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Modern bikes are ugly
 

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2410
Location: Canberra, Australia

5/3/13 3:33 PM

Modern bikes are ugly

This thought has been inspired by thinking about replacing my current road race machine, which is a dozen year-old Litespeed, so I've been drifting into bike shops lately and idly looking at the current crop of road machines. My principal complaint is that they all seem to me to be pretty damn ugly. Both the bikes and most of the components on them look so much less elegant than the machines I've been riding for the past forty-odd years, with deep-dish carbon wheels plastered with logos being the worst thing of all.

My feelings about them are much the same as for the Savart trapezoidal violin - it might work, but only with reluctance would I actually use one:

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6155
Location: Maine

5/3/13 3:53 PM

Agree

I hear ya! I'm not looking for a road bike, and I certainly haven't looked at all or even most of them, but I see guys riding these garish Cannondales and stuff, yuck. I wouldn't buy a bike I thought was ugly, though it's also true that I am a lame enough rider that incremental performance advantages don't mean anything. Now in my 9th season on my Ottrott, still consider it perfect (and lookin' good!).

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17126
Location: Portland, OR

5/3/13 5:09 PM

Soma ES ? Got those down there ?

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2410
Location: Canberra, Australia

5/3/13 6:43 PM


quote:
Soma ES ? Got those down there ?

I don't know if they're sold down here, but from looking at the Soma web site, it looks more like a bike for riding centuries or long day rides, and I already have quite a number of those. What I'm looking for is an actual race machine.


quote:
I see guys riding these garish Cannondales and stuff

Actually, I thought some of the Cannondales with minimal logos and round tubing were the least objectionable, though the Cannondale cranks are not a thing of beauty:

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17126
Location: Portland, OR

5/3/13 6:56 PM

Soma Smoothie NON ES model then...

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6155
Location: Maine

5/3/13 7:04 PM

Yeah

That C'dale looks fine to me, the ones I've seen have fat, shaped tubes and splashy color/graphics. I haven't gone to a shop, just seen random ones on the road.

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ErikS
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 8310
Location: Slowing boiling over in the steamy south, Global Warming is real

5/3/13 9:24 PM

The eye of the beholder. I find the flowing aerodynamic lines of modern frames very appealing in an organic way. The logos, well that sells but if they were a bit more subtle as an option I would not complain.

My wife's Felt has no less than 12 logos and the name brand on it. From hubs to rims to frame stays fork and even the top cap and bar. Overkill for sure.


Last edited by ErikS on 5/4/13 5:32 AM; edited 1 time in total

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

5/4/13 5:04 AM

I can understand Nick's perception. The arched top "tube," the paint, and in most cases the logo overkill--these increasingly mess with the platonic ideal of "bike" some of us carry around. But it's been a gradual process of movement away from that ideal. In some ways, things like the Dogma fork, etc, are just the modern versions of "curly stays.". In some cases, there may be genuine functionality to the manipulation...

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Dave B
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 4511
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

5/4/13 6:19 AM

Purpose


quote:
In some ways, things like the Dogma fork, etc, are just the modern versions of "curly stays.".

Those Pinarello wavy fork blades are absolutely just a styling gimmick but the Hetchins' curly stays had a purpose. Back then the UCI (or it's predecessor) forbid displaying manufacturer's logos on racing bikes. Hetchins used those stays as a visual trademark so the fans would recognize their bikes.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6495
Location: Westchester/NYC

5/4/13 7:30 AM


quote:
The eye of the beholder. I find the flowing aerodynamic lines of modern frames very appealing in an organic way.

Same here. Different style, I have no strong preference.

Except the logo overkill, that is. And some of the crazy color scheme.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17126
Location: Portland, OR

5/4/13 9:25 AM

Kestrel sure seem to be following the Specialized design





Starting to see this little ST/TT cluster configuration more too.


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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17126
Location: Portland, OR

5/4/13 9:26 AM

I might bring up cranks, Shimano, anything past 6600 and 7800 stuff I find pretty brash looking myself...

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stan
Joined: 14 Feb 2004
Posts: 440

5/6/13 7:52 PM

Everything grows on me. I like the curved and sloping top tubes as well as some of the oval/flat aero shapes. I hated the logos at first but now like them - I better with Cervelo and Guru frames.

But I also have a 23 yo steel Waterford with a classic look that I still like

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1620

5/7/13 6:59 AM

I agree about the logos, but while on the frame you are pretty much stuck with what you have, with wheels that is easily fixed, just get a nice set of wheels hand-built by a local guy and forget those carbon wheels.

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Dave B
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 4511
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

5/7/13 7:04 AM

Surly

For an understated "Classic" appearance, Surly's frames certainly qualify. My Pacer has only slightly oversize steel tubing, a level toptube and very low key graphics. In fact, Surly makes it a point that they don't clearcoat over the decals so you can remove them without damaging the paint.

No one is going to claim these are high end or state of the art frames but they are visually very simple.

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