Style & Then Some

The bike of my dreams

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My poor, rusty old 'Raleigh Rhapsody'

My bike has seen better days. A hand-me-down that was brought over from where my parents live in Holland (thanks Daddy!) four years ago, it may well be older than me – and at 27 I’m no spring chicken. It’s rusty and sometimes makes a funny noise when the pedals go round and it’s had more inner tube replacements than I can count. But it gets me from A to B (or rather from Vauxhall to Victoria – my daily work commute) and I like its old-fashioned style, so I’ve stuck by it faithfully during my time in London.  However, none of that faithfulness could stop the bitter pangs of jealousy I felt when I set eyes on this gleaming white beauty of a bicyle, the Cooper Oporto.

Cooper Oporto ladies bike Cooper Oporto classic ladies bike Cooper first ladies bike classic ladies bike classic womens bike white ladies bike white classic bike white retro bike white vintage bike white Cooper bike old fashioned bikeCooper Oporto ladies bike Cooper Oporto classic ladies bike Cooper first ladies bike classic ladies bike classic womens bike white ladies bike white classic bike white retro bike white vintage bicycle white Cooper bicycle old fashioned bicycle

The Oporto is the first ever ladies bicycle made by Cooper, the folks who brought you the Mini Cooper. It’s built from Reynolds lugged double butted tubing (which sounds kind of filthy to me) and features Sturmey Archer 5 speed internal hubs gears. No idea what that means either, but I know one thing: it sure is pretty. It’s also pretty expensive too, at £949. Get yours at your nearest Evans store or online.

Haven’t got a grand to drop on a new bike? Me neither, so the Oporto will remain the bike of my dreams. Sigh. But if you are actually in the market for a classic lasdies bike, here, in typical ‘skinted or minted’ style, is a more affordable alternative. Halfords do a lovely retro number, sensibly called the Real Classic Ladies Bicycle for £269.99. If you want cheaper than that you’ll probably have to delve into the murky world of Gumtree.

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3 comments on “The bike of my dreams

  1. Pingback: In praise of independent bike shops | Style and Then Some

  2. Steven Offord
    October 21, 2014

    Your old raliegh has a structuraly better frame design than those expensive replacements and is less likely to get stolen. Just pay your friendly local bike mechanic to advise on component upgrades; some new wheels with alloy rims would be a good start. They would role better and the breaks would work better. Change the drive train,(Chain set,chain,front and rear deralier, freewheel) or if you prefer replace the back wheel with one with one of those Sturmey Archer 5 speed hubs in it, you may find gear changing easier. That’s not cheap but I think the old frames worth it.

    • blondekatie
      October 21, 2014

      Great advice, that’s what I’ve continued to do ever since I wrote this. And coincidentally I was thinking about that super expensive bike when I was cycling home tonight and thinking maybe I should get a new one, then I saw your comment. What are the odds?!

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2011 by in And Then Some and tagged , , , , .
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