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Bike colors

Old 12-21-17, 06:59 PM
  #1  
Joe Bikerider
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Bike colors

Just at the local REI store. I guess unless you are 9 years old (or younger) then the only color for you is matte black. At least Henry Ford had shiny. The bike department is all dull black. Is that what people actually want? Talk about following the herd. Yuck.
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Old 12-21-17, 07:04 PM
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Unless its some god-awful 70s puke color (like the outgoing REI ADV3.1), I really don't care what color my bike is. I've got maroon, red, another red, navy blue, grey, yet another red, and blue, and have owned another blue, pearl white and baby blue.

All but the slate grey were gifts or bought used, so no color selection was made on my part, before anyone gets to thinking I'm fast or like red. I'd prefer matte black to many colors on the market today.
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Old 12-21-17, 07:18 PM
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An advantage of matte black or grey on a bike is that you can bling it out with anodized and colored parts....

20171011_173540 (Medium).jpg
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Old 12-21-17, 07:18 PM
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I have a strong preference for shiny frame finish. Matte doesn't do it for me.

However, I own two black bikes and one black car and previously had another black bike and two other black cars, so I'm okay with black.

But man, there's a ton of great looking frame colors and finishes, just black leaves out a lot.
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Old 12-21-17, 08:19 PM
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I also do not care much about the color of my bikes. One is a really pretty dark sky blue which is fun...but my favorite bike is PINK and I am definitely not a pink person!

That said, plenty of riders do seem to enjoy a selection of colors. Limiting bikes to matte black seems like a good way to turn off some potential buyers.
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Old 12-21-17, 08:28 PM
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Brother I don't consider it following the herd when it is a color that I want.
It is understated,stealthy,discrete.....oh and cool,I forgot cool.
Does anyone remember the song,Black Cars Look Better In the shade?
Well Black Bikes Look Better In The Shade as well.

Matte black and shiny black are the perfect canvas for what colors you want to pop.
It's all about choice I guess.

Last edited by PdalPowr; 12-21-17 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 12-21-17, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
Brother I don't consider it following the herd when it is a color that I want.
It is understatement,stealthy,discrete.....oh and cool,I forgot cool.
Does anyone remember the song,Black Cars Look Better In the shade?
Well Black Bikes Look Better In The Shade as well.

Matte black and shiny black are the perfect canvas for what colors you want to pop.
It's all about choice I guess.
+1

I totally agree with you. Good post.
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Old 12-21-17, 10:22 PM
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Is there a certain category of bikes you're seeing this on? I see all kinds of non-black frames, but I might be biased in that I pay more attention to cross/gravel/adventure/touring/rigidMTB type frames. The matte black frames look invisible, which is a bad thing in my mind. No need to deliberately make myself harder to see.
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Old 12-21-17, 10:35 PM
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I guess if you go to a place that isn't really a bike shop they may only have one color but then again I have been in an REI and found colors other than matte black. I like matte black so I wouldn't complain but any bike shop should have more than just that color.
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Old 12-21-17, 11:12 PM
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Last time I was in my local REI there was quite a bit of matte black bikes too...Not all of course, but I can't seem to recall any other color than white. Though matte black seems to be "in". I don't like it...it's beyond boring. At least everything else in the cycling section is colorful.
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Old 12-22-17, 01:05 AM
  #11  
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Most or all of my bikes have been purchased used, so I'm generally more interested in the bike than the color.

That said, I do prefer some color to no color.

My guess is that the manufacturers have decided that it was too much work to offer a variety of colors in a variety of frame sizes with a variety of components. So, black and grey were compromise color choices.

I'd rather see them choose say 2 colors a year, but they they may start competing against their old frames. They don't want customers thinking that they'd buy a new bike except they like the colors of a used one better.

Bike Friday makes most of their bikes "made to order", and will make one in any color you wish.
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Old 12-22-17, 01:32 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
An advantage of matte black or grey on a bike is that you can bling it out with anodized and colored parts....

Attachment 592901
That's a really nice color, I love the purple on it.
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Old 12-22-17, 02:36 AM
  #13  
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I was in my local Specialized store earlier this week and it was a sea of black bikes! I’m loving the army green of my fattie.
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Old 12-22-17, 03:03 AM
  #14  
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Not a fan of matte colours myself. I have three blue bikes (one of which is blue fading to silver), one matte white (Brompton don't seem to do shiny any more) and one black.

One of the blue bikes I bought used so I didn't have a choice in the colour. The other two I bought new. The black one was originally white but when I got it refurbished I opted for black as it was going to be a daily hack and I thought the black would be easier to match for touching up. It was a good plan but I've never done it and it's now looking seriously in need of re-enamelling again. The blue & silver one is also in need of re-enamelling, but I'd definitely go for the same scheme as I love it.

The white Brompton was my choice but one I rather regret now. Brompton's paintwork (don't know if it's enamel or powder coat) doesn't seem to stand up very well to the daily grind and it always looks a bit shabby now.
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Old 12-22-17, 07:37 AM
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REI is a national chain with a huge budget for market research.

If most of the bikes on their sales floor are matte black, it's because most of their potential customers are more likely to buy a matte black bike than any other color.

It's not just the whim of one of their wholesale buyers who woke up one morning and said "We're going with black because that's my personal favorite"

I guarantee they did a metric ton of research to determine that a matte black bike will sell faster on their sales floor than a blue or yellow bike.

And that doesn't necessarily mean that research tells REI that people are walking in specifically looking for a matte black bike. Just that they are more likely to walk out with one.

Here's a couple reasons why matte black might sell better at REI...

1) A large portion of the population is legit into matte black right now. Color preferences and trends do change every few years. (For everything. Bikes, clothes, cars, etc) Matte black may just be really popular right now.

2) Matte black makes REI bikes look more expensive than Wal Mart bikes. Despite it's fancy displays and niche gear products, REI is still a big box retail store at it's core. And MOST bike shoppers aren't super educated rider. REI's customers aren't overall more bike savvy than Wal Mart bike shoppers. But REI shoppers are likely able to spend more than Wal Mart shoppers. It's got to do something to make it's bikes more attractive to a consumer than a Wal Mart bike to justify the higher price tag. Wal Mart bikes are all neon yellow and green. For a while those stood out and looked high end to the untrained eye. Now day-glo bikes are everywhere so places like REI are shifting back to matter black to be different than the neon bikes. Soon Wal Mart will carry more black bikes to give the untrained consumer an option fro a bargain on an expensive looking bike. In 5 years Wal Mart will have all the matte dark colors and REI will have neon rainbows in the bike section when that trend reverses.

3) Black is more neutral. You can make a black bike look red or green with accessories. A green bike is a green bike. It makes 1 bike more interesting to 5 buyers.

4) REI has made a huge marketing blunder and bike sales will tank. (I'd bet heavily against this option)

5) Matte black doesn't sell better, but it reduces the production costs thus improving the overall profit margin on each bike. (I doubt this is the driving factor. But it might play a part)

Last edited by Skipjacks; 12-22-17 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 12-22-17, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Doris2722 View Post
That's a really nice color, I love the purple on it.
Thank you. I had fun with it. Purple and grey work for me some reason, though I finally did have to bust up the monotony with that gold seatpost.
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Old 12-22-17, 07:50 AM
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Its all about reducing manufacturing costs....
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Old 12-22-17, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Its all about reducing manufacturing costs....
Good point. I added that to my list above.
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Old 12-22-17, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Its all about reducing manufacturing costs....
I would imagine this ^. Cost and risk. No one wants to be stuck with an inventory of bikes in a not-trendy color.

I went to REI.com just now, to the Bikes section, and the selector panel on the left indicates 71 black, 70 grey, 67 blue, 41 green, and then a drop to 17 red. That's less red than I had been expecting.
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Old 12-22-17, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Good point. I added that to my list above.

Yup. I consider that first and foremost...move to position #1 on your list!
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Old 12-22-17, 08:01 AM
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It's not just bikes. Colors have been falling out of favor everywhere over the past 20 years or so. The one I notice the most is car colors. Up until the 2000's, the most popular colors were all over the place: green, red, brown, blue, even yellow had its day. Now, the most popular "colors" are white, followed by grey, followed by black. 75% of all cars sold last year were white, grey, or black. I don't know how anyone can find their white SUV in a parking lot. It's all anyone wants to buy anymore.

Our roads are rivers of grey. Our neighborhoods are seas of beige. Everyone wants "safe" colors. Don't stand out, don't hurt the resale value, don't show too much dirt. I'm waiting for the public to finally look around and say, "Wow, this is really boring!" Someday, the trend will turn around and colors will come back in style. For now, I'll keep doing my part with the shiniest, brightest, most vivid colors I can find.
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Old 12-22-17, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
An advantage of matte black or grey on a bike is that you can bling it out with anodized and colored parts....

Attachment 592901
Sweet!
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Old 12-22-17, 08:10 AM
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If its about cost of manufacturing, then the manufacturers took a big risk to see if the mostly males would go for it. Ask any retail bike shop sales person as to what a female shopper immediately responds to, color.

We know that layers of paint add to the weight of the bike. For the pro teams, maybe it makes a difference if they can shave off here and there and maybe there's a fluid dynamics advantage. Doesn't seem to make a difference to Bradley Wiggins or Chris Froome.
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Old 12-22-17, 08:16 AM
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They are all good as far as being in a fast green color
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Old 12-22-17, 08:18 AM
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While I prefer neutral colors, and my main commuter is black (with black and yellow reflective caution tape accents) I would agree that a world of black, matte bikes would be dull and boring.
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