I would have to pay the members back.
3/ I would get shot down in flames by every one.
Now lets think about it, in one month what has happened.
1/ over 1500 hits in the first month of the site being on the internet.( NOT on any search engine )
2/ 79 pictures sent in, with about another 30 to go on the site.
3/ 10 great stories from true Chopper fans
4/ over 100 emails of, " about time! and well done".
5/ all the help I could imagine from some great chopper fans.
6/ emails of all sorts of Raleigh Chopper information, from all over the world, and some coming from Raleigh.
7/ and support by all the Raleigh Chopper related sites, by putting a link on there site to mine.
Ok , so where did I go wrong. It is a club that is needed, that does NOT charge a membership fee, that does not do anyone any harm, that is full of information,and help. And the only time that is taken up, is mine.
I can change the name of my site to alot of different things, like "rusty choppers on computer" to "Really can't offer clubs", and I am happy to step down to you Karen if you can build a better club. If that does happen, then it would have still been worth while.
Anyway, My phone number and email address is on the site, so if there is anything you are not happy about , you can email or call me.
Thanks once again to all the support from all of you.
Jay: Thank you for your kind welcome to the board. I really didn't come here to get anyone's boxers in a bunch, but merely to point out the loosely documented story put on here as if it were fact by Mark Rich.
And speaking of Mark Rich... Mark, I'm not here to flame what you have done for the hobby. What you have done is noble. I'm totally "into" Choppers and quite obviously, so are you. As for the use of your site's name being in question, well... it still bothers me somewhat because regardless of the poor souls that were gyped out of their club money (dues, back payment for services rendered, etc.), the name itself still carries a fair amount of weight since it sounds like the OFFICIAL, end-all source for anything Raleigh Chopper related. This is just a rather bold and smarmy statement being made by an individual that didn't even belong to the original club in the first place, despite the direct plagerism of it's namesake. Opinions are like belly buttons... everyone's got one and they are only special to it's owner. And these statements are MY opinions. I think that what you are doing for the hobby is honorable, but I simply wanted to point out that your site's name usage is much akin to a fallen hero that you decided to have your own name changed to... such that everyone will recognize you as the premier source.
Sorry for the long-winded ramblings. Keep up the good work... EVERYONE.
I feel it is only fair that negative feedback should be put on my site. I am quick enough to put on positive feedback.
NOW READ KAREN'S STORY
Pages taken from this site.
for sale ,first come first served.....I have a limited amount of original glass splinters from a broken Cresta bottle( circa 1973).So at this summer's meets be the first to recreate a genuine 1970's puncture! Don't worry though as Ben has a plentiful supply of back-up '70's air to get you mobile again!
Mark, as for the " oldest Chopper in the world " claim...well when I first read that i thought it's just a matter of time before someone comes out of the woodwork with an older example( and you are left with egg on your chin?)It seems our new friend Karen may be the one to reveal an older model to the world?
Oh yeah Pat, I think it would be a smart move at this point to reveal the identity of the a**hole who is starting to leave snidey anonymous sexist digs at Karen. This scene has been dominated by "lads" for far too long.There's no reason why women can't enjoy this scene as much as everyone else( but they are unlikely to if the moment they say something they have to deal with boring cliched sexist humour).
So who is it Pat?
Hey Peter, I'm with ya', man! Can't go getting all neanderthal on the women-folk or we'll only have a sausage festival on this page. Be cool to the chicks cuz they say some neat stuff, too.
And hey Karen! I'm still waiting for you to tell me who it is you're married to!... or do you not want to say? I just thought I might have some limited degree of separation to ya'. I'll bet we've both dealt with Jimbo Barnard? He's right over there by you in Connecticut.
"Grifter"?! What in tarnation is that?!
Dale/Chopper City, USA!
Well done to Mark Richdog for is site, and wot does it matter wot he calls it, it's ONLY A NAME. Has for the oldest chopper in the world. I think it's great, ive learned more about choppers, since he started it and I carn't beleve that all you chopper experts,carnt prove him wrong. So he must have the oldest chopper.
Ronnie Smith, Harrogate
Theres been quite a few comments recently about the level of banter on this site, plus name calling etc.....
If you want FAR FAR worse, try any of the message boards at Schwinn.com or oldroads .com.... Theyre all bicycle boards, and all far worse than us.
So were not so bad afterall....
Dale... nice to here from you.....
Des... ditto, thought you`d been run over by a train....
Gazwoz... thought youd deleted us?
Stay cool guys... and please stop swearing on this board, no more grifter talk eh?
Hey there, Rob! You are SO right about the boards over here in the US. It's filled with raunchy banter and trolls. Yeah.... you trolls know who you are! It's the guy's with the most snide comments that don't sign their names. GET A LIFE! Anyway... the message boards over here are pretty bad.
As for Mark Rich's oldest Chopper... who's to say for sure? It very well could be!... but Karen is really right in that it'd be nearly impossible to prove. In any event, Mark's site is looking really good. Cheers.
Dale/Chopper City, USA!
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