Why do bikes look so boring?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby rmurphy195 » 30 Sep 2018, 4:40pm

I went to the bike show yesterday and, more than ever, bikes and bits looked boring - that is to say, wall-to-wall black or dirty grey. Apart from a few stands such as Condor, Light Blue and the wonderful Colnago.

And apart from some of the e-bikes - some of which I have to say were pushing the definition of power "assistance" a bit - e.g. the ones that looked like early 1900's "flat-tanker" motorbikes looked nice, but couldn't possibly have been pedalled - but I digress)

Bikes frames - black.

Wheels and components hubs - black.

Rims - black.

Mudguards - black.

One stand - the Bianchi one I think - had bikes that looked so drably black that you had to peer closely at the things - even the topflight expensive jobs looked just like the e-bikes that they were displayed next to.

OK so for the metal bits (wheel rims) having silver as the only alternative maybe due to the anodising process is ok (or is it?)

But why oh why the sheer lack of imagination?

Hark back to my yoof - the 60's - when my Raleigh (later converted to a Falcon!) came with metallic green paint, with mudguards in a matching colour (bluemels - I'm sure these were available in red, blue, or green). This wasn't a special paint job, the bike was off-the-shelf at Halfords.

The Falcon - a bright red with white banding, and chrome-plated fork tips.

Come on you mass manufacturers, put some colour back into our lives!
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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby pete75 » 30 Sep 2018, 4:44pm

Hmmm - the current Trek range of road bikes - quite a variety of bright colours

https://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/bike ... es/c/B200/

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby mattsccm » 30 Sep 2018, 5:24pm

I am firmly of the view that the only black on a bike should be the tyres. Mechs etc should be shiny as should wheels.
The only exception might be very deep carbon rims, especially with gum wall tyres.

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby Brucey » 30 Sep 2018, 5:53pm

one of my pet dislikes is black spokes. They cost more, look worse and seem to break more easily than polished stainless steel ones. I just don't get it.....


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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby brynpoeth » 30 Sep 2018, 6:04pm

Anti-theft device, black is boring :wink:
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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby fastpedaller » 30 Sep 2018, 6:32pm

Strange this subject should come up as I was cycling along yesterday, pondering (as is usual) various things when I thought:-
Shimano should bring out a range called "Shimano Classic" with groupset parts all in polished aluminium - I think it could sell well!

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby hayers » 30 Sep 2018, 6:43pm

I'd buy it!

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby reohn2 » 30 Sep 2018, 6:57pm

It is of course just fashion,there are no shoulds other than in the fixed minded outlook
I don't like dayglow yellow,orange or red but it was once where the style council deemed it to be at along with white Shimano Santè gruppos,stems and bars :? ,I didn't like it then either.
In short what's meat to one person is poison to another,I like black cycle parts but I've no problem with other peoples taste

As for black spokes our Cannondale tandem had black 40hole spoked wheels,we never broke a spoke :)

I used to own a Kona DewDrop that was all black,frame components,rims,etc.In fact the only other significant and apparent colour on the bike was the word Kona in white on the downtube.The bike itself wasn't anything remarkable but turned more heads than any other (solo) bike I've owned,
Black is a popular colour so makers make black things :wink:
Last edited by reohn2 on 30 Sep 2018, 11:49pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby avalonian » 30 Sep 2018, 7:00pm

I also was at the bike show yesterday, had exactly the same thought,Was looking for a wheel set and everything was black Why ?

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby fixerupper » 30 Sep 2018, 7:10pm

I once worked with a guy in London he was a keen cyclist bought a new Peugeot a sort of muted orange colour, nice bike, first thing he did was spray it with a rattle can grey primer, badly ...it looked odd but no one nicked it ....

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby Stradageek » 30 Sep 2018, 7:38pm

I'd agree with the OP but for another reason. Having converted almost totally to the dark side and seeing the amazing range of innovative designs available in the recumbent world I look at the bike show and think "why would I want to look at an exhibition full of nothing but essentially identical diamond frame bicycles"

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby pwa » 30 Sep 2018, 7:50pm

Maybe it is the effect black is supposed to have on the way we see things. Black clothing is supposed to make people look slimmer. Perhaps it does the same for bikes now that elegant slender tubes, shallow wheel rims and chainsets you can see through have given way to slabs of carbon. Modern road race bikes just look chunky, in a bad way, and black may trick us into seeing something slimmer than it really is.

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby fastpedaller » 30 Sep 2018, 7:54pm

How many were the special.... piano black? :lol:

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 30 Sep 2018, 8:44pm

It's fashion, of course. I think the question is not "Why are so many bikes and components black (or at other times, shiny silver, grey silver, primary colours, striped, etc)?" but "What can a brand gain by going against the trend?"

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Re: Why do bikes look so boring?

Postby The utility cyclist » 30 Sep 2018, 8:44pm

We have this same opinion every single year.
And somehow each year the person having a moan apparently doesn't see these on the stands :roll:
Image Attachments
blue bike.JPG
blue bike II.JPG
blue and silver.JPG
blue and pink.JPG
another orange bike.JPG