What constitutes a beautiful bike?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
tinyworld
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What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby tinyworld » 28 Dec 2016, 10:00am

What constitutes a beautiful bike? I ask this question, as recently I was sat at the café, and unseen by the two young lads, looking at my bike. I heard the words, Eugh that’s an ugly looking bike. Now I have to say that it’s not conventional looking bike by any means. So what is it that makes a bike beautiful? Form, function, a good paint job, material, components? And does beauty change as time passes.

malcolmlauder
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby malcolmlauder » 28 Dec 2016, 10:01am

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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gaz
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby gaz » 28 Dec 2016, 10:04am

tinyworld wrote:So what is it that makes a bike beautiful?

The eyes of the beholder.
tinyworld wrote:And does beauty change as time passes.

Do the eyes of the beholder? :wink:
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Canuk
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby Canuk » 28 Dec 2016, 10:17am

I think components matched to paint scheme (eg silver parts look great with certain colours, and black/grey parts with carbon ect), also bar tape and saddle colour match is very pleasing to me. Some people go as far as the tyres and brake cables! For sure aesthetics is practiced by everyone, whether they admit to it is another thing altogether :lol:

tatanab
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby tatanab » 28 Dec 2016, 10:21am

I find modern machines quite ugly. Functional but ugly. Nasty huge frame tubes with squashed profiles. Gear mechanisms that look like Darth Vader's helmet. Black components everywhere. Uni crown forks and TIG welded frames - ugh!

Most of my frames I admit are "over sized" steel tubes and look Ok to me. But I have a couple of old diameter steel frames which modern generations would consider "spindly" but to me they are a picture of understated elegance.

Yes I am an old curmudgeon long past his youth.
Last edited by tatanab on 28 Dec 2016, 10:28am, edited 1 time in total.

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barrym
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby barrym » 28 Dec 2016, 10:21am

Horizontal top tube and lugs!
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Vetus Ossa
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby Vetus Ossa » 28 Dec 2016, 10:27am

barrym wrote:Horizontal top tube and lugs!


and quill stem.

reohn2
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby reohn2 » 28 Dec 2016, 10:27am

Sloping toptube,neat Tig welds and a chunky Ahead stem :)
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reohn2
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby reohn2 » 28 Dec 2016, 10:30am

gaz wrote:
tinyworld wrote:So what is it that makes a bike beautiful?

The eyes of the beholder.
tinyworld wrote:And does beauty change as time passes.

Do the eyes of the beholder? :wink:

:wink:
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barrym
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Re: RE: Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby barrym » 28 Dec 2016, 10:31am

reohn2 wrote:...neat Tig welds


Dunno, never seen one
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freiston
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby freiston » 28 Dec 2016, 10:37am

Getting into specifics as to what makes a bike ugly could upset some owners but both sides of the coin and all that...

I thought that threadless headset and stem combinations were fugly until I got one - then they became aesthetically acceptable. I've since decided to swap out my handlebars (which necessitated a stem-change and also the abandonment of the NVO stackerless system) and have come to appreciate the looks of the system a lot more.

I have never been a fan of what is now called a 'road bike' and I don't like the look of a lot of the modern components around. That's not to say I like all the old stuff either. I suppose that I appreciate the looks of the sort of bike that appeals to me more than the looks of the sort of bike that doesn't appeal to me. Touring bikes appeal to me a lot; road-racers/triathlon bikes the least. I like the look of the sugino/stronglight chainsets that Spa sell but I think the modern shimano affairs are awful looking. I like a lot of highly polished alloy and slender, 'fluid' lines rather than blocky, angular design but ultimately, the function has to be served. I like components and frames that look well crafted. The geometry of the whole bike make a difference too - a touring bike with a high saddle and low handlebars wouldn't look good. Colour schemes count too.

I'm sure I'm missing the essence of what makes a beautiful bike and I'll have to find some examples.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

reohn2
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Re: RE: Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby reohn2 » 28 Dec 2016, 10:39am

barrym wrote:
reohn2 wrote:...neat Tig welds


Dunno, never seen one

Look closer :) :-
Image
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meic
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby meic » 28 Dec 2016, 11:07am

Deep gloss black paint, gold or red lining and highly polished silver components.
With yellow bar tape, of course.
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foxyrider
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby foxyrider » 28 Dec 2016, 11:08am

I don't consider that I own an ugly bike, by the admiring glances they get others appreciate their aesthetics too.

My '78 race bike all polished and gleaming in reality is - well just one of many around these days. It's been several different colours but it's never looked 'right' so it's returned to its original post box red.

At the other end of the scale my '13 carbon Peugeot really stands out from the crowd. Of course the huge tubes, deep rims etc make it quite a different beast to the steel bike but the thing that makes it stand out from the sea of grey carbon on the roads is the white / blue colour scheme. Shiny parts just wouldn't work on this one.

I must admit to being a bit of a poseur with my bikes! Cables must be just so, I get through a lot of bar tape - heck, I even colour match seat packs and tyre levers! Doesn't cost extra and looks like i've given the thing some thought.

So what makes a bike 'beautiful'? For me it has to look right, in proportion, the paint scheme should compliment the frame shape, a few accents (bar tape, cable outer) are acceptable but don't over do it. What looks good on a skinny steel frame probably won't work on a fat tubed carbon and visa versa.

But it also runs to handlebar positioning, matching tyres, maybe properly fitted mudguards even - my audax bike has as much attention to detail as the racier steeds. Indeed an 'ugly' bike can often be made prettier at little more than a bit of time and new tape and cables.

To be honest i've not seen anything in the shops that looks 'beautiful' for a few years, the obsession with grey teamed with fluo doesn't work for me! And flat paint - why?

I've not mentioned flat bar machines - good reason, it's impossible to make them beautiful! Sorry just isn't happening.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Bonefishblues
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Re: What constitutes a beautiful bike?

Postby Bonefishblues » 28 Dec 2016, 11:10am

No OUTSIZED stickers/decals is a good start. Some bikes are starting to look like a Barry Boy's Corsa.

http://www.barryboys.co.uk/phpBB2/index.php