A Call for Classics

My eyes pop during big races given the colors of jerseys and bikes contrasting with epic European scenery. Light bikes designed in aerodynamic ways look like something out of the next James Cameron film. The riders and gear are extravagant and attention grabbing.

Alberto Contador burning the countryside with his UFO bike and NASA helmet.

I get why it’s necessary, advertising eye-sores can be ways to encourage viewing; especially when The Tour lasts over 4 hours per day for a whole month! Perhaps though, cycling kits that are classic and timeless can reach out to audiences. Imagine a group of riders on well-designed, not overly colorful, and in dapperly (?) well-put-together jerseys. It would have one thinking, boy they look swell and neat. While making other teams look absolutely garish- akin to the uber-goth/punk kids in middle-school.

So who do we have to look to for simple lines and clean colors?

Garmin-Slipstream  does well with their orange and blues and argyle. I might add, they use whites and blacks to counterbalance the vivid colors quite stunningly.  It’s advertising like this that really works. Next time I’m in the market for a bike computer or GPS unit- I’m going Garmin.  However, the biggest name in cycling aims for all the flash and pizzazz that is to be expected from a mega-celebrity.  Livestrong auctioned off bikes with designs that make your head spin, in a good sort of way: It’s About The Bike: A Livestrong Auction Ending Prices.

Lance and Team Shack’s new bike, definitely needing a few more encircled Rs.

Things will never go back to the days of Eddy Merckx or the times when Peugeot had a team. I’m not asking for that, I just hope 2010 will deliver team kits that compliment the post-modern age and the “olden” styles of cycling.

Here’s Eddy Merckx not caring about the color of his seat post highlighting the bike’s fork color scheme. And I must say, the break cables jutting up and over the handlebars in an X shape, has the bike proclaiming, “I am more to look at than just alloys and rubber”.  It’s utility is obvious and it lacks confusion. Plus Eddy has a lion’s mane of hair with some killer chops. I’ll be surprised if you can find a pro-rider today with the same fierce look.

Now I have to admit my love of something gaudy. It’s 2010 and I should come out and get it off my chest. Team Liquigas green and their color coordination is something awful but I am still drawn to it. They look like vending machines or the oil aisle in an auto shop. The color of green employed proves tired and worn, if it were in a box of crayons it would be titled “malaise destitute green”. It isn’t close to tree green and it won’t take a step back and just be white. It’s oddly compelling yet sad.

Riders let Liquigas pass to the front after their team colors induce massive headaches and aneurysms.

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Filed under bikes, gear, races, road bikes, social commentary

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