Thursday, September 20, 2012

What is Your Color?

Are the colors of a bike important to you? I've thought about this a lot lately. I dislike the black color of my Ross. Sure, it's not a desirable enough make or color for someone to steal—which has it's obvious merit—but the blah finish is having an adverse effect. I'm tired of its utility. I want a screaming, in-your-face color that speaks "I'm riding a bike!"

So, I went on an Internet search, hoping to prove that 1970s bikes had more style than recent bikes. For the purpose of this exercise I highlighted Raleighs and Schwinns, makes that had an impact then and now on the bike industry.

Thanks to http://oldtenspeedgallery.com for many of these images.

There were some pretty colors back then. I owned a Schwinn Varsity and Continental: the former a bright yellow, the later a soft blue. Raleigh made a statement with its olive green Grand Prix and Superb. But what I also discovered is that color reigned in the 1970s, with ubiquitous shades, yet color is still going strong today. Red is a staple, no matter the year, as it's unisex. Metallic colors were common, thought not nearly as much since 2000.


Compare this collage with the previous one. I was surprised. Schwinn and Raleigh are still making colorful bikes, even in a wider array of colors. I was hard-pressed to locate black or white frames. Surely, color still wins out. It's also interesting to note that retro frames are now commonly available with matching fenders. While this isn't new information, it is a sign of our times: we are desiring bikes that can be ridden for transportation, in the rain, to the store (racks are often included on many models).

I'm happy for all the choices. I still don't know what I'm going to do regarding my transportation bike color. Nor am I ambitious/and in love enough with the frame to attempt a paint job. For now, I'll ogle the orange and the purple bikes on our city streets and haunt garage sales because, just maybe, something will catch my eye.

What influence does a bike's color have on your choice of style/and or frame? If storage and money were not an issue, would you boldly add a particular color to your stable (I admit I would)? And, lastly, what color/style are you attracted to?

7 comments:

  1. The only acceptable colours for bicycles are black or dark grey, white and silver. I'm kidding, of course, but for myself that is true. I have no idea why, but I don't like my bikes in happy or bright colours.

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  2. My current bikes are Black, Blue (metallic) & Grey/White. My next bike will be brighter though...thinking about Purple (Metallic)with chrome lugwork.

    -Trevor

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    1. Trevor - I suspect that we change our preferences as we age and cycle, as with anything in life. I never gave much thought to the colors of my bike until recently. For me it could also be a middle age crisis thing. I don't require a red sports car, but rather a flashy bike. We both know what's the cheaper "fix".

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  3. Black for general purpose.
    Red or Orange for speed since they are the fastest colors, scientifically speaking.
    Yellow for riding to/from work since it is the cheeriest color.
    Those are the Color Truths of Cycling.

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    1. I like your thinking. Colors to fit the style of riding.

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  4. I like my bikes vibrant and distinct, no matter the color. If a bike is black, it will either be THE SHADOW or feature matching colors in contrast with the frame. My blue surly is a mass of chrome accessories and leather. I have to have the aesthetics.

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    1. Another Annie, how sweet! Aesthetics, yes, I understand completely. It's becoming increasingly important to me. I, too, like the leather/blue look though my currently leather is black (black seats, hand grips).

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