I am over blue bikes (the beauty of the classic Gios Torino not withstanding). Blue is a fine color, as they go, but it does nothing for me on a bike. I prefer grays and deep, dark reds, greens of every hue, and oddly, mustard yellow. Bright red bikes are, to me, like bright red cars. There better be some speed to back up that flash. My infrequent brushes with form and fitness more or less prevent me from throwing my leg over a bright red bike.
I tried once to believe that the color of my bike didn’t matter to me, to be completely practical, and what I got was a white crackle paint job that made my skin crawl. Fortunately that bike got stolen, although I didn’t feel quite so blase about it at the time.
For a while, I was buying beater bikes and rattle canning them school bus yellow. This was an aesthetic anti-theft strategy that worked pretty well, although with bikes as crappy as those were, it’s hard to say it was the paint that kept the thieves at bay.
Following my yellow phase, I got deeply into black. Low profile, low maintenance black. Black is good. Black never stops being a sharp color for bikes, but I’m not Batman. No one needs me in an emergency, even though I’m already wearing tights.
In 2010 I bought a blue bike at the recommendation of the bike builder, who told me he thought it looked the best of the colors he offered. It was one of those relationship defining moments where I could have disagreed, but it felt like bad form, like maybe we wouldn’t have liked each other an awful lot after, so I went for it.
I never liked the way that bike looked. Nice guy though.
I also have to say that, white crackle aside, an all white bike doesn’t work for me either. As an accent, white is good. Otherwise, it’s like a pallet for filth, and I am a filth seeking missile.
I hate orange, even Molteni orange, which I realize is some sort of sacrilege, but I’ve never been much for orthodoxy.
I have time for purple, based on the simple fact that my first ever bike was a dark purple with sparkle in it. I won’t blame you if you judge me. I won’t care either.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what is the right color for a bike? Do you hew to the line that black/white/red looks best? Look at product catalogs going back 20 years, and I think you’ll find the world’s bike designers think so. Are you a basic black kind of rider? Or do you like flash?