Bike Aesthetics

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Tangled Metal
Posts: 7615
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Bike Aesthetics

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Mar 2015, 9:58am

is it important to you to have a bike that looks good? That question has been pottering around my mind recently and I thought I would put it to you.

As a background to that question I will explain how it has entered my mind when I am really not someone thast interesting in things I own looking good only that they work well. I have spent a lot of time recently looking for the best bike for me at the limited price point family fund allow. As it turns out I bought a Planet X argento bike which is pretty much all silver paint, silver (with black bits in limited amounts) bar tape, polished silver bars, stems, seatpost, etc. I initially didn't like the idea of a silver bike and indeed was going to downgrade to another bike that was more to my personal tastes. I am however finding silver is growing on me. To that end i have even bought silver pedals and plan on silver mudguards and rear rack. Even down to wondering whether silver bottle cages or black ones as a way of offering a contrast (what do you think, silver guards, rack and 2 bottle cages???).

This is really not me. I think it is down to this being the most expensive bike since I bought my 25 year old road bike for £450 when I was 17 years old. I bought that because it had an amazing spec for the money just like I think this bike has (why I bought it because it was tiagra and avid BB7 brakes for the price of Sora and BB5s at best). That old road bike was a green and grey colour which was never to my tastes back then but I now think it works well on that bike.

So, what do you think? Would you use looks to choose between two bikes? Would you downgrade some piece of equipment for that better looking bike? How much do you find aesthetics influence you when choosing, upgrading, renovating or accessorizing you bike?

PS should should I go for az full silver effect or would black accessories work (either guards and rack or just as small thing like 2 bottle cages)? I think the larger accessories in silver but black cages or perhaps if I can find a light blue cage that matches the Planet X logo colour that I think the bike has.

andrewjoseph
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Joined: 17 Nov 2009, 10:48am
Location: near Afan

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby andrewjoseph » 27 Mar 2015, 10:07am

having a bike you are happy to look at and be seen on is important. i too like to believe i follow function over form, but if it looks hideous to you, you're not going to want to ride it.

i buy bits for the bike to make it look good, blue bar tape, hubs and stem spacers. etc on my road bike. red gold and blue chainrings on the mtb.

looks count.
--
Burls Ti Tourer for tarmac
Saracen aluminium full suss for trails.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby Brucey » 27 Mar 2015, 10:26am

Not my primary area of interest but a few contrasting (black, blue...) accessories (mudguards, bottle cages etc) can look pretty good on a silver bike. You don't even need to buy them to see what it looks like; photoshop can do it all for you!

More than one forum member has painted the underside of Chromoplastic mudguards in an accent colour; this shows through the mudguard where the clear stripes normally are....

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

borderghost
Posts: 140
Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 8:14pm

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby borderghost » 27 Mar 2015, 11:11am

My last bike was a shockwave xt850 which had a chuncky frame and large front shocks, after 9 years of hard use the paint and bike was not looking to good, I decided i would respray using aerosals from the pound shop, nothing to lose as it looked grubby anyway, i first sprayed the bike in a darkish green then i masked of lots of sections of the bike frame and sprayed on black spray, the end result was a camoflauge effect which i was happy with, I also has continental roadking 2.3 tires and large mudguards so i actualy thought it looked the part, most my neighbours and work coleagues thought it was a new bike at first, As the bike was getting qiute old by this time i did then start to neglect it over this last winter which i regret now, on my way home there is a short along a farmers lane which is about 3/4 mile long, in winter it floods and is a mud bath, even the farmers try not to use it as it gets that bad, i started using this lane a few times a week, some of the muddy puddles were upto my bottom bracket, it was good fun but at the same time i knew i was definitly ruining the bike, the result was a bike painted in army camo caped in mud and never got washed. It certainly turned heads for all the wrong reasons, When i could not remove the fixed cone on the bottom bracket i gave up and took the bike to the tip,

Although no pics of the bike it was the paint that i had left over from these car models, that i then used to spray paint my bike with the same camo effect.
Image
Last edited by borderghost on 27 Mar 2015, 2:41pm, edited 2 times in total.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 7615
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Mar 2015, 11:37am

Well my new bike is a silver London Road, the drop bar tiagra one. It only comes in silver with this light blue logo and features on it. Looks nice but at first I hated it and nearly went for a more expensive and lower spec Pinnacle in dark blue that looked nice to me. Now I'm actually looking past the silve and at the amount of this light blue colour on it. I am thinking about adding only silver accessories like rack and guards to keep a colour scheme going. I was thinking silver alloy bottle cages but now I have seen a vavert in a light blue (darker than the bike's blue coloure) or there are some side entry plastic cages in a lighter blue that could match the bike's blue better.

Then there are other things. I have seen a couple of locks in the same light blue. Two are £0.99 locks from PX which I am not even considering. The ones I would consider if price was not an issue are some hiplocks. There is a D lock from them with a similar light blue and black colour or a blue cable belt type hiplock. I think one is bronze and the other is silver rated (not sure which). Both are over priced for the level of protection I think but if aesthetics is more important than performance I would have to.

All this is really not me. From my point of view so long it isn;t pink or a bright in your face colour I will ride any bike that has the function. I just do not understand how I have changed with this bike purchase to be someone who actually gives two hoots about colour matching stuff. Is it a case of a new baby in the family??? :D

Tangled Metal
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Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Mar 2015, 11:38am

PS Based on my current maintenance routine it will be dirty and gritty in a week or two and will never lose the grime layer so why bother making it look good? Just do not understand my attitude to this bike.

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gaz
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Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby gaz » 27 Mar 2015, 11:57am

I do not consider my main bike to be a thing of beauty. I'm sure it will be a joy forever.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

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Vantage
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Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby Vantage » 27 Mar 2015, 12:40pm

Financial woes prevent me from keeping my bike looking as good as it could, but I do keep it clean and shiny and apart from the mismatched hubs and two piece front mudguard (I extended it with a piece from my old set (it's reohn2's fault really :P ) )
I do consider it to be a thing of beauty and other folk, both in my club and on the street have said the same thing. That gives me a bit of pride in it.
I've pretty much felt that way about every bike I've ever owned but this ones a bit more special I think as she's just over 3 years old and that's the longest I've ever been able to hold onto a bike.
The flip side of keeping it nice is that nice is arguably more in demand than ugly and so that little bit more susceptible to be lifted by one of the light fingered crowd.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

blackbike
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Joined: 11 Jul 2009, 3:21pm

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby blackbike » 27 Mar 2015, 12:43pm

My everyday bike is one I made up from a new Claude Butler Dalesman 531 frame I bought in the mid 90s.

It was painted in thin black paint which soon allowed the frame to rust. For years I slopped on black Hammerite as required to keep the rust at bay. Now I've run out of Hammerite I have started using the pot of red car paint I used to touch up rust on my ancient Ford Fiesta which was scrapped last year.

The frame looks dreadful but the bike rides beautifully as all well maintained 531 bikes do.

mig
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Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby mig » 27 Mar 2015, 1:06pm

i've never bothered about colour. the things that i don't like about the way a bike looks is curved seat stays. they always make the bike look to me like it has been rear-ended in a crash. oh and upward sloping stems - although i realise that such will be of assistance to some riders.

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easyroller
Posts: 523
Joined: 27 Feb 2012, 8:05am
Location: Berkshire

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby easyroller » 27 Mar 2015, 2:14pm

Never sacrifice style for speed.

(which is why I'm so slow)

Samuel D
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Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby Samuel D » 27 Mar 2015, 3:32pm

Any pics of your bike, Vantage?

How a bike looks is somewhat important to me, but I can appreciate the look of a wide variety of bikes.

The key things for me are that a bike is appropriate for the use it’s put to, as simple and elegant as it can be while satisfying that purpose, durable, and representative of its owner. Its form should follow its function.

If there’s a choice between two equally functional ways of doing something, I err on the side of tradition. Change for the sake of novelty is wasteful, tacky, and disrespectful of cycling’s heritage. It’s unaesthetic.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate innovation when new ideas work well, from threadless headsets to aerodynamic racing wheels. But it does make me wary of road disc brakes and electric shifting, for example.

As for colours, probably they should match your personality and create a sense of harmony on the bike, whether by a complementary, monochromatic, or analogous arrangement. I’m a cheerful kind of guy and I like bright and cheerful colours, and the simpler the paint job the better.

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby DarkNewt » 27 Mar 2015, 5:31pm

Tangled Metal wrote:is it important to you to have a bike that looks good? That question has been pottering around my mind recently and I thought I would put it to you.

As a background to that question I will explain how it has entered my mind when I am really not someone thast interesting in things I own looking good only that they work well. I have spent a lot of time recently looking for the best bike for me at the limited price point family fund allow. As it turns out I bought a Planet X argento bike which is pretty much all silver paint, silver (with black bits in limited amounts) bar tape, polished silver bars, stems, seatpost, etc. I initially didn't like the idea of a silver bike and indeed was going to downgrade to another bike that was more to my personal tastes. I am however finding silver is growing on me. To that end i have even bought silver pedals and plan on silver mudguards and rear rack. Even down to wondering whether silver bottle cages or black ones as a way of offering a contrast (what do you think, silver guards, rack and 2 bottle cages???).

This is really not me. I think it is down to this being the most expensive bike since I bought my 25 year old road bike for £450 when I was 17 years old. I bought that because it had an amazing spec for the money just like I think this bike has (why I bought it because it was tiagra and avid BB7 brakes for the price of Sora and BB5s at best). That old road bike was a green and grey colour which was never to my tastes back then but I now think it works well on that bike.

So, what do you think? Would you use looks to choose between two bikes? Would you downgrade some piece of equipment for that better looking bike? How much do you find aesthetics influence you when choosing, upgrading, renovating or accessorizing you bike?

PS should should I go for az full silver effect or would black accessories work (either guards and rack or just as small thing like 2 bottle cages)? I think the larger accessories in silver but black cages or perhaps if I can find a light blue cage that matches the Planet X logo colour that I think the bike has.


Hiya, if your still looking for a silver rear rack on a budget then I have a torteck expedition rear rack you can have for free, you will just have to pay for the postage. Understand family budget limitations and I would love to see it go to a good home and get used! It fit'sy well with disc brakes so pretty much suits any bike. Just PM me if you want it.
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

Brian73
Posts: 465
Joined: 11 Aug 2010, 10:32pm

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby Brian73 » 27 Mar 2015, 7:26pm

Nowt wrong with silver, just ask the Lone Ranger :D

Here's my steed:

Image

thidwick
Posts: 87
Joined: 27 Jul 2014, 7:33pm

Re: Bike Aesthetics

Postby thidwick » 27 Mar 2015, 8:16pm

Now that's a well equipped bike garage Brian!